LDS Church News

BYU-Hawaii devotional: 'Grow in grace'

By Kara McMurray

LDS Church News

Published: Friday, June 6 2014 12:01 p.m. MDT

Updated: Friday, June 6 2014 12:01 p.m. MDT

Elder James J. Hamula stands for a photo after giving the devotional address at BYU-Hawaii on June 3.

Photos courtesy BYU-Hawaii University Communications

LAIE, HAWAII

In an address given on the BYU-Hawaii campus on June 3, Elder James J. Hamula of the Seventy told those in attendance that Jesus Christ is full of grace and that grace is “an enabling power” all are in need of.

“It enables the recipient to do and to be what he cannot do and cannot be if left to his own means,” Elder Hamula said.

He spoke of how Christ attained the fullness of grace from His Father in Heaven and said that all can attain that grace. “Jesus wants us to know Him, and we know Him by knowing how He came to be who He is,” he said. “He wants us to know that we too can receive ‘grace for grace’ as He did, and that we too can receive of the fullness of the Father just as Jesus did.”

In his remarks, Elder Hamula spoke of six attributes individuals can develop to attain the same grace that Jesus Christ did, first noting that “the divine power of grace is extended to us incrementally,” in the “line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little” pattern He has long followed.

“The enabling power of grace does not come to us all at once. We do not overcome our mortal weaknesses and deficiencies overnight. We are not perfected and do not achieve the full stature of Christ in a day. … We ‘grow in grace.’”

1. Exercise faith in Jesus Christ.

“We cannot lay claim to the enabling power of grace if we do not believe that Jesus Christ lives, that He is ‘full of grace,’ and that He is willing and able to deliver us to His grace. At a minimum, we must have hope in the ‘exceeding riches of his grace’ (Ephesians 2:7, see also 1 Timothy 1:4). You see, if we have hope, then we will be moved to act. And when we act on hope that is founded on truth, we will most assuredly receive, in due course, confirming witness.”

2. Repentance

“Alma proclaimed that ‘whosoever repenteth shall find mercy’ (Alma 32:13), which is a form of God’s grace. Mormon taught the same thing: ‘[B]lessed are they who will repent and hearken unto the voice of the Lord their God; for these are they that shall be saved. And may God grant … that men might be brought unto repentance and good works, that they might be restored unto grace for grace, according to their words’” (Helaman 12:23-24).

3. Be humble

“Making weak things become strong is the very work of grace. If humility is necessary for us to claim the Lord’s grace, we might well ask what humility is. Briefly stated, humility is the submission of one’s own will to the will of God and giving Him the honor for what is accomplished.”

4. Do all you can

“As Elder Bruce C. Hafen once wrote, ‘The Savior’s gift of grace to us is not necessarily limited in time to ‘after’ all we do. We may receive his grace before, during and after the time when we expend our own efforts’” (The Broken Heart [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1989], 155).

5. Keep the commandments

“If grace were dependent on perfectly keeping the commandments or perfectly denying ourselves of all ungodliness, our persistent imperfection in mortality would forever preclude us from acquiring grace. Grace is intended, after all, to enable us to more perfectly keep the commandments and pursue a godlier walk, until we attain the full stature of Christ.”

6. Receive the Holy Ghost and seek the gifts of the Spirit

“Indeed, we are filled with the grace of God when we receive the Holy Ghost, for it is the Holy Ghost who distributes and delivers to us God’s sanctifying, enabling and perfecting powers.”

At the conclusion of his remarks, Elder Hamula summarized what he had taught, and said, “If you understand what I have taught, then you may understand what Jesus Christ has said to all of His followers, from the beginning of time to the present hour: ‘My grace is sufficient for you.’”

kmcmurray@deseretnews.com