There is a belief among some Mormons that we are responsible for our salvation. That is we do the best that we can, then Jesus picks up the slack. To support this idea, it is common to use the following scriptures (among others):
And now, my beloved brethren, I desire that ye should remember these things, and that ye should work out your salvation with fear before God, and that ye should no more deny the coming of Christ… (Alma 34:37)
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. (2 Ne 25:23)
While reading in the Book of Mormon (which incidentally I started in the spring) last night, I came across another verse that made me ponder this idea.
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, reconcile yourselves to the will of God, and not to the will of the devil and the flesh; and remember, after ye are reconciled unto God, that it is only in and through the grace of God that ye are saved. (2 Ne 10:24)
The key here (and to which Nephi briefly pointed in the twenty-fifth chapter) is that we need to be reconciled to God. I have to admit that I am not an expert on the usage of the term ‘reconcile’ in the early nineteenth century, but today it has the meaning of “reestablishing a close relationship between”, “settling”, “resolving”, “bringing oneself to accept” and “making compatible or consistent”.
If the usage of the term is similar today as to what it was around 1830, perhaps the meaning of the first two verses I mentioned is not what many make them out to be. Perhaps “working out our salvation” has more to do with our heart than our actions. Perhaps “all we can do” isn’t actually a reference to physical doings after all.