When Ruth and her mother-in-law, Naomi, arrived in Bethlehem, they needed a way to obtain food. Ruth said, “Let me now go to the field, and glean [fallen grain] after him in whose sight I shall find grace” (Ruth 2:2). Even though the law required farmers to leave their extra grain for the poor, she knew that she was at the mercy of the owner of the field. Furthermore, she knew that there was some risk that she would be shunned because she was a Moabite, an outsider. When Boaz treated her kindly, she was overwhelmed with gratitude:
Why have I found grace in thine eyes, that thou shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger?Ruth 2:10
An awareness of her vulnerability led to gratitude for the kindness of Boaz.
Not long after, a woman named Hannah prayed desperately for a son. The high priest saw her praying, and without even knowing what blessing she sought, promised that she would receive it. Hannah replied, “Let thine handmaid find grace in thy sight” (1 Samuel 1:18).
“Grace” in these passages means favor or kindness. Both Ruth and Hannah knew that they could not earn the blessings they sought, that they relied on the generosity of someone more powerful than they.
In the Book of Mormon, Lehi and Alma both describe Jesus Christ as being “full of grace,” echoing the words of John in the New Testament. (See 2 Nephi 2:6, Alma 5:48, Alma 9:26, Alma 13:9, John 1:14.) In both of Mormon’s letters to his son Moroni, he emphasized the centrality of grace in his desires for his son:
- “I am mindful of you always in my prayers, continually praying unto God the Father in the name of his Holy Child, Jesus, that he, through his infinite goodness and grace, will keep you through the endurance of faith on his name to the end” (Moroni 8:3).
- “And may the grace of God the Father, whose throne is high in the heavens, and our Lord Jesus Christ, who sitteth on the right hand of his power, until all things shall become subject unto him, be, and abide with you forever” (Moroni 9:26).
Moroni, in turn closes the Book of Mormon with a plea that we come unto Christ and receive the grace which He offers us. (See Moroni 10:32-33.)
Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf said, “Salvation cannot be bought with the currency of obedience; it is purchased by the blood of the Son of God.” He asked, “Do we understand our indebtedness to Heavenly Father and plead with all our souls for the grace of God?” (“The Gift of Grace,” General Conference, April 2015).
Fortunately, when we seek God’s grace with humility and sincerity, we can be confident that we will receive it. The apostle Paul admonished us to “come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).
Today, I will seek for God’s grace. I will approach Him with the humility of Ruth and Hannah, recognizing that I am seeking blessings I don’t deserve and haven’t earned, but which He is willing to give because of His love for me.