Below is an excerpt from Randall J. Brown’s book, Experiencing Christ: Your Personal Journey to the Savior (pp. 41-43). Experiencing Christ was published in 2009 by Cedar Fort, Inc. Brown shares that it is only in and through Jesus Christ that we may be saved. His role in our lives is infinite. Brown belongs to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes inadvertently called the “Mormon Church”), and is a devoted follower and disciple of Jesus Christ.
Experiencing Our Debt
The realization of our powerlessness without the Lord’s divine help allows us to rely on His grace as our true source of strength. The words of the hymn “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing” emphasize how easy it is for human souls to stray and how indebted we are to our Savior’s grace to bind our wandering souls to Him.
O to grace how great a debtor Daily I’m constrained to be! Let thy goodness, like a fetter, Bind my wandering heart to thee. Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love; Here’s my heart, O take and seal it, Seal it for thy courts above.
We are all debtors to our Savior’s infinite grace—a debt we can never repay. We are all lost sheep in need of our shepherd’s constant guidance. Even as members of the Savior’s restored Church we are lost sheep, prone to wander because we often overemphasize our finite part in the gospel covenant. In doing so, we are in danger of overlooking the fact that we are wholly reliant on our Savior’s grace.
Many of us misinterpret Nephi’s statement, “For we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do” (2 Nephi 25:23). Some have interpreted this verse to say that we must do everything we possibly can to perfect ourselves; then, once we have exhausted every ounce of self- sufficiency, self-discipline, and self-righteousness, the Lord will complete whatever perfecting is left over.
…We seem to be saying that most of the merit for our salvation goes to ourselves. It also seems to be saying that we should try everything in our power to not need the Savior’s help; however, if we should fall a little short, we will gladly allow Him to make up the difference. This reveals a very shallow understanding of the Lord’s infinite contribution to our covenant relationship. Only by being in a covenant relationship with Christ, an infinite being, can our spiritual account reflect the infinite merits sufficient to save and exalt us. Our finite part will never begin to be sufficient.
A formula that might assist us in understanding the drastic difference between our insufficient (finite) part in the covenant and the Savior’s sufficient (infinite) part, is this: I – F = I. In other words, the difference between that which is infinite and that, which is finite, is always an infinite difference. The difference between what we do and what the Savior does for us will always be infinite. Even if we took F and raised it to the one- hundredth power, the difference would be the same—infinite.
No matter how big F becomes, the difference between something infinite and something finite will always be an infinite difference. No matter how much effort we put into our part of the covenant, we will still be completely reliant on the Savior’s infinite power to save us. As fallen mortals, we are always “unprofitable servants” (Mosiah 2:21).
We should give Jesus Christ all the glory for His infinite contribution to our salvation. We should rejoice in knowing that He carried out the infinite and eternal atoning sacrifice for us. We should praise and worship Him for his amazing grace. It is an infinite gift that we could never provide for ourselves.
What do we think we can accomplish by ourselves, anyway? Although our willing participation is essential, nothing we do will ever be sufficient. All we can do is come to Christ, partake of His saving grace, and be reconciled to our Father through His atoning blood. We are, of course, completely reliant on His grace as He enables us even in taking those steps. We are dependent on His grace to enable us in exercising faith. We are dependent on His grace to enable us in our strivings to obey His commandments. We are debtors to His grace every step of the way…
The saving grace of Jesus Christ is an amazing gift that God bestows upon us through His Son. But how is His grace transferred to us? How does God transmit divine qualities and powers to a mere mortal? It is done through the power of the Holy Ghost, the medium through which the Lord transmits divine grace to mortal men. Whether we seek deliverance from sin, weakness, illness, or any of the fiery trials we may experience in this life, deliverance will always be in and through the Lord’s grace, and it will always be according to His divine timing.
We must trust that the Lord’s promise of deliverance is sure. However, the fulfillment of those promises comes after we have learned the lessons our afflictions were meant to teach us. They will only be granted as we are humbled, molded, and shaped for divine nature.
I will ever be grateful for our Savior Jesus Christ who has made it so that I don’t have to go through any part of my life alone. I know that it is through Him and of Him that I can receive strength, deliverance, peace, guidance, love, and understanding; in all actuality it is only through Him that I can receive anything that is good and holy. I love Him and I know He loves me.
I invite you to embrace Jesus Christ not only as a good man but also as your Savior, by prayerfully feasting upon the words of Christ—specifically the account of His ministry in the Americas, as the Resurrected Lord (found in the Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi). I have done this, and my life has been enriched and enlightened in a truly empowering way.
 “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” Hymns, 1948, no. 70.
Ashley Bell is a 22-year old wife, mother, BYU graduate, and member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Ashley loves to run, cook, garden, read, and most of all spend time with family and friends.