This year’s scripture focus is the Doctrine and Covenants. “The Doctrine and Covenants is a collection of divine revelations and inspired declarations given for the establishment and regulation of the kingdom of God on the earth in the last day.” (Introduction)
Like the Book of Mormon and Bible, the Doctrine and Covenants “abounds in the language and logic grace.” The doctrine of grace is central to the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
However, prominent BYU Religion Professor Robert Millet recalls:
“I was reared in a Latter-day Saint home in Louisiana, where most of my boyhood friends were Protestant. Just before leaving on my mission, I asked my father — a lifelong Southerner and member of the Church — a few doctrinal questions. One question was, ‘Dad, what does it mean to be saved by grace?‘ He answered quickly, ‘We don’t believe in that.‘ ‘We don’t?‘ I said. ‘Why not?‘ Without any hesitation re replied, ‘Because the Baptists do!‘” (Robert L. Millet, Book Review, “The Broken Heart: Applying the Atonement to Life’s Experiences,” by Bruce C. Hafen, 1989)
The first principle of the gospel always has been, is, and always will be faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. We must accept Jesus as our Savior, Lord, and Redeemer. It is only by and through His name and His grace that we are saved and exalted.
The Prophet Joseph Smith proclaimed:
“The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it.”
I fear that, like Professor Millet’s father, in our desire to separate ourselves and the restored gospel from traditional Christianity, a few of us Latter-day Saints overreact. For example, in an effort to prove that “faith without works is dead,” we can get dangerously close to advocating “works without faith.”
From the Doctrine and Covenants we learn:
- We are justified by grace.
- We are sanctified by grace.
- We will dwell in God’s presence if we receive of his fulness and his grace
- The gospel was restored and the church reestablished through grace
- His grace is sufficient to uplift us in the last days.
- Grace empowers us.
- God’s people are redeemed by grace through faith and covenants
- Through grace we have hope in a glorious resurrection
- We receive a fulness after receiving grace for grace
- We must grow in grace and truth
- It is possible for a person to fall from grace and depart from God
- His grace shall attend us as we diligently teach the doctrine
- His grace is sufficient
Doctrine and Covenants 17:8
And if you do these last commandments of mine, which I have given you, the gates of hell shall not prevail against you; for my grace is sufficient for you, and you shall be lifted up at the last day.
Doctrine and Covenants 76:94
They who dwell in his [God’s] presence are the church of the Firstborn; and they see as they are seen, and know as they are known, having received of his fulness and of his grace;
Doctrine and Covenants 84:99
The Lord hath brought again Zion; The Lord hath redeemed his people, Israel, according to the election of grace, which was brought to pass by the faith, and covenant of their fathers.
Doctrine and Covenants 138:12 -14
And there were gathered together in one place an innumerable company of the spirits of the just, who had been faithful in the testimony of Jesus while they lived in mortality;
And who had offered sacrifice in the similitude of the great sacrifice of the Son of God, and had suffered tribulation in their Redeemer’s name. All these had departed the mortal life, firm in the hope of a glorious resurrection, through the grace of God the Father and his Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ.
Doctrine and Covenants 93:11-13, 20
And I, John, bear record that I beheld his glory, as the glory of the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth …
And I, John saw that he [Jesus] received not of the fullness at the first, but received grace for grace….
For if you keep my commandments, you shall receive of his fullness, and be glorified in me as I am in the Father; therefore, you shall receive grace for grace.
Doctrine and Covenants 20: 4, 29-32
And this [restoration of the gospel and establishment of Christ’s church] according to the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to whom be all glory, both now and forever. Amen….
And we now that all men must repent and believe on the name of Jesus Christ, and worship the Father in his name, and endure in faith on his name to the end, or they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God.
And we know that justification through the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is just and true;
And we know also, that sanctification through the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is just and true, to all those who love and serve God with all their might, minds, and strength.
But there is a possibility that man may fall from grace and depart from the living God.
Doctrine and Covenants 88:77-78
And I give unto you a commandment that you shall teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom.
Teach ye diligently and my grace shall attend you, that you may be instructed more perfectly in theory, in principle, in doctrine, in the law of the gospel, in all things that pertain unto the kingdom of God …
Doctrine and Covenants 50:40
Behold, ye are little children and ye cannot bear all things now; by must grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth.
Doctrine and Covenants 18:31
And now I speak unto you, the Twelve – Behold, my grace is sufficient for you; you must walk uprightly before me and sin not.
(Other articles at: londonedition.home.blog or http://www.londonedition.net)