Keep eyes, hearts focused on Jesus Christ

Doctrine of grace helps members center faith and hope on Savior

Have faith, repent

Do all in own power- Keep the commandments

Members should have great hope in knowing, however unworthy they may feel or weak they may be, that if they do all they can, the Lord will come to their aid and make up that which they lack, said Elder Gene R. Cook of the Seventy.

"That statement, to some degree, defines grace," he explained Sunday afternoon. "Grace is a divine means of help or strength, given through the bounteous mercy and love of Jesus Christ.' It isan enabling power.' (LDS Bible Dictionary, p. 697.)

"If we can obtain the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, that divine enabling power to assist us, we will triumph in this life and be exalted in the life to come."

Perhaps some people do not know how to use the great gift of grace the Father has given them through the Atonement of His Son, Jesus Christ, Elder Cook said.

"How many of us, at times, try to resolve life's challenges ourselves, without seeking the intervention of the Lord in our lives? We try to carry the burden alone.

"I testify that the Lord, through His grace, can continually assist us in our daily lives and in our physical and mental sickness, pain, transgressions, and even in all of our infirmities," he continued.

"However, to pass successfully through the trials we encounter, we must keep our eyes and our hearts centered on the Lord Jesus Christ."

Elder Cook shared five principles that may help members obtain that divine intervention in their own life, or perhaps help them in assisting another.

Faith. "It is evident that this grace or enabling power is accessed by faith."

Repentance. "The grace of the Lord through the Atonement can both cleanse us of sin and assist us in perfecting ourselves through our trials, sicknesses, and even `character defects.' "

Humility. Elder Cook noted that humility is an essential condition. ". . . Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble." (James 4:6.)

Doing all in one's own power. "The Lord's assistance to us . . . is not based just on what we know, how strong we are, or who we are, but more upon our giving all that we can give and doing all that we can do in our present circumstances," he explained. "Once one has given all he can, then the Lord, through His grace, may assist him."

Keeping the commandments. Elder Cook remarked: "To obtain grace, one does not have to be perfect but he does have to be trying to keep the commandments the best that he can. Then the Lord may allow him to receive that power.

"What glorious gospel news is an understanding of this doctrine of grace, which persuades us to more fully center our faith and hope upon Jesus Christ," he added. "Through the grace of the Father, we will better know how to come unto the Son.

"I bear witness that if we will seek the grace of God, He will come to our aid and the aid of our loved ones, in times of need."

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