I was listening to the words of the song “Come thou font of every blessing”. Wow, I don’t really have any problem understanding how that song was not put into the most recent hymnal. It is mostly just protestant fodder. It has become popular because protestant doctrine about the atonement has become popular among our members. That doesn’t change that it is spiritual rubbish.
The meaning of the song is plain enough. The point is that we don’t have to change, we just have to be forgiven. It teaches that the grace of God forgives us of things that we are still in the habit of doing, which is the meaning of the line “Oh to grace how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be.”
It’s request to “let thy goodness, as a fetter, bind my wandering heart to thee” is the insincerity which is the hallmark of false teachings about grace. Rather than offering up the required due of repentance it places the blame for those things which we have not repented of elsewhere.
Yes, the grace of god transforms our works. And that is a principle hallmark of real grace. It transforms our works. The words of this song are not the pleas of Nephi asking God to help him to be better. Nephi is good enough that he has dreams and visions and receives instruction from the Lord. Not so for the author of this song. This is the counterfeit grace that does not offer the due offering of repentance and denying ourselves of all ungodliness, and instead wants the grace of God to not only save us, but to stand in place of our own agency, and to save us regardless of our actions and choices to the contrary.
In that regard, it echos the plan of the adversary in the premortal life. He is the author of false teachings about grace. He was a liar from the beginning, and offered to save all mankind independent of whether they did right or wrong back in the premortal life. That would have destroyed the agency of man, for the agency of man is that we can choose our blessings from God by our actions.
The agency of man is what God said to Cain: “If thou does well, thou shalt be accepted”. The agency of man is the ability to choose one’s blessings by one’s actions. The agency of man is the scripture:
D&C 130:20 There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—
21 And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.
By contrast, the adversary offers to men now a million variations on the same plan he offered in the premortal life. His plan there was to save man independent of man’s choices. His plan was salvation without responsibility, which destroys the agency of man. It is the same plan he proposes to men again and again here in mortality to get them to follow him stay under his power and influence here just as he did in the premortal life.
False teachings about grace come from him, for they are all variations of his plan as it stood in the premortal life. His plan was to save us in our sins, rather than to save us from them.
The Father’s plan was to save us from our sins, but he refused to save us in them.
One version of Satan’s plan is in the scriptures:
Alma 1: 4 And [Nehor] also testified unto the people that all mankind should be saved at the last day, and that they need not fear nor tremble, but that they might lift up their heads and rejoice; for the Lord had created all men, and had also redeemed all men; and, in the end, all men should have eternal life.
Another version was had among Israel, where they believed they would be saved simply by nature of being Israelites, independent of repenting.
Satan’s plan is the foundation of religion in all churches that are not the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints. Thus as the scriptures tell us, there are save two churches only. One is the church of the lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil.
1 Nephi 14:10 And he said unto me: Behold there are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil; wherefore, whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth.
His plan is also the foundation of the irreligious, who don’t care about, or even believe in, life after death. They do not hope for salvation without responsibility. But they are satisfied with the adversary’s teachings that they will not face damnation for their actions. They are willing to live believing their actions will have no eternal consequences.