LDS Quotes on Perfection

Elder Jeffery R. Holland of the LDS church

Our only hope for true perfection is in receiving it as a gift from heaven–we can’t “earn” it. Thus, the grace of Christ offers us not only salvation from sorrow and sin and death but also salvation from our own persistent self-criticism.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland  |  Be Ye Therefore Perfect--Eventually

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“If any of us are imperfect, it is our duty to pray for the gift that will make us perfect. Have I imperfections? I am full of them. What is my duty: To pray to God to give me the gifts that will correct these imperfections. If I am an angry man, it is my duty to pray for charity, which suffereth long and is kind. Am I an envious man? It is my duty to seek for charity, which envieth not. So with all the gifts of the Gospel. They are intended for this purpose. No man ought to say, ‘Oh, I cannot help this; it is my nature.’ He is not justified in it, for the reason that God has promised to give strength to correct these things, and to give gifts that will eradicate them.”

George Q. Cannon  |  Millennial Star, 23 Apr. 1894, 260

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“Above all the attributes of godliness and perfection, charity is the one most devoutly to be desired. Charity is more than love, far more; it is everlasting love, perfect love, the pure love of Christ which endureth forever. It is love so centered in righteousness that the possessor has no aim or desire except for the eternal welfare of his own soul and for the souls of those around him.”

Bruce R. McConkie  |  Mormon Doctrine, p. 121

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“One of the seven greatest heresies is that you must be perfect before you die.”

Bruce R. McConkie

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“That Jesus attained eternal perfection following his resurrection is confirmed in the Book of Mormon. It records the visit of the resurrected Lord to the people of ancient America. There he repeated the important injunction previously cited [to be perfect even as your Father in Heaven is perfect], but with one very significant addition. He said, “I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect.” This time he listed himself along with his Father as a perfected personage. Previously, he had not. Resurrection is requisite for eternal perfection. . . . Eternal perfection is reserved for those who overcome all things and inherit the fulness of the Father in his heavenly mansions. Perfection consists in gaining eternal life – the kind of life that God lives.”

Russell M. Nelson  |  Ensign, November 1994, p. 87

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“It has always been hard to recognize in fallible human beings the authorized servants of God. Paul must have seemed an ordinary man to many. Joseph Smith’s cheerful disposition was seen by some as not fitting their expectations for a prophet of God. “Satan will always work on the Saints of God to undermine their faith in priesthood keys. One way he does it is to point out the humanity of those who hold them. He can in that way weaken our testimony and so cut us loose from the line of keys by which the Lord ties us to Him.”

Elder Henry B. Eyring  |  "Faith and Keys," Ensign, Nov. 2004

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“We may be quite sure that Christ-centeredness and Christ-likeness will never be attained by our own unaided efforts. How can self drive out self? We could as well expect Satan to drive out Satan. We’re not interested in skin-deep holiness and a merely external resemblance to Jesus Christ. We’re not satisfied by a superficial modification of behavior patterns in conformity to some Christian subculture which expects this, commands that, and prohibits the other. No, what we long for is a deep inward change of character resulting from a change of nature and leading to a radical change of conduct. In a word, we want to be like Christ, and that thoroughly, profoundly, entirely. Nothing less than that will do.”

Robert Millet  |  1992 CES Symposium at BYU

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Joseph Smith Portrait

I told them I was but a man, and they must not expect me to be perfect; if they expected perfection from me, I should expect it from them; but if they would bear with my infirmities and the infirmities of the brethren, I would likewise bear with their infirmities.

Joseph Smith  |  History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Volume 5, Page 181

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“I know that those who use the cliche about the gospel being more “true” than the Church want the term gospel to mean a perfect system of revealed commandments based in principles that infallibly express the natural laws of the universe. But even revelation is, in fact, merely the best understanding the Lord can give us of those things. And, as God himself has clearly insisted, that understanding is far from perfect. He re­minds us, in the first section of the Doctrine and Covenants, “Behold, I am God and have spoken it; these commandments are of me, and were given unto my servants in their weakness, after the manner of their language, that they might come to understanding. And inasmuch as they erred it might be made known” (D&C 1:24-25). This is a remarkably complete and sobering inventory of the problems involved in putting God’s knowledge of the universe into human language and then having it understood. It should make us careful about claiming too much for “the gospel,” which is not the perfect principles or natural laws themselves—or God’s perfect knowledge of those things—but is merely the closest approximation that in­spired but limited mortals can receive.”

Eugene English  |  Why the Church Is As True As the Gospel

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Spencer W. Kimball Portrait

“Our vision is completely obscured when we have no mirror to hold up to our own faults and look only for the foibles of others. When we follow the instructions of the Lord, we are kept so busy perfecting ourselves that we come to realize that the faults of others are small in comparison.”

Spencer W. Kimball  |  The Miracle of Forgiveness

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