In our lives, we are faced with many trials and challenges that can seem impossible to overcome. We can often times be found lost and confused and have no sense of direction. However, if we can turn towards Christ for help, he can guide us through our problems and make it possible for us to grow and improve each and every day. This being said, we know that we do not have to be perfect to return to live with God eternally. If we can rely on the grace of Jesus Christ, we will have the opportunity to be saved and receive salvation. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is built greatly upon this doctrine, where it is the key to receiving eternal life. The bible dictionary defines grace as “divine means of help or strength, given through the bounteous mercy and love of Jesus Christ.” Grace is an essential doctrine since it is necessary for our salvation as shown in the Book of Mormon, and it can help us overcome our weaknesses and faults.
Grace is first an important part in obtaining our own salvation. In the pre-mortal life, we chose to come down to Earth to be tested and use agency to prove to our Heavenly Father that we could return to live with Him again someday. No matter how hard we try and how righteous we are, we will never be worthy to enter the Celestial Kingdom. However, we can be saved if we can have a dependence on Christ and use his atonement that he has given us to repent and fix our mistakes. In 2 Nephi 10:24, it states “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.” Therefore, we can receive Christ’s saving grace in our lives as we align ourselves with God’s will.
Further, as found in 2 Nephi 25:23, we learn that “it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.” Even though our salvation is only possible through Christ’s grace, there are still many things we need to do on our part including baptism, repentance, and enduring to the end. In the scriptures, Nephi is an ideal example that shows what it means to do “all we can do”. In 1 Nephi 3:7 he boldly states to his father that he “will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded.” Nephi truly shows the effort, hard work, and diligence that it takes to follow the commandments and to what the Lord requires. For example, when Nephi was commanded to obtain the brass plates from Laban, it took several attempts to obtain the records. At first, it seemed impossible to complete the task and his older brothers began to murmur. However, Nephi continued to depend on his faith in Christ, and he had the diligence to press forward to obtain the records. Just like Nephi, we need to be diligent in all the tasks we do everyday to show that we are truly trying our best. If we can show to God that we are trying, then Christ will make up the rest.
Grace is also an important doctrine since it is available for everyone to take advantage of. Anyone, no matter how sinful, has the opportunity to repent and accept Christ’s grace. A perfect example in the Book of Mormon is the conversion story of Alma the Younger. Alma lived many years of his life in sin and iniquity, persecuting the church and rejecting Christ’s teachings. However, once an angel appeared unto him, he had a complete change of heart and desired to repent of his sins. When he had done this, the scriptures state that he had “been redeemed of the Lord” and that he had been “born of the spirit” (Mosiah 27:24). Therefore, just like Alma, we can use Christ’s grace to turn our lives around. The doctrine of grace is also taught in 1 Nephi in Lehi’s dream of the Tree of Life. In the dream, Christ’s grace is shown how he provided a way (the iron rod) for his children to return to him (the tree). Since Christ is the tree, his “fruits” are the gifts of grace that make it possible for us to return to live with him, whether it is the atonement, eternal life, or blessings.
Grace is also an important doctrine in that it can protect against pride and self-righteousness. Since the idea of grace is based upon Christ helping us through challenges that we couldn’t overcome on our own, it makes us more humble and grateful for his assistance. If we can accept Christ’s love and use his atonement to help improve ourselves, then we will be less inclined to be selfish and have the mindset that our accomplishments are made solely through our own efforts. For example, in the book of Alma, the Lord helps Alma and his followers escape from bondage and return safely to the kingdom of Zarahemla. When they get to Zarahemla in safety, Alma and his followers immediately thank the Lord because He “had been merciful unto them, and eased their burdens, and had delivered them out of bondage” (Mosiah 24:14). These people were completely humble and showed true gratefulness towards the Lord for their prosperity and safety. Because they accepted Christ’s love and depended on his help and guidance through faith, they were not selfish in believing that their success was possible through their own doings with no help from the Lord.
The Grace of Jesus Christ is the foundation of our relationship with Him. Christ truly loves every one of us and is always there to help us through our struggles in this life. He invites us to come unto Him as we continue to do all we can on our part- to show our love and appreciation for our Savior and Heavenly Father. The Book of Mormon is a perfect teacher of Christ’s grace and truly shows how influential it is through the experiences of the Nephites. If we strive to keep Christ in our hearts and have complete faith in Him, then he will help us endure to the end and return to live with God with our eternal families.
Go to https://www.mormon.org/beliefs/jesus-christ to learn more about Jesus Christ’s Grace and His role in our life.
Mormon Message: Where Justice, Love, and Mercy Meet
This Mormon Message given by Elder Jeffrey Holland illustrates how Christ’s grace applies in our lives: