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Seeking Perfection Without Being A Perfectionist

By on Apr 27 in Blog tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Seeking Perfection Without Being A Perfectionist 

In our eternal pursuit of perfection, we must be wary of the adversary’s counterfeit.

We are all familiar with the New Testament scripture “Be ye therefore perfect” (Matt. 5:48). The pursuit of perfection is holy, and those who center their lives on this pursuit are blessed. But, as with every good and holy thing, Satan is on hand to sabotage our efforts.  Because becoming perfect through Christ is a powerful and important doctrine, Satan . . . comes up with a counterfeit. The counterfeit is often set up to look very much like the real thing, but it differs in important ways. . . . Perfectionism is a counterfeit of real spirituality and is easily confused. 1

Satan’s counterfeit promotes the belief that everything must be done perfectly right now. Such an expectation runs counter to the whole purpose of God’s eternal plan—which purpose is for us to gain experiences, to learn from them, and to grow. God’s counsel to the early Saints was to “continue in patience until ye are perfected” (D&C 67:13). Satan’s deceptive and cunning approach is to convince us that if we want God’s approval, we must do more than we know how or are prepared to do. That naturally sets the stage for developing feelings of being overwhelmed and discouraged—by ourselves and often by those around us. In this and other areas, Satan’s strategy does not require that we commit great sins. He just needs to keep us distracted from things of eternal consequence.

Quoting Marion G. Romney, Elder Dallin H. Oaks (BS ’54) noted that the family “Satan is a skillful imitator” and added that he “uses every possible device to accomplish his purpose to degrade and enslave every soul.”2 Satan is adept at robbing us of our courage, confusing us, making us believe that we are not good or capable enough, that our lives are out of control. In contrast to God’s counsel, he wants us to be pushed beyond our strength, to be weary in well doing. He wants us to believe that we must bargain with the Lord for His blessings and that we may not be helped or guided unless we continue in a driven frenzy.

Satan is a wretched soul, and he wants us to be as unhappy as he is. And, if he succeeds, if we give in to what he wants instead of what we truly want, we can miss some of life’s most valuable learning experiences and be diverted from our journey back home. The result, as Nephi said, is that “the devil cheateth their souls and leadeth them away carefully down to hell” (2 Ne. 28:21) as he seeks “the misery of all mankind” (2 Ne. 2:18).

the family“Peace be unto thy soul” (D&C 121:7) is an important message for us to remember. We are living in a day of harsh competition and unreasonably high expectations coming from many directions. Inherent in the message of peace is one of wisdom to not run faster than we have strength (see D&C 10:4). It is good to have plans, goals, and high expectations for ourselves. But when we experience tears, exhaustion, and feelings of depression, it may mean that we are self-imposing unrighteous expectations.

As we come to accept that perfection is a developmental process, something we learn “line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little” (2 Ne. 28:30), we can let go of guilt trips and over-complication of our lives. We can better understand the truly wondrous gift of the Atonement, which as Elder Bruce C. Hafen (BA ’66) has said, is not just to erase our mistakes, but to provide a way for us “to learn from our mistakes without being condemned by them.”3

By Janet S. Scharman

Annie Osmond
For The Family


NOTES

1. “There Is Hope and Help: Dealing with Depression” (presentation, BYU Women’s Conference, Provo, April 30, 2010).

2. “Our Strengths Can Become Our Downfall,” in Brigham Young University 1991–92 Speeches (Provo: BYU, 1992), pp. 107–8.

3. “A Disciple’s Journey,” in Brigham Young University 2007–08 Speeches(Provo: BYU, 2008), p. 300.


This essay is adapted from an October 2010 address by Janet S. Scharman,BYU vice president of student life. The full text is included in Virtue and the Abundant Life: Talks from the BYU Religious Education and Wheatley Institution Symposium (Deseret Book).

God Created Children

By on Oct 10 in Blog tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

GOD  CREATED  CHILDREN (AND  IN THE PROCESS GRANDCHILDREN)

the family

To  those of us who have children in our  lives, whether they are our  own, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, or  students…
here is something  to make you chuckle.

Whenever your  children are out of  control,
you can take comfort  from the thought that even God’s  omnipotence did not  extend to His own children.

After creating  heaven and earth, God created Adam and  Eve.

And the first thing he said  was

‘  DON’T !
the family

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‘Don’t what ? ‘Adam  replied.

‘Don’t  eat the forbidden fruit.’
God  said.


‘Forbidden fruit
?
We have forbidden fruit?

Hey Eve…we have forbidden fruit!


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‘  No Way
! ”Yes way!

‘Do  NOT eat the fruit! ‘said  God.

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‘Why? ‘

‘Because  I am your Father and I said so
!
God  replied,
wondering why He hadn’t  stopped
creation after making the elephants

A few minutes  later,
God  saw His children having an apple  break
and He was  ticked
!
‘Didn’t  I tell you not to eat the  fruit
? ‘God  asked.

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‘Uh  huh,’ Adam replied.


‘Then why did you
? ‘Said  the Father.

‘I don’t know,’ said Eve.
‘She started it
! ‘Adam  said.


‘Did  not
! ”Did  too ! ”DID  NOT !


Having  had it with the two of them, God’s  punishment was that Adam and Eve should  have children of their own.
Thus the  pattern was set and it has never  changed.


If  you have persistently and lovingly tried to give  children wisdom and they haven’t taken  it, don’t be hard on  yourself.

If God had trouble  raising children, what makes you think it would be a piece of cake for  you?

THINGS TO THINK  ABOUT
!

1.  You spend the first two years of their life teaching them to walk and talk. Then you spend the next sixteen telling them to  sit down and be quiet!


2. Grandchildren are God’s reward for not killing your own children.


3.  Mothers of teens now know why some animals eat their young.

4. Children seldom  misquote you.
In fact, they usually repeat word for word what you shouldn’t have  said


5.  The main purpose of holding children’s parties is to remind yourself that there are children more awful than your own.


6.  We childproofed our homes, but they are  still getting  in.

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ADVICE  FOR THE DAY:

Be nice to your  kids.
They will choose  your nursing home one day


AND  FINALLY:


IF YOU HAVE A LOT OF TENSION AND YOU GET A

HEADACHE, DO WHAT IT SAYS ON THE ASPIRIN
BOTTLE:

the family

‘TAKE TWO ASPIRIN’ AND ‘KEEP AWAY

FROM  CHILDREN’!!!!!

.

Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Matt. 5: 48

John Greenhaight
For The Family