There is debate in Christianity as to the value of works. Some Christians believe we are saved by our belief in Christ, and that His grace is sufficient to save us — works are unnecessary. Both Catholicism and Mormonism (the doctrines of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) believe in both faith and works, essentially that we are judged for our works, but saved by God’s grace.
What do the scriptures say?
And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works (Revelation 20:12, 13).
Some men’s sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they followafter. Likewise also the good works of some are manifest beforehand; and they that are otherwise cannot be hid (1 Timothy 5:24, 25).
So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer…(2 Thessalonians 1:4-5).
For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous (1 John 5:3).
If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love (John 15:10).
And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless (Luke 1:6).
And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments (1 John 2:3).
Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent (Revelation 2:5).
And they went out, and preached that men should repent (Mark 6:12).
I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish (Luke 13:3).
Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you (1 Corinthians 11:2).
To members of the Church of Jesus Christ, “works” are repentance, the making and keeping of ordinances, keeping Christ’s commandments, doing good to all men (and women, and children, and all of God’s creations), and enduring to the end faithful in Christ. That this is true is manifest in the above scriptures from the Bible. We have more in other scriptures:
For they shall be judged according to their works, and every man shall receive according to his own works, his own dominion, in the mansions which are prepared (Doctrine and Covenants 76:11).
For I, the Lord, will judge all men according to their works, according to the desire of their hearts (D&C 137:9).
And even unto the great and last day, when all people, and all kindreds, and all nations and tongues shall stand before God, to be judged of their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil—(3 Nephi 26:4).
And for this cause have I been lifted up; therefore, according to the power of the Father I will draw all men unto me, that they may be judged according to their works (3 Nephi 27:15).
And ye shall go forth baptizing with water, saying: Repent ye, repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand (D&C 42:7).
And thus we see, that there was a time granted unto man to repent, yea, a probationary time, a time to repent and serve God (Alma 42:4).
Behold, I have given unto you the commandments; therefore keep my commandments. And this is the law and the prophets, for they truly testified of me (3 Nephi 15:10).
Therefore God gave unto them commandments, after having made known unto them the plan of redemption, that they should not do evil, the penalty thereof being a second death, which was an everlasting death as to things pertaining unto righteousness; for on such the plan of redemption could have no power, for the works of justice could not be destroyed, according to the supreme goodness of God (Alma 12:32).
…for out of the books shall your dead be judged, according to their own works, whether they themselves have attended to the ordinances in their own propria persona, or by the means of their own agents, according to the ordinance which God has prepared for their salvation from before the foundation of the world, according to the records which they have kept concerning their dead (D&C 128:8).
And this shall be our covenant—that we will walk in all the ordinances of the Lord (D&C 136:4).
These, then, are works…repentance, kindness, keeping Christ’s commandments, doing His will, becoming like Him, partaking of His ordinances, and keeping our covenants with Him, spoken clearly to us in the Bible, and reiterated and clarified in modern revelation.
We are judged by these works and the intent of our hearts. But we are saved by grace:
And may God grant, in his great fulness, that men might be brought unto repentance and good works, that they might be restored unto grace for grace, according to their works (Helaman 12:24).
Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God (Moroni 10:32).
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, reconcile yourselves to the will of God, and not to the will of the devil and the flesh; and remember, after ye are reconciled unto God, that it is only in and through the grace of God that ye are saved (2 Nephi 10:24).