full text at http://speeches.byu.edu/?act=viewitem&id=1966
-the purpose of a child practicing the piano is for the child to change in his ability level
-we are not earning heaven, we are learning heaven. Practicing for it.
-Have I been saved by grace? Absolutely completely and thankfully – yes!
-Have you been changed by grace? Sometimes we can be so excited about grace that we don’t think enough about what comes next.
-Sometimes we are so happy that the debt is paid that we don’t consider why there was a debt in the first place.
-LDS know not only what Jesus has saved us from, but what he has saved us for.
-quoting Brett Sanders, “A life impacted by grace eventually begins to look like Christ’s life.” See also Moroni 7:48.
-LDS view Christ’s suffering for us not only a huge favor, but a huge investment.
-The miracle of the Atonement is not just that we can live after we die but that we can live more abundantly (John 10:10).
-The miracle of the Atonement is not just for us to be cleansed, but for us to be transformed (Romans 8).
-Scriptures make it clear that no unclean thing can live with God, but no unchanged thing will even want to.
-Like the boy who hated being at EFY and said, “Get me out of here!”, similarly heaven will not be heaven for those who have not chosen to be heavenly.
-The Judgement bar of Christ won’t be a “Aw, Brad, you missed it by 2 points!” type of situation. Rather we will probably be saying, “Get me out of here!” Knowing Christ’s character he will probably beg us to stay. Beg us to use his Atonement to transform ourselves so that we not only be cleansed, but be changed so that we will want to live in His presence.
-The miracle of the Atonement is so we can not only go home to heaven, but feel at home in heaven.
-Those who don’t want to change are not trying to abandon sin and become comfortable with God, rather they are trying to abandon God and become comfortable with sin.
-Without covenants with Jesus Christ, and the blessing of receiving the Holy Ghost, there would be no way to change. We would be, without these things, left only to our willpower, rather than having access to His power.
-If Jesus didn’t require practice, then we would never become pianists.
-What if you are no good at piano and you hit a lot of wrong notes and it will take you forever to get it right? That is the purpose of practice. We are not expected to be flawless, we are merely expected to keep trying.
-Too many are giving up on the church because they are tired of constantly feeling like they are falling shorty. They don’t understand grace.
-Young women who grow up in the church and have memorized values, then they slip up. They let things go too far, and suddenly they think it is all over. These young women don’t understand grace.
-The young man who grows up wanting to go on a mission, an eagle scout full of morals, then he slips up. “I’ll never do it again,” and then they do it. They say, “This is stupid. I will never do it again.” And then they do it. The guilt is almost unbearable. They don’t dare talk to a bishop. Instead, they hide. They say, “I can’t do this Mormon thing. I’ve tried, and the expectations are just way too high.” So they quit. These young men don’t understand grace.
-“I know returned missionaries who come home and slip back into bad habits they thought were over. They break promises made before God, angels, and witnesses, and they are convinced there is no hope for them now. They say, “Well, I’ve blown it. There is no use in even trying anymore.” Seriously? These young people have spent entire missions teaching people about Jesus Christ and His Atonement, and now they think there is no hope for them? These returned missionaries don’t understand grace.”
-In marriages, “pressures of life mount, and stress starts taking its toll financially, spiritually, and even sexually. Mistakes are made. Walls go up. And pretty soon these husbands and wives are talking with divorce lawyers rather than talking with each other. These couples don’t understand grace.”
-“In all of these cases there should never be just two options: perfection or giving up. When learning the piano, are the only options performing at Carnegie Hall or quitting? No. Growth and development take time. Learning takes time.“
-Christ is not waiting at the finish line once we have done “all we can do” (2 Nephi 25:23). He is with us every step of the way.
-We may receive his grace before, during and after the time when we expend our own efforts” (The Broken Heart [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1989], 155). So grace is not a booster engine that kicks in once our fuel supply is exhausted. Rather, it is our constant energy source. It is not the light at the end of the tunnel but the light that moves us through the tunnel.
-It is not a finishing touch; it is the Finisher’s touch (see Hebrews 12:2).
-the Saints sing “Grace shall be as your day” that means “as dark as our trials, sins, and mistakes may appear, we can always have confidence in the grace of Jesus Christ. Do we earn a sunrise? No. Do we have to be worthy of a chance to begin again? No. We just have to accept these blessings and take advantage of them.”
-Faithful pioneers knew “The task ahead of them was never as great as the power behind them.”
–sufficient to cover our debt, sufficient to transform us, and sufficient to help us as long as that transformation process takes.
-we do not discover—as some Christians believe—that Christ requires nothing of us. Rather, we discover the reason He requires so much and the strength to do all He asks (see Philippians 4:13). Grace is not the absence of God’s high expectations. Grace is the presence of God’s power (see Luke 1:37).
-Elder Maxwell said “to those buffeted by false insecurity, who, though laboring devotedly in the Kingdom, have recurring feelings of falling forever short. . . .
. . . This feeling of inadequacy is . . . normal. There is no way the Church can honestly describe where we must yet go and what we must yet do without creating a sense of immense distance. . . .
. . . This is a gospel of grand expectations, but God’s grace is sufficient for each of us.” [CR, October 1976, 14, 16; “Notwithstanding My Weakness,” Ensign, November 1976, 12, 14]
Don’t look for escapes and excuses. Look for the Lord and His perfect strength. Don’t search for someone to blame. Search for someone to help you. Seek Christ, and, as you do, I promise you will feel the enabling power we call His amazing grace
-I your parents and leaders are pulling for you, and Jesus is pulling with you.