"Relief of poverty, relief of illness; relief of doubt, relief of ignorance--relief of all that hinders the joy and progress of a woman."
--John A Widtsoe

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Perfection Pending - Notes on Sister Hirama's First Sunday Lesson

Dear Sisters,

If you were unable to make it to Relief Society today (5 July) here's our notes on Sister Hirama's lesson.


Perfection Pending

From an Oct 1995 conference talk by  Elder Russell M Nelson

We are all familiar with Matthew 5:48.  Keeping the commandments can be a concern because we are not yet perfect.

We are all on our own journey towards perfection.

You do yourself no favours if you compare your journey to those of others. You are on your own journey. You can look to the positive examples of others, but do not compare yourself.

Two areas of reaching for perfection:  Mortal Perfection and Immortal (Eternal) Perfection.

Perfect: tendings towards being complete or finished.

Elder Nelson explained, "In Matt. 5:48, the term perfect was translated from the Greek teleios, which means “complete.” Teleios is an adjective derived from the noun telos, which means “end.” 10 The infinitive form of the verb is teleiono, which means “to reach a distant end, to be fully developed, to consummate, or to finish.” Please note that the word does not imply “freedom from error”; it implies “achieving a distant objective.” In fact, when writers of the Greek New Testament wished to describe perfection of behavior—precision or excellence of human effort—they did not employ a form of teleios; instead, they chose different words."

How can we obtain Mortal Perfection? By being perfect in little things. We can be perfect in tithing. We can be perfect in our prayers. We can be perfect in other areas, such as punctuality, for example. Have you done everything in your power to make the choices that move you to perfection?

Strive to do your best. You may not succeed every single time, but your rate of success will improve.

Put Heavenly Father first. Raise your sights.

The focus on our pending perfection is not that we are without error right now, but that we are striving to do our best in all things we have power over. Do not let the foibles of mortality deceive us from actively striving towards perfection.

Our weaknesses are to make us humble. Acknowledge that we have not yet completed the journey.

Perfection is a journey. We are either moving forward or moving backwards. If we are actively working to move forward towards perfection, we are on the good path. If we are not making any choices or even rebelling, we are moving backwards.

*Our Challenges -- these give us something to work on.
*Chastisement -- Whom the Lord loveth, he chasteneth (Hebrews 12:6). This gentle correction of the Lord helps us to recognise and overcome error.

We need to acknowledge our weaknesses and challenges, then we need to work on them.

Eternal Perfection

The Saviour is our example. We can do no greater thing than follow His examples.  Christ was not perfected until the third day of his crucifixion, when he was resurrected.

The ordinances of the Temple and the covenants we make are the path that takes us towards Eternal Perfection.

D&C 67:13  Continue in patience until ye are perfected.