Writ & Vision: Roundtable on Grace

Writ and VisionAt 7pm on Thursday, May 21, Writ & Vision will host a roundtable discussion on grace. Participants include Adam Miller, Joseph Spencer, and Jenny Webb.

The discussion will focus on President Uchtdorf’s April 2015 General Conference address, “The Gift of Grace,” Adam Miller’s Grace Is Not God’s Backup Plan: An Urgent Paraphrase of Paul’s Letter to the Romans, and a close reading of 2 Nephi 25:23 (“for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do”).

The event is open to the public. Writ & Vision is located at 274 West Center Street in Provo, Utah.

Adam Miller will also be signing books at Benchmark Books from 12-1pm on Friday, May 22. Benchmark Books is located at 3269 South Main Street, Suite 250 in Salt Lake City.

Comments

  1. Any chance this can be recorded and posted online? I would love to go but I can’t pull the 2000 mile drive.

  2. Is it possible this event could be recorded?

  3. Oops sorry- Daniel beat me to it! By the mouth of two or three witnesses shall all requests be established?

  4. Speaking of close readings of 2 Ne 25:23:

    For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.

    Here and in the surrounding verses Nephi is talking about his and his fellow laborers’ efforts to bring others to salvation. The antecedent for “we” in “after all we can do” is often taken to be the “we” used immediately before it in “it is by grace that we are saved,” presumably referring to all mankind. However, the antecedent could also be any of the other “we”‘s used in the sentence (“we labor diligently to write,” “we know that it is by grace”), which appear to refer to Nephi and his fellow ministers. If that is the case, that changes the meaning of the verse considerably.

    Instead of reading it as “it is by grace that we are saved after all the righteous works that we, as mankind, can do,” it becomes something more like “we are actively persuading all to believe in Christ and to be reconciled to God because, after everything we as ministers can do to help them, we know that it is ultimately through Christ – through grace – that we are all saved.”

  5. blockquote fail

  6. it's a series of tubes says:

    JT, as a fellow blockquote failer, I appreciate your insights.

  7. I got your back.

  8. the other Marie says:

    I’ve struggled with 2 Nephi 25:23 for many years (yay Pres Uchtdorf!) and have been researching how it was treated in old Conference talks and non-current foreign language translations of the Book of Mormon. I’ve found that “in spite of” used to be a not-uncommon interpretation of “after” in that scripture (cf. “after” in Alma 10:5). Perhaps it even used to be the dominant interpretation, but the problem is that when you interpret “after” to mean “in spite of,” it’s no longer a stand-out scripture on grace–and therefore is less likely to be quoted in Conference or anywhere else. So figuring out how people read it before the 1950s is hard. It was only when the “subsequent to and in consequence of” interpretation of “after” took hold around the mid-1950s that scripture quickly grew in popularity in the Conference talks.

    I discovered the other day that 2 Nephi 25:23 was added to the Scripture Mastery list in 2013–it was not on prior lists. I hope seminary students are going to be taught something like Uchtdorf’s interpretation, because if the last 60 years of interpretation show us that it is easy for our leaders to misinterpret that particular scripture out of context, teenagers stand little chance of figuring it out on their own. And I’ve scanned missionary blogs in the weeks after Uchtdorf’s talk and most of them I’ve found discussing the talk are struggling to figure out what he means. (“Elder Uchtdorf tells us that we are saved by grace not BECAUSE OF all we can do, but AFTER all we can do.”). They don’t seem to get that he’s trying to tell us that we’ve been using “after” here to indicate cause and effect, when it’s supposed to indicate separation. And that “all we can do” cannot mean “everything we’re capable of doing,” especially if we use the “subsequent to” definition of “after” rather than the less common “in spite of/notwithstanding” definition.