Bruce R. McConkie
God’s grace consists in his love, mercy, and condescension toward his children. All things that exist are manifestations of the grace of God. The creation of the earth, life itself, the atonement of Christ, the plan of salvation, kingdoms of immortal glory hereafter, and the supreme gift of eternal life – all these things come by the grace of him whose we are.
Grace is granted to men proportionately as they conform to the standards of personal righteousness that are part of the gospel plan. Thus the saints are commanded to “grow in grace” (D. & C. 50:40), until they are sanctified and justified, “though the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (D. & C. 20:30- 32.) Grace is an attribute of perfection possessed by Deity (D. & C. 66:12; 84:102), and Christ himself “received grace for grace” until finally he gained the fulness of the Father. The same path to perfection is offered to man. “If you keep my commandments,” the Lord says, “you shall receive of his fulness, and be glorified in me as I am in the Father; therefore, I say unto you, you shall receive grace for grace.” (D. & C. 93:6-20.) 1
Webster’s 1828 Dictionary
Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines grace as:
“Favor; good will; kindness; disposition to oblige another; as a grant made as an act of grace,
“Favorable influence of God; divine influence or the influence of the spirit, in renewing the heart and restraining from sin.
“A state of reconciliation to God.
“Spiritual instruction, improvement and edification.
“Favor; mercy; pardon.”
D&C 93:11-13 states:
“And I, John, bear record that I beheld his glory, as the glory of the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth, even the Spirit of truth, which came and dwelt in the flesh, and dwelt among us.
“And I, John, saw that he received not of the fulness at the first, but received grace for grace;
“And he received not of the fulness at first, but continued from grace to grace, until he received a fulness;” (D&C 93:11-13)
“Grace to Grace”
“Here, then, is eternal life—to know the only wise and true God; and you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done before you—namely, by going from one small degree to another, and from a small capacity to a great one—from grace to grace, from exaltation to exaltation, until you attain to the resurrection of the dead, and are able to dwell in everlasting burnings and to sit in glory, as do those who sit enthroned in everlasting power. And I want you to know that God, in the last days, while certain individuals are proclaiming his name, is not trifling with you or me.” 2
“We go from grace to grace, from light to light, from truth to truth.” 3
“An individual undertaking to learn to play upon a flute at first finds a difficulty in making the notes, and in order to play a tune correctly there is a great deal of diligence and patience required. He has to go on, to pause, to turn back and commence afresh, but after a time he is enabled, through a great deal of exertions, to master that tune. When called upon to play that tune afterwards, there is no necessity for remembering where to place the fingers, but he plays it naturally. It was not natural at the first; there had to be a great deal of patience and labor, before it became natural to go through with the tune. It is just so in regard to matters that pertain to the things of God. We have to exert ourselves and go from grace to grace, to get the law of action so incorporated in our systems, that it may be natural to do those things that are required of us.” 4
“Grace for Grace”
“Therefore, blessed are they who will repent. … And may God grant … that men might be brought unto repentance and good works, that they might be restored unto grace for grace, according to their works.” (Hel. 12:23–24.)
“Let us spend time in doing right, and we shall receive in the Lord’s time right for right, grace for grace. If we do not associate with the wicked world any more than is unavoidably necessary for the time being, do you think they will have anything in common with us in eternity, or we with them? No. This is all I have to say now about time and eternity.” 5
We are, moreover, informed in holy writ, that Jesus, who was the likeness of the Father and the express image of His person, in whom dwelt the fulness of the Godhead bodily, that He did not receive of that fulness at first, but received grace for grace; He increased, He grew in knowledge and in favor with God and man; and He is the great prototype, the great exemplifier of our faith. And so has been the growth and faith of the Latter-day Saints. 6
- Elder Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine
- Joseph Smith, “Character and Being of God, Etc.”, Journal of Discourses, vol. 6, pp. 1-11, April 6, 1844.
- Brigham Young, “Human and Divine Government, Etc.”, Journal of Discourses, vol. 6, pp. 342-349, July 31, 1859.
- Lorenzo Snow, “Man Must Use His Energies, Etc.”, Journal of Discourses, vol. 4, pp. 181-187, January 18, 1857.
- Heber C. Kimball, “Oneness of the Priesthood, Etc.”, Journal of Discourses, vol. 7, pp. 346-351, January 1, 1860.
- George G. Bywater, “The Peculiarities of the People of Utah, Etc.”, Journal of Discourses, vol. 22, pp. 59-67, January 30, 1881.