Perfectionism

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I’d like to explore the concept of perfectionism. Sally introduced the theme here. I think the topic of perfection requires much discussion and exploration.

Is perfectionism something that we just one day reach after much aspiration. Perhaps a loud ‘boing’ sound permeates the air and we are deemed perfect. This would assume that it is a state that cannot be added upon and to me that just seems uninspired.

At our enrichment meeting last week, the teacher was discussing goals and what deters us from attaining our resolutions. I made the observation that I think our desire for perfectionism often sabotages our goals. Que relief society president, rapid eye movement and uncomfortable squirming, “did she just say perfectionism sabotages us?” you could hear her brain screaming. I went on to say, “I think the worldy view of perfection is a dream killer, I think it assumes that turmoil or mess is bad. That any sin or hiccup in the process, tarnishes the effort and undermines the result.” Perfectionism assumes that every step we take MUST be the right one. If it is not, maybe you can achieve your goal, but poo poo on you, it wasn’t a perfect journey.

I’m curious to hear your thoughts, doctrinal quotes, etc, on the topic of perfection. I have opinions…but no answers…

7 thoughts on “Perfectionism

  1. this will be short, i will expound more later. i agree with you though. we expect that everything should be smooth and perfect because Christ was. I will have to look for this after but even He (who WAS perfect) didn’t describe Himself as so until He ascended to the Father after His death and resurrection. Sis Okasaki talks about this in her talk on Charity. We are supposed to strive for perfection in charity, the other is a life long effort with no rewards until the next life (at least not long term rewards, or big big ones, there are some smaller ones on the way).

    ok, now i am going to go back to being ill and trying to keep my baby from not tangling all the scripture tapes. not an easy task when i feel like death warmed over!

  2. I have a problem with the use of the word ‘perfect’ or ‘perfection’.

    ‘Perfect’ is not a word like ‘red’.

    When you say something is ‘perfect’ it does not serve to disambiguate a scenario.

    ‘Perfect’ is one of those words like ‘fair’. Everyone has their own version of it, and in some situations a ‘perfect’ result is only available to one of the participants.

    If one expects to lead a perfect life, I’d ask,”Perfect to whom?” or “Perfect in regard to what?”

  3. Do you think LDS women are more concered about being perfect than LDS men? I hear women talking about how they cannot be perfect and I don’t recall men talking about the need to be perfect.

  4. Mary…feel better!

    Rick…Can you design a t’shirt that says: ‘Perfect: is not a word like ‘red’ because I’d wear that every day.

    George…Yes, I think we are. I think it is a perception many attain to, unfortunately in very superficial ways.

  5. Nikki, coming from someone who’s mission in life is being perfect, it is a very hard road. I go overboard with myself and frustrated with myself when I can never seem to reach that goal I set for myself. Mary as you mentioned with charity, my blog is called Charity never faileth and right now I am doing a 21 day challenge with patience dealing with an inperfect world to someone who has to have everything perfect around her.

    George yes women as a whole not just LDS strive for that elusive perfectionism more then men do. Maybe they know it will never happen so they just do the best they can. But not women. We always think we can do it.

    Rick I would also wear that shirt every day. Although I promise to wash it at night when I took it off :)

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