At the beginning of his address “Be Perfected in Him“, Elder Paul V. Johnson states “Our Heavenly Father and our Savior, Jesus Christ, have the power to save us and transform us. They can help us become as They are.” That’s as far as I got before pondering on that last sentence. Do I really want to become as God and Christ are?
Once I asked that question, others followed. If I look deep inside do I want to be like Them? Do I want to turn my life over to Them and be transformed? Am I willing to give control over to Them? Can I put my pride and selfishness aside and become what They know I can become? And finally, why is this so hard?
Sometimes in my life, I get melancholy and begin to look inward and ask myself questions such as these. I’m not sure why this is. I do know that when I start to ask these questions and take a look at my life, change is about to happen.
Change can be a scary thing. We like our comfort zone and usually will do everything we can to maintain the status quo. However, if we are to progress in life, spiritually or otherwise, change must occur.
We cannot, by ourselves, change into what God and Christ know we can be. We must allow them to change us. We cannot be forced to change. It is the one thing we do have control over in this life. We can allow them to change us.
Is change what I really want? This is the key question. Each of us must determine if it is what we want. In the premortal life, we made a decision to allow ourselves to be changed in order to receive a body and live this life. I do not remember how hard this decision was. I only know that I made the decision to come to Earth, experience mortality, and be tested to see if I was worthy to become as God and Christ are.
Have I made decisions that will allow Them to save and transform me? Yes. At seven I chose to listen to and believe the missionaries as they presented the plan of happiness. At age eight I decided to be baptized a member of the church. In college, I chose to ask God with a sincere heart and real intent to know again if the church was true and right. I made the decision to serve a mission. All of these decisions were the beginning of allowing the full changing of control to be turned over to God and Christ. Making covenants in the temple continued this path. Being sealed in the temple was another step. Having received all the ordinances and covenants, the steps towards allowing control are in keeping the covenants I have made. Finally, allowing God and Christ into my heart and life continue me on the path of giving them control over my transformation.
Answering the Question
Do I want to become as God and Christ are? Yes, I do! Elder Johnson tells us what will happen if we allow God and Christ to transform us. Quoting Moroni “Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, … and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ” (Moroni 10:32). This scripture tells us that we need to deny ungodliness and love God with everything we have. This allows us through Christ’s grace to become perfect and as They are. “His grace is sufficient for me. His grace is sufficient for you. His grace is sufficient for all who ‘labour and are heavy laden’ (Matthew 11:28)”
Elder Johnson also assures us that there is no question about whether or not Christ can transform us into perfect beings. “When we live according to His will, ‘relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save,’ (2 Nephi 31:19) there is a 100 percent guarantee of being cleansed by the Savior’s blood and eventually being perfected in HIm. He is ‘a God of truth, and [cannot] lie'(Ether 3:12).” There is no doubt that if we give ourselves over to God and Christ that they will deliver on their end.
The changes that are needed to perfect us will not be completed in this lifetime. This is why becoming as God and Christ are is a lifelong, and beyond, process. Our lives change, we change, and as we change we need to continue to allow for God and Christ to transform us. This is the only way we can become as They are.
It is good to ask questions of ourselves and understand our willingness to become as God and Christ are. Being willing to allow them into our hearts to affect change is a key component to this life. If we want to be as They are, we can only do it with them at the helm and through Their grace.