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Question

 

Dear Gramps,

It seems that every other talk in the Mormon Church is on “doing more” and how we can never do enough service. I am a great believer in service and love helping others. My question is why we hear so few talks on “grace”. We are told over and over in the Bible that grace is a gift…a free gift. I understand that we should want to serve and work, that is the Lord’s spirit in us, but I feel in my heart that members of the Mormon Church are led to believe that they have a part in the actual price of their salvation and I don’t believe that. So much is said about work, work and never a word about plain old amazing grace. thank you for your website.

Linda

 

Answer

 

Dear Linda,

Perhaps there are two things we could address in responding to your question. The first would be the concept of grace and works. You are absolutely right that grace is wholly and completely in the hands of God. No man, regardless of how righteous he may be, could begin to pay the price for the gift of grace given by the Father through the infinitely painful atoning sacrifice of the Savior. One of the results of that great sacrifice is that all men, regardless of the way they live, will be resurrected, and will receive perfect immortal bodies, no more subject to pain or death. This great blessing of the resurrection is a free gift of grace to all.

However, the type of resurrection that each person will receive depends entirely on the works of the individual. Depending on how they live their lives and respond to the teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ, they will be resurrected with celestial bodies, terrestrial bodies, telestial bodies, or they will be resurrected into a kingdom which is not a kingdom of glory, as are the three kingdoms mentioned above, but they will spend eternity in the realm of Satan, the adversary of all righteousness.

Now, the gift of grace is something that we can do nothing about, but the works necessary to be saved in the kingdom of God is something that only we can do something about. So I’m not surprised that more attention is given to works that to grace.

The second notion we could address would be the validity of your own personal experience as a measure of how the Church treats these two concepts. My own opinion is that I do not believe that the principle of grace is a neglected concept in the Mormon Church. It is fundamental to Mormon theology and is associated with the central theme of the gospel–the great atoning sacrifice of the Savior of mankind.

Apparently you are making some generalizations about how the Mormon Church views grace and works by your experience with your own local congregation. Indeed, in some congregations you may never hear the concept of grace addressed; in others it may be a central theme. Statistically speaking, in all of the General Conferences of the Mormon Church and in all of the Church magazines the word ‘grace’ is used with about 10% of the frequency of the use of the word ‘works’.

 

Gramps

 

 

 

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