Perfection—Still in Progress

We are commanded to be perfect like Christ, but we aren’t expected to attain perfection immediately.

While seeking to become like Jesus Christ, let us be positive, patient, and steadfast.

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It’s easy to see the distance between where we are and where we want to be—and even should be. It’s also easy to be discouraged when we realize how often we fail to “be . . . perfect, even as [our] Father . . . in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). In “Be Ye Therefore Perfect—Eventually,” Elder Jeffrey R. Holland encourages us to be patient with our progression.

He reminds us, “Except for Jesus, there have been no flawless performances . . . so while in mortality let’s strive for steady improvement.” He also warns against placing excessive expectations upon ourselves and upon those around us, including Church leaders.

Knowing that we’re not perfect, why do we condemn ourselves and others for falling short? Why is trying to be like Jesus sometimes a joyless process?

Elder Holland compassionately shares, “Every one of us aspires to a more Christlike life than we often succeed in living. If we admit that honestly and are trying to improve, we are not hypocrites; we are human. May we refuse to let our own mortal follies, and the inevitable shortcomings of even the best [people] around us, make us cynical about the truths of the gospel, the truthfulness of the Church, our hope for our future, or the possibility of godliness.”

While seeking to become like Jesus Christ, let us be positive, patient, and steadfast. Though we are imperfect now, we are promised that as we endure, we will eventually attain the refinement our Heavenly Father desires for us.

For more encouragement on rising above “toxic perfectionism,” read or watch “Be Ye Therefore Perfect—Eventually,” by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland.

Source: LDS General Conference

Nicole Meyers, Mormon Insights

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Find more insights

Read or watch President Russell M. Nelson’s talk “Perfection Pending” to learn more about the New Testament definition of perfection.

Study “The Gift of Grace,” by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, which explores how the grace of God enables us to better ourselves.

Read the Mormon Insights article “Why Can’t I Just Be Perfect?” to learn more about Brett Peper Ruff’s experience overcoming perfectionism. 

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One Comment

  1. This was one of my favorite talks this past general conference! I especially liked what Elder Holland said about being patient with our own shortcomings. Relentlessly criticizing ourselves does not lead to improvement.

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