Recently a friend of mind wrote me this question: Is there a group of Mormons that is evangelical, believing that Jesus Christ is only way of Salvation?
Here’s how I answered.
Good question. If you ask some Mormons if they believe salvation is only through Jesus Christ they would unequivocally say yes. But what they mean is that, according to Mormonism, everyone who ever lived will be raised from the dead physically in the Millennium because Jesus’ atonement restored immortality (lost by Adam’s fall) to all people, whether they are Christians or Mormons or anything else.
The main problem, of course, is that the Mormon Jesus is ontologically different than the Jesus of orthodox Christianity. Nonetheless, the fullness of salvation in Mormonism, beyond physical resurrection, means whether one goes to one of three heavenly kingdoms: telestial, terrestrial, or celestial (lowest to highest). That is entirely dependent on one’s obedience to the Mormon “gospel” which includes baptism (dead or alive), going to the temple for endowments, being married in the temple, not drinking alcohol, etc. These are all required good works. So Mormons may say salvation is only through Jesus, but not in the way evangelicals understand it.
I have heard tell of some small Mormon splinter movements that are theologically orthodox but still believe the Book of Mormon (but not Mormonism) is true. I have never met any of them but I don’t think they could actually be called Mormons of the Salt Lake City variety, as they deny essential Mormon doctrines and other Mormon scriptures.