I don’t have to be perfect! That’s it! That’s the Tweet, Post, Picture, Dance, Status, etcetera. Elder Wilcox reminds us of this in his talk “Worthiness Is Not Flawlessness“. He talks about several messages that are misunderstood, including worthiness.
What Is Worthiness?
“Worthiness is being honest and trying” states Elder Wilcox. President Nelson has said “The Lord loves effort.” Therefore in order to be worthy, we must be trying and putting in an effort.
What qualifies as “trying and putting in an effort”? For me, it’s a continual process of trying to be better. Am I doing the things that will draw me closer to God even though I’m not perfect? Or am I going through the motions and trying to get credit by checking the boxes?
This effort includes the Primary Answers. It also includes recognizing my faults and failings. Once recognized it means repenting and trying to change while remembering that change takes time. You can’t eat an elephant in one bite and some habits you can’t change overnight. However, you can set small goals and strive towards them in order to change a bad habit. I know from experience that this works and have used that formula in my own life.
There has only been one perfect person to ever live on this earth. That person is Jesus Christ. He has stated, “Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect” (3 Nephi 12:48).
He wants us to become perfect as He is, but He does NOT expect us to be perfect right now. Perfection is a goal that we are pursuing. We won’t achieve it in this life, but we can move on the path to perfection.
We move on that path by keeping the commandments and honoring our covenants. This is why President Nelson keeps talking about the Covenant Path and imploring us to stay on it.
“Some mistakenly receive the message that God is waiting to help until after we repent. God’s message is that He will help us as we repent. His grace is available to us ‘no matter where we are in the path of obedience’ [(Elder Christofferson)].” Think of it this way. God follows our timeline. He sees everything we post. All of our thoughts and actions are known to Him. He knows where we are at all times. Even when we are facing away from Him, He follows us. And when we are ready to turn towards Him, He is right there waiting with open arms and all the help and love we need.
I don’t have to be perfect. I do have to try. I have to put in the effort to keep the commandments and honor my covenants. I also am not alone in my journey. None of us are alone in our journey. God is right there if we will reach out to Him. And one day I hope to become perfect and hope we all can become perfect, even as He and Christ are.