Maxine Waters wrote:
The accepting part is continual progression through the atonement (repentance and faith, trying to be like the person who gave you this free gift)
Perhaps that's the confusion. When I think of acceptance, I think of just two words, "I accept," then it's done. The acceptance that you're describing seems more like an eternal covenant where if you don't meet your terms of the contract, the free gift can be rescinded. I'm not sure how you can call that free. when it takes many years to do the work that is required to accept.
Can someone accept this free gift an hour before they die and get the same free gift of salvation? If so, why accept the burdens that are attached to such a gift early in life? Why not wait so you can keep your life that you have now and enjoy it?
What actually constitutes are person trying to live the commandments? Can anyone really say that they served the Lord with all their heart might, mind, and strength? What happened to the young ruler who refused to sell all he owned and give it to the poor? How many LDS have sold everything and given it to the poor? What happens to someone who only gave less than 100% effort and time? Was that just a waste of time and effort for them and will they be spewed out of the Lord's mouth like lukewarm water bound to inherit nothing? 100% effort seems a lot like perfection and by that definition nearly every saint is lukewarm. Who can ever say they are worthy of the Celestial kingdom?
I think the answer to this is two fold who is your master sin, yourself, or Jesus Christ. Who do you strive to serve yourself or your fellow brothers and sisters. Secondly the scriptures make it clear that the lord wants to see progression not digression. The lord wants us to be a better person the when we started.
Does the lord expect the same from someone who grew up in a crack addicted family versus someone who grew up in a loving well balanced lds family. No the crack addict might might spend the majority of his life trying to overcome the demons in the envioroment that he grew up in. While the other person might have church callings with high demands and responsibilities.
In the parable of the talents Mathew 25 three people were given money.
One received 1 talent another two talents and another 5 talents. The one with 5 came back with 10 the one with 2 came back with 4. The one with one was afraid and did not TRY and get an Increase. quess which one got in trouble. The one who did not try who had no progression. The one who brought back 4 talents and the other who brought back 10recieved the same reward.
In the parable of the labourers Mathew 10 some worked the whole day some half a day and some at the end of the day but all received the same amount of money for their work.
In the parable of the vineyard some said they would work in the vineyard and did not and were dammed. Some at the beginning said they would not work and repented and returned to work in the vineyard and were rewarded.
These parables are very clear that the lord expects you to you reach your potential based on your talents and abilities and you will receive the same reward as any prophet living today and before you.
If you think you can live for yourself or sin and at the time of your death say that grace has changed you are sadly mistaken. Although the scriptures gives leeway for repentance near the end of ones life it does does not for death bed repentance for those who grew up in or were taught the gospel.
33 And now, as I said unto you before, as ye have had so many witnesses, therefore, I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed. (Alma 34)
Grace is a free gift because you didn't do anything to do deserve it and only you can rescind it. The atonement is the free gift that allows to be clean before your Heavenly Father. Clean from all the mistakes and sins you made free from living in a sick and evil world.