‘Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.’ (Matthew 5:48)
Have you ever wondered what Jesus Christ meant when he told his disciples to be perfect as their Father in heaven was perfect?
Just last weekend was the Ward’s conference. The Stake President came to speak to us and I enjoyed and felt uplifted by his words. The theme of the conference was to be ye therefore perfect. At the end of his talk, the President gave the ward members a challenge; to spend one day in the next two weeks being perfect.
But is it possible to be perfect in this life? We know that through the atonement of Jesus Christ we will in the future be resurrected and at that time we will have the chance to perfect ourselves, but what about now? Personally I don’t think it is possible to be perfect in this world, our human makes this impossible.
As we walk through this life it is not unlikely that we will make mistakes. Many of those mistakes will be known to only ourselves and with God, thankfully. There is no one to apologize or to ask to be forgiven of, except God and once we have done so, we are told that our mistakes are forgiven us and God remembers them no more. But repenting and forgiveness is not always that easy and sometimes it can take many years.
Think of life as being a huge white sheet, be in paper or cloth or whatever material you would like it to be in. When we are born the sheet is clean, there are no marks on it because we have not sinned and cannot sin. However, once we reach the age of accountability, which with the LDS church is 8 years old, we begin to make little mistakes or sins. Every mistake is marked on the the sheet. It is unlikely that small will make any big mistakes that cannot be quickly rectified and the sheet cleaned, but we do not remain as little children.
As adults we can sometimes make mistakes that spread across out white sheet like a spilled glass of water, the quicker we try and mop the spillage the faster it seems to get away from us and so it is when we make huge mistakes. Some of these mistakes can take many years to mop up and even when we think we are done, we get a gentle reminder that we are not. Thankfully, eventually that white sheet will look clean again.
So, we can clean up the small mistakes easily and we can also clean up the big mistakes in time, so why do we need the atonement? The atonement is for all the little mistakes that we either don’t perceive at the time, or are so little that we forget about them quickly or for the infinitesimally, enable to to be seen by the naked eye, spots of mistakes that we thought we had cleaned up, but not quite.
These tiny spots that remain will in the eternities stop us from be perfect even as our Father in heaven is perfect, that is, if we didn’t have the atonement of Jesus Christ to fall back on. Through Christ’s death we have already been forgiven and have already been offered a completely white sheet, that only need to take from his hands, accepting Him as our Saviour and Redeemer.
This is why we cannot be perfect in this life and should only feel guilty unto repentance rather than unto feelings of no worth or low self-esteem. Besides we are loved by our Father in Heaven and his Son, Jesus Christ no matter how many mistakes we make, but that doesn’t mean we give up trying to be better than we are.