Staying True When Imperfections Show

There has only been one perfect life lived on this earth. That life was Jesus Christ’s. Everyone else has been imperfect and we would all do well to remember that. How does one stay true when others imperfections affect how we view, not only them, but the Church as a whole?

The image above is the chorus to “True to the Faith” (Hymns, 254). The hymn is a good reminder of staying true through the trials that occur. We stay true to our faith even when mistakes are made.


In “Be True to God and His Work”, Elder Quentin L. Cook quotes Heber C. Kimball:

Let me say to you, that many of you will see the time when you will have all the trouble, trial and persecution that you can stand, and plenty of opportunities to show that you are true to God and His work. … To meet the difficulties that are coming, it will be necessary for you to have a knowledge of the truth of this work for yourselves. The difficulties will be of such a character that the man or woman who does not possess this personal knowledge or witness will fall. If you have not got the testimony, live right and call upon the Lord and cease not [until] you [attain] it. If you do not you will not stand. … The time will come when no man nor woman will be able to endure on borrowed light. Each will have to be guided by the light within himself. … If you don’t have it you will not stand; therefore seek for the testimony of Jesus and cleave to it, that when the trying time comes you may not stumble and fall.

Life of Heber C. Kimball, Orson F. Whitney, pg. 450

As the time of the second coming of Jesus Christ gets closer, the strength of one’s testimony must increase. As children, we trusted our parents and their testimonies. We relied on “borrowed light” to help us understand the truth of the gospel. As we mature, we are taught to gain our own testimony to the truthfulness of the gospel.

But how does one get that testimony? What mechanism is employed to go from “borrowed light” to having light of our own? President Nelson in the April 2018 General Conference gave us the answer: “But in coming days, it will not be possible to survive spiritually without the guiding, directing, comforting, and constant influence of the Holy Ghost.” The Holy Ghost is the mechanism through which we not only obtain a testimony of the gospel, but also strengthen it. The ability to recognize the influence of the Holy Ghost becomes paramount to our spiritual strength.

When I was seventeen, I received a testimony of the gospel by the power of the Holy Ghost. I’ve relayed the story, but now I want to relay the feeling I had and how that feeling has changed over time.

During my prayer in my dorm room I got goose bumps all over my body and a warmth through out. I felt it from the top of my head to the tips of my toes. It’s kind of hard to describe, but over the next several years that is how the Holy Ghost bore witness to me of truth.

Over time, the Holy Ghost has communicated with me in different ways. I no longer need a full body tingling to know that the Holy Ghost is there. The best example is when I’m driving to places I frequent. I normally have a set route that I take to these places. On occasion however, I get a feeling to go an alternate way. When that feeling comes, I know it’s the Holy Ghost guiding me. It’s a little thing, and I don’t usually find out why I’m to go another way, but I’ve learned to listen and follow that prompting.

Staying True

In John chapter six, there is an example of staying true to Christ and His gospel. Here are the verses:

From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.

John 6:66-69

Societal pressure and Christ’s teachings of His gospel caused people to falter in their beliefs. Peter, on the other hand, had a strong testimony and when the Savior tried that testimony, he answered with his testimony of who Christ was.

In today’s world there are societal pressures that can lead us to walk away from the gospel of Jesus Christ. There are also the imperfections of men and mistakes that are made that can affect us. In each of these instances, the strength of our testimony is tried. The Lord wants to see if we are willing to stay true to the gospel, or if we will be carried away when the wind shifts direction.

This even holds true when we learn of mistakes made that are part of the Church’s administration. In “Be One” I make mention of the practice of “snippet snatching”. This practice likes to take things out of context. Another similar practice is to only take one side’s version of events as the truth. We see this when people want to take the accuser’s side and dismiss anything that the accused says.

Do mistakes happen at all levels of the church? Yes, they do. This is because we are imperfect beings. Sometimes we make mistakes while trying to do the right thing. When that occurs, repentance is needed, righting the wrong takes place and forgiveness is obtained.

“I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men” (Doctrine and Covenants 64:10). For me, this means that when a mistake occurs at various levels, and an explanation is given, I am to forgive. The Church doesn’t stop being God’s Church because of mistakes that aren’t meant to lead the children of God astray. The history of the gospel, not just in the restoration, shows that even the best of men make mistakes. The gospel endures. These are the moments when we are asked “Will ye also go away?”. My answer has and always will be Peter’s response “To whom shall [I] go?”. For I know that this Church has the words of eternal life. It is Christ who leads it and guides it.


Staying true to the gospel of Jesus Christ when men make mistakes is vital to our returning to Heavenly Father. We are all imperfect and must obtain and maintain strong testimonies so that we can endure the “difficulties that are coming”. We must have the Holy Ghost’s “guiding, directing, comforting, and constant influence.” We cannot subsist on “borrowed light” and must be willing to call on God to show us the truth and help us to follow Him who is “the way, the truth, and the life.

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