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Questions Answered: The moment we make the Gospel covenant do we become perfect in Christ? Can the Lord, through the atonement, make us one with Him anytime immediately if we believe enough that he can? After some special experience with Christ can we be considered perfect in our sins? If we have made a covenant with Christ will we be judged jointly with Christ rather than individually? Does the phrase in scripture, “just men made perfect” refer to those who join with Christ in covenant alone?

Commentary

Through faith, repentance, and obedience to all commandments and ordinances of the gospel, we can eventually become one with Christ, as He is One with the Father.

Being perfect in Christ means that we become one with Him as He is one with the Father. We must be changed to become like them. This is not possible in this life, but we must strive with all our heart, might, mind and strength toward this end. If we do so we will continue to progress in the next life until we reach perfection. There is no other way; no shortcuts. If it weren’t for the Lord’s grace, this progression wouldn’t be possible.

Prophetic Statements

Joseph Fielding Smith

“Salvation does not come all at once; we are commanded to be perfect even as our Father in heaven is perfect. It will take us ages to accomplish this end, for there will be greater progress beyond the grave, and it will be there that the faithful will overcome all things, and receive all things, even the fulness of the Father’s glory. I believe the Lord meant just what he said: that we should be perfect, as our Father in heaven is perfect. That will not come all at once, but line upon line, and precept upon precept, example upon example, and even then not as long as we live in this mortal life, for we will have to go even beyond the grave before we reach that perfection and shall be like God.

But here we lay the foundation. Here is where we are taught these simple truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ, in this probationary state, to prepare us for that perfection. It is our duty to be better today than we were yesterday, and better tomorrow than we are today. Why? Because we are on that road, if we are keeping the commandments of the Lord, we are on that road to perfection, and that can only come through obedience and the desire in our hearts to overcome the world.”1

“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

I have heard many discourses upon that, with which I could not agree, not fully, because I believe the Lord meant just what he said, that we should be perfect, as our Father in heaven is perfect. That will not come all at once, but line upon line and precept upon precept, example upon example, and even then not as long as we live in this mortal life, for we will have to go even beyond the grave, before we reach that perfection and shall be like God.

But here we lay the foundation. Here is where we are taught these simple truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ, in this probationary state, to prepare us for that perfection. It is my duty, it is yours, to be better today than I was yesterday, and for you to be better today than you were yesterday, and better tomorrow than you were today. Why? Because we are on that road, if we are keeping the commandments of the Lord, we are on that road to perfection, and that can only come through obedience and the desire in our hearts to overcome the world. That is all.”2

“Not all of his children are worthy of celestial glory, and many areforced to suffer his wrath because of their transgressions, and thiscauses the Father and the whole heavens to have sorrow and to weep. TheLord works in accordance with natural law. Man must be redeemedaccording to law and his reward must be based on the law of justice.Because of this the Lord will not give unto men that which they do notmerit, but shall reward all men according to their works.” 3

Scripture

Alma 13:10-13, 20

Philippians 2:12

Alma 34:34-39

Mormon 9:27-29

Alma 5:14-33

Doctrine and Covenants 25:13-16

John 10:1

2 Nephi 9:38

Mosiah 15:26-27

Alma 11:32-37

Helaman 5:5-11

1 Nephi 10:20-22

3 Nephi 27:19-22

Moses 6:56-57

Matthew 5:48

1 John 3:2-6

Moroni 10:32-33

John 17:14-23

1 John 3:2-6

Moroni 10:32-33

D&C 50:24

D&C 76:69

Supporting Statements

Bruce R. McConkie

Speech – Our Relationship with the Lord

 

  1. Doctrines of Salvation 2:18
  2. Take Head to Yourselves p. 128
  3. JosephFielding Smith, Conference Report, April 1923, Third Day—MorningSession, p.137; cf. Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 3 vols., edited by Bruce R. McConkie, 2:, p.27

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