Hermana Olvera (bishop's wife) gave the talk at the baptism. In her talk, she mentioned how she and Bishop dropped by one night to talk to them. Bishop came home that night with the distinct impression that this family would be baptized and that they would be great instruments in the Lord's hands. She said that since then, they had been praying for this family to be able to be baptized. Omar (the dad) said that her talk "greatly moved me." All four of them stood together in front to share their thoughts at the end and the Spirit was very simple, but very powerful.
"Thoughts on Grace"
In 3 Ne 12:48, the resurrected Jesus commands, "Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect." Then a few days later, he asks, "Therefore, what manner of men ought ye to be?" Then, answering his own question, he says, "Verily I say unto you, even as I am" (3 Nephi 27:27).
This is what we usually focus on, forgetting that the Lord has promised the way is prepared to accomplish what he commands (1 Ne 3:7). "Wherefore, all mankind were in a lost and fallen state, and ever would be SAVE they should rely on [the] Redeemer" (1 Nephi 10:6) We ARE in a lost and fallen state. We can't pull or lift ourselves out of it. The Redeemer is the ONLY way (Acts 4:12).
A convert from Australia said, "My past life [was] a wilderness of weeds, with hardly a flower strewed among them. [But] now the weeds have vanished, and flowers spring up in their place." Bruce C Hafen taught that Christ's grace is needed to pull out the weeds and to cultivate the flowers (Atonement: All for All, April 2004).
It seems that it is commonly accepted that Christ's atoning sacrifice was necessary to help us pull up all our weeds. In my life, and I think in much of the Mormon community, it is presumed that we are left to our own abilities to cultivate our flowers. We read scriptures that say, "work out your salvation with fear before God" (Alma 34:37) and we mistakenly think it is all up to us.
We think we can just "white knuckle this thing" and do it by "sheer grit, willpower, and discipline." There came a time during the Great War between the Nephites and the Lamanites that the Nephites began to trust in their own strength. They thought that they could do it on their own. They had seen so many miracles come that it was starting to go to their head. They had forgotten the reason for and the source of their exceedingly great strength. "And because of this their great wickedness, and their boastings in their own strength, they were left in their own strength; therefore they did not prosper..." (Helaman 4:13)
In contrast, Nephi, after recognizing his weakness, prayed, "O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh" (2 Nephi 4:34).
We might think that because Jesus had to drink His bitter cup on his own, we have to do the same. This is not the case. Elder Holland testifies, "Brothers and sisters, one of the great consolations of this Easter season is that because Jesus walked such a long, lonely path utterly alone, we do not have to do so" (None Were with Him, April 2009).
Simply enough, when you trust in the strength of man, you are left with the strength of a man. When you trust in the strength of the Lord, the strength of the Lord is added to you.
Paul testified, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Philippians 4:13). This does not just include divine strength to break bands and withstand fire, but also the extra help needed to turn weaknesses into strengths. We must be merciful with ourselves and others for as long as that process takes -- and it is a process. "Slow, steady progress is possible through the strength of the Lord. His grace IS sufficient.