Then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God. . .
Then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot. (Moroni 10:32-33)
This verse from the Book of Mormon is so densely filled with crucial concepts for a successful recovery from addiction (or just generally from being a fallen mortal) that it would take pages of commentary to do it justice. That is a work for another time and place. For now, let me share one more time the key that unlocked the Atonement of Christ for me. That key was having the blinders fall from my eyes and losing the phobia that I, like many Latter-day Saints, had towards even the mere mention of “grace.”
I invite you to look “Grace” up in the Bible Dictionary. Make special note of portions of that definition like:
The main idea of the word is divine means of help or strength, given through the bounteous mercy and love of Jesus Christ.”
It is likewise 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. This grace is an enabling power.
I know, I know. There are other portions of this definition that speak of “total effort on the part of the recipient,” and there is reference to the “after all we can do” statement in 2 Nephi 25:23.
That’s all well and good, but you see, at least in my case, reading those parts first for years got me nowhere. Why? I had the cart before the horse, as the saying goes. I was coming at the Atonement backwards. I was emphasizing my part of this process before Him and His part.
I spent twenty-five years damned up, spinning my wheels, scrubbing at stains and spots I did not have the power to remove. I had to come unto Christ and His power, first, still covered with those stains and spots, before I could find the power to make any lasting headway against my addictions or any other “ungodliness.”
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