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BYU-Pathway Worldwide Devotional

“Grace, a Precious Gift"

May 25, 2021
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Brothers and sisters, it is such a privilege to be with you today. I am grateful for BYU-Pathway Worldwide and the opportunity to speak to you. You are a group with great diversity of age, personality, accomplishment, and life experience. Yet, there is a wonderful commonality and unity in testimony, desire, and discipleship.

In the fifth chapter of Alma, Alma the Younger describes the people of his father’s time after having been baptized:

“Behold, he changed their hearts; yea, he awakened them out of a deep sleep, and they awoke unto God. Behold, they were in the midst of darkness; nevertheless, their souls were illuminated by the light of the everlasting word; yea, they were encircled about by the bands of death, and the chains of hell, and an everlasting destruction did await them….

“And again I ask, were the bonds of death broken, and the chains of hell which encircled them about, were they loosed? I say unto you, Yea, they were loosed, and their souls did expand, and they did sing [the song of] redeeming love. And I say unto you that they are saved." 1

I would like you to contemplate the phrases “their souls did expand” and “they did sing [the song of] redeeming love." 2
What does it mean? When does it happen? How does it manifest itself? Who is it for?

When we ponder the grace of the Savior, we often think of the verse in 2 Nephi 25:23, which teaches us that “it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do." 3 We speak of redemption and salvation. This is an eternal grace that is offered by the Savior through His infinite Atonement to all who repent and come unto Him. It is only through and by Him that man can be saved. 4

This does not fully describe the entirety of grace offered us by the Savior. An infinite Atonement is not only eternal — it is all inclusive and complete in helping man to become redeemed.

In the October 2019 General Conference, Elder Ulisses Soares taught us the following: “Sometimes solutions to certain challenges come after months and months of continuous effort. The promise found in the Book of Mormon that ‘it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do,’ is applicable in these circumstances. Please remember that the Savior’s gift of grace ‘is not necessarily limited in time to “after” all we can do. We may receive His grace before, during, and after the time when we expend our own efforts.’" 5
Ulisses Soares, “Take Up Our Cross,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2019, 114

Each of us has felt this grace, the grace that comes before, during, and after we do all we can do. This is the grace that the Savior describes when He invites us to place our burdens upon Him and accept the load He offers. 6 How does He know what we can bear?

The seventh chapter of Alma teaches us: “And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know … how to succor his people according to their infirmities. 7

To succor means to provide aid to in time of distress. Certainly, part of this life is to experience difficulty. As God’s children we must face discouragement, disappointment, grief, pain, opposition, and, yes, distress. The Savior has felt it all and, through His grace, has provided us a way to overcome the difficulties of this life. Grace not only provides us with redemption after all we can do, but the help needed to do all we can do. It was never the mission of the Savior to return us to our Heavenly Father in exactly the same state as we left. It is His mission to return us better, stronger, changed having overcome the trials of this life, redeemed, and atoned for.

To sing the song of redeeming love is to feel the pure love of Christ — to feel the joy and hope that comes from an expanded soul changed by sincere repentance. Alma describes this feeling as exquisite, sweet joy. 8

To sing this song is not just to feel the joy but to share it. “[C]harity is the pure love of Christ." 9 It is the ability to see God’s children as He sees them. True disciples are filled with this pure love. Through the grace of the Savior, we are changed and we become more like him.

This is available to all, and you can participate. The Savior’s love and His grace will become apparent in your lives as you seek Him. Your burdens can be made light. 10 The Savior’s grace will enable you to find discipleship and help others do the same.

As I prepared for this assignment, I watched the videos describing your experience in BYU-Pathway. Each video contained members’ thoughts about the sense of belonging, the help that each individual receives and is able to give to others. This is what unifies you and allows you to be the instrument of the Savior’s grace as you help others do all they can do. Perhaps this is how we sing the song of redeeming love as we manifest our love for the Savior by helping His children.

Dear brothers and sisters, I testify that Jesus is the Christ. He is our Savior and Redeemer. His grace is infinite — infinite in scope and in duration. It is not only redeeming but enabling. I am so grateful for His grace in my life. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.