“For 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)
“I understand the preposition ‘after’ in 2 Nephi 25:23 to be a preposition of separation rather than a preposition of time. It denotes logical separateness rather than temporal sequence. We are saved by grace ‘apart from all we can do,’ or ‘all we can do notwithstanding,’ or even ‘regardless of all we can do.’ Another acceptable paraphrase of the sense of the verse might read, ‘We are still saved by grace, after all is said and done’” (p. 91-92)
And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. (1 Romans 11:6)
I think that rather than our getting caught up in the debates and paralysis of whether our works merit access to grace or we have accepted enough grace to merit our works, God is far more concerned that we’re simply walking with grace and works. If seeing God’s grace is what motivates you to work, then great! Lead with grace. And if works is what enables you to see God’s grace, then great! Get to work. Our walking in the gospel towards Christ is far more important than the particular gait with which we walk.
So, let’s walk together and stop tripping each other over who prefers the left leg or right leg of grace or works as we walk in gospel towards Christ.