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Part of the series on the

Miracle of Forgiveness
1 Nephi 3:7
2 Nephi 25:23
Moroni 10:32
Merit, earning, and worthiness
Personal worthiness

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[edit] Is perfection attainable in this life?

[edit] Affirming

[edit] Denying

I have a friend who always asks at about this point, "But when have I done enough? How can I know that I've made it?" This misunderstands the doctrine of grace by asking the wrong question. The right question is "When is my offering acceptable to the Lord? When are my efforts accepted for the time being?" You see, the answer to the former question, "When have I done enough?" is never in this life. Since the goal is perfection, the Lord can never unconditionally approve an imperfect performance. No matter how much we do in mortality, no matter how well we perform, the demand to do better, the pressure to improve and to make progress, will never go away. We have not yet arrived.

Then what does it mean to be perfect? And why are we commanded in the scriptures to be perfect? (See Matt. 5:48; 3 Ne. 12:48.) Actually, I dislike the word perfect because it is often misused. I frequently wince when I hear it in talks or lessons, because more often than not it is used with its philosophical meaning of "unimprovable," and this is almost never its scriptural meaning. Latter-day Saints believe in eternal progress. No one can ever be "unimprovable" in the ultimate sense. Rather, to be perfect in this life is to enter into the covenant of the gospel and receive perfection-in-Christ.

[edit] Other notable quotes

[edit] Notes

  1. John A. Widtsoe, Conference Report, October 1925, Afternoon Session, p.139
  2. Joseph F. Smith, Jr., Conference Report, April 1915, Third Day—Morning Session, p.120
  3. Elder Reed Smoot, Conference Report, April 1935, Second Day—Morning Meeting, p.55
  4. William H. Bennett, "Our Goal Is Perfection", Ensign, November 1976, p.29. Available online here.
  5. Sterling W. Sill, Conference Report, October 1962, Second Day—Morning Meeting, p.38
  6. Mark E. Petersen, Conference Report, April 1950, p.153

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[edit] Non-Mormon

[edit] Mormon

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