The Book of Mormon 17/18
Now I'm going to talk about a few verses from the BOM on the subject of grace.
For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do. (2 Nephi 25:23-24)I remember the subject of grace came up when I was talking to the Bishop. I had told him I hoped to be able to share the doctrines of grace with Kay. He asked me what I meant by "grace," and I told him I understood it to mean "unmerited favour--when God does something for us wholly undeserving." I don't remember his exact words, but it was something to the effect of God granting grace in proportion to a person's good works.
Therefore, blessed are they who will repent and hearken unto the voice of the Lord their God; for these are they that shall be saved. And may God grant, in his great fulness, that men might be brought unto repentance and good works, that they might be restored unto grace for grace, according to their works. (Helaman 12:23-25)
Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God. (Moroni 10:32).
But that is exactly what Paul said grace was not. Paul said, "But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace" (Romans 11:6). The Mormon view of grace doesn't even make sense. Even Mormons will agree that salvation is by the grace of God. 2 Nephi 10:24 says that "it is only in and through the grace of God that ye are saved." But what are we being saved from? Why do we need to be saved? It is because we sin, and because we sin, we are under the wrath of God. But God shows mercy by giving us eternal life in spite of our sins. He spares us from the wrath we deserve, and that is the grace he shows us. It follows that the more you sin, the more grace you need. Likewise, Paul said, "where sin increased, grace abounded all the more" (Romans 5:20). But that is exactly the opposite of the Mormon view where you are given grace according to your good works. The better you live, the more grace you get. Essentially, you earn grace by living properly. That view makes no sense at all since the more righteously you live, the less grace you need.
I told the Bishop this issue of grace was probably the biggest difference between us, and he agreed.
I wonder if any Mormon has ever met the requirements of the Book of Mormon for obtaining God's grace. Has any Mormon ever done all they could do as 2 Nephi 25:23-24 requires? Has any Mormon ever denied himself of all ungodliness as Moroni 10:32 requires?