The scriptures ofttimes refer to the Savior’s role as our advocate with the Father. What exactly does this mean? Understanding the definition of advocate makes it pretty clear: Merriam-Webster suggests:
Definition of advocate
1: one that pleads the cause of another; specifically : one that pleads the cause of another before a tribunal or judicial court
2: one that defends or maintains a cause or proposal
3: one that supports or promotes the interests of another
In light of definition #1 we can envision the Savior pleading our cause before our Heavenly Parents at the Great Eternal Judgement Bar. But upon what will he base his case?
I used to picture the Lord as my advocate standing before our Heavenly Parents, making a case for me based upon all my good works. He’d remind them of the times I sacrificed my interest in the interest of others, of my tithes and offerings, of my loving kindness, my service, and my obedience to his commands. But that is not what he pleads. My advocate does not base his advocations upon my merits. No, the Savior tell us what he will plead:
Father, behold the sufferings and death of him who did no sin, in whom thou wast well pleased; behold the blood of thy Son which was shed, the blood of him whom thou gavest that thyself might be glorified;
But this is not sufficient to understand it all. Go read all the verses really quick in context here D&C 45:3-5.
You see, yes, he is our advocate. Yes, he pleads our cause. But it is based on his merits, not ours. He reminds the Father of the great price he personally paid to make our redemption possible. He reminds our Heavenly Parents of the great eternal plan whereby our salvation was secured based on his sufferings for all those who would believe on his name.
And I know what you are thinking . . . “Faith without works is dead!” I agree, and that is why he mentions the importance of our belief on his name. Because it is our belief that leads to repentance, and it is our repentance that leads to a remission of sins, and this continual cycle is the process whereby we become pure, clean, holy, and without spot–fully worthy and able to enter into the eternal rest of the Lord.
So while we must do all that we can, let us always remember that it is by His Grace, and His Advocations that we are saved and ultimately exalted.