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Failing on the Path to Perfection

Why keep trying if we just keep failing? BYU’s new president, Kevin J Worthen, explains the surprising role failure can play in our quest for perfection.

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In a January 2015 devotional, Brigham Young University president Kevin J Worthen addresses the tricky relationship between perfection and failure.

Jesus Christ taught us to strive for perfection: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matt. 5:48). However, as President Worthen states, there is “a truth that is hard to deny, yet difficult to accept. It is this: We will all fail. More than once. Every day.”

So why should we keep trying if we are just doomed to fail? We try because we can make mistakes and still reach perfection. Heavenly Father provided the Atonement of Jesus Christ so that even though we fail, we can still succeed in our journey.

President Worthen points out that our failures might actually be necessary to our quest: “There are certain things, some of them essential to our exaltation, that we can learn only through experience. . . . And one of the best ways we can fully learn those essential lessons is by failing in our efforts.”

Our path to perfection is a difficult road, and we all trip and fall at times. What is important is that we continue to try and that we have faith that the Atonement of Jesus Christ will lift us back up. By falling and getting back up, we allow the Savior to bless us on our path to perfection.

Read President Kevin J Worthen’s article, “Successfully Failing: Pursuing Our Quest for Perfection.”

Source: BYU Speeches

—Jessica Staples, Mormon Insights

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  1. I love this! It really captures the idea that while we must eventually achieve perfection, right now, we need to focus on progression. I am also comforted that Heavenly Father loves us despite our shortcomings. I am grateful that our gospel is one of second chances and that we can try again each day to be better.

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