Nephi taught his people that reconciliation with God through the Atonement of Jesus Christ was more important than anything else. He understood that no matter how close he (or anyone else) came to living God’s law perfectly, salvation would always depend on Christ’s merciful intervention.
“…We labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.” (2 Nephi 25:23)
-While establishing faith in Christ that allows us to be reconciled with God is absolutely foundational, how important is what we do to build on that foundation going forward in our lives?
-Once one understands that Heavenly Father will, because of repentance available through Christ’s Atonement, choose the better part of a mortal life by treasuring up and eternally magnifying all the good that person does, is it likely that living by God’s law and doing good works will become more important or less important to that person?
-What can God make of “all we can do” with Christ on our side?
Teachings of Latter-day Prophets, Seers, and Revelators:
“I wonder if sometimes we misinterpret the phrase ‘after all we can do.’ We must understand that ‘after’ does not equal ‘because.’
“We are not saved ‘because’ of all that we can do. Have any of us done all that we can do? Does God wait until we’ve expended every effort before He will intervene in our lives with His saving grace?” (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “The Gift of Grace,” 110).
“We do not need to achieve some minimum level of capacity or goodness before God will help—divine aid can be ours every hour of every day, no matter where we are in the path of obedience. But I know that beyond desiring His help, we must exert ourselves, repent, and choose God for Him to be able to act in our lives consistent with justice and moral agency” (D. Todd Christofferson, “Free Forever, to Act for Themselves,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2014, 19).
“‘After all we can do’ includes extending our best effort. It includes living his commandments.
“‘After all we can do’ includes loving our fellow men and praying for those who regard us as their adversary. It means clothing the naked, feeding the hungry, visiting the sick, and giving ‘succor [to] those that stand in need of [our] succor’ (Mosiah 4:16)—remembering that what we do unto one of the least of God’s children, we do unto him.
“‘After all we can do’ means leading chaste, clean, pure lives, being scrupulously honest in all our dealings and treating others the way we would want to be treated” (Ezra Taft Benson, “Redemption through Christ after All We Can Do,” Liahona, Dec. 1988, 5).
“As a Church, we are in accord with Nephi, who said, ‘It is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.’ (2 Nephi 25:23.) …
“By grace, the Savior accomplished his atoning sacrifice so that all mankind will attain immortality.
“By his grace, and by our faith in his atonement and repentance of our sins, we receive the strength to do the works necessary that we otherwise could not do by our own power.
“By his grace we receive an endowment of blessing and spiritual strength that may eventually lead us to eternal life if we endure to the end.
“By his grace we become more like his divine personality” (Ezra Taft Benson, “Redemption through Christ after All We Can Do,” 4–5).