Bennett Borden, North Star President
We, as Latter-Day Saints are expected to do a lot. We have family obligations, church callings and demands at work. We try to do everything we’re counseled to do including going to the temple, doing genealogical research, and finding service opportunities. We try to eat healthfully and exercise. And, most demanding of all perhaps, we’re expected to love one another, even those who offend us. How do we keep up with it all? The good news is we don’t have to do it without help, and we have been given plenty of time and space to practice getting it right. That’s really the whole point of this existence.
What kind of help are we given? The gift of Grace, through the infinite Atonement of our Lord, Jesus Christ. “It is through the grace of the Lord that individuals, through faith in the Atonement of Jesus Christ and repentance of their sins, receive strength and assistance to do good works that they otherwise would not be able to maintain if left to their own means.” Bible Dictionary, Grace. Grace is an enabling power that allows us to do things we think are beyond our capability.
There are many scriptures that encourage us in doing all that is expected of us:
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13.
“I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.” 1 Nephi 3:7
“Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men….” 2 Nephi 2:27
“My grace is sufficient for thee….” 2 Corinthians 12:9
These scriptures teach us that there is a way prepared for each of us to do all that the Lord asks of us, and that when we think we don’t have the strength to accomplish it all, the Lord blesses us with His Grace, His enabling power, to do so.
The adversary, our common enemy, would try to trick us out of taking advantage of this enabling power. He would have us believe that the Lord only blesses us with Grace if we are without sin, and only after all we can do. We think that if we have sinned, then we aren’t worthy of His grace. But that’s simply not true. The whole point of Grace is to help us overcome our sins and weaknesses. The moment we begin to exert our efforts to make a good choice, that is when Grace begins to help us.
It also isn’t true that Grace kicks in only after all we can do. Brad Wilcox put this best when he said: “Grace is not a booster engine that kicks in once our fuel supply is exhausted. Rather, it is our constant energy source. It is not the light at the end of the tunnel but the light that moves us through the tunnel. Grace is not achieved somewhere down the road. It is received right here and right now.” His Grace is Sufficient, Brad Wilcox, September 2013 Ensign.
We in the SSA/LGBT LDS community are blessed with an invaluable set of skills, capabilities and perspectives that are uniquely suited to build the kingdom of God and establish Zion. This is a theme I’ve spoken and written on a lot this year because I believe it is such a powerful truth. Because of the adversary’s intense efforts to destroy us and curtail our power, we often suffer shame, depression and anxiety. But, my dear sisters and brothers, we must throw off these chains of lies, awake to our true potential and arise to our rightful place in the kingdom of God.
I know that our path can be a challenging one. Remember that it is through the very strain and effort of walking this path that we find and develop our strengths and talents that are so sorely needed in these latter days. “Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth….” Mosiah 4:9. This means that He has the power to bless us with His grace, and that with His grace, we can do all things. May the Lord bless us all as we walk our path and help and serve those we encounter along the way.