Sunday, November 27, 2016

Saved By Grace

Many members (and even non-members) are familiar with this scripture from 2 Nephi, or at least the last part. But I think we often misinterpret it. We read "it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do," and we think it means "I am only saved by grace after I have done all that I can do; if I don't do all I can do, I won't be saved." In reality, we should interpret it to mean, "Even after all I can do, it is grace that saves me, not my own works."
In the grand scheme of things, our all, our very best and most valiant efforts are pitiful compared to the great debt we owe our Heavenly Father, both because of all He has given us, and because of our own disobedience and unworthiness. Luckily, it is not our good works that pays our debt. Rather, it is by our good works that we show our faith (see James 2:18). It is an act of faith to humbly make our paltry offering, in spite of the great debt we owe. Such faith will ultimately be rewarded by the great gift of our Savior's Grace, which is sufficient to pay the debts of every person who has ever lived and ever will live. We will never be able to repay our Savior for that gift. And if we will accept Him and exercise faith in Him, we'll never have to.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Pipe Down

All of us have a little voice in our head that gets reeeeeeally feisty the moment we hear something that differs from what we already believe. It's good to be skeptical, but not to the point where we won't even consider opinions that differ from our own. None of us is right 100% of the time, so there is nearly always something to be gained by respectfully considering another's perspective. So the next time you immediately feel combative upon hearing an opinion that's different from yours, tell that little voice to "pipe down!"

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Paving the road

Wouldn't it be nice if the road to hell were so clearly marked? But I digress...

"The road to hell is paved with good intentions"? Nah, I don't buy it. The devil and his minions only wish that were true. And they'd sure like us to believe it. Sure, bad things sometimes happen as a result of some misguided but well-intentioned act. But that's why we have a Savior. Thanks to the Atonement, we are not judged by the results of our actions but by the desires of our hearts (D&C 137:9). We will make mistakes. There's no getting around that. As hard as we may try to do the right thing, we will stumble. But if we accept Christ into our lives, love Him, and show that love by striving to keep His commandments (John 14:15), in the end it will be enough. Not because we've earned our way into heaven, but because He's paved the way for us.