As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, do we have it in us to be “saints”?
In 2018, President Russell M. Nelson announced a renewed focus on using the Church’s full name: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Of course, it’s important to emphasize that Jesus Christ is the focus of the Church, but what about the word saints? What does it mean to be a saint? Many people may believe that to be a saint is to be perfect—something that seems far out of reach.
Elder Dale G. Renlund expounded on the term saint in a general conference talk entitled “Latter-day Saints Keep on Trying.” In the talk, Elder Renlund quotes Nelson Mandela: “I am not a saint—unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.” Rather than being perfect, an honest effort to follow Christ is required to become a saint. If we truly try to be good, we can be saints, no matter how many mistakes we’ve made. Elder Renlund explains, “God cares a lot more about who we are and who we are becoming than about who we once were.”
Just as we don’t need to be perfect, it’s important to remember that others won’t be perfect either. Sadly, because people aren’t perfect, they may do things that hurt us. What should we do in response? We can be forgiving and help them in their efforts to become better. Elder Renlund says, “As we try, persevere, and help others to do the same, we are true Latter-day Saints.” We don’t have to be perfect—at least not yet. We can all be imperfect saints together.
—Anna Canlas, Mormon Insights
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Find more insights
Read President Nelson’s talk “Thus Shall My Church Be Called,” which he gave in 1990, when he was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
For tips on accepting imperfection, read the article “Finding Peace in Imperfection,” by Elizabeth Lloyd Lund.