Saved by grace and living beneath our privileges
There is a great irony we live and teach day to day. We know that we are saved by grace, and we are convinced (and rightly convinced) that it is crucially important that we are saved by grace.
We also know that we live far beneath our privileges, but we are conconcerned about this, and have remained so not just for a week or a year, but for generation after generation.
And this is an incredible irony.
Because privileges that we feel so unconcerned about is the very grace that we hope to be saved by.
Let me say that again, it bears repeating:
The privileges that we live beneath without fear or concern is the very grace we are inteded to be saved by.
What do we read of the Melchizedek priesthood?
D&C 107:18 The power and authority of the higher, or Melchizedek Priesthood, is to hold the keys of all the spiritual blessings of the church—
19 To have the privilege of receiving the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, to have the heavens opened unto them, to commune with the general assembly and church of the Firstborn, and to enjoy the communion and presence of God the Father, and Jesus the mediator of the new covenant.
20 The power and authority of the lesser, or Aaronic Priesthood, is to hold the keys of the ministering of angels, and to administer in outward ordinances, the letter of the gospel, the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, agreeable to the covenants and commandments.
We think these are unimportant divine gospel perks reserved for the prophet and the twelve.
But does the Lord give the priesthood except to save his people? If these are indeed the "power and authority of the priesthood" shouldn't those power and authority be about our own salvation and exaltation.
And indeed they are. They are the rights of the priesthood. They are inseparable connected with the powers of heaven.
And they are outside our power to grant to ourselves.
But they can save us. They are graces of God, by which we hope to be saved.
We hope to be saved by grace, but ironically, we have known for generation that we live beneath those graces that God privileges his saints with to save them.
And we are notoriously unconcerned about that.
Am I saying anyone that doesn't have dreams and visions will not be exalted? To say that is far more than I know. We cannot complete the whole path to exalation in this life.
But I stand by God's word that he that seeketh God early will find him.
And I know that there is a terrible irony among us. We want to be saved by grace, and knowingly live beneath the gifts God would bestow, which is the very grace he would save us by.
How can we live up to our privileges. Well, I live far beneath mine, and you live far beneath yours. What shall be done? Just believe more?
No. We must do better. First and foremost in this generation we must cast of the chains of our media, for to watch that which is immoral or in any way meant to seduce or present us with a little sleaze that we will accept as OK or that teaches that immorality is normal is poison as it offends the Holy Ghost.
And we must also engage in those activities which bring the Holy Ghost most powerfully into our lives. We must save our dead, seek to convert people to the truth, and teach our own family the words of eternal life.
I end with a statement by Joseph Smith.
What is it that inspires professors of Christianity generally with a hope of salvation? It is that smooth, sophisticated influence of the devil, by which he deceives the whole world. But, said Mr. Sollars, "May I not repent and be baptized, and not pay any attention to dreams, visions, and other gifts of the Spirit?" I replied: "Suppose I am traveling and am hungry, and meet with a man and tell him I am hungry, and he tells me to go yonder, there is a house of entertainment, go and knock, and you must conform to all the rules of the house, or you cannot satisfy your hunger; knock, call for food, sit down and eat;--and I go and knock, and ask for food, and sit down to the table, but do not eat, shall I satisfy my hunger? No. I must eat. The gifts are the food; and the graces of the Spirit are the gifts of the Spirit. (TPJS page 270)
and another statement by the prophet
The Savior has the words of eternal life. Nothing else can profit us. There is no salvation in believing an evil report against our neighbor. I advise all to go on to perfection, and search deeper and deeper into the mysteries of Godliness. A man can do nothing for himself unless God direct him in the right way; and the Priesthood is for that purpose. (TPJS page 364)