Can we save ourselves? Aaron doesn’t think so.

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I have come across many Mormons who seem to think we are saved by our works. Often, while discussing this idea with me, they use 2 Ne 25:23 as support for their position

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.

I guess one interpretation of this could be that we partly save ourselves, then Jesus does the rest.

I came across Alma 22:14 the other day, which seems to paint a differnet picture:

since man had fallen he could not merit anything of himself; but the sufferings and death of Christ atone for their sins

Aaron teaches that it is impossible for us to do anything on our own, and the only redemption we can receive is through Christ.

I think Paul may have been onto something when he wrote in Ephesians 2 that it is “by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.”

Which brings us back to Nephi’s words in my first quote. What does he mean when he says we are saved by grace after all we can do if we can merit nothing of ourselves? What is “all we can do”?

11 thoughts on “Can we save ourselves? Aaron doesn’t think so.

  1. I read the phrase “after all you can do” to be read as “no matter how hard you try” …. that is, after all you can do it is still by grace that ye are saved.

    I don’t believe the grace vs. works debate adequately addresses the necessity of willful obedience, however. This, though, is a topic for another post.

  2. “we partly save ourselves, then Jesus does the rest.”
    Why we must be saved, we are all god creations, mby all of us together are God itself, million copies, million alternatives. Well if we meant to be saved, that’s just possible only threw Love.

  3. The simple answer to your question, can we save ourselves, is no. If there was not Atonement there is no possible way we could be saved. The only way to do it by yourself is to live the law perfectly and none of us can do that. The fact that Mormons even debate such questions are why most Christians don’t think Mormons are Christians.

    What is all we can do? Alma says it is repent.

    Alma 24:11
    11 And now behold, my brethren, since it has been all that we could do (as we were the most lost of all mankind) to repent of all our sins and the many murders which we have committed, and to get God to take them away from our hearts, for it was all we could do to repent sufficiently before God that he would take away our stain—

  4. I see you struggling to make sense of 2 Nephi 25:23 “saved by grace, after all we can do”

    Please consider the possibility that the Book of Mormon is false and that this doctrine is not true. The most simple answer is where the truth is found.

    1. I don’t think you see it at all, Bart; I’m not struggling with it in the least. Many Mormons do struggle with trying to reconcile grace and works.

      Why do you assume I have not already considered the possibility the Book of Mormon is false?

  5. The “after” in “after all we can do” is an old English idiom meaning “despite”.

    Nephi and Alma and Paul agree in one.

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