Grace - Long Initial Post

Public forum to discuss questions about Mormon history and doctrine.
Posts: 281
Joined: 23 Jul 2009, 03:12

Re: Grace - Long Initial Post

Post by MWallace57 » 01 Mar 2010, 16:52

If you log onto Youtube, look up Whitney Houston's rendition of "Amazing Grace". Whitney prefaces her song with a story about the author. She explains that the song-writer had been a slave trader. One day he walked by a church and felt a deep desire to repent. He went home and wrote, Amazing Grace.

Now, I think of the Grace of God as being taught to us in Solomon's Temple. The Priests would sacrifice the lambs as commanded by the Lord. This was in similitude of the sacrifice of the Lamb of God, the Only Begotten. The Priest would then was themselves in the bath or basin which sat atop 12 oxen. The Priest would literally be covered with the "blood of the lamb", having just sacrificed the innocent little animal. The basin would wash them of the "blood of the Lamb" and cleanse them. (a similitude of baptism).

I often pondered this and then realized that the Lord was willing to forgive even those who crucified him and where stained with His blood. There has never been, nor good there ever be a greater willingness to forgive for the greatest sin ever committed was the crucifixion of the Son of God, yet He stands ready to forgive.

This was the message of Saul of Taurus, who changed his name to Paul. Paul confessed to being present at the crucifixion and to being one of the chief persecutors of Christ.

It is only through Christ's willingness to forgive us that any of us can be saved. He does not have to forgive, it is through His Grace. But, in order to accept His grace, we must confess our sins, believe in Him and repent, just as Paul did.

Curt Sunshine
Site Admin
Posts: 16852
Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: Grace - Long Initial Post

Post by Curt Sunshine » 31 Mar 2011, 08:03

This is my post about grace that I referenced in the current post about faith.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

User avatar
Posts: 15
Joined: 02 Dec 2010, 15:36

Re: Grace - Long Initial Post

Post by jwald » 31 Mar 2011, 08:57

Can I say Wow! ......Just wow. Thank you Ray, Katie and Tom for this discussion :clap: I've been pondering the whole grace vs works argument for awhile now.
Ray Degraw wrote:
A very insightful friend recently described the process of "taking my yoke upon you" as feeling the purity and power of His sinlessness. I love that construct, but I would add the following: Understanding and truly accepting God's grace occurs when you realize that all of your inherited weaknesses (your temper, your judgmental nature, your fatigue, your lack of self-worth, your never-ending battles with whatever drives you crazy) - everything that keeps you from becoming who you desperately want to become - has been bought and paid for already. He fought that fight for you, and He won. Yes, you were born with things that keep you from being perfect, but He paid for those things - meaning that you truly can take His yoke upon you and walk confidently at His side as a brother or sister with the same eternal potential. It occurs when you realize that, because of the grace that so fully He proffers you, you aren't required to pay for those things; rather, you are freed to pursue those qualities and characteristics you want to acquire to become perfect (whole and complete) - regardless of the tangible outcome of that effort. Repentance becomes an exciting, forward looking progression toward wholeness, rather than a depressing, backward-looking, guilt-inducing attempt to beat the bad out of you and never again make any mistakes. Bad habits and painful characteristics will disappear as they are replaced by good ones, not as they are "subdued and repressed by sheer force of will."

I believe an understanding of grace is fully realized when one stops fighting God's grace - when he realizes that all God wants is his willing mind and heart - when he quits worrying about his individual worthiness and starts focusing on his contribution to communal unity - when he simply lays it all at His feet and says, in essence, "I know you understand my weakness; I know you know my struggles and pains; I know you know how I feel about myself; I know you love me and have bought me, anyway. From now on, I will trust your promise and, despite my continuing frustration and my continuing weakness and my continuing failures, I will bounce back each time and continue to grow. I will not despair; I will accept my weakness and imperfection and failure, knowing you don't care, because you love me, anyway. I will get back up each time I am knocked down and continue to walk toward you, until you embrace me and say, 'Well done, thou good and faithful servant' - knowing I don't deserve it and being eternally grateful for the grace that so fully you proffered me
Yes yes yes! This stuff is what we should be teaching. This is what I want my children to understand.
I want to say more but they just called me into work :(

Posts: 990
Joined: 27 Jul 2017, 05:50

Re: Grace - Long Initial Post

Post by AmyJ » 07 Feb 2018, 10:08

Heber13 wrote:
01 Mar 2010, 15:24
I think this is often misunderstood, and then the feeling is that I know I am not doing all I could...I could be better if I was stronger or tried harder or never rested...or never made mistakes.

And then, since I know I haven't done "all I could have" - I don't qualify for Grace and it is not worth it to keep trying.
For me, I have learned that everything (characteristics, traits, processes) develops in its time and narrative.

I have a toddler. She is learning developmentally about anger and anger management. It is cute when she throws her hands up in frustration (but not to her - to her it is the END OF THE WORLD as she knows it) and BECAUSE I KNOW that this a sign of progress - that this is what toddlers do to progress NORMALLY (or with accepted parameters). And I (as her parent) can expect a) that she will get angry about things, b) that it is my responsibility as a parent to guide her in learning how and when to manage that emotion appropriately.

Sometimes I feel like a spiritual toddler. I know a few things - enough to explore the spiritual landscape. Sometimes the spiritual landscape is an overwhelming place that brings much angst to my soul and I throw up my spiritual hands in frustration, loneliness, anger, or boredom. At this point, my personal narrative compels me to believe that there is a God who understands perfectly a) where I am in my spiritual development, and b) cares enough to invite others to teach me about spiritual anger and handling spiritual matters at the level I am [this may be promptings of the Holy Ghost, religious teachings, the common sense or faith of others, the beauty of the universe, knowledge of how humans "human" - the good, the bad, and the ugly] and c) will cover what I can't cover while I am developing spiritually (guide me to a "time out" or help clean up the messes I make). I have to believe that when God is involved, his eye is more compassionate towards me because he does understand personally where I am developmentally - just as I can show compassion and think my daughter's actions are cute and non-threatening. Like a toddler, my narrative and viewpoint is limited and self-serving - but it's what I have.
Heber13 wrote:
01 Mar 2010, 15:24
I think that can be a temptation to become defeated ... when the message is really "Do you Believe Christ" not just believe IN Christ? If you Believe Him...his Grace is sufficient despite all my weaknesses. And internalizing that helps keep me motivated to keep trying.

I think Grace is under-appreciated in our church, and works are over-emphasized.
I think that sometimes we teach Grace as a majestic beautiful overarching principle (which it is) while not having the courage to apply it in intimately personal ways. Sister Okazaki taught me that the grace of the Atonement of Jesus Christ applies in the my personal life one act at a time. She inspired me to look for it in the mundane, the discussions with my family members, the day to day stuff.

Posts: 6217
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Grace - Long Initial Post

Post by Roy » 08 Feb 2018, 09:16

Curt Sunshine wrote:
31 Mar 2011, 08:03
It occurs when you realize that, because of the grace that so fully He proffers you, you aren't required to pay for those things; rather, you are freed to pursue those qualities and characteristics you want to acquire to become perfect (whole and complete) - regardless of the tangible outcome of that effort. Repentance becomes an exciting, forward looking progression toward wholeness, rather than a depressing, backward-looking, guilt-inducing attempt to beat the bad out of you and never again make any mistakes.
I am vaguely reminded of some experiment with baby monkeys. Some were given loving affection. Others were isolated from physical contact. The ones with the contact and support developed in a much more vibrant way. The others had their development stunted.

Supposing that there is no clear and right way to believe, I feel that the relative merits of a belief become evident in how well it helps the individual cope with the challenges of life. With that in mind, I really appreciate the "exciting, forward looking progression toward wholeness". There is no need for self flagellation after falling in the same rut again. You might never be free of that particular rut in this life but there is no time and no advantage to wallowing in it. Get up and dust yourself off knowing that life is too short and can still be good, beautiful, and meaningful despite your continuing limitations.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

Post Reply