Sunday, November 28, 2010

PERFECT

I am NOT perfect.

Can I be? 
Now there is something to ponder!
And when?

As we look forward to the time Jesus Christ will return to earth - a time of prophesied peace - Paul counsels all that seek to obey the command to be perfect found in the New Testament (and as taught by Jesus in the Book of Mormon), regarding their choices and resources amid the extreme wickedness that will prevail.  In 1984 Ezra Taft Benson, taught that 'Paul also saw our day' and in 1995 Boyd K. Packer said that the time Paul is referring to is now.

I am contemplating what Paul taught.

He explains that "all scripture [instructions given by inspiration] ... is profitable ..." and lists 3 specific things it is 'profitable' for: doctrine, reproof for correction, and instruction for righteousness.

I can study and ponder the scriptures given long in the past and the words prophets are giving us today. They will teach me true doctrine, help me make course corrections AND comfort me when things are difficult or discouraging by helping me learn and understand what to do and when to do the things that I should do to be more like my Father - my Heavenly Father.

 Mathew 5:48 specifically commands us each to be perfect like our Father in Heaven is perfect. How is he perfect? In the footnotes the Greek meaning for perfect is to be complete, finished, fully developed.

[I am grateful for scriptures that are so readily available - words of both ancient and modern prophets in my home, or car, and even at my fingertips as searchable documents any time, any where.]

A footnote for 'perfect' in verse 48 directs me to revelation given to Joseph Smith,  Doctrine and Covenants 67: 13. I paraphrase in parts, "[I am] not able to abide the presence of God now, neither the ministering of angels; wherefore [I must] continue in patience until [I am] are perfected."

I feel a sudden sadness, even despairing hopelessness but then I remember the word's of Paul. I think on scripture stories of men and women, girls and boys that were able to 'abide' seeing God and/or angels.  My ancestors knew Joseph Smith as a human being, like me. HE was able to 'abide' the presence of God and ministering angels ...

In Mathew chapter 5 verses 44 and 45 Jesus teaches us to love our enemies,  (blessing those that curse us, doing good to them that hate us, and praying for them that despitefully use us and persecute us) so that we, as children, can be more like our Father which is in Heaven.

A footnote on the words 'may be' in Verse 45 indicates that a Greek translation would be 'may become'.

I like that -
I may become like our Father in Heaven -
I am His child.

How am I like my dad?
What ways do I wish I were more like him or less like him?

My father here in this life is a good man and although not perfect nevertheless is an rather excellent example. He keeps working at being better every day.  That is one way I hope I am like my father: he tries to be the best he knows how to be; continuing to learn, gain knowledge of good things, and become better - changing to be better.   

Our Father in Heaven IS perfect.
He lives within the knowledge he has.

2 Timothy 3 enlightens me a little more as Paul warns those trying to perfect themselves, in this manner, about 'perilous times'.  I think if you were to read it you would understand it differently that I have.  I think it would warn and/ or comfort and teach you in things you need to know.  Romans 2 is the same.  Paul teaches me that it is not the outward appearance of my actions that will help me to be able to become like my father but rather the inward desires that are in my heart and mind. As a reformed and converted anti-Christian Paul should know!

Apparently I can become perfect -

it will be an ongoing process -

so can you -

IF we want to.