Thursday, January 19, 2012

Achieving Perfection the Lord's Way

"For as [a man] thinketh in his heart, so is he" (Proverbs 23:7) This is a true statement because our desires shape our actions, and our actions shape who we become. Therefore the greatest desire we can have is to emulate the life of Jesus Christ.

As Latter-day Saint Christians (Mormons) we take the Savior's charge to be perfect seriously (see Matt. 5:48 & 3 Nephi 12:48). However, we also acknowledge that on our own this commandment is impossible. Only through the Saviors help can we accomplish such a grand feat. However, being perfect is not an instantaneous occurrance; it is a process.

Jusice requires immediate perfection or a punishment when we fall short. Each and everyone of us falls short at one point or another but because Jesus took that punishment, He can now offer us the chance for ultimate perfection and help us reach that goal. He can forgive what justice never could, and He can turn to us now with His own set of requirements.

Jesus Christ requires that we exercise faith in Him, repent, make and keep sacred covenants, and continue doing so until the end (See 3 Ne. 27:19-20). Elder Bruce C. Hafen once said: "The great Mediator asks for our repentance not because we must 'repay' him in exchange for his paying our debt to justice, but because repentance initiates a developmental process that, with the Savior's help, leads us along the path to a saintly character"

Simply put, we begin to achieve perfection in the Lord's way; step by step, here a little and there a little (see Isaiah 28:9-10& D&C 98:12). We begin to live a life that patterns the Saviors. That is what this life is all about - progressing - becoming more like the Savior. This path to the Savior didn't start with this life nor will it end with death.

So don't beat yourself up if you feel like your falling short all the time because, really, that is why we have a Savior in the first place. Instead, take advantage of the miraculous gift He has given you to improve by trusting in Him and keeping his commandments. Find peace in it, as you do so you will find the strength to move forward and a love and appreciation for the Savior that comes through patterning your life after his!

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