Perfection

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Larry Bates, one of the posters on this blog, sent me a handout from the 2000 CES Conference. The handout is an article by D. Lynn Johnson entitled “Be Ye Therefore Perfect”.

The article did not say much more on the topic of perfection than what I already knew, but it did make me reflect on two scriptures that were brought up in the Was Jesus Sinless comments.

Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. (Matt. 5:48)

Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect. (3 Ne 12:48)

Since Jesus did not use Himself as an example of perfection in the Sermon on the Mount, but did as a resurrected being to the Sermon at Bountiful, one is left to wonder if the perfection of which he spoke is even something attainable in this life.

I wonder if Jesus is not talking about a perfection in the way we live, but rather if He is talking about perfection in an ante-mortal sense. Obviously, He must be referring to something more than simple immortality since all receive it and He said we should strive to become perfect like the Father, and then later like Him. Perhaps then, the perfection of which He speaks is that state we achieve once we receive a celestial body.

In that regard, becoming perfect is about living a life for which we will be rewarded with a glorified, celestial body.

2 thoughts on “Perfection

  1. I have been told that Jesus did not use himself as an example of perfection in Matthew, but did so in 3 Nephi, because in Matthew he had not yet been resurrected and exalted, like his Father was, but in 3 Nephi that was then the case. In short, we cannot become perfect, like the Father, in this life, because our mortal condition is a perfect barrier to this, but the closest we can get to this will be adequate in attaining that state, through the grace of Christ.

    I wish I could document that.

  2. One other thing to remember is that, in the Synoptic gospels, Jesus often deflects questions as to whether he is the Messiah (scholars call this the “hidden messiah” subtext), and only reveals such things to his inner circle of disciples. It would have been out of character, then, for him to announce himself as a standard of perfection to the audience of, for instance, the Sermon on the Mount.

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