Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Doing all we can

In 2 Nephi we read:

"...for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do." (2 Nephi 25:23)

If read superficially, the phrase "after all we can do" could be interpreted to support the idea that we must push ourselves continually, and work, work, work- ­ never being at peace or experiencing spiritual rest. We have the feeling that there is always something more we can and should be doing. It is as if we are trying to casserole our way into heaven.

Because there is no real measuring stick to determine when we have done all that we can do, there is always the possibility that we will neglect the one deed that would have qualified us to access needed grace.

Perhaps there is another way that the scriptures interpret this phrase. Using the principle of linking, we can find this same phrase mentioned three times within four verses.

"And now behold, my brethren, since it has been all that we could do, repent of all our sins...and to get God to take them away from our hearts, for it was all we could do to repent sufficiently before God that he would take away our stain...

...since it has been as much as we could do to get our stains taken away from us, and our swords are made bright, let us hide them a testimony to our God at the last day,...that we have not stained our swords...since he imparted his word unto us and has made us clean thereby."
(Alma 24:11, 15)

Certainly, as a demonstration of our faithfulness and also as a way that we can show our love for the Lord, we will want to serve in his kingdom, and will strive to bless the lives of others (sometimes even with casseroles). But we will not misunderstand. The phrase, "all we can do" means that "all we can do" is "repent."


  1. What a great observation. I believe that we are way too hard on ourselves when it come to the Doctrine of Grace. The correlation of "all we can do" to repentance makes salvation and exaltation that much more viable. Thanks for another awesome post.

  2. Thanks Mom. You might be surprised, but this is something that is my nature to worry about. I'll especially focus now on being a good repenter. :)

  3. All I can do is "cry unto him for mercy" and have hope that God is "mighty to save." :)

    Great insight.
    Steven Montgomery

  4. Oh thank you, Donna, for this insight!

  5. Whoops! I pushed "post" too soon...

    Thanks also for the casserole chuckle. :)