Christ’s grace makes all the difference, devotional speaker says

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A popular LDS speaker and BYU professor taught audience members about the Atonement and use of grace in Tuesday’s Devotional.

Brad Wilcox, associate professor in the Department of  Teacher Education, and author of “The Continuous Atonement,” a popular LDS book, gave a Devotional address titled, “His grace is sufficient.”

[media-credit name=”Stephanie Rhodes” align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]
Brad Wilcox, of Teacher Education, speaks during the Tuesday morning Devotional in the De Jong Concert Hall.
Wilcox explained people’s strengths are made possible through the Atonement of Jesus Christ and His grace is adequate for people to receive those strengths.

“The grace of Jesus Christ is sufficient, sufficient to cover us, sufficient to transform us and sufficient to help us as long as that transformation process takes,” Wilcox said.

Wilcox related the example of one student he was trying to help understand the process of grace through Christ. He said her understanding of how grace works was that she does everything she is supposed to do, and then Christ fills in the gaps.

“Jesus doesn’t make up the difference, Jesus makes all the difference,” Wilcox said. “Grace is not about filling gaps, it is about filling us.”

Wilcox helped this particular student by drawing two dots on a piece of paper, one representing her and the other representing Christ. He then proceeded to have her draw a line representing how much we do and how much Christ does for us to be saved. She drew a line like he instructed, but then explained there is actually no line.

“Jesus filled the whole space, he paid our debt in full,” Wilcox said. “He didn’t pay it all except for a few coins. He paid it all. It’s finished.”

Wilcox explained why Christ requires works from us.

“Christ asks us to show faith in him, repent, make and keep covenants, receive the Holy Ghost and endure to the end,” Wilcox said. “By complying we are not paying the demands of justice, not even the smallest part. Instead, we are showing appreciation for what Christ did by using it to live a life like his.”

Wilcox gave an analogy about music lessons to illustrate what our relationship is like with Jesus Christ.

“Christ’s arrangement with us is similar to a mom providing music lessons for her child,” Wilcox said. “Mom pays the piano teacher. Because mom pays the debt in full, she can turn to her child and ask for something. What is it? Practice. Does the child’s practice pay the piano teacher? No. Does the child’s practice repay mom for paying the piano teacher? No. Practice is how the child shows appreciation for mom’s incredible gift. It is how he takes advantage of the incredible opportunity that mom is giving him to live his life at a higher level. Mom’s joy is not found in getting repaid, but in seeing her gift used — seeing her child improve. And so she continues to call for practice, practice, practice.”

Wilcox quoted Elder Dallin H. Oaks as to why sinners must suffer in the repentance process.

“The repenting sinner must suffer for his sins, but his suffering has a different purpose than punishment or payment — its purpose is change,” Wilcox said, quoting Elder Oaks.

Wilcox applied Elder Oaks’ quote to the piano player analogy.

“The child must practice the piano, but this practice has a different purpose than punishment or payment,” Wilcox said. “Its purpose is change.”

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