Sunday, April 19, 2015


The fundamentals of the doctrine of Grace are fairly easy to identify:

Belief in the existence of Deity

Deity dwelt as Man on earth

Jesus the Christ is that Deity

Through Divine means, power and bounteous mercy, Jesus the Christ can cause men to overcome their natures and be transformed.

Everyone must find their garden where they can commit to allowing this transformation to take place.

And it came to pass that when king Benjamin had thus spoke to his people, he sent among them, desiring to know of his people if they believed the words when he had spoken. And they cried with one voice: Yea, we believe all the words which thou hast spoken unto us; and also, we know of their surety and truth, because of the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, which has WROUGHT a mighty change in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually. (Mosiah 5: 1, 2)

The question which seems to pop over the horizon immediately is, how do I find that garden and how do I know if I have been changed by the grace of Jesus the Christ?

I have come to believe, that there is not a single garden, but like mansions, one has been prepared for each of us. If so, it would be silly to spend a lot of time talking about a neighbor’s garden when in might not bring satisfaction to anyone but them.

However, there are some indications which the Lord has given us about what our life will be like once we have basked in our garden.

If ye keep my commandments ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. (John 15: 10, 11)

A rule of thumb seems to be that if my joy has not become full and I do not abide in the love of Christ through the gift of His grace having filled my being, then perhaps I as yet haven't paid the price to find my garden.

As the Savior continued to speak to his disciples it becomes evident that once having been touched by this grace, I should, or better said, I will then become committed to helping others find love and joy by discovering their gardens.

This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. (John 15: 12)

It seems that one of the signs that the grace of Christ has filled us with joy and love is the demonstration of our gratitude by inviting others to experience the same fulfilling joy and love.

For this cause we also , since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that we might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear son. (Colossians 1: 9-13)

As we examine the after garden lives of such men as Augustine and Paul we find some interesting correlations in their lives which manifest the depth and sincerity of the change which the Grace of the Son of God has wrought upon them.

They become committed to lives which continually demonstrate their gratitude to the Lord.

They go beyond an emotional verbal commitment of their beliefs, to lives of works and actions which better the spiritual and physical conditions of those they encounter.

They submit their own will to the will of Him whose grace filled them with joy and love.

They abandon the propensity which we all have to keep score and compare crosses.

They willingly take the charge of becoming obsessed with this magnificent challenge.

There may not be more important words than the prophet Nephi wrote in his later years: 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. (2 Nephi 25:23)

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