Grace. doesn't it sound so nice? Even by nature its a pretty word, it seems to just roll right off your tongue. But as a Mormon do I even know what it is?
Well, lets find out :)
I have a best friend, Emily Grace, who lives up to her name well. Poised and classy, kind and forgiving; she's the most grace-full person I know.
But that's not the grace I'm really talking about, I'm talking about Christ's grace, the kind of grace that is sufficient to save us all (2 Cor 12:9).
I was talking to a man the other day who was convinced and hung up on this idea that Mormon's were trying to save themselves. I explained to him that no matter what I do or how hard I try, I can not save myself.
No if's, no ands, no way about it.
When people are observing Mormon's and all the things we are involved in as part of our religion it can appear that our efforts to be Christ-like are really a futile effort to be our own personal Christ's.
Let me be clear: none of my good deeds, as good as they may be, can qualify me for salvation. The efforts I make with this time on earth are simply me taking advantage of the gift of salvation that has been extended.
comprende? no? Here, I've heard it explained like this:
Your mom pays a piano teacher in order for you to take piano lessons. How will you pay her back? Money? No way, that's a lot of couches you'll have to search for loose change because if you're anything like me you're b-r-o-k-e. No, the way to pay your mom back is through practice! Her joy will come through watching you use her gift and improve.
I firmly believe Christ's gift was free, no strings attached, no fine print, free. I also believe it was given with a purpose in mind and that purpose is to give us an opportunity--or rather infinite opportunities for personal development and joy. I feel that, more important than the sum total of your growth, is the capacity you contain for growth potential. Grace allows us the time we need to access that growth potential.
Could you sit around doing nothing and still benefit from grace? Sure, but that's like playing 'Mary had a little lamb' over and over for years and years when you could be learning to play Mozart and Bach. The lessons are paid for, you might as well use them.
So for a Mormon who fails to understand grace, how did I do? I guess either way it doesn't matter...
Thank goodness for grace :)
With much love,