Whosoever Will Come May Come – Alma 42:27

27 Therefore, O my son, whosoever will come may come and partake of the waters of life freely; and whosoever will not come the same is not compelled to come; but in the last day it shall be restored unto him according to his deeds.

I love the simplicity of this verse as it clarifies the doctrines of grace and agency.
We have the law of restoration which Alma explained in the prior chapter: that which you send out will return to you again. That is fundamental. Justice must eventually prevail. God has to be just, because that is part of what it means to be God.
But that chapter did not end happily: “Therefore, the word restoration more fully condemneth the sinner, and justifieth him not at all” (Alma 41:15). We all want a universe that is just and orderly. But we are not currently capable of living up to the standards imposed by that just and orderly universe. We need God’s grace to compensate for our failings–to insulate us from the full consequences of our actions and to give us power to overcome those failings.
The doctrine of grace is incremental to the law of restoration. Within the context of that law, God has offered us an enormous gift.  We did not earn it, but we can choose to accept or reject it. If we accept it, the demands of justice are met by God, and we are empowered to become like Him over time. If we reject it, we are exposed to the full demands of justice. We can choose whether to accept the gift of grace, but we cannot choose whether or not the universe will be just. The law of restoration remains in effect regardless of what we choose.
Today, as I pondered this verse, I was grateful to God for both honoring my agency and making available to me everything I need to be saved. I recognized that the blessings I receive are not earned nor deserved. I may choose to accept His grace, and I may be grateful for the power and healing that accompanies that choice, but I must never forget the source of that power and healing. I must be continually grateful to God for giving me what I cannot give to myself.
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