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Suffering From Terrible Church And Life Burnout, And Then I Read This


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After reading this I feel so much better.

23 For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after ALL we can do.

Did you do all YOU could do today?

I am looking at it like this, if you did not put forth your BEST EFFORT, even with the Atonement, because you were just slightly lazy...YOU ARE DOOMED. You don't do your best, and who does, the atonement won't work. AM I reading this wrong?

Might as well go chop off my head and run around like a chicken, because it seems to me EVERYONE is going to HELL, and the atonement is good for nothing...

How do YOU explain this? If we are to take this at face value, I should just quit now, because I didn't DO ALL I COULD DO today, nor yesterday, nor the day before, in fact, there is NO day my entire life I have done ALL I COULD DO, and I dare say neither has anyone else.

I think of it like this....every morning I try both figuratively and literally to "turn toward the light"....and strive to do my best. I think it's in the "striving" each day that we grow and progress. In my mind..to strive doesn't mean that at the end of the day I was perfect. For me it means..at the end of the day when I take account of what I "strived" to do good....as well as those things where I messed up...if I can... in my heart of hearts know that I strived my best in spite of my shortcomings...I will call that day a WIN every time! Like Pres. Hinckley counseled...."just be a little better each day". If we can strive to do that....I believe all will be well at the last day. (yeah...I really like the word "strive" , it's my second favorite word of all time behind "balance" ) :) Edited by randyj
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After reading this I feel so much better.

23 For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after ALL we can do.

Did you do all YOU could do today?

I am looking at it like this, if you did not put forth your BEST EFFORT, even with the Atonement, because you were just slightly lazy...YOU ARE DOOMED. You don't do your best, and who does, the atonement won't work. AM I reading this wrong?

Might as well go chop off my head and run around like a chicken, because it seems to me EVERYONE is going to HELL, and the atonement is good for nothing...

How do YOU explain this? If we are to take this at face value, I should just quit now, because I didn't DO ALL I COULD DO today, nor yesterday, nor the day before, in fact, there is NO day my entire life I have done ALL I COULD DO, and I dare say neither has anyone else.

And that's what it means. "All you can do" is implicitly allowing mortals to be mortals. It's all about desire, and you obviously have great desires to be your best. That is good enough, because your desires always look for the good things to choose....
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I think this is another sorry example of where our doctrine gets defined by our culture instead of the other way around. I have been taught the same concept of "grace won't kick in until you've done all you can do" since the days of Star A & B, Co-Pilots, and Top Pilots (dating myself). But that notion doesn't make any sense. If that were the case, no one would be saved ... ever. And that is simply because no one can ever do "all (s)he can do" in the work-out-your-salvation arena. It's not humanly possible. Did you come home from church yesterday and check out how Tiger and Phil were doing at the PGA Championship? Then you're doomed, because you didn't do "all you can do." Did you go to work last week instead of continually attend the temple? Outta luck! Did you even sleep for an hour instead of constantly study your scriptures, pray, and perform approved service projects? No grace for you!

This isn't doctrine. It's in the same category as "I saw Tom Hanks on TV wearing a CTR ring."

Nephi's point could as easily be understood as "even after you've done all you can, it's STILL grace that saves you." This seems more reasonable, particularly when placed with King Benjamin's teaching on the matter (see Mosiah 2:20, 21). Otherwise, it would seem to me that Nephi and King Benjamin have mutually exclusive views of grace/works, which I find harder to believe than the notion that I'm utterly preculded from my Savior's blessed grace unless I've done "all I can do."

Now I gotta go mow the lawn -- abandon all hope!!

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And hey, I want to be like everybody else and have a snarky description to accompany my selected picture, instead of "Newbie: Without form and void." How do I do that?

Keep posting, you will attain member status presently.

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Which makes the "after everything..." part pointless. Why mention it if you are still saved by the grace of Christ?

Because, as I have repeatedly attempted to point out in this thread, the phrase 'after all' means 'in spite of'. The whole point, therefore, is a reminder that it is by grace that we are saved in spite of what we do, which I suspect is worth mentioning?

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I find myself agreeing with Lamoni's interpretation of Nephi's words.. It is all I can do to repent of my sins and hope God removes them from my heart.

http://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/alma/24.11?lang=eng#10

And now behold, my brethren, since it has been all that we could do (as we were the most lost of all mankind) to repent of all our sins and the many murders which we have committed, and to get God to atake them away from our hearts, for it was all we could do to repent sufficiently before God that he would take away our stain—
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Because, as I have repeatedly attempted to point out in this thread, the phrase 'after all' means 'in spite of'. The whole point, therefore, is a reminder that it is by grace that we are saved in spite of what we do, which I suspect is worth mentioning?

I'm going to get myself in hot water for saying this over and over, but I need to state it. When one feels like it's up to them to help get grace, it's no longer a feeling of total gratefulness. That's why understanding grace without works is so important. Do we place as much on acceptance of it first without having anything to do with it? Is there a psychological problem here? Are LDS not understanding the faith of accepting Grace without works? Is it up to us to accept it through faith, that it is free. When placing the all that we can do after it, it's not faith. We need to have faith that it's not grace and works. The hard part is accepting that on faith. This is dizzying I'm sure, but it's my own surmising of the situation. I think that's what the Lord wants us to understand. We need to have faith in the free grace and not add on stuff. Once we understand it's free, then is the real appreciation for it and the works. Those that say they are saved and keep sinning like no tomorrow, don't understand how to come unto Christ. And I still haven't either. It's not as simple as some LDS make the non LDS born again look.
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After reading this I feel so much better.

23 For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after ALL we can do.

Did you do all YOU could do today?

I am looking at it like this, if you did not put forth your BEST EFFORT, even with the Atonement, because you were just slightly lazy...YOU ARE DOOMED. You don't do your best, and who does, the atonement won't work. AM I reading this wrong?

Might as well go chop off my head and run around like a chicken, because it seems to me EVERYONE is going to HELL, and the atonement is good for nothing...

How do YOU explain this? If we are to take this at face value, I should just quit now, because I didn't DO ALL I COULD DO today, nor yesterday, nor the day before, in fact, there is NO day my entire life I have done ALL I COULD DO, and I dare say neither has anyone else.

For clarity I read this this way. After all we can do it is still only the Grace of Jesus Christ that saves us.

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Tacenda, do you get a sense from Nephi's writings that he didn't have a feeling of total gratefulness? I think that to impose a view (such as what you describe in your post) on Nephi because of some ambiguous wording of a single verse is going quite astray. The chapter and entirety of his writings make it quite clear.

I really don't understand why "understanding grace without works is so important". Trying to avoid, ignore, or deny that works have any impact on our ultimate destiny does not in any way allow me to increase my gratitude for God and Jesus Christ.

If some LDS people teach or believe that grace is only available after serious effort or some amount of perfect behavior, that is lamentable. I don't think the solution is to teach that grace and works have no interaction whatsoever. Like you said, it's not so simple. It's not a simple dichotomy of either "Grace first, then works" or "Works first, then grace".

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I read the same words and I feel comforted that many more people will attain exaltation because all we are required to do after baptism is our personal best and quick repentance. You are taking that to mean that since you aren't doing your personal best you are hopeless. But that presumes that you are not just not doing your personal best, but you are satisfied with not do so, you know how to do better you have the capability to do better, you are fully mentally and physically able to do better and you nevertheless choose not to do it and don't find a way to get through that bad patch and into a better place.

So quit wallowing, find something to work on and get/do better tomorrow.

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After reading this I feel so much better.

23 For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after ALL we can do.

Did you do all YOU could do today?

I am looking at it like this, if you did not put forth your BEST EFFORT, even with the Atonement, because you were just slightly lazy...YOU ARE DOOMED. You don't do your best, and who does, the atonement won't work. AM I reading this wrong?

Might as well go chop off my head and run around like a chicken, because it seems to me EVERYONE is going to HELL, and the atonement is good for nothing...

How do YOU explain this? If we are to take this at face value, I should just quit now, because I didn't DO ALL I COULD DO today, nor yesterday, nor the day before, in fact, there is NO day my entire life I have done ALL I COULD DO, and I dare say neither has anyone else.

Lettuce reconsider our interpretation of this verse as this is perhaps one of the most misunderstood scriptures of all time and the cause of much misunderstanding concerning what is required of us in order to receive the blessings that Jesus Christ offers. As always the scriptures cannot be “beet” for providing their own interpretation. Please consider this verse from Alma 24:

Alma 24:11

11 And now behold, my brethren, since it has been all that we could do (as we were the most lost of all mankind) to repent of all our sins and the many murders which we have committed, and to get God to take them away from our hearts, for it was all we could do to repent sufficiently before God that he would take away our stain

Because of our natures as mortal and carnal men the single greatest struggle we face is not many and several “all we can do’s” it is but one – to repent. After that takes place then we place ourselves under the influence of the Spirit of Christ and he provides his grace for us to change and become new creatures. However, until we embrace the true principle of repentance we are outside of his redeeming influence and there is nothing we can do.

Now put the verse back in context with this understanding in mind, that it is repentance that is all that we can do and observe how much more readily the pieces of the verse fit into proper theology:

2 Nephi 25:23, 26,

23 For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.

26 And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.

Reconciliation with God has always only been possible upon entering the gate with repentance baptism, and receipt of the Holy Ghost. Remission of our sins is always contingent upon acts of repentance.

The focus must be shifted away from the nebulous, subject to self-incriminating doubt in our ability to do all we can, to the sure faith in Jesus Christ that if we repent, in his care we will succeed, and find the strength we lack in all situations. Where before repentance, true and sincere repentance such as Enos exemplifies, we were weak and unable to do anything that would please God, after repentance he grants us over time and through continued repentance the ability to do all things in our Lord.

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I'm going to get myself in hot water for saying this over and over, but I need to state it. When one feels like it's up to them to help get grace, it's no longer a feeling of total gratefulness. That's why understanding grace without works is so important. Do we place as much on acceptance of it first without having anything to do with it? Is there a psychological problem here? Are LDS not understanding the faith of accepting Grace without works? Is it up to us to accept it through faith, that it is free. When placing the all that we can do after it, it's not faith. We need to have faith that it's not grace and works. The hard part is accepting that on faith. This is dizzying I'm sure, but it's my own surmising of the situation. I think that's what the Lord wants us to understand. We need to have faith in the free grace and not add on stuff. Once we understand it's free, then is the real appreciation for it and the works. Those that say they are saved and keep sinning like no tomorrow, don't understand how to come unto Christ. And I still haven't either. It's not as simple as some LDS make the non LDS born again look.

Nope we need to have the faith to do the works.

James 2:18

Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

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Nope we need to have the faith to do the works.

James 2:18

Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

I agree, faith first, works because of grace.
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0. The Book of Mormon is supposed to be a restoration of the plain and precious parts of the gospel that were lost over time, and "the most correct book on Earth" according to the Prophet.

Concerning this record the Prophet Joseph Smith said: “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.

https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/introduction?lang=eng

1. Nephi indicated that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do:

23 For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.

https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/2-ne/25?lang=eng#23

2. He also emphatically emphasized that we must worship Christ wit "all" our might, mind, strength and "whole" soul:

29 And now behold, I say unto you that the right way is to believe in Christ, and deny him not; and Christ is the Holy One of Israel; wherefore ye must bow down before him, and worship him with all your might, mind, and strength, and your whole soul; and if ye do this ye shall in nowise be cast out.

3. Amulek instructed Zeezrom that no unclean thing can inherit the kingdom of heaven and you cannot be saved in your sins:

37 And I say unto you again that he cannot save them in their sins; for I cannot deny his word, and he hath said that no unclean thing can inherit the kingdom of heaven; therefore, how can ye be saved, except ye inherit the kingdom of heaven? Therefore, ye cannot be saved in your sins.

https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/alma/11.37?lang=eng#37

4. The Lord said to the Prophet that if a person sins, all their sins return to them:

7 And now, verily I say unto you, I, the Lord, will not lay any sin to your charge; go your ways and sin no more; but unto that soul who sinneth shall the former sins return, saith the Lord your God.

https://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/82.7?lang=eng

5. The Lord said that He cannont look upon sin with the least degree of alloance:

31 For I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance;

32 Nevertheless, he that repents and does the commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven;

6. Many scriptural references emphasize being "spotless" before the judgement seat of God:

https://www.lds.org/scriptures/search?lang=eng&query=spotless&x=0&y=0

7. Jesus taught us to be perfect:

48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/matt/5?lang=eng#48

The gospel is difficult. Evangelicals like Aaron Shavalof believe it's an "impossible gospel". I'd be interested in talking to someone who has actually made it all the way through. Dad? You up there somewhere? How did you (or they) do it? What about all those sins of commission and omission? What did God really intend when such seemingly absolute words were penned "all", "whole", "perfect", "no unclean", "spotless", etc.? I admit, the opinions of these nice folk above about just doing your best sound nice but when I set them next to the clear teachings from multiple collaborative scriptural sources I'm scared because I do not agree with the good-intention-approach is close enough to attain eternal salvation. Exactness is the message I interpret and have for many years, and that's from reading the scriptures, not from the philosophies of men mingled with scripture. I'm also faced with the stark reality that there's no way possible for me to stop sinning, EVER, to be perfect EVER at least in mortal form, to give my "whole" heart/mind/might/pancreas/whatever to anything EVER, to even begin to understand the grace-works dichotomomy EVER. Why did God make us imperfect and then instruct us to fix ourselves? Physician, heal thyself indeed. I don't know. I'm with Pandorian -- I've literally, NEVER done ALL I could do. I've NEVER been perfect. I'll NEVER be able to BE SPOTLESS. I doesn't matter how many times I've taken the sacrement. It doesn't matter how many times I've begged God for forgiveness. It all comes back as soon as I mess up again. See -- right now I just had mental expletives going off and all my sins are right back in front of me. I haven't been and never will be able to perform up to the required level where grace will kick in for me. I hope I can still listen to R.E.M. in the Telestial Kingdom.

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I'm sorry you see the Gospel of Jesus Christ (which is supposed to be good news) as hopeless. :( Again, I think Nephi would feel very bad that his words have been (mis)construed in that manner. :huh: If the Gospel of Jesus Christ is a gospel of hope (and I believe it is) then the rest of the gospel should be interpreted in that light. God, I think, is not unlike any other parent: does He have high expectations for us? Do you have high expectations of your children? Sure. Does that mean that you love them any less, if-and-when they fail to live up to those expectations? Does God? Of course not. All you ask of your children when they make mistakes is that they not give up, and that they try again. God is much the same way.

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http://www.lds.org/l...0004d82620aRCRD P.S.:

[Moroni 10:32]

32 Yea, 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.

Edited by Kenngo1969
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I haven't been and never will be able to perform up to the required level where grace will kick in for me.

Mate, grace kicks in from the very first moment we exerise faith in Christ. The Book of Mormon makes it abundantly clear that we are saved by our faith in Him, that He is 'mighty to save'. It sounds like you're ready to surrender to the Saviour, having discovered the impossibility of saving yourself. Welcome to the club. But please don't wait any longer.

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0. The Book of Mormon is supposed to be a restoration of the plain and precious parts of the gospel that were lost over time, and "the most correct book on Earth" according to the Prophet.

Concerning this record the Prophet Joseph Smith said: “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.

https://www.lds.org/...uction?lang=eng

1. Nephi indicated that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do:

23 For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.

https://www.lds.org/.../25?lang=eng#23

2. He also emphatically emphasized that we must worship Christ wit "all" our might, mind, strength and "whole" soul:

29 And now behold, I say unto you that the right way is to believe in Christ, and deny him not; and Christ is the Holy One of Israel; wherefore ye must bow down before him, and worship him with all your might, mind, and strength, and your whole soul; and if ye do this ye shall in nowise be cast out.

3. Amulek instructed Zeezrom that no unclean thing can inherit the kingdom of heaven and you cannot be saved in your sins:

37 And I say unto you again that he cannot save them in their sins; for I cannot deny his word, and he hath said that no unclean thing can inherit the kingdom of heaven; therefore, how can ye be saved, except ye inherit the kingdom of heaven? Therefore, ye cannot be saved in your sins.

https://www.lds.org/....37?lang=eng#37

4. The Lord said to the Prophet that if a person sins, all their sins return to them:

7 And now, verily I say unto you, I, the Lord, will not lay any sin to your charge; go your ways and sin no more; but unto that soul who sinneth shall the former sins return, saith the Lord your God.

https://www.lds.org/...c/82.7?lang=eng

5. The Lord said that He cannont look upon sin with the least degree of alloance:

31 For I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance;

32 Nevertheless, he that repents and does the commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven;

6. Many scriptural references emphasize being "spotless" before the judgement seat of God:

https://www.lds.org/...potless&x=0&y=0

7. Jesus taught us to be perfect:

48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

https://www.lds.org/...t/5?lang=eng#48

The gospel is difficult. Evangelicals like Aaron Shavalof believe it's an "impossible gospel". I'd be interested in talking to someone who has actually made it all the way through. Dad? You up there somewhere? How did you (or they) do it? What about all those sins of commission and omission? What did God really intend when such seemingly absolute words were penned "all", "whole", "perfect", "no unclean", "spotless", etc.? I admit, the opinions of these nice folk above about just doing your best sound nice but when I set them next to the clear teachings from multiple collaborative scriptural sources I'm scared because I do not agree with the good-intention-approach is close enough to attain eternal salvation. Exactness is the message I interpret and have for many years, and that's from reading the scriptures, not from the philosophies of men mingled with scripture. I'm also faced with the stark reality that there's no way possible for me to stop sinning, EVER, to be perfect EVER at least in mortal form, to give my "whole" heart/mind/might/pancreas/whatever to anything EVER, to even begin to understand the grace-works dichotomomy EVER. Why did God make us imperfect and then instruct us to fix ourselves? Physician, heal thyself indeed. I don't know. I'm with Pandorian -- I've literally, NEVER done ALL I could do. I've NEVER been perfect. I'll NEVER be able to BE SPOTLESS. I doesn't matter how many times I've taken the sacrement. It doesn't matter how many times I've begged God for forgiveness. It all comes back as soon as I mess up again. See -- right now I just had mental expletives going off and all my sins are right back in front of me. I haven't been and never will be able to perform up to the required level where grace will kick in for me. I hope I can still listen to R.E.M. in the Telestial Kingdom.

And where is the Atonement in the above? Surely, we will be spotless before the judgement seat and perfect and sinless, because, if during our mortal life we have faith and believe in Christ and repent of our sins when we realise we have sinned, each sin is forgiven and, importantly, forgotten when we repent and when we come to be Judged, our Saviour will stand with us and offer his sacrifice, his Atonement for whatever remains thus allowing us to be perfect and spotless. This surely is the Grace that saves us and transforms us. This world is only a work in progress.

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0. The Book of Mormon is supposed to be a restoration of the plain and precious parts of the gospel that were lost over time, and "the most correct book on Earth" according to the Prophet.

Concerning this record the Prophet Joseph Smith said: “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.

https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/introduction?lang=eng

1. Nephi indicated that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do:

23 For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.

https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/2-ne/25?lang=eng#23

2. He also emphatically emphasized that we must worship Christ wit "all" our might, mind, strength and "whole" soul:

29 And now behold, I say unto you that the right way is to believe in Christ, and deny him not; and Christ is the Holy One of Israel; wherefore ye must bow down before him, and worship him with all your might, mind, and strength, and your whole soul; and if ye do this ye shall in nowise be cast out.

3. Amulek instructed Zeezrom that no unclean thing can inherit the kingdom of heaven and you cannot be saved in your sins:

37 And I say unto you again that he cannot save them in their sins; for I cannot deny his word, and he hath said that no unclean thing can inherit the kingdom of heaven; therefore, how can ye be saved, except ye inherit the kingdom of heaven? Therefore, ye cannot be saved in your sins.

https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/alma/11.37?lang=eng#37

4. The Lord said to the Prophet that if a person sins, all their sins return to them:

7 And now, verily I say unto you, I, the Lord, will not lay any sin to your charge; go your ways and sin no more; but unto that soul who sinneth shall the former sins return, saith the Lord your God.

https://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/82.7?lang=eng

5. The Lord said that He cannont look upon sin with the least degree of alloance:

31 For I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance;

32 Nevertheless, he that repents and does the commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven;

6. Many scriptural references emphasize being "spotless" before the judgement seat of God:

https://www.lds.org/scriptures/search?lang=eng&query=spotless&x=0&y=0

7. Jesus taught us to be perfect:

48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/matt/5?lang=eng#48

The gospel is difficult. Evangelicals like Aaron Shavalof believe it's an "impossible gospel". I'd be interested in talking to someone who has actually made it all the way through. Dad? You up there somewhere? How did you (or they) do it? What about all those sins of commission and omission? What did God really intend when such seemingly absolute words were penned "all", "whole", "perfect", "no unclean", "spotless", etc.? I admit, the opinions of these nice folk above about just doing your best sound nice but when I set them next to the clear teachings from multiple collaborative scriptural sources I'm scared because I do not agree with the good-intention-approach is close enough to attain eternal salvation. Exactness is the message I interpret and have for many years, and that's from reading the scriptures, not from the philosophies of men mingled with scripture. I'm also faced with the stark reality that there's no way possible for me to stop sinning, EVER, to be perfect EVER at least in mortal form, to give my "whole" heart/mind/might/pancreas/whatever to anything EVER, to even begin to understand the grace-works dichotomomy EVER. Why did God make us imperfect and then instruct us to fix ourselves? Physician, heal thyself indeed. I don't know. I'm with Pandorian -- I've literally, NEVER done ALL I could do. I've NEVER been perfect. I'll NEVER be able to BE SPOTLESS. I doesn't matter how many times I've taken the sacrement. It doesn't matter how many times I've begged God for forgiveness. It all comes back as soon as I mess up again. See -- right now I just had mental expletives going off and all my sins are right back in front of me. I haven't been and never will be able to perform up to the required level where grace will kick in for me. I hope I can still listen to R.E.M. in the Telestial Kingdom.

You'll never be spotless on your own. It is only thru Christ that anyone attains that state.

What you haven't realized is that you became saved the moment you had faith in Christ, repented of your sins, was baptized, and received the Holy Ghost. It was through those principles and ordinances that you 'entered the strait gate which leads to eternal life'. Because of the covenants you made at baptism, Christ agreed to apply His spotlessness to you (meaning that you were justified--the law of justice 'agreed' that you were clean and holy--through Christ's righteousness).

You also haven't realized that you remain in that covenant relationship--and therefore remained justified and saved--as long as you continue to have faith, repent, and want to follow Christ.

We don't have to be as perfect as possible before Christ will apply His Atonement in our lives. That is a misunderstanding of the gospel which satan perpetuates because it works so well to get people to give up.

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21 ¶Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?

22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

God is willing to forgive us many times. How do we become perfect? A little at a time over many times. And not necessarily completely in this life, but starting in this life. Trust in him to take us the full way there if we give ourselves to him.

Edited by TAO
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Tom Nosser kindly posted this link in the other thread so I didn't have to go looking for it (and I have to admit I wouldn't have, too exhausted today):

http://www.lds.org/g...become?lang=eng

A great talk that should be required reading imo.

“All that I have I desire to give you—not only my wealth, but also my position and standing among men. That which I have I can easily give you, but that which I am you must obtain for yourself. You will qualify for your inheritance by learning what I have learned and by living as I have lived. I will give you the laws and principles by which I have acquired my wisdom and stature. Follow my example, mastering as I have mastered, and you will become as I am, and all that I have will be yours.”
It is our choice how much we are wiling to learn, the Lord is the ultimate Teacher and Parent, he will gently and (sometimes not so gently if that is what we need to reach our desire) take as much time and effort to teach us his Way as we need, whether we are like students that sail through the program without a hitch the first time through or ones that have to repeat the same grade level until we loom above our fellow students in size and have to have a custom fitted desk. And as a Parent, he will be always there watching over us as we take our stumbling steps, ready to prop us up if that is what we need, ready to shout encouragement from the side and eventually, possibly if we come to a point where we need to know we can stand allow, to also pull back and be there as a silent witness to our efforts....but only if that is what we both need and desire him to do FOR us (not TO us).

Knowing this is what he is to us helps us to know what we need to do on our part...and never making a mistake or working until we collapse or taking no joy in the journey and a hundred other attitudes and behaviours that impede learning and growth, not aid it, are not part of that effort he asks of us. What he does ask and what we can give is our full heart and love...we have plenty of chances to practice that level of engagement with our families, our wives and husbands, our parents and children, our sisters and brothers...whether by blood or by faith or by simply being human.

Edited by calmoriah
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After reading this I feel so much better.

23 For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after ALL we can do.

Did you do all YOU could do today?

I am looking at it like this, if you did not put forth your BEST EFFORT, even with the Atonement, because you were just slightly lazy...YOU ARE DOOMED. You don't do your best, and who does, the atonement won't work. AM I reading this wrong?

Might as well go chop off my head and run around like a chicken, because it seems to me EVERYONE is going to HELL, and the atonement is good for nothing...

How do YOU explain this? If we are to take this at face value, I should just quit now, because I didn't DO ALL I COULD DO today, nor yesterday, nor the day before, in fact, there is NO day my entire life I have done ALL I COULD DO, and I dare say neither has anyone else.

I stumbled onto this quote today, that I think you could use. I know you mention church burnout in the OP. I think if we look at the church as looked at as the museum holding the desired object, then you can skip the other and only focus on the object of your desire. So often church things just get in the way. And it's not really anyone's fault, it's up to us as individuals to focus better.

c/p from a blog

"...I was talking with a friend that has a hard time with our leader worship in our culture. I gave him this analogy: It feels like this, you want to go to the Louvre in Paris to see the Mona Lisa. To get to the museum you have to pay to get in. You get inside the museum and you immediately are met by the tour guides. And the tour guides are talking about how they know this is the only museum that has the Mona Lisa and they know without a shadow of a doubt that the curator of the museum has all the keys to the museum. And they know without a shadow of a doubt that no one can behold the Mona Lisa unless they come to this museum. It is the only museum on the face of the earth that has the Mona Lisa. - Well all of that is true with regard to the Mona Lisa, but in my view, completely irrelevant, because I came to the museum to behold the Mona Lisa; not the tour guide; not the keys that the tour guide has; not the keys that the curator has. I respect all of that and I recognize all of that as necessary. I recognize all of that as part of the function of the museum. I do recognize that the museum has the Mona Lisa. But in the scale on my mission, my purpose, why I'm there - am there for one reason and one reason only. I am there to behold the Mona Lisa. If you can just realized that is just the museum being the museum and that is just the tour guides being the tour guides. They are doing their best, however misguided or overbearing or what have you they might be. But you can still see the Mona Lisa at the Louvre. Of course the Mona Lisa in this metaphor is Christ and the tour guides may not be the most knowledgeable people on earth about the Mona Lisa. There may be people outside the Museum, in fact there are people outside the museum who know a whole lot more about the Mona Lisa than some of the tour guides. Some of the tour guides are great. I especially like the ones with the German accent; that is one of my favorite tour guides. I have been told that we are not supposed to have favorite and less-favorite tour guides, but there are definitely some that are more favorite than others when I go to the Louvre.

~ Dan McDonald A Thoughtful Faith podcast, episode 41, 18:09

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The statement say's:

After = Thus meaning grace comes after the trails of our Faith. Thus, the verse is describing the end, not the process.

We = Meaning YOU.... If "all you can do" is lying in bed depressed, that that is all YOU can do. Of course, in that if you are sincere, and you are trying to do right, but that's all you can do at the time, then that's all you can do.

For example, I'm going through that myself right now. I'm bearly functional, but I know it's only a moment, and I'm trying still, and I have hope for the future, even though I may feel little of it. A person's entire life is not summed up in one moment like you are trying to claim. All that verse is saying, is did you try your best, each day, whatever that best was, did you seek to do good, right, etc.

Further, that BOM verse is the Bibles "Law of the Harvest". There's a great non-LDS article with that title, study it carefully, especially Law 6, which is entirely the BOM verse.

Edited by williamsmith
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