Christ Saves Us Because We Can’t Save Ourselves

Reading: BD Atonement and attending scirptures, especially Moses 5:8, Mosiah 13:28, Mosiah 13:32, Mosiah 2:20-25

Recently I wrote about perfectionsim and how part of the reason we become perfectionists is a misunderstanding of the Atonement. This particular misunderstanding seemed to be especially in my thoughts today as I read through the entry for Atonement in the Bible Dictionary.

Sometimes people (including me) get the idea that is all up to us to save ourselves by getting rid of sin. This can lead to pride if you think you’re doing a good at it, or depression if you think you’re doing poorly. However, it is not up to us to save ourselves because we are totally and wholly dependent on Christ for our salvation. Christ helps us to overcome our sin and also saves us from our sin, the only thing we are required to do is to work at it and accept his help. King Benjamin does a really great job of explaining this in Mosiah 2:20-25:

I say unto you, my brethren, that if you should render all the thanks and praise which your whole soul has power possess, to that God who has created you, and has kept and preserved you, and has caused that ye should rejoice, and has granted that ye should live in peace on with another–
I say unto you that if ye should serve him who has created you from the beginning, and preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another–I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants.
And behold, all that he requires of you is to keep his commandments; and he has promised you that if ye would keep his commandment ye should prosper in the land, and he never doth very from that which he hath said; therefore, if ye do keep his commandment he doth bless you and proper you.
And now, in the first place, he hath created you, and granted unto you your lives, for which ye are indebted unto him.
And secondly, he doth require that ye should do as he that commanded you, for which if ye do, he doth immediately bless you; and therefore he hath paid you. And ye are still indebted unto him, and are, and will be, forever and ever; therefore, of what have y to boast?
And now I ask, can ye say aught of yourselves? I answer you, Nay. Ye cannot say that ye are even as much as the dust of the earth; yet ye were created of the dust of the earth; but behold, it belongeth to him who created you.

The Savior wants to help us overcome our sin. He does not want us to do it ourselves, because he knows we cannot. We are saved only through Christ, and not through our own efforts.

Last time I wrote about perfectionism I said that when I started to get down on myself for some old bad habit or persistent weakness of mine I would stop, say a prayer asking for help in overcoming that particular problem, and then move on to thinking or doing something more positive. Over the past couple weeks as I have done this I have felt so much better about myself and about the gospel. I still have my weaknesses, but I know that God will help me overcome them and that there is no point in beating myself up about them all the time. I still get feeling down on myself sometimes, but not as often.

So, today I am going to keep that up! Each time I catch myself getting down on myself for some problem or weakness that I have, I am going to say a prayer asking for help with that item and then find something else more positive to think or to do. And, I’m going to try and also be grateful for the Atonement and think that I don’t have to save myself from this sin because the Savior has provided the way for me to repent and overcome it with his help.

Are there any other scriptures you have found that show how totally dependent we are on the Savior for salvation? Or, is there an experience or insight you had that helped you see your dependence on the Savior that you wouldn’t mind sharing?

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1 comment so far

  1. Alex on

    Your blog is interesting!

    Keep up the good work!


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