You might hear it said that Christianity is a relationship, not a religion. This is one way to differentiate between historic Christianity and Mormonism. A related difference is the concept of “life” or “eternal life”. It’s very much worth understanding this difference as you transition out of Mormonism.
To a Mormon, eternal life means living forever
For some Mormons, eternal life is just a stepping stone to the ultimate goal of living as a god. By itself, eternal life seems like just living a really long time. Yet it can be something you are always working toward in every action and thought. Even so, it can seem distant, vague, and uncertain.
To a Christian, eternal life means spending every day with Jesus
As a Christian, “life” is a present experience. We know that our relationship and walk with Christ begins immediately after accepting Jesus as our Savior. We have the eternal life that Christ offers us at that moment.
John 17:3 And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth.
As a result, we see things differently. “Life” is not just some uncertain future hope. We now have God’s presence and help through all the struggles and trials in life. God offers more than we see or realize. He is rich in blessing and redemption even in the hardest times. Jesus is present. We are with him and he with us. We have been included in the life Jesus lives. We are united with him. His life is poured out in us through our relationship with him. We have abundance and fullness in Christ.
John 10:10 …I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
In Mormonism, eternal life is distant, but as a Christian it is now and forevermore
Eternal life was something far off and uncertain as a Mormon, but now, as a Christian, you are living your eternal life with Jesus now. It is eternal. But it doesn’t start after this life is over. It starts the moment we entrust our lives to Jesus.
Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). He is the Bread of Life (John 6:35). He talks about life in terms of himself. So when you come into a relationship with him, this life is yours, starting from that moment onward. This life in Christ is far more than we realize. It’s what God longs for you to experience.