I don't think that's true. Jesus died to overcome the death the Adam brought upon human kind. Just like we can't "choose" to not die, to not follow in Adam's footsteps, we can't "choose" to be resurected. Jesus died so he could be resurected. He was resurected so that everybody would be free of Adam's "punishment" to mankind, eternal physical death. As it says, everybody will stand before the judgemet seat and be judged according to their works. Jesus's resurection was for everybody, and the salvation from the pysical death is for everybody.
This is the heart of the problem. Mormons forget that the belief that everybody would be resurrected was already there long before Jesus came on the scene. That's why when Jesus came there were already two Jewish factions: the Sadducees, who believed there would be no resurrection, and the Pharisees, who believed there would be a resurrection (see Acts 23:8). (What's more, Jesus didn't believe the death that came through Adam's sin was just physical, but I'll get to that below). Here are two prophecies from the Old Testament:
But your dead will live;
their bodies will rise.
... the earth will give birth to her dead.
Daniel 12:2 Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.
So the concept of universal judgement was already established, and it requires
that everybody appear before the throne of Judgement, where God would separate the goats from the sheep. So everyone, good and bad, will be resurrected to be judged by the words of Christ. This is what Corinthians refers to:
1 Corinthians 15:21-22
For since by man came death, by man came also resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam ALL die, even so in Christ shall ALL be made alive.
Mormons think this means that Christ simply reversed the effects of Adam's sin and nothing more. But Jesus doesn't. He goes on to say whom
God adopts as sons - his brothers and sisters - implying that only the people God chooses to call children have the right to call Him "Father", and are no longer sons of Adam. Paul picks up on this, saying we inherit eternal life from God because we are heirs of Christ and not heirs of Adam or the laws that point out sin (Rom. 8:17; Gal. 3:29). So we must find out what inheritance Jesus left. Was it just physical life to counter physical death?
I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.
What does it mean the Jesus has authority to judge? If all He came to do was to achieve universal "life" for everyone, why must He still judge? No doubt Mormons think this refers to exaltation, but Paul tells us "Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living
" (Rom. 14:9). And there is also no sign of exaltation apart from "life" in what Jesus says next. He only confirms the prophecies of Isaiah and Daniel:
(28-29) "Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come outthose who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned."
everyone, but not everyone inherits eternal life.
Like Paul says: "But the gift is not like the trespass" (Rom. 5:15). Jesus himself makes this distinction. The everlasting contempt or condemnation of God was called the "second death" by the Rabbis (Targum to Deut. 33: 6; Targum to Isaiah 14:19; 22:14; 65:6,15,19; Jer. 51:39). This is what Revelation 20:6 and :14 refer to. On the other hand, Jesus states "whoever lives and believes in me will never die
" (John 11:26). It's obvious He wasn't referring just to physical death (since our sinful bodies are still like Adam's, and "in Adam all
die"). Therefore his disciples would say a believer just "falls asleep" (like when Stephen was martyred in Acts 7:60); a believer's resurrection ("Christ's resurrection" or "the first resurrection") is no more traumatic than waking up. But a sinner lives in fear, expecting judgement at his
resurrection, and tries to earn his salvation, because he doesn't have Christ to intercede for him - he has only his own actions to speak for him...
Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened (1). Another book was opened, which is the book of life (2). The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books (1). The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life (2), he was thrown into the lake of fire.
Now we come to the throne of Judgment on the Day of Judgment. This is where all people would have appeared finally whether Jesus came or not (the only alternative is that everyone remained dead, i.e. to believe like the Sadducees in no resurrection. Or do Mormons believe that without Jesus only the innocent would have been judged, or only the guilty - how can they be innocent or guilty before they have been judged?) Here we find all the dead, "great and small" - and two sets of books (which I marked 1 and 2). The dead (which means everyone who hasn't already "died with Christ" - Rom. 6:8) are judged by a whole library of books, because they contain everyone's deeds
. The book of life, on the other hand, only contains names
: the names of everyone whose robes (deeds, Rev. 19:8) have been washed clean by Christ's blood (Rev. 3:5; 7:15).
His invitation for exaltation is extended toward everyone. In order to be chosen, though, you must do all that God requires (baptism by immersion for the remisison of sins, et al.). But this invitation is not simply for resurection. Everyone will be resurected, since everyone will be stand before his judgemnet seat to be judged.
I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? Have you suffered so much for nothingif it really was for nothing? Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard? (Gal. 3:2-5)
The only invitation Jesus extended was to receive life
by the Son, being justified before God and reconciled with Him. The only obstacle to this was sin, as pointed out by the law. What obstacle is there between someone who has been cleared of all sin, and God himself, according to the Bible? None whatsoever. Then we are exactly as God wants
us to be (because that's all He required with his law), no more, no less. Like Paul says: "Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies".
If one believes Mormons, in order to be chosen one must meet a new set of criteria. Where a Jewish priest used to sprinkle people with blood to justify them before God, now a Mormon priest must baptise someone for their faith to be justified. What's changed? In Mormonism, God did not step forward, He stepped back. First He invited us to have "life in the full" (John 10:10), now we are further invited to be "exalted" (become fuller than full?). Where Israel longed for nothing but salvation of their souls and the justification of their faith, we must now long for exaltation, apart from faith. Faith "only" gets us saved... actually no, even those who don't
have faith are "saved". To Mormons, our faith is only take us halway there if it doesn't conform to their standards - Christ did all He could, but only they
can justify our faith, because they have the "proper authority". How is this different than how things used to be? Did Israel's religious duties cause them
to be saved, nevermind exalted? No. Why should religious duties achieve anything more today? Trying to doing "all God requires" was precisely the problem, and Jesus made sure we understood "all God requires" goes far
beyond being dipped in water by the proper authority and bringing the correct sacrifices at the right places.
The key difference is that in Christianity, faith contains
works. In Mormonism, faith excludes
works. In the Bible, we're justified "apart
from all we can do" (Rom. 3:28), in Mormonism it's only "after
all we can do" (2 Nephi 25:23). In the Bible, Jesus heals completely (Mark 3:5) and saves completely (Heb. 7:25); in Mormonism, we are still left incomplete after Jesus has done his work.
Paul concludes - and this ties in with what I pointed out earlier - "You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus
, for all of you who were baptized into Christ
have clothed yourselves with Christ
." To make grace into a new set of laws is to deny grace all the same - it's to try clothing ourselves with righteous deeds and not with Christ.