We are saved by the grace of God after we have done all in our power to demonstrate our faithful obedience to His commandments and our enduring commitment to live as He would have us live. We cannot be saved without the help of our Savior Jesus Christ—just as God the Father ordained it to be in the plan of redemption. Elder Bruce R. McConkie illuminates this central principle of the gospel.
Let us now come to the matter of whether we must do something to gain the blessings of the Atonement in our lives. And we find the answer written in words of fire and emblazoned across the whole heavens; we hear a voice speaking with the sound of ten thousand trumpets; the very heavens and the earth are moved out of their place, so powerful is the word that goes forth. It is a message that neither men nor angels nor the Gods themselves can proclaim with an undue emphasis.
This is the word: Man cannot be saved by grace alone; as the Lord lives, man must keep the commandments (Eccl. 12:13; Matt. 19:17; 1 Ne. 22:31; D&C 93:20); he must work the works of righteousness (Matt. 7:21; James 2:18–26; D&C 78:5–7); he must work out his salvation with fear and trembling before the Lord (Philip. 2:12); he must have faith like the ancients—the faith that brings with it gifts and signs and miracles.
Does it suffice to believe and be baptized without more? The answer is no, in every language and tongue. Rather, after belief, after repentance, after baptism, “Ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life. And now, behold, … this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God.” (2 Ne. 31:20–21.) (Sermons and Writings of Bruce R. McConkie [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1998], 76–77)
This passage (2 Nephi 25:23) raises a question of conscience for us all. Are we persuading our children to come unto Christ and recognize that it is only through Jesus Christ that they can have remission of their sins?