"Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect. " 3 Nephi 12:48
Please tell me that I am not the only one who has felt completely overwhelmed by those sentiments at one point or another.
Please tell me that this commandment (COMMANDMENT!!) to be perfect has made others feel as uncomfortable and unworthy as they have made me feel.
As a Latter Day Saint, I believe in personal progression and that I have the whole of Eternity to bring myself to the goal of perfection. I believe that one of my main purposes in life is to become more like my Savior, who just happens to be perfect.
Perfect. As in blameless. As in undefiled. As in spotless. As in perfect.
Clearly, I have been pondering on this idea of perfection for a while. These scriptures have been dancing through my thoughts and conversely lifting me up and weighing me down.
The weighing me down part should be pretty obvious. Perfection is the goal, and Good Gracious, I have quite a ways to go to fulfill that demand. I am deeply flawed. I sin daily. I doubt there is any part of me that is pure at the moment.
My thoughts. My actions. My spirit. All of it is fairly tainted- much of it by my own bad decisions. Not perfect. Not even close.
The lifting me up part, however, is the strange idea that I hope to convey in some semblance of sensical writing here.
I was in my thinking spot chatting with Heavenly Father about this idea a few weeks back. I was trying to figure out why I was commanded to be perfect in this life when the only individual who had ever been capable of fulfilling that bill in this world just happened to be half deity.
Basically I asked Him why He would request of me something I was sure to fail at. His curt reply to me went a little something like this.
"Amanda, why would you ever think I would set you up for failure. I love you too much for that. Perfection is meant for Heaven. The road to perfection is meant for Earth. There are lots of laws you can fulfill in perfection even amidst your weakness."
I thought about that a lot in the days since then, and I have come to see just how right He is. I mean of course He is right- He is God. The surprise came in realizing just how many things He has placed in my path that I truly can be perfect in.
While I know that I will probably never be able to control my temper perfectly in this life, I can certainly be a perfect tithe payer.
I will most likely never be able to completely kick my bad habits and tendencies, but I can for sure say my prayers every day and night. I can be perfect in my daily prayers!
Try as I might, chances are that in this life, I will not be able to completely curb my appetite for gossip and judgemental thoughts, but I can for sure get 100% in my visiting teaching every month.
Do you catch my drift here? Am I making any sense here?
My resolution for 2011 will be to become more perfect in the arenas that are possible for me to be perfect in.
Interestingly enough, many of those areas are laid out in the 10 commandments. Coincidence? I think not! I can be completely honest. I can keep my language perfectly pure. I can honor my parents all of the time. All of those commandments can be fulfilled perfectly no matter what state of imperfection I find myself in.
Now, of course, this is not to say that those other things that cannot be perfected should be neglected. That would be a huge step backwards in some ways.
What I am saying is that many of these commandments that I can be perfect in will build within me habits, desires, and experiences that will, in turn, increase my capacity to imrpove in the areas I cannot perfect.
Completing my visiting teaching will make it much easier for me to build relationships that will keep me from judging or speaking badly of my sisters in the gospel. Reading my scriptures daily will keep the Spirit in my home which will be a great step towards controlling my temper. Ridding my home of profane speech will cause me to build self restraint and tune my heart to feel the Spirit more readily.
So, this year's theme for me is, "Be ye therefore Perfect." This year I resolve to focus my efforts in perfecting myself in the areas that Heavenly Father has prepared for a stamp of perfection to be available in.
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