Grace

Man can do nothing except it be given to him.  God created the earth and then created man and everything man needs to live. From this observation it is easily recognized that as humans we could do nothing of ourselves without a place and the ability to do it.   It is clear however that God has given us a place to do something, make choices for which we will be held accountable and judged. Considering the fact of our existence alone indicates that everything comes from God and that without his grace we could do nothing.  This grace is universal in its application to all that have an opportunity to live on earth.

There is another level to grace having to do with the purposes for which God has placed us here.  After the creation of the earth, man was placed upon it.  This was to begin the plan of salvation ordained by God before the creation of the world and for which the world was created.  By God's planning and through the setting in the Garden of Eden, Adam's choice brought mortality with death and suffering to the human family. Spiritual and physical death became very real barriers to the spiritual progress of mankind.  Earth was created with the purpose that man act as agents with moral agency and freedom.  Sin and disobedience were are the result of this freedom to choose.  Overcoming it is our goal.

The Father of our spirits prepared the way to overcome these conditions of fallen man.  Angels visited the earth and taught Adam of his Savior who and redemption. A Savior had been prepared from before the creation of the world to come in the meridian of time.  The atonement is the central act of both redeeming grace and enabling grace in our lives.  Its infinite power extents forwards and backwards through eternity. Adam and Eve were the first on earth to exercise and live by faith in Jesus Christ and they taught their children to do likewise.

Through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the barrier of physical death would be removed from all mankind and all would be resurrected to eternal life.  It is a free gift with no requirements other than being born. There are no conditions on it, it is truly unconditional. It is the full measure of grace. It releases men and women from something of which they had no part in causing.   


It should be pointed out that our death is not a punishment for Adam's transgression but a consequence imposed by God for Adam's choice. Man's fall was prepared with the blessings that come with the resurrection and the promise of immortality and greater opportunity for spiritual development.

With the fall of man came our acquiring knowledge of good and evil.  This opportunity to have knowledge of good and evil and to choose one or the other is how we have agency or free will.  


If there is no opposition to choose from then there is no agency.  This is how we know if we have faith in Christ or not. By our choices in life. These things contribute to our test in life or the trial of our faith.  God teaches us the good and our eternal worth through divine commandments and Satan tries to gain followers through falsehoods, deceit and selfish pleasures.  This is why salvation is an unconditional gift of grace and exaltation is by grace after all that we can do.

 A major purpose of this creation is to allow us to choose who we will follow without undue influence from the heavens.  As we choose to follow Christ we are blessed yet still subject troubles and trial.  This means we push forward with faith and not a perfect knowledge.  Sin and evil bring negative consequences yet not so overwhelming that people stop doing it.

Earth is the perfect testing ground for making choices by faith. This is why Adam fell from God's presence in the Garden of Eden. The rest of humanity likewise must experience the trials of death and mortality.  As we choose God and make covenants with him, the Holy Ghost lifts the barrier of spiritual death and brings fellowship with deity until we prepare to return to the presence of the Father and the Son.

Overcoming spiritual death requires that we make certain choices.  If choice is not ours to have, what do we really have? This existence would be a puppets life. Repentance is the path to overcoming spiritual death. These are the "works" that God requires of us.  To choose to repent and serve. This is a covenant relationship. They they would better be called the acceptance of divine gifts and choosing to follow the Savior.  They are the enabling grace that bring exaltation and eternal blessings to the faithful.

Our choices determine whether or not we return to God's presence for eternity or go to some other place.  Our choices determine whether or not we overcome spiritual death.   Grace avails to us this opportunity like all others but we must act to receive it.  Grace enables us to do things we would not be able to do on our own.

One traditional belief is that man can be saved/exalted by an act of confessing acceptance of the Savior.  It supposes that those who accept Christ are unconditionally redeemed from their sins and those that do not accept are condemned to some eternal hell. If in a single confession one is redeemed, their power of choice is effectively ended as it would not matter what they do after that.  


If deity were in fact able to save individuals in such a fashion then creation would not really be necessary because choice would not be necessary except for a single act.  If such a doctrine were true then creation would not be necessary since it would indicate that God has power to save without requiring the individual to be responsible for the rest of their life.  If the individual does not need to be responsible for their acts then no creation is necessary.  God could have just created the persons in a saved condition in the first place.

Spiritual gifts lift us from the methods and madness of carnal pursuits to the more glorious endeavors of serving God and our fellow man.  The scriptures speak of a final judgement where all men and women will be judged.  This means that we are accountable for our life and the choices we make.  


The parable of the talents and other passages of scripture explain this principle.  Those who do nothing to obey God will receive the free gift of the resurrection and whatever eternal glory his mercy will provide.  Those who love and serve God will be prepared to receive of the most glorious kingdoms prepared for their eternal life and exaltation.

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