Question: Is the concept of redemption after this life unique to Mormonism?

Table of Contents

Question: Is the concept of redemption after this life unique to Mormonism?

The concept that God's mercy applies to those who have died is not unique in Latter-day Saint theology

Pope Pius IX once stated,

Far be it from Us, Venerable Brethren, to presume to establish limits to the divine mercy, which is infinite. [1]

Anglican Oliver Chase Quick said,

Such universal redemption may be said to be the antecedent purpose of God's atoning work in Christ, and we dare not set limits to what the cross may achieve. [2]

Rev. G. Frederick Wright states in 1882 in his book An Inquiry Concerning the Relation of Death to Probation,

The grounds upon which the Christian public is advised to abandon the historical belief that man's character for eternity is determined by his conduct before death are twofold

First. That certain passages of Scripture, either directly or by implication, teach that some will have their probation continued after death.

Second. That with the supposition of such a continuance of probation the character of God appears more and merciful. [3]

Continuing on this subject in 1883, Wright states,

It is, indeed, true that if we collect together in one magazine article an account of the individual Christian teachers who during the eighteen hundred years of the existence of Christianity have expressed themselves in favor of restoration or of some sort of probation after death, the list seems formidable. Even Luther can be quoted as favoring a belief that some of the heathen will have the gospel extended to them after death. [4]

In 1900, George B. Eager suggested that, "It does not become us to set limits to the grace of God." [5]

The concept that one could be redeemed after death through Christ's atonement is clearly not unique to Mormonism.

Notes

  1. Pope Pius IX, Singulari Quadam (1854)
  2. Oliver Chase Quick, Doctrines of the Creed — Their Basis in Scripture and Their Meaning to Day, p. 260.
  3. George Frederick Wright, An Inquiry Concerning the Relation of Death to Probation, (Boston: Congregational Publishing Society, 1882), p. 22.
  4. Rev. G. Frederick Wright, “The Practical Bearings of our belief concerning the Relation of Death to Probation,” Bibliotheca Sacra 40 (1883): 694-713, at page 696-7.
  5. George B. Eager, "Are the Heathen Lost Without the Gospel?", The Homiletic Review 40 (Oct 1900): 352-5; 355.