Wow, I cannot believe how fast the time flies by. I have almost been here in Mexico for 3 months, padre verdad? (padre=cool).
Ok, so I found this really sweet quote by President Lorenzo Snow (modern day prophet) that really blew me away when I read it:
"It is our duty to be perfect...to improve each day, and look upon our course last week and do things better this week; do things better today than we did them yesterday."
Profound right? When I first read this, I was kind of like, "ok, I think he meant to say that it is our duty to TRY to be perfect. Nobody can actually achieve it, so it is kind of harsh to say that we have the responsiblity to BE PERFECT" But after more pondering on this subject of perfection, I realized that what the Prophet Snow said is true. And it is not just something that our leaders have told us, but it is actually a commandment directly from God. In 3 Nephi 12:48 (Book of Mormon]), the Savior told his people to "be thou perfect as I, or thy Father which is in the heaven is perfect." (sorry, I am translating this verse from spanish to english, so it is not exact, but you get the picture) (see also Mathew 5:48, The Holy Bible).
Ok, so it is a commandment to be perfect, but what I said earlier is true -- nobody can actually achieve perfection in this life. So if, to follow the Savior, we are supposed to keep the commandments, and it is a commandment to be perfect, but we can never actually fulfill our end of the bargain, we are kind of in a pickle arent we? . It is a little bit like trying to eat ice cream with a numb tongue after going to the dentist. You know the ice cream tastes good, but no matter how much licking you do, you still cant taste the sweetness, plus you have a sugary mess all over your face. And after spending the time to finish the ice cream, you are left feeling unsatisfied. It is the same thing in this case. We all know that perfection is a great thing, and we can try as hard as we can in life to achieve it, but no matter how much effort we put in, we are left with the knowledge that we can never, ever attain perfection, and we have that same feeling of unsatisfaction. And, if we are not careful, we will end up in the "sugary mess" of doing so many good things to the point that we feel we have done too much and don’t want to try anymore.
So what are we to do? Just keep trudging along? Yes. And no...like President Snow said, it is our DUTY to be perfect, so we can never stop in the attempt, however, we also need to realize that alone, we can never accomplish perfection, but If God commanded us to be perfect, he also gave us a way to fulfill his commandment (see 1 nephi 3:7, The Book of Mormon). And this way is through our Savior, Jesus Christ. With him, we achieve all things, even perfection. So, if we do as President Snow (and the scriptures) have told us, and keep attempting to be perfect by doing better today than we did yesterday, Christ will step in and help us do what we cannot do alone.
Here in Mexico, I have had innumberable moments of discouragement because I have realized just how much I am unable to do, but I have begun to learn a very important lesson in regards to my own inadequacy and the grace of Jesus Christ. He is called our Savior for a reason, right? He will always be there to save us when we need him and to help us make up for the things we cannot do alone.
Mexico is amazing. I love every single day I am here, and I am so grateful for this opportunity to be here as a representative of Jesus Christ.
Con Amor, Hermana Jones