Grace: the Enabling Power of the Atonement

I follow a few great Mormon-theme Instagram accounts that pepper my feed with inspirational reminders every day. Recently I came across one from @mormonmonday. It was a picture of Jesus Christ, drawn particularly handsomely- so naturally I paused. The caption was from Dallin H. Oaks: “I testify of our saviour, Jesus Christ, whose example we seek to follow. He invites all of us who are heavy laden to come into Him, learn of Him, to follow Him, and thus to find rest in our souls.”
My soul has been restless of late, and I have felt heavy-laden (my last post reflected this, and while I don’t want to seem overly “boo-hoo me”, I wanted to include this observation). Some days so heavy that it’s been hard to even stand under the weight of London Life! I know many of you have felt this before- and for some reason, September- a time for change and acceleration- seems a popular time for a few of us to buckle. What am I doing with my life? Where do I fit in? Am I falling short in everything? Can I afford this expensive city? Why is my skin so poop? Why is that boy so dumb?! Why am I struggling so badly? I’m trying… So surely I don’t deserve to be bombing so hard right now? Is Heavenly Father even concerned about me right now?
I wonder if we go through life-crises so often because the lesson of grace is so important to understand. It’s the pivotal message of Gods plan for us, and I think He’s hoping it’s the exam that we’ll each ace before we inherit all that He has. Grace is divine enabling power to access what Nephi called “the most desirable above all things”: the atonement.
Christ taught, “If men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness,” (so when I’m trying and succeeding at getting closer to Christ, I should expect it to get a little choppy!) “I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things strong unto them” (so, His endgame is not just that He and I are BFF, but that I become like Him).
Sheri Dew, former General RS councilor, has said, “When the Savior is talking about weak things He is talking about us. His grace can change our very nature and over time transform us from who we are into who we can become…” and here’s where she perfectly sums up grace: “He rarely moves the mountains in front of us, but He always helps us climb them.”
I know that the enabling power of grace is never resting or dormant. It’s not only available to use when we’ve sinned. “Because Jesus Christ atoned, His grace is available to us every minute of every hour of every day” (Dew). It’s what gets us through these really difficult spots; it’s what changes us slowly in big ways (helps us to become like Christ) and quickly in small ways (it can even make us feel better about poopy skin).

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