The word grace, as used in the scriptures, refers primarily to the divine help and strength we receive through the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Apostle Peter taught that we should “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).
Salvation by Grace
Because of the Fall, everyone will experience temporal death. Through grace, made available by the Savior’s atoning sacrifice, all people will be resurrected and receive immortality (see 2 Nephi 9:6–13). But resurrection alone does not qualify us for eternal life in the presence of God. Our sins make us unclean and unfit to dwell in God’s presence, and we need His grace to purify and perfect us “after all we can do” (2 Nephi 25:23).
The phrase “after all we can do” teaches that effort is required on our part to receive the fulness of the Lord’s grace and be made worthy to dwell with Him. The Lord has commanded us to obey His gospel, which includes having faith in Him, repenting of our sins, being baptized, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end (see John 3:3–5; 3 Nephi 27:16–20; Articles of Faith 1:3–4). The prophet Moroni wrote of the grace we receive as we come unto the Savior and obey His teachings:
“Come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.
“And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the
Receiving Grace throughout Your Life
In addition to needing grace for your ultimate salvation, you need this enabling power every day of your life. As you draw near to your Heavenly Father in diligence, humility, and meekness, He will uplift and strengthen you through His grace (see Proverbs 3:34; 1 Peter 5:5; D&C 88:78; 106:7–8). Reliance upon His grace enables you to progress and grow in righteousness. Jesus Himself “received not of the fulness at first, but continued from grace to grace, until he received a fulness” (D&C 93:13). Grace enables you to help build God’s kingdom, a service you cannot give through your strength or means alone (see John 15:5; Philippians 4:13; Hebrews 12:28; Jacob 4:6–7).
If you ever become discouraged or feel too weak to continue living the gospel, remember the strength you can receive through the enabling power of grace. You can find comfort and assurance in these words of the Lord: “My grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them” (Ether 12:27).