The LDS Daily WOOL© Archive - Perfection

"Now, if you feel too spiritually maimed to come to the feast, please realize that the Church is not a monastery for perfect people, though all of us ought to be striving on the road to godliness. No, at least one aspect of the Church is more like a hospital or an aid station, provided for those who are ill and want to get well, where one can get an infusion of spiritual nutrition and a supply of sustaining water in order to keep on climbing."—Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, He Hath Filled The Hungry With Good Things, General Conference, October 1997 

"Mortal perfection can be achieved as we try to perform every duty, keep every law, and strive to be as perfect in our sphere as our Heavenly Father is in his."—Elder Russell M. Nelson, Conference Report, November 1995 

"The Greek rendering for 'perfect' is, by the way, 'complete, finished, fully developed.' After his atonement and resurrection, Jesus included himself as our pattern. 'Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect' (3 Nephi 12:48). One of the problems we have in the Church is that we consider perfection in abstraction, and it becomes too intimidating. But when we think of it in terms of the specific, cardinal attributes, and we strive to develop these in a steady process of self-improvement, it is quite a different matter."—Elder Neal A. Maxwell, "In Him All Things Hold Together", BYU Speeches of the Year 1990-91, 31 March 1991 

"One of the first important lessons of survival in this stressful time is to learn patience. Perfection is not achieved in one spasmodic burst of effort. As we move along the path of progress, we must find moments of enjoyment and refreshment along the way."—Elder Dean L. Larsen, The Peaceable Things of the Kingdom, BYU Speeches of the Year 1984-85, 3 February 1985 

"As children of promise, do not choose to be common; rather, choose to excel. There is no prominent place in the society of men and women today for the mediocre. Strive for perfection and you will attain perfection in many areas and approach it in others. You have a rich heritage. Be unafraid to think and act in accordance with gospel principles, and enjoy the benefits and blessings of it as you fulfill on earth the full measure of your creation as a child of God."—Elder Delbert L. Stapley, Conference Report, October 1969, p.44 

"The command 'Be ye... perfect' (Matt. 5:48) is not one that can be executed overnight, or even by the end of mortality. It takes much, much longer to overcome all our mortal weaknesses, doing 'all we can do,' so that by grace we may be saved and attain (see 2 Ne. 25:23) godhood. Christ's resurrection, which assures our own immortality, provides us time to at least seriously attempt to pursue the goal of perfection. Had he not been resurrected, or if the Resurrection had applied to him only and not to the rest of God's offspring, there would be no hope for us mere mortals. Even if we subscribed to the possibility of becoming perfect in mortality, there would be nothing we could do about it. The pathway to perfection is just too long, the time to walk it exceeding whatever our allotted years in mortality may be." - Alexander B. Morrison, "I Am the Resurrection and the Life," Ensign, Apr. 1995, p. 42

"The Church is not a place where perfect people gather to say perfect things, or have perfect thoughts, or have perfect feelings. The Church is a place where imperfect people gather to provide encouragement, support, and service to each other as we press on in our journey to return to our Heavenly Father.

"Each one of us will travel a different road during this life. Each progresses at a different rate. Temptations that trouble your brother may not challenge you at all. Strengths that you possess may seem impossible to another.

"Never look down on those who are less perfect than you. Don't be upset because someone can't sew as well as you, can't throw as well as you, can't row or hoe as well as you.

"We are all children of our Heavenly Father. And we are here with the same purpose: to learn to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. (Mark 12:30-31.) " - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "The Virtue of Kindness," General Conference, April 2005

"The most difficult of all challenges given to us is, 'I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect.' (3 Ne. 12:48.) Perfection is an eternal goal. While we cannot be perfect in mortality, striving for it is a commandment, which ultimately, through the Atonement, we can keep." - James E. Faust, "This Is Our Day," Ensign (CR), May 1999, p.17

"We need not be dismayed if our earnest efforts toward perfection now seem so arduous and endless. Perfection is pending. It can come in full only after the Resurrection and only through the Lord. It awaits all who love him and keep his commandments. It includes thrones, kingdoms, principalities, powers, and dominions. (See D&C 132:19.) It is the end for which we are to endure. (Matt. 10:22; Matt. 24:13; Mark 13:13.) It is the eternal perfection that God has in store for each of us." - Russell M. Nelson, "Perfection Pending," Ensign (CR), November 1995, p.86

"To overcome the world—meaning sin, evil, and all that is worldly—men must repent of their sins and thereafter 'hold fast,' in the language of Paul, 'that which is good'. Forgiveness, of course, is a gift of the Spirit; it comes when men have the companionship of the Holy Ghost, which companionship comes as men repent, keep the commandments, and submit to the ordinances of forgiveness, such as baptism and the sacrament. Thereafter, spiritual growth is a continued step-by-step process of perfecting one's self, first in one thing, then in another, until finally, in that great eternal day, men are perfect in all things, even as are Jesus and his Father (Matt. 5:48; 3 Ne. 12:48)." - Bruce R. McConkie, "Sermons and Writings of Bruce R. McConkie," p.345

"This is a time to ask ourselves whether, although we have grown in numbers and strength, we are any nearer perfection in the virtue of our individual lives. The milestone of five million members has real significance only to the degree that we as a people bring the gospel into our lives and demonstrate its fruits in our actions. The Lord has reminded us in no uncertain terms that 'of him unto whom much is given much is required.' (D&C 82:3.)" - Gordon B. Hinckley, "Five Million Members—A Milestone and Not a Summit," Ensign (CR), May 1982, p.44

"We should labor for perfection so far as possible, and seek to go onward. There is no man or woman who can stand still any great length of time. In this path over which we are moving we are very likely to go backward if we undertake to stand still or act indifferently. We must push forward, because as the Church moves on, it is very evident that things of a more difficult character are occurring constantly, and we will find it far from easy to overcome them. Unless we improve as we move along we will find it very difficult to magnify our callings and to perform the work required at our hands. Latter-day Saints should not permit themselves to stand still. It is a privilege we have to serve the Lord and enjoy His spirit in our labors, but many of the people lose that portion of happiness that they might enjoy because of not reflecting seriously upon their duties and acting wisely and prudently. (6 April 1898, CR, p. 12.)" - "The Teachings of Lorenzo Snow, edited by Clyde J. Williams," p.95

"When comparing one's personal performance with the supreme standard of the Lord's expectation, the reality of imperfection can at times be depressing. My heart goes out to conscientious Saints who, because of their shortcomings, allow feelings of depression to rob them of happiness in life.

"We all need to remember: men are that they might have joy—not guilt trips! (
2 Ne. 2:25.)" - Russell M. Nelson, "Perfection Pending," Ensign (CR), November 1995, p.86

"We will not attain a state of perfection in this life, but we can and should press forward with faith in Christ along the strait and narrow path and make steady progress toward our eternal destiny. The Lord’s pattern for spiritual development is 'line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little' (2 Nephi 28:30). Small, steady, incremental spiritual improvements are the steps the Lord would have us take. Preparing to walk guiltless before God is one of the primary purposes of mortality and the pursuit of a lifetime; it does not result from sporadic spurts of intense spiritual activity." - David A. Bednar, "Clean Hands and a Pure Heart," General Conference, 7 October 2007

"Change is hard. Rather than going through the struggle to overcome a bad habit or rectify a mistake, some of us choose to make excuses for inactivity. Progress comes as we are able to give up something for something we want more. Honesty with oneself and setting of desirable but attainable goals day by day can determine the paths we follow. One might make a list of goals and then a price list for each goal. One day at a time the price of change can be paid. The cost will then not be overwhelming." - Elder Marvin J. Ashton, "Roadblocks to Progress," Ensign (CR), May 1979, p.67

"When we look at all the Lord asks of us, it can sometimes seem overwhelming. Of course, where much has been given, much is expected. I believe it is helpful when faced with an enormous challenge to view it as a step-by-step process. We begin by taking the first step, then continue by taking one step at a time. I am certain that the Lord is pleased even with our small beginnings, because in His infinite wisdom He knows that small things often become great things." - L. Tom Perry, "United in Building the Kingdom of God," Ensign (CR), May 1987, p.33

"The gospel is calculated to lead us on from truth to truth and from intelligence to intelligence, until that scripture will be fulfilled which declares that we shall see as we are seen and know as we are known [see D&C 76:94], until one will not have to say to another, know ye the Lord, but all shall know Him from the least unto the greatest [see Jeremiah 31:34], until the light and intelligence of God shall beam forth upon all, and all shall bask in the sunlight of eternal truth." - "Teachings Of Presidents Of The Church: John Taylor," p.209

"In announcing his famous 'as if' principle, William James said that if you want a quality, act 'as if' you already had it. If you want to be friendly, act as if you are already friendly. If you want to be courageous, don't go around talking fear and indulging in negative, un-Christian thinking. If you want to be faithful, act 'as if' you are already faithful. Do the things that faithful people do. Go to church, say your prayers, love God, refrain from evil, study the scriptures, be honest with yourself, and everyone else. And if you would like to be perfect, act 'as if' you were already perfect. Don't go around glorying in your sins and weaknesses. We can come very close to perfection if we really get the spirit of it in our hearts. If we really want to obey God, we should act 'as if' we were already obedient. We should think obedience, love obedience, practise obedience, and we should allow no exceptions to obedience. The fewer the exceptions to perfection, the nearer we get to perfection." - Sterling W. Sill, "Conference Report," October 1962, Second Day—Morning Meeting, p.38 - 39

"We do not teach the principle of faith merely for what it will do for one in the next world. We believe that there is real practical value in mental concepts which increase one's self-respect and effectiveness here and now. To believe that there is an all-wise Father in charge of the universe and that we are related to him, that we are in fact children of God with the 'hallmark' of divinity upon us, is to live in a different world from those who believe that man is a mere animal concerned only with requirements for creature existence, which must end at death. Because of low aim, the lives of such people lack trajectory and vision and fall short of their spiritual capacity.
" - Hugh B. Brown, "Conference Report," October 1969, Third Day—Morning Meeting, p.105

“As we move towards perfection, it is easy to feel that we fall short. We can take confidence that the Lord knows us intimately; He knows the intent of our hearts. He will surely show us the way as we humble ourselves, are obedient, and work toward continual improvement. Even now, He prepares us in ways that we can’t yet see. The eyes of our understanding will be opened as we keep the commandments and seek to serve Him. We have the potential to eventually become perfected in Christ. This is a divine inheritance.” - Dale E. Miller, “The Kingdom’s Perfecting Pathway,” Ensign (CR), May 1998, p. 29

“My dear brothers and sisters, don’t get discouraged if you stumble at times. Don’t feel downcast or despair if you don’t feel worthy to be a disciple of Christ at all times. The first step to walking in righteousness is simply to try. We must try to believe. Try to learn of God: read the scriptures; study the words of His latter-day prophets; choose to listen to the Father, and do the things He asks of us. Try and keep on trying until that which seems difficult becomes possible—and that which seems only possible becomes habit and a real part of you.” - Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “The Love of God,” Ensign, Nov 2009, 21–24

“The Lord does not expect that we do what we cannot achieve. The command to become perfect, as He is, encourages us to achieve the best of ourselves, to discover and develop the talents and attributes with which we are blessed by a loving Eternal Father, who invites us to realize our potential as children of God. He knows us; He knows of our capacities and our limitations. The invitation and challenge to become perfect, to achieve eternal life is for all mankind.” – Jorge F. Zeballos, “Attempting the Impossible,” Ensign, November 2009

"We cannot reach perfection by imperfect means. Being lax in our attention to the Lord and slovenly in our obedience to him spell nothing but imperfection and failure.

"The Lord knows this. Because he wants us to become like him, he requires that we follow his formula, and that requires consistent daily obedience, the living of his kind of life, the thinking of his kind of thoughts, in order that 'the works that I do shall [ye] do also,' and 'greater works than these shall [ye] do.' (John 14:12.)"
- Mark E. Petersen, "Moses: Man of Miracles," p. 127

"Perfection does not come in this life, but we exercise faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and keep our covenants. President Monson has promised, 'Your testimony, when constantly nourished, will keep you safe.' We push our spiritual roots deep, feasting daily on the words of Christ in the scriptures. We trust in the words of living prophets, placed before us to show us the way. We pray and pray and listen to the quiet voice of the Holy Ghost that leads us along and speaks peace to our soul. Whatever challenges arise, we never, never leave Him." - Neil L. Andersen, "Never Leave Him," Ensign (CR) October 2010

Decide now that whatever your pursuit in life, you will do better than your best. Leaving a legacy is an outgrowth of attitude. It emerges as we rise above ourselves. - Keith B. McMullin, "Signposts for Your Future," New Era, January 2000

With reference to the perfecting of the Saints, the Savior has asked us to become perfect even as our Father in heaven is perfect. (See Matt. 5:48.) In modern revelation we are told that we “are not able to abide the presence of God now, neither the ministering of angels; wherefore, continue in patience until ye are perfected.” (D&C 67:13.) - Franklin D. Richards, "Perfecting the Saints," Ensign (CR) November 1976

Part of our difficulty as we strive to acquire spirituality is the feeling that there is much to do and that we are falling far short. Perfection is something yet ahead for every one of us; but we can capitalize on our strengths, begin where we are, and seek after the happiness that can be found in pursuing the things of God. - Howard W. Hunter, "Developing Spirituality," Ensign (CR) May 1979

We ought to understand--and I presume that we do generally--that the work which we have come into this life to perform cannot be done to the glory of God or to the satisfaction of ourselves merely by our own natural intelligence. We are dependent upon the Spirit of the Lord to aid us and to manifest to us from time to time what is necessary for us to accomplish under the peculiar circumstances that may surround us. It is the privilege of Latter-day Saints, when they get into difficulties, to have supernatural power of God, and in faith, day by day, to secure from the circumstances which may surround us that which will be beneficial and advance us in the principles of holiness and sanctification, that we may as far as possible be like our Father. (6 October 1898, CR, p. 2.) - "The Teachings of Lorenzo Snow," edited by Clyde J. Williams, p.109

We have been told to purify ourselves, to come closer to the perfect ideal which Jesus our Redeemer taught. The path is straight before us. We must love God; we must love our neighbor; we must do unto others as we would have them do unto us. Our attention has been called to the Ten Commandments, the Sermon on the Mount, the Lord's Prayer, the birth and resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Redeemer. We must have faith in mankind, and the divinity of man should be made known to our children. We must be more determined than ever to fulfil the great task expected of us, to make ourselves better, to make this a better world to live in, and to bring mankind nearer to God. We have been taught that our salvation and the salvation of all mankind is found in the true and everlasting gospel. - Levi Edgar Young, Conference Report, October 1956, Afternoon Meeting, p.119

The Lord asked His disciples what manner of men they should be and then answered, "Verily I say unto you, even as I am" (3 Nephi 27:27; see also 3 Nephi 18:24). That is our ultimate quest. What did He do that we can emulate as men? -
D. Todd Christofferson, "Let Us Be Men," Ensign (CR) October 2006

In this life, certain actions can be perfected. A baseball pitcher can throw a no-hit, no-run ball game. A surgeon can perform an operation without an error. A musician can render a selection without a mistake. One can likewise achieve perfection in being punctual, paying tithing, keeping the Word of Wisdom, and so on. The enormous effort required to attain such self-mastery is rewarded with a deep sense of satisfaction. More importantly, spiritual attainments in mortality accompany us into eternity. - Russell M. Nelson, "Perfection Pending," Ensign (CR), November 1995, p.86

Perfection does not come in this life, but we exercise faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and keep our covenants. President Monson has promised, “Your testimony, when constantly nourished, will keep you safe.” We push our spiritual roots deep, feasting daily on the words of Christ in the scriptures. We trust in the words of living prophets, placed before us to show us the way. We pray and pray and listen to the quiet voice of the Holy Ghost that leads us along and speaks peace to our soul. Whatever challenges arise, we never, never leave Him. -
Neil L. Andersen, "Never Leave Him," Ensign (CR) November 2010

My general counsel to you is that we must create regimens that foster spiritual housecleaning—ongoing and continual processes that draw us closer to the Lord our Savior so that we can be numbered among His disciples. - L. Tom Perry, “Discipleship,” October 2000

Sometimes this quest for perfection tries our patience and our faith as we continue to wrestle with the weaknesses of the flesh. But a loving Heavenly Father has not left us alone in our battle with the adversary. A recurrent doctrine of the Book of Mormon is that the Holy Ghost is an active participant in our lives, influencing us for good. Both Nephi and Mormon teach us that the Holy Ghost strives with us to help us resist evil (see 2 Ne. 26:11; Morm. 5:16). - Spencer J. Condie, "A Mighty Change of Heart," Ensign (CR), November 1993, p.15

We were told many, many years ago by President Young, that outside of the Gospel there were but three things—death, hell and the grave. None of us want either of those things. We desire to live, and to live forever, with the gift of eternal lives granted unto us. Our desires are to so live in this probation, that when that which is perfect is come we shall inherit it, and we shall eventually become, through the atonement of our Lord Jesus Christ, like unto Him. As Christ said, "Be ye perfect, even as I and my Father in heaven are perfect.” - George Reynolds, Conference Report, April 1906, Afternoon Session, p.25

Men cannot really long rest content with mediocrity once they see excellence is within their reach. - Thomas S. Monson, "To the Rescue," Ensign (CR), May 2001, p. 48

By accepting this challenge to become perfect, we avoid the idea that attaining perfection is a bar to further progress. Perfection is overcoming, one by one, every facet of character weakness. We understand that perfection is a goal of excellence toward which we strive. With this understanding, one can attain perfection. - Delbert L. Stapley, "Conference Report," October 1968, Afternoon Meeting, p. 27

In both His Old and New World ministries, the Savior commanded, "Be ye therefore perfect.” A footnote explains that the Greek word translated as perfect means "complete, finished, fully developed." Our Heavenly Father wants us to use this mortal probation to "fully develop" ourselves, to make the most of our talents and abilities. If we do so, when final judgment comes we will experience the joy of standing before our Father in Heaven as "complete" and "finished" sons and daughters, polished by obedience and worthy of the inheritance that He has promised to the faithful. - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "The Time to Prepare," Ensign (CR), May 1998, p. 14

As we strive for perfection, we seek excellence. Excellence may leave one sensitive in the face of the jaded; curious in the crowd of uninterested; quiet in groups of static and noise; caring in the company of the unconcerned; exact while all about us is approximation; refined in place of gross; exceptional instead of commonplace. - Thomas S. Monson, "Pathways to Perfection," p.112

Meanwhile, brothers and sisters, let us do the best we can and try to improve each day. When our imperfections appear, we can keep trying to correct them. We can be more forgiving of flaws in ourselves and among those we love. We can be comforted and forbearing. The Lord taught, “Ye are not able to abide the presence of God now …; wherefore, continue in patience until ye are perfected.” - Russell M. Nelson, “Perfection Pending,” Ensign (CR), November 1995, p.86

If you will permit a personal reference, I believe that I feel worse over the thoughtless things I do and say to other people than I do over the things they say and do to me, and I would like to enjoy the Spirit of God to such an extent that I never would say or do a thing that would be detrimental to another. Then, perhaps, I might enjoy that wonderful peace of Christ. He said in effect, "I leave it with you," and that implies that it is possible of attainment, but we must admit that the struggle of attainment is great, that none of us is perfect, that failure seems to be the lot of most of us in most things that we attempt to do to approach perfection. But we must strive for it, nevertheless. It was held out as a goal to us, and the nearer we approach perfection in that respect the greater will be our joy and our happiness. - Antoine R. Ivins, “Conference Report,” April 1948, Afternoon Meeting, p.42

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