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Justification and sanctification get picked up in D&C a bit, which is where I first encountered them. D&C 20:30-31 seem to affirm something located elsewhere (cough Paul? cough), instead of explicating the terms.

Dave, is there a significant difference between just, justified, justification, righteous, and the like? Isn't the basic idea that of being a good person, being judged a good person, and what makes one judged a good person?

Likewise with sanctification there are lots of similar words like purified, born again and so forth.

I guess what I'm saying is that these particular English words didn't use to be used much in Mormonism until what one might call the re-emphasis of Grace in the late 80's through the 90's. That re-emphasis looked towards a lot of Protestant language which had been rejected do to persecution from the Protestants. However I'd argue that while this leads to a more Pauline style of language that the theology has always been there and been quite pronounced. Even if the rhetorical emphasis up to that point was more on works.

It seems that LDS constant emphasis on spirit and living by the spirit is very much in keeping with sanctification. Likewise the common folk theology that so long as you are trying hard Christ makes up the rest is pretty much justification. We can quibble about the way the folk theology represents these notions and the many logical problems of the rhetoric as proper theology. (I'd agree that as presented rhetorically it doesn't make a lot of sense) But in terms of practical implications it seems pretty much a key notion of Mormonism.

What do you think?

Clark, just winging it I would say that the terms justification and sanctification weren't used very much in Mormonism until recently because the LDS view of salvation is drawn largely from the gospels and the Book of Mormon. To a certain extent the difference between the LDS view and the Evangelical view (drawn largely from Paul's epistles) is simply terminological, but the details are worth investigating -- to the benefit of both perspectives.

This was my favorite talk, simply for putting paid to the random ideas floating around the church as to what "justification" means. Paul is the primary source, so if it is to mean anything at all, it should be consistent with what Paul was trying to convey.

However, the doctrine does appear in the Book of Mormon in several places, in a manner that appears to be completely consistent:

And by the law no flesh is justified; or, by the law men are cut off. Yea, by the temporal law they were cut off; and also, by the spiritual law they perish from that which is good (2 Ne 2:5)

See also 1 Ne 16:2, 2 Ne 15:23, 2 Ne 28:8, and Mosiah 14:11.

As to the suggestion that this is some throwback to questionably conservative theology, I don't see how anyone can read the Book of Mormon and not come away with the impression that in most respects it is one of the most theologically conservative works ever recorded.

The only way to get rid of this sort of theological conservatism would be to de-canonize the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and the Doctrine and Covenants. If Paul was wrong in fundamentals, the New Testament is mostly worthless.

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