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Perfection in Perspective

One of my favorite principles in the gospel of Jesus Christ is that of striving for growth and improvement. Learn. Grow. Change. Improve. Ultimately, strive for "perfection".

Objectively, we know perfection is not attainable in this life. This is an eternal pursuit. But, if you're like me, you have little patience with yourself in making mistakes.

For many disciples of Jesus Christ this feeling on not measuring up, not being good enough, does the exact opposite of what the "good news" of the gospel should do. Instead of bringing us joy and energy, striving, brings guilt and discouragement.

For me, it helps to have a constant reminder that God does NOT expect perfection. He expects effort and growth. That's it! He knows we will fall down and is OK with that. He just expects us to get back up. We would never berate a toddler for falling when they're learning to walk. So why do we destroy ourselves when we fall as we learn to walk with Jesus?

As part of my "perfection in perspective" program, I frequently review a number of quotes that have helped me (see below). I hope you find some that help you too.

Don't ever forget that you are good enough. Your heavenly parents believe in you. I believe in you. Keep trying. Keep fighting. Be patient with yourself. Don't give up. You've got this!


"... the speed with which we head along the straight and narrow path isn’t as important as the direction in which we are traveling."


"...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." - Jeffrey R. Holland


“Try, try, try.” - Henry B. Eyring


"...the great thing about the gospel is we get credit for trying, even if we don’t always succeed." - Elder Jeffrey R. Holland


"We need not be dismayed if our earnest efforts toward perfection now seem so arduous and endless. Perfection is pending." - Russell M. Nelson


“We don’t have to be fast; we simply have to be steady and move in the right direction..." -Joseph B. Wirthlin


“I do not ask that you reach beyond your capacity. Please don’t nag yourself with thoughts of failure. ... Simply do what you can do, in the best way you know, and the Lord will accept of your effort.


"Worthiness and perfection don’t mean the same thing! All of us are “works in process.” We can be worthy while still needing improvement."


“We must not lose hope. Hope is an anchor to the souls of men. Satan would have us cast away that anchor. In this way he can bring discouragement and surrender. But we must not lose hope. The Lord is pleased with every effort, even the tiny..." - Ezra Taft Benson


“. . . we must be careful, as we seek to become more and more godlike, that we do not become discouraged and lose hope. Becoming Christlike is a lifetime pursuit and very often involves growth and change that is slow, almost imperceptible. The scriptures record remarkable accounts of men whose lives changed dramatically, in an instant. . . . But we must be cautious as we discuss these remarkable examples. Though they are real and powerful, they are the exception more than the rule. For every Paul, for every Enos, and for every King Lamoni, there are hundreds and thousands of people who find the process of repentance much more subtle..." - Ezra Taft Benson


“Sometimes when we attend church, we become discouraged even by sincere invitations to improve ourselves. We think silently, “I can’t do all these things” or “I will never be as good as all these people.” … Please, my beloved brothers and sisters, we must stop comparing ourselves to others. We torture ourselves needlessly ... Let me be direct and clear. The answers to the questions “Am I good enough?” and “Will I make it?” are “Yes!” - Devin J. Cornish


"We don’t have to be fast; we simply have to be steady and move in the right direction.” -Joseph B. Wirthlin


“Keep trying. Keep trusting. Keep believing. Keep growing. Heaven is cheering you on today, tomorrow, and forever.” – Jeffrey R. Holland


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