“All That We Could Do” – Alma 24:11, 15

Repentance is hard.

Alma was redeemed by God only “after wading through much tribulation, repenting nigh unto death” (Mosiah 27:28). His friends, the sons of King Mosiah, “suffered much anguish of soul because of their iniquities” (Mosiah 28:4). And the Lamanites who were converted by their preaching had to endure “sore repentance” (Alma 27:23).

No wonder their king wanted to help them avoid suffering that way again.

When he called on his people to bury their weapons, the king reminded them three times of the price they had paid to receive the grace of God:

  1. “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…”
  2. “For it was all we could do to repent sufficiently before God”
  3. “And now behold, since it has been as much as we could do to get our stains taken away from us…”

(Alma 24:11, 15, italics added)

These words echo the words of the prophet Nephi, who worked diligently to persuade his children to believe in Christ, “for we know,” he said, “that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do” (2 Nephi 25:23, italics added).

After quoting this passage, President Dallin H. Oaks asked, “What is ‘all we can do?’ It surely includes repentance and baptism, keeping the commandments, and enduring to the end” (“Have You Been Saved?” General Conference, April 1998).

We cannot earn salvation. We can only be saved “in and through the grace of God” (2 Nephi 10:24). But that does not mean that we are saved effortlessly. As President Russell M. Nelson reminded us recently, “The Lord loves effort, and effort brings rewards” (“An Especially Noble Calling,” General Conference, April 2020).

Today, I will put effort into repentance. I will remember that God’s blessings will come as I labor diligently. I can’t earn those blessings, but He does expect me to put forth effort to receive them—to do all that I can.

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