“The scriptures tell us to be perfect. How can I do that?” New Era, Mar. 2014, 39
What was the Savior asking of us when He said, “Be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect” (3 Nephi 12:48)?
In the scriptures, perfect means “complete, whole, and fully developed; totally righteous. … True followers of Christ may become perfect through his grace and atonement.”1
Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has taught that perfection in this life “can be achieved as we try to perform every duty [and] keep every law. … If we do the best we can, the Lord will bless us according to our deeds and the desires of our hearts.”2
Now, the Savior did not say that being perfect means never making mistakes. He also did not say that making a mistake means that perfection is out of reach. We can repent.
According to President Lorenzo Snow (1814–1901), the key to perfection in this life is to “be better today than you were yesterday. … Continue to be a little better day by day.”3