Latter-day Saint Life

The quote from Elder Kearon’s April 2022 conference talk I hope never leaves my heart

Elder Patrick Kearon of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles smiles at the Orem Utah Temple dedication in Orem, Utah, on Sunday, Jan. 21, 2024.
Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

The word perfect can be a loaded one. We want important days in our lives to go perfectly, but there are almost always hiccups. With all the best intentions, we might try to be perfect in our efforts to adopt a good new habit, but inevitably we may slip up a time or two. Or we slip into the trap of believing we must “earn” a blessing, or even love.

So, at least for me, perfect isn’t usually a comforting, reassuring word. On the contrary, it feels a bit stressful and daunting. Because of my history with the word, I was totally blown away when Elder Patrick Kearon used the word perfect in a way that was immediately comforting, reassuring, and even beautiful.

Elder Kearon was called as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on December 7, 2023. Before that call, he served as Senior President of the Seventy and had spoken in general conference three times. His most recent general conference talk was given in April 2022: “He Is Risen with Healing in His Wings: We Can Be More Than Conquerors.”

▶ You may also like: Get to know the newest Apostle, Elder Patrick Kearon

The entire talk is powerful; Elder Kearon encourages anyone who is the victim of abuse or oppression to find hope in Christ’s healing. His testimony is moving and emotional with sentiments like, “You are not defined by these terrible things that have been done to you. You are, in glorious truth, defined by your eternally existing identity as a son or daughter of God.” And “Our merciful Savior, victorious over darkness and depravity, has power to right all wrongs.”

But for me, the most moving moment is the final paragraph of the talk. I remember listening to it live during general conference and feeling shivers down my spine. I could only describe it as a mic-drop moment:

“Jesus specializes in the seemingly impossible. He came here to make the impossible possible, the irredeemable redeemable, to heal the unhealable, to right the unrightable, to promise the unpromisable. And He’s really good at it. In fact, He’s perfect at it.” (emphasis added).

And with that, I saw the word perfect in a whole new light.

Jesus Christ’s perfection is the most comforting, reassuring, beautiful truth in the world. Because He is perfect, we can trust Him wholeheartedly. Because He is perfect, He knows exactly how to heal even our deepest wounds. Because He is perfect, I will never run out of chances to grow and become a better version of myself. Because He is perfect, good will always triumph over evil in the end.

Now I see certain scriptures with the word perfect in a new light:

  • “Perfect love casteth out fear.” (1 John 4:18). Christ’s love is so perfect it can cast out our fears of inadequacy. 
  • “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul:” (Psalm 19:7). Heavenly Father and Christ’s plan is perfect for converting our souls to Them. We can trust the process. 
  • “Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope,” (2 Nephi 31:20). The hope Christ offers is perfect, unfailing, and never loses its brightness.  

I am grateful that general conference is right around the corner and look forward to raising my hand to sustain Elder Kearon as an apostle for the first time. And I hope that through the teachings of conference, we all feel reinvigorated to trust the Savior’s perfect, unfailing love.

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

General Conference Addresses, Journal Edition

Back again for the April general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the General Conference Addresses Journal Edition has all of the text of the April 2024 general conference addresses in one spiral-bound paperback. Extra-wide, lined margins give you space to record your impressions and to document the insights you receive. Create an enduring record to make the inspired teachings of general conference an ongoing part of your gospel learning. Available at Deseret Book and

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