Saturday, June 15, 2019

Elder David A. Bednar on the enabling power of grace

Elder David A. Bednar (born June 15, 1952) was serving as the president of BYU–Idaho when he was called and sustained as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in October 2004.
"I have pondered the instruction of Jacob as contained in the Book of Mormon:
"'Wherefore, we search the prophets, and we have many revelations and the spirit of prophecy; and having all these witnesses we obtain a hope, and our faith becometh unshaken, insomuch that we truly can command in the name of Jesus and the very trees obey us, or the mountains, or the waves of the sea.
"'Nevertheless, the Lord God showeth us our weakness that we may know that it is by his grace, and his great condescensions unto the children of men, that we have power to do these things' (Jacob 4:6–7).
"Brothers and sisters, please pay particular attention to the word grace as it is used in the verse I just read. In the Bible Dictionary we learn that the word grace frequently is used in the scriptures to connote a strengthening or enabling power:
"'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 that allows men and women to lay hold on eternal life and exaltation after they have expended their own best efforts' (p. 697).
"Thus, the enabling and strengthening aspect of the Atonement helps us to see and to do and to become good in ways that we could never recognize or accomplish with our limited mortal capacity. I testify and witness that the enabling power of the Savior’s Atonement is real."
- David A. Bednar, "In the Strength of the Lord," General Conference October 2004
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

The concept of grace is one of the most important and fascinating gospel themes to ponder and study. I have long been fascinated by the Bible Dictionary's powerful phrase "enabling power." Jacob's insightful description of how the Savior's grace gives us "power to do these things" is foundational to this concept.

Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and the grace it offers us, we have the ability "to see and to do and to become good in ways that we could never recognize or accomplish" on our own. How important it is for us to come to understand this wonderful power and learn to claim its benefits in our lives!

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2019)

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