In the Church, we seem to easily comprehend that Christ was “perfect”; but we are sometimes confused when we consider the commandment “be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father … in heaven is perfect.”1Here are some synonyms for perfect via thesaurus.com, and some clarifying quotes via general conference.
Synonyms for “perfect” include: finished, spotless, blameless, experienced, pure, ideal
“Brothers and sisters, every one of us aspires to a more Christlike life than we often succeed in living. If we admit that honestly and are trying to improve, we are not hypocrites; we are human. May we refuse to let our own mortal follies, and the inevitable shortcomings of even the best men and women around us, make us cynical about the truths of the gospel, the truthfulness of the Church, our hope for our future, or the possibility of godliness. If we persevere, then somewhere in eternity our refinement will be finished and complete—which is the New Testament meaning of perfection” 2—Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
“We … invite the ongoing companionship of the Holy Ghost as we worthily partake of the sacrament each Sabbath day: “And that thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from the world, thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments upon my holy day” (D&C 59:9).” 3—Elder David A. Bednar
“’Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day.’ (D&C 4:2.)
“We learn from this command that it is not enough to serve God with all of our might and strength. He who looks into our hearts and knows our minds demands more than this. In order to stand blameless before God at the last day, we must also serve him with all our heart and mind.
“Service with all of our heart and mind is a high challenge for all of us. Such service must be free of selfish ambition. It must be motivated only by the pure love of Christ.”4—President Dallin H. Oaks
“Our personal journey through life provides us with many special experiences that become building blocks of faith and testimony. These experiences come to us in vastly different ways and at unpredictable times. They can be powerful spiritual events or small enlightening moments. Some experiences will come as serious challenges and heavy trials that test our ability to cope with them. No matter what the experience may be, each gives us a chance for personal growth, greater wisdom, and, in many cases, service to others with more empathy and love. As the Lord stated to the Prophet Joseph Smith in a reassuring way during one of his most significant trials at Liberty Jail, ‘All these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good'”(D&C 122:7).5—Elder Ronald A. Rasband
“[I]t is possible for us to have clean hands but not have a pure heart. Please notice that both clean hands and a pure heart are required to ascend into the hill of the Lord and to stand in His holy place.
“Let me suggest that hands are made clean through the process of putting off the natural man and by overcoming sin and the evil influences in our lives through the Savior’s Atonement. Hearts are purified as we receive His strengthening power to do good and become better. All of our worthy desires and good works, as necessary as they are, can never produce clean hands and a pure heart. It is the Atonement of Jesus Christ that provides both a cleansing and redeeming power that helps us to overcome sin and a sanctifying and strengthening power that helps us to become better than we ever could by relying only upon our own strength. The infinite Atonement is for both the sinner and for the saint in each of us.”6—Elder David A. Bednar
“We know that many worthy and wonderful Latter-day Saints currently lack the ideal opportunities and essential requirements for their progress. Singleness, childlessness, death, and divorce frustrate ideals and postpone the fulfillment of promised blessings. In addition, some women who desire to be full-time mothers and homemakers have been literally compelled to enter the full-time work force. But these frustrations are only temporary. The Lord has promised that in the eternities no blessing will be denied his sons and daughters who keep the commandments, are true to their covenants, and desire what is right.
“Many of the most important deprivations of mortality will be set right in the Millennium, which is the time for fulfilling all that is incomplete in the great plan of happiness for all of our Father’s worthy children. We know that will be true of temple ordinances. I believe it will also be true of family relationships and experiences.”8—President Dallin H. Oaks
- Matthew 5:48
- Jeffrey R. Holland, “Be Ye Therefore Perfect—Eventually” Ensign or Liahona, Nov 2017.
- David A. Bednar, “That We May Always Have His Spirit to Be with Us” Ensign or Liahona, May 2006.
- Dallin H. Oaks, “Why Do We Serve?” Ensign or Liahona, Nov 1984.
- Ronald A. Rasband, “Special Experiences” Ensign or Liahona, May 2008.
- David A. Bednar, “Clean Hands and a Pure Heart” Ensign or Liahona, Nov 2007.
- M. Russell Ballard, “Be Anxiously Engaged” Ensign or Liahona, Nov 2012.
- Dallin H. Oaks, “The Great Plan of Happiness” Ensign or Liahona, Nov 1993.