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Applying the scriptures: Grace given through Christ's mercy, love

Latter-day Saints are known as a people with a strong work ethic — both temporally and spiritually. However, as believers in Jesus Christ as their Redeemer, they also know that without His grace, their efforts are in vain.

During the April 1993 general conference, Elder Gene R. Cook of the Seventy explained: "Grace is a 'divine means of help or strength, given through the bounteous mercy and love of Jesus Christ.' It is 'an enabling power.' (Bible Dictionary, p. 697.) The doctrine of the grace of the Father and the Son and how it affects us is so significant that it is mentioned more than 200 times in the standard works. 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."

Elder Cook then shared five principles that "may help us obtain that divine intervention. . . . The first principle is faith. It is evident that this grace, or enabling power, is accessed by faith. No wonder faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the first principle of the gospel.

"Repentance is the second principle. 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.'

"The third principle is humility," Elder Cook said. He then referred to Ether 12:27: "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me."

He continued: "Doing all in your own power is the fourth principle. Yes, works alone cannot bring that divine gift, but they are a key condition upon which the gift is received.

"The fifth principle, keeping the commandments, surely is a condition for receiving the grace of the Lord. 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."

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