Faith, Works, Grace … and Cycling?!
August 2023

“Faith, Works, Grace … and Cycling?!,” For the Strength of Youth, Aug. 2023.

Come, Follow Me


Faith, Works, Grace … and Cycling?!

Learn about what helps you keep moving forward.

young woman riding a bicycle

I looked in the mirror at the scraped skin under my nose and on my chin. Carefully, I wiped away some tiny flecks of gravel. Yep, it totally looked like a mustache and beard. A road-rash goatee!

Just minutes earlier, I had learned a very important lesson about riding a bicycle: staying upright is really hard unless you are moving forward! Instead of pedaling, I had hesitated for too long, slammed on the brakes, and toppled over.

What does this have to do with the gospel? Here’s one connection to think about. Similar to how we need both balance and momentum to stay upright on a bicycle, our eternal progression depends on both faith and good works. And the whole ride is made possible through the grace of Jesus Christ.

Think of it this way: Jesus Christ gave you the bicycle. He’s the one helping you learn how to ride. He can talk you through the instructions, give you tips, and even hold your seat steady while you climb aboard. But you’re the one who has to choose to move forward.

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf recently shared similar thoughts about bicycles to encourage us to keep moving forward with faith.

“Keep your eyes on the road in front of you. Focus on your destination,” he said. “And get pedaling. Staying balanced is all about moving forward.”1

In your reading of the New Testament right now, you may notice that the early Apostles taught a lot about riding a bicycle. Just kidding! But they did teach about faith, grace, and works multiple times.

For example, Peter taught that “through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved” (Acts 15:11).

And look at where his teaching about grace appears—in the book of Acts, where the actions of the disciples were recorded! Much of the New Testament describes how faithful men and women traveled and taught about Jesus Christ. This embodies the combination of having faith, working hard, and accepting the Savior’s sustaining help.

What other scriptures can you find that talk about faith, works, and grace? How do you notice those three working together in your own life? Here are a few verses to get you started: James 2:14–17; Ephesians 2:8–10; and Moroni 10:32–33.

Now, the bike analogy isn’t perfect, so don’t stress too much about worrying what everything represents. Let’s just use it as something to help us remember that we can’t save ourselves, and the Savior won’t force us to be saved, either. It’s when we work together with Him, trying to follow His teachings and show love for others, that the magic happens. Satan wants us to give up, sit down, and sink into sin and despair. But Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us and are cheering us along every step—or pedal—of the way!

So hop on that seat, push forward, start to pedal, and feel the wind in your face. Moving forward sure feels good, doesn’t it?!

Jesus Christ

Beside Still Waters, by Simon Dewey