He rarely moves the mountains in front of us, but He always helps us climb them.
Sister Dew asked three questions
What is grace?
Grace is divine power that enables us to handle things we can’t figure out, can’t do, can’t overcome, or can’t manage on our own. We have access to this power because Jesus Christ, who was already a God, condescended to endure the bitterness of a fallen world and experience all physical and spiritual pain.
Elder David A. Bednar taught that “the Savior has suffered not just for our sins and iniquities—but also for our physical pains and anguish, our weaknesses and shortcomings, our fears and frustrations, our disappointments and discouragement, our regrets and remorse, our despair and desperation, the injustices and the inequities that we experience, and the emotional distresses that beset us. There is no physical pain, no spiritual wound, no anguish of soul or heartache, no infirmity or weakness you or I ever confront in mortality that the Savior did not experience first.”
What difference can grace make in our lives?
We all know what “overwhelmed” feels like. Mortality gives us a visceral experience with the reality that without the Lord, we are nothing. If there are times when you think, “I can’t handle my children, or my checkbook, or my illness, or the urge to eat brownies at midnight, or the lack of a husband, or the lack of a good husband, or a family who doesn’t appreciate me, one more day,” you’re not alone. The Savior’s divine empathy is perfect, so He knows how to help us. He rarely moves the mountains in front of us, but He always helps us climb them. Because of Him, you don’t have to confront grief or insecurity or an addiction alone. With His help, you can resist temptation. With His help, you can change, forgive those who’ve hurt you, and start over. With His help, you can become your true self. With His help, your capacity and energy can increase. With His help, you can be happy again. The Savior promised, “My grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.”
HOW does the Savior make His power available to us?
Elder Bruce R. McConkie said that “if it were not for the grace of God, there would be nothing—no creation, no fall, no mortal probation, no atonement, no redemption, no immortality, no eternal life. It is God’s grace that underlies all things, [and] . . . that makes all things possible. Without it there would be nothing; with it there is everything.” Elder Jeffrey R. Holland added this clarity: “Much of the miraculous help we find in the gospel is just that—a miracle from heaven, the power of divine priesthood, the attendance of angels administering to us through a very thin veil. These are gifts from God, manifestations of His grace.”
The miracle of the Atonement is not just that we can go home but that—miraculously—we can feel at home there. If Heavenly Father and His Son did not require faith and repentance, then there would be no desire to change. Think of your friends and family members who have chosen to live without faith and without repentance. They don’t want to change. They are not trying to abandon sin and become comfortable with God. Rather, they are trying to abandon God and become comfortable with sin. If the Father and the Son did not require covenants and bestow the gift of the Holy Ghost, then there would be no way to change. We would be left forever with only willpower, with no access to His power. If Heavenly Father and His Son did not require endurance to the end, then there would be no internalization of those changes over time. They would forever be surface and cosmetic rather than sinking inside us and becoming part of us—part of who we are. Put simply, if Jesus didn’t require practice, then we would never become Saints.
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.
God’s grace is sufficient. Jesus’s grace is sufficient. It is enough. It is all we need. Don’t quit. Keep trying. Don’t look for escapes and excuses. Look for the Lord and His perfect strength. Don’t search for someone to blame. Search for someone to help you. Seek Christ, and, as you do, you will feel the enabling power and divine help we call His amazing grace.