Monday, October 27, 2014

What do Mormon's believe about Justice, Mercy, and Grace?

I love this video. It explains how we need a mediator in our lives, and how our Savior meets both the demands of justice and our need for mercy.

A woman said recently that she didn't think she could walk with Christ when she died. Are any of us worthy to do so?  Can any of us grow and change on our own? I know I've tried, but like a person lost, I repeatedly end up back where started. If we try to become Christlike by ourselves, we will fail. We make mistakes everyday (almost every moment). Only through the power, the grace, which our Savior gives us, can we change. He can do anything. He has paid for all our mistakes. He has the power to help us change. All we need to do is try.
We have to be willing to repent, to turn from wrong ways, to learn from mistakes. That is all we have to do -- try. Our Savior sends the Holy Ghost to help us. He provides scriptures to teach us and commandments to guide us. He provides covenants to help us progress, such as baptism and the sacrament. Step by small step, He helps us to grow and become like Him. Someday we can walk with Him, because He is the way. It is His power, His grace, that enables us to return to Him. He is our Mediator and our hope.  

Some feel that because God is loving and good, we don't have to do anything and all will be well. They see Him as merely a permissive parent who benignly overlooks the spoiled behavior of His children. 
As it says in the scriptures:
Alma a Book of Mormon prophet said: “Do ye suppose that mercy can rob justice? I say unto you, Nay; not one whit. If so, God would cease to be God” (Alma 42:25). The Apostle Paul in the New Testament said to the Galatians, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Galatians 6:7).

A modern apostle, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland explains about Justice and Mercy:

As I have taught struggling children, I have learned how impossible change is until the person is willing to change. Until the child believes that I can help them; until that child desires to change; there is nothing that I can do. I have spent weeks trying to bring light, but nothing happens until the child recognizes that what he is doing isn't working; isn't helping him reach goals, isn't making him happy. That moment of willingness to do and be different is the point of change. After unproductive weeks and weeks, in a few days we fly! In two weeks all the material for the year is learned.  It is amazing!

The Lord will not force us. He will not magically zap us, making us change. Just dying will not change us. We will not simply be resurrected as an "angelic" being. His grace and power will not change us until we repent; until we sincerely want to be different. We are who we are and will not change until we allow His help. He has given us the freedom to choose. When we are willing to choose the good and learn, then we can grow with His help. I am so thankful for His love for us and willingness to pay for our mistakes and straighten out the mess we have made, and give us another (and another...) chance to change and become like Him. 

I like these sayings:

We do not "earn" salvation, we "learn" it!

Good Works are not the root of salvation
Good Works are the fruit of salvation

I also think this is one of the best explanations of Grace.

Brad Wilcox a Chruch leader and  Brigham Young University Professor 

Here are some good articles on Grace
Sheri L. Dew president and CEO of Deseret Book Company

by Boyd K. Packer an Apostle of the Lord

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