Grace in Elder Bednar’s talk, “The Atonement and the Journey of Mortality”


(This morning I’m looking at Elder Bednar’s talk “The Atonement and the Journey of Mortality,” which was listed in the New Youth Curriculum for March 2013.)

Talking about Grace as an “enabling power” is actually more confusing to me than using the word Grace. I realize some people who have been in the Church longer than me have a different connotation of the word Grace than I do, so I think I that for many thinking of it as an enabling power is helpful to undo that connotation. Since Elder Bednar used that phrase often in his talk, it was a bit distracting for me. But I think I like what he is saying about the “good to better” route – I think he is trying to explain consecration without ever saying that word. 🙂

In addition, I thought this was some nice scriptural work:

You legitimately may be wondering, “What makes the episode with Alma and his people an example of the enabling power of the Atonement?” The answer is found in a comparison of Mosiah 3:19 and Mosiah 24:15.

“And putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father” (Mosiah 3:19; emphasis added).

As we progress in the journey of mortality from bad to good to better, as we put off the natural man or woman in each of us, and as we strive to become saints and have our very natures changed, then the attributes detailed in this verse increasingly should describe the type of person you and I are becoming. We will become more childlike, more submissive, more patient, and more willing to submit.

Now compare these characteristics in Mosiah 3:19 with those used to describe Alma and his people: “And they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord” (Mosiah 24:15; emphasis added).

I find the parallels between the attributes described in these verses striking and an indication that Alma’s good people were becoming a better people through the enabling power of the Atonement of Christ the Lord.

I like the clear similarities between these too verses! And I think I’m catching on to what he means by praying to be able to change circumstances, instead of praying for our circumstances to be changed.

When I talk about that idea I use different words, so I’m still realizing we’re probably talking about the same thing. I like to go to 2 Nephi 1-3, where Lehi tells Jacob that God will “consecrate thine afflictions.” I like the wording there, of taking something bad and making it sacred. It also reminds me of the talk “Come What May and Love it.” I like thinking that no matter what happens to us, God can use it for good. You can’t throw anything at Him that He can’t hit. 🙂 And so I think Elder Bednar is talking about much the same thing. No matter what happens to us, God can help us work with the situation so that good can come of it. And of course, Elder Bednar uses the idea of “acting” instead of being “acted upon.” He uses that language with learning too. It’s a nice way to put it, though not my normal way of talking, like I was saying.

Some initial thoughts. Now to get the kids some breakfast.

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