Saturday, April 28, 2012

What? Be Perfect!

We are all too familiar with the scriptural injunction to be perfect. As the Savior instructed, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect" (Matthew 5:48). But when He issured this same command in 3 Nephi 12:48 He changed it by saying, "Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect." The important question here is why the difference.

The key to understanding is in the definition of the word perfect. The first definition in the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary is, "being entirely without fault or defect." In otherwords flawless. (OUCH!!!)  But the second definition says, "satisfying all requirements." I'm thankful that's the definition intended in these scriptures! And how do we know?

Remember before His resurrection the Savior challenged us to be perfect like our Father in Heaven is perfect. But after His resurrection He includes Himself in the example and asks us to be perfect like our Father in Heaven and like He is. Jesus was at all times flawless, but he had not "satisfied all the requirements" until he was resurrected. Only then was He perfect (completed).

Being perfect in a gospel sense isn't about flawlessness. God knew we couldn't be flawless and so He provided a Savior for us. But He wants us to be completed in that we receive all the covenants, and we won't receive them all in this life. We, like our Savior, need to move on to the next life and be resurrected before we will be completed.

Now that certainly is GOOD NEWS! Forget about working to be completely flawless or feeling shame because you aren't flawless or trying to put on a frontso others will think you are flawless. Instead, relax and concentrate on being your wonderful, natural, flawed self that is working toward completion. There is so much peace and hope in that!


Mike and Julie said...

Thank you!

Wendi said...

I really like this post. Thanks for the clarification. :)