“In our Church meetings, we don’t often talk about grace,” said my Brigham Young University religion teacher, “but we, as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, do believe in grace.”
Indeed, I couldn’t recall any Young Women or Sunday School lessons on grace, but my thoughts drifted back to my high school choir and singing “Amazing Grace.”
“Grace is the power of God from the Atonement of Jesus Christ,” my teacher explained. “I divide grace into four powers: resurrection, redemption, healing, and strengthening.” He proceeded to explain each power, but my mind had again returned to my memories.
That same high school choir once traveled to California, USA, to compete in a music festival. I became ill just before departure, and my sore throat meant that I wouldn’t be able to sing with my choir in the festival—or if I did, I would sing poorly, accompanied by pain. I asked my father for a priesthood blessing and spent the next day praying for recovery.
Perhaps I didn’t fully understand then, as I sang “Amazing Grace” with a fully mended throat at the festival, that I was singing about the very power that had healed me just the day before. The Savior’s Atonement had blessed me that day; His grace was the source of my healing.
“And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people” (Alma 7:11).
After high school, like many freshmen, I was overwhelmed by my college courses and the challenges of simultaneously living away from home but also with five roommates.
This was when I learned to understand the strengthening and enabling power of Christ’s grace. I spent my days working and studying, but I depended on daily prayers in which I pled to Heavenly Father for the ability to complete the necessary tasks. As the school year continued, I discovered to my joy that with the strengthening and enabling power of Christ’s Atonement, I could function not only well but without difficulty.
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13).
Though I have yet to experience the other two aspects of His grace—resurrection and the fulness of redemption—I still depend on the Atonement of Jesus Christ each day. Grace, the power of God from the Atonement of Jesus Christ, has healed me and strengthened me. As I strive to obey God’s commandments and adhere to His will, I receive heavenly help far surpassing my own ability.
“It is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do” (2 Nephi 25:23).
In the Strength of the Lord
“With faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and obedience to his gospel, a step at a time improving as we go, pleading for strength, improving our attitudes and our ambitions, we will find ourselves successfully in the fold of the Good Shepherd. That will require discipline and training and exertion and strength. But as the Apostle Paul said, ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.’ (Philippians 4:13).”
President Howard W. Hunter (1907–95), “Developing Spirituality,” Ensign, May 1979, 26.
How Does the Lord’s Grace Affect Our Lives?
“The Lord desires, through His Atonement and by the power of the Holy Ghost, to live in us—not only to direct us but also to empower us.”
“Individual willpower, personal determination and motivation, effective planning and goal setting are necessary but ultimately insufficient for us to triumphantly complete this mortal journey. Truly, we must come to rely upon ‘the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah’ (2 Nephi 2:8).”
“The enabling power of the Atonement strengthens us to do and be good and to serve beyond our own individual desire and natural capacity.”
Consider writing in your journal and sharing with your family about times when you have felt the Lord’s grace healing, helping, or strengthening you.