Spatially-coupled low-density parity-check (LDPC) codes, which were first introduced as LDPC convolutional codes, have been shown to exhibit excellent performance under low-complexity belief-propagation decoding. This phenomenon is now termed threshold saturation via spatial coupling. Spatially-coupled codes have been successfully applied in numerous areas. In particular, it was proven that spatially-coupled regular LDPC codes universally achieve capacity over the class of binary memoryless symmetric (BMS) channels under belief-propagation decoding. Recently, potential functions have been used to simplify threshold saturation proofs for scalar and vector recursions. In this paper, potential functions are used to prove threshold saturation for irregular LDPC and low-density generator-matrix codes on BMS channels, extending the simplified proof technique to BMS channels. The corresponding potential functions are closely related to the average Bethe free entropy of the ensembles in the large-system limit. These functions also appear in statistical physics when the replica method is used to analyze optimal decoding.