Lately I have been thinking a lot about the definition of grace and what it means to me. In every religion it means something different. Grace can mean the saving of a soul through declaring the name of Jesus Christ. Grace can simply mean salvation, as well. As I was walking out of local grocery store the other day I heard "Amazing Grace" being played on the bagpipes by local firemen. The familiar words resonated more than ever with me. Upon arriving home I looked up the lyrics:
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
'Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.
The Lord has promised good to me.
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.
Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace...
In particular, these verses really made me stop and think, "What is grace?" Webster defines it as "the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings." Being a member of the LDS church I believe that faith without works is dead. I believe we can find salvation without not only the Atonement but also the works that we do here on Earth. Tell me I'm wrong, but I do not believe that grace is simply handed over without any work on our part.
There is no negative connotation to the word "grace". It is elegant and loaded with meaning. Grace is a beautiful word.