An objection to a comment in my talk

Talks and Lessons

After Sacrament meeting last Sunday (in which I spoke on the Lord’s Supper), a prominent member of the ward whom I will not name pulled me aside and in a very nice way informed me that, although he enjoyed my talk generally, he took exception with one thing I had said.

The relevant bit of my talk is:

…although we all need both grace and works to be saved, [Christ] needed no grace, but was saved by His works alone…

His argument is that Christ, as our Redeemer, required no redemption Himself at all, and so needed neither grace nor works to be saved. My counter-argument is that Christ, though the Son of God, is also a son of God, and is in need of salvation just as are all the rest of God’s children. He earned that salvation by keeping His Father’s commandments, just as we all must do. He needed no grace because He didn’t sin, but was saved through His works alone.

I understand his argument, but offer in defense of my position the following three citations from Elder Bruce R. McConkie:


“God the Eternal Father, the Father of the Firstborn and of all the spirit hosts, as an exalted and glorified Being, having all power and dominion, possessing all knowledge and all truth, personifying and being the embodiment of all godly attributes, did, of his own will, ordain and establish the plan of salvation whereby Christ and all his other spirit children might have power to advance and progress and become like him [God].” (Teachings. Quoted from the Brigham Young University Idaho web site of Church History Class 431, taught by Bruce Satterfield []).

“Jesus Christ is the Son of God… He came to earth to work out his own salvation.” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3:238)

“These laws [of salvation], instituted by the father, constitute the gospel of God, which gospel is the plan by which all of his spirit children, Christ included, may gain eternal life.” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 2:215)


Personally, I find a Christ that was saved by His own works to be much more magnificent than one who was never in any need of saving at all, which seems to me to reduce His role on earth to that of mere functionary.

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