Follow the Prophets

Elder Bednar’s recent explanation of perfection will help set your mind at ease

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Forming a heart with his hands, Elder David A. Bednar acknowledges the missionaries and new mission leaders as he leaves the June 24, 2022, devotional at the Provo Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah.
Intellectual Reserve.

Recently on social media Elder David A. Bednar wrote,

“When we read or hear the admonition ‘be ye therefore perfect’ (Matthew 5:48), we may think it means to make no mistakes. But such a level of performance simply is not possible.”

So what is possible? Elder Bednar next shared this quote from President Russell M. Nelson’s conference address “Perfection Pending”:

“In Matt. 5:48, the term perfect was translated from the Greek teleios, which means 'complete.' Teleios is an adjective derived from the noun telos, which means 'end.' The infinitive form of the verb is teleiono, which means 'to reach a distant end, to be fully developed, to consummate, or to finish.'

“Please note that the word does not imply 'freedom from error'; it implies 'achieving a distant objective.’ . . . The perfection that the Savior envisions for us is much more than errorless performance. It is the eternal expectation as expressed by the Lord in his great intercessory prayer to his Father—that we might be made perfect and be able to dwell with them in the eternities ahead.”

Elder Bednar reminded us that we can rely on God’s grace to help us be “just a little better today than we were yesterday, and a little better tomorrow than we are today.” He ended his post with this invitation:

“I invite you to look for the Lord’s hand in your life helping you to be better every day in the journey of becoming ‘complete.’”

▶ You may also like: Elder and Sister Soares answer a question on perfectionism in the best way

Read the full post below.

The Spirit of Revelation

In this landmark book, Elder Bednar outlines several principles of revelation, then provides a host of examples in which we can observe these principles in action for ourselves. As we come to recognize the role of revelation in our lives, we can move forward in confidence that the Lord is guiding our steps. As Elder Bednar writes, "If we are striving to be and become good—not perfect right now, but gradually getting better,...then indeed we can have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. We are not 'preparing to receive revelation'; we are 'living in revelation.'" Available at Deseret Book and

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