We Are Doing A Great Work And Cannot Come Down
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
"Our weakness is in failing to align our actions with our conscience."
This quote shows why even the truly converted and righteous need daily repentance. The scriptures and the prophets focus intensely on repentance because the consequences of not repenting for everyone are serious.
A gospel scholar Hugh Nibley commented on the difference between the righteous and the wicked. He said the righteous are repenting and the wicked are not. The implicit idea here is endurance. Some live a good life for most of their life and then stop enduring and quit repenting.
President Eyring teaches to repent every night. He teaches to ask Heavenly Father EVERY NIGHT at least two questions or one combined question; which is, what have you done or not done today that has displeased Heavenly Father. If you are serious about this, you will have no problems and will be blameless before God.
Many don't struggle with the sins of commission (at least not the minor to major ones) but have to worry about the sins of omission. In my opinion, it is better to be in the category of sins of omissions than commissions. In my mind it means you have gained a basic or intermediate mastery of self if you are not doing the bad things. Not doing the bad things is a good start, but it is not a Celestial life.
We need to get to the point where we are creating righteousness. Grace or the enabling power is an important principle that applies to this idea. We know Jesus Christ was perfect in every way because both ancient and modern scripture say it. The scriptures also say he grew from grace to grace. I don't know what that means completely.
It is empowering to ponder that Christ being a perfect being in every way still grew from grace to grace. We also know that Christ was both a God and a human at the same time because of Mary being His mother and Heavenly Father His literal Father. A mortal man did not conceive Christ. I think at a minimum the idea of Christ growing from grace to grace means he increased his power to act, to do things, to create righteousness. The New Testament says that if all the acts Christ performed all the books in the world could not contain the works he did.
Modern day scripture also teaches not to run faster than you have strength. You can't do everything you might want to do. Following the spirit and being intune enough and worthy to feel and heed the promptings of the spirit is a key ingredient to growing from grace to grace. It is also the way to do things well beyond your human ability.
Understand that the spirit will stretch you to the stretching point where you might think it is not possible, but that is why even the spiritual giants need faith. Even the most faithful will be tested. One of the great challenges for the converted disciple is to have his spirit rule over his body.
I don't know exactly how Christ grew from grace to grace but He obviously did the basics, things like; prayer, scripture study, obedience. The temple would have been a powerful force for growing grace by grace. There is so much LDS doctrine about the power of the temple and its ability to help you grow from grace to grace and develop Godlike attributes.
Another aspect I thought about while pondering this quote is where much is given much is expected. In some ways this is a scary thought because the more you know and have the more action is expected of you. Some rationalize not learning more about God and the gospel because they realize they can't do everything they know so they intentionally don't learn. This thinking is a mistake. First of all, you are only saved as fast as you gain knowledge. Second, we are to live by faith and God's grace is sufficient.
The scriptures teach us that God created us after His image and LIKENESS. It is in our DNA to desire to live to our fullest potential and to seek after Godliness within our own lives. We know when we are not living up to our ideal and that causes us stress.