Grace

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[edit] LDS Concept of Grace

Bruce R. McConkie defined grace in Mormon Doctrine as,

" God's grace consists in his love, mercy, and condescension toward his children. All things that exist are manifestations of the grace of God. The creation of the earth, life itself, the atonement of Christ, the plan of salvation, kingdoms of immortal glory hereafter, and the supreme gift of eternal life — all these things come by the grace of him whose we are.
Grace is granted to men proportionately as they conform to the standards of personal righteousness that are part of the gospel plan. Thus the saints are commanded to "grow in grace" (D. & C. 50:40), until they are sanctified and justified, "though the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." (D. & C. 20:30-32.) Grace is an attribute of perfection possessed by Deity (D. & C. 66:12; 84:102), and Christ himself "received grace for grace" until finally he gained the fulness of the Father. The same path to perfection is offered to man. "If you keep my commandments," the Lord says, "you shall receive of his fulness, and be glorified in me as I am in the Father; therefore, I say unto you, you shall receive grace for grace." (D. & C. 93:6-20.)"

Is should be pointed out that grace is obtained as a result of human effort. God is almost viewed as a vending machine which dispenses grace to anyone who puts in the correct change. If you insert your conformity to the standards of personal righteousness that are part of the gospel plan God drops down his grace.

Spencer W. Kimball writes in his book The Miracle of Forgiveness on page 207, that

"However good a person's works, he could not be saved had Jesus not died for his and everyone else's sins. And however powerful the saving grace of Christ, it brings exaltation to no man who does not comply with the works of the gospel."

Kimball's view of grace here is different from McConkie's above. Kimball apparently views God on the same level as man and the work of God (in grace) and man (in meritorious works) both necessary to pardon sins. With this definition, one could concieve of a person who has all the grace that God could muster up, but remain unforgiven if he overlooks one good work to fulfill his end of the bargain.

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