2 Nephi 25:23-25
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.
After all we can do? Really? Is it then by grace? No. Grace as Paul describes it is a free gift, it is given freely so that we have no room to boast. This verse in Nephi is nothing but rank blasphemy. The Biblical doctrine of original sin, and human nature shows that we can do nothing. In fact our “good works” are nothing but used Kotex in the eyes of God outside of Christ. To say we need to add something to Christ’s death on the Cross, is to say that what he did was not sufficient. It is to call him a liar, precisely at the moment he showed his boundless love for all man, breathing his last, and exclaiming “it is finished.” When we try to earn our salvation with our pathetic works, and good deeds, we insult God worse than a 2 cent tip left on a $200 meal your friend paid for. What? After all we can do? No the reality of it is we are saved by grace despite all we have done, despite who we are, despite all we will do, and despite the fact that we never do all we could.
I mean think about your life. Let’s be a little hypothetical here, and say our good works could count for something, and God really did save us by grace after all we can do. (Put aside the contradiction there for a moment. It is either by grace, or works, the two are mutually exclusive. But I digress.) Have you really done all you could do? How many times have you passed the bell ringer outside Albertsons? How many times have you looked down at your feet passing a panhandler? Really couldn’t afford a dollar? Not even a bit of spare change? Have you really done all you could do? How many times have you ignored the bullying or participated in it with some ugly girl at school? Really? Couldn’t invite that person to your birthday party huh? Couldn’t treat that person as worthy of your attention?
And then when you do, why do you do it? Do you do it because you genuinely care for this person as a fellow brother or sister? Or is it because you are afraid to go to hell, and see this person as your ticket to heaven? You don’t do it out of love do you? Just love for yourself. You don’t love your neighbor as yourself, you just use them as a stepping stone for your own ends and needs, a ticket to heaven. If it is after all we can do, we are screwed.