Serving February 2013-2015

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Amazing Grace

I've dedicated my study time completely to studying grace and faith for the past few days and here's what I've decided. I want to share what I know and be edified by what you know as well.

First and foremost, grace is what saves us. Thus the term "saving grace."
Jesus Christ's atoning sacrifice is a gift that he gives to us. He is infinitely and eternally our Redeemer.
He paid the price and there is nothing that we can do for ourselves that will ever repay that price.

In 2 Nephi 25:23 it says "it is by grace that we are saved after all we can do.

and immediately I think...
"that must mean that I have to do a certain part, and once I reach that amount, Christ will make up the rest."

  But that's not what it means at all. Our Mission President has been talking with us about this scripture recently. When it says "after all we can do" it really is saying "beyond all we can do" meaning that Jesus Christ's atonement saves us with power beyond what we could ever do for ourselves. On our own, we would not be saved and our sins would condemn us indefinitely. We would have no opportunity to repent. But Jesus Christ gives us this opportunity and saves us. 

Ephesians 2:8-9 says "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Jesus Christ has already atoned for everyone's sins. He's already paid the price. Because of him we will all be resurrected and will have the opportunity to return to the presence of God to be judged. It is not of ourselves. There is nothing we can do of ourselves that would enable us to do that.
Therefore, grace is a gift from God.

But this doesn't mean that we don't have to do a single thing in this life. God has told us "This is my work and my glory, to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." (Moses 1:39)

Through Jesus Christ's atonement, we will all be resurrected. We will all have a perfect and immortal body. Anything that was ever wrong with us will be corrected, and anything that was ever imperfect will be perfected. Those who have physical disabilities will be healthy, and those who have mental disorders and disabilities will be healed, etc. Therefore, the grace of God saves us and brings to pass our immortality. But immortality and eternal life are not the same.

Eternal life is to live forever as families in God's presence. Eternal life is to live in never ending happiness. It's the phrase used in scripture to define the quality of life that our Eternal Father lives.
Like immortality, this gift is made possible through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. However, eternal life requires our obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel. We know that no unclean thing can dwell in the presence of God, therefore only those who have been obedient will be able to have eternal life. But by those standards, none of us will ever enter into the Celestial Kingdom. Luckily, the atonement of Jesus Christ gives us the opportunity to repent and to try again. To get up when we fall down and try to be better.

President David O. McKay said "The purpose of the gospel is ... to make bad men good and good men better, and to change human nature." Someone once said the idea of Mormonism is constant progression. Always striving to improve our lives day by day and striving to be more like Christ every day.
James 2:14-26 says that our faith without works is dead. That doesn't mean that our works define our faith, but rather that "by their fruits ye shall know them." If someone truly has faith, or has a "good seed" planted in their heart, their fruits, or their works, will be good as well. Whereas if someone has a "bad seed" or a "dead seed" planted in their hearts, their fruits, or their works, will be bad. (See Matt 7:16-21, Luke 6:43-45, 3 Nephi 14:16-23) But God knows that we're not perfect. and that's where the strengthening and enabling power comes in. He knows that there are some things in this life that are going to be hard for us. He has promised us that he will not tempt us above what we are able, but that doesn't mean that everything in this life is going to be easy. It means that anything that I am tempted with, I can overcome, AS LONG AS I HAVE GOD ON MY SIDE. Without God, there are some things in this life that I would NOT be able to handle. But through the grace of God, or the strengthening and enabling power of God, I can overcome anything that he puts in my path. "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."

So we are saved through grace. We are resurrected and given immortality. Our faith will bring about our good works, and our works will determine the level of happiness we receive in the next life, or which kingdom of glory we will enter.

We are not perfect, so the atonement allows us to repent and improve. That's really the whole purpose of the atonement, is to transform us. To be changed by the grace of God, not just saved.

Elder Dallin H. Oaks said that "The Final Judgment is not just an evaluation of a sum total of good and evil acts-what we have done. It is an acknowledgment of the final effect of our acts and thoughts-what we have become. Therefore, we can obtain Eternal life and happiness.

My prayer is that you will access the Atonement and the power of Grace everyday of your life.

Elder Falslev


  1. mmmmmgood doctrine......thank you Elder Falslev for the time you took to study this and present it so beautifully! Love how you spoke of the final know what you know so young would have been so amazing for my life....God bless you for striving for righteousness since your youth!

  2. I got to know Falslev through his missionary work here in Northern Virginia. I am a born-again Christian pastor. Elder Falslev and his friends visited me for a period of about 5 weeks. We spent a lot of time in open conversation about the Mormon faith. A lot of our conversation centered on the nature and person of Jesus Christ. I was saddened to see Brian having to go on another rotation as our weekly meetings were very constructive.

    As a born-again Christian I will not convert to Mormonism, as the focus of Mormonism operates on grace and works. As a former Roman Catholic I lived by rules and regulations, prayer to saints, and following a pope in Rome to somehow build enough credits of good works to make myself justified to God. When I came to Jesus Christ I finally understood that I am saved only through the grace of God. Good works only show that I am saved.
    Baptism, tithing, even prayer count as nothing before God, if those things are used to gain or cooperate with God in my redemption and justification.

    Be that as it may, I still respect Brian as a person, and I have found him to be a very respectful, and God-fearing young man. While I do not agree with the doctrines of Mormonism, I see in Brian a person who is very sincere about his faith and has a passion for helping people. This is a young man who will be successful in whatever career he decides to follow.

    Take care my good friend. From your Brazilian friend. My best regards.