Thursday, January 12, 2012

President Uchtdorf and (Im)Perfection

Over the past years I have enjoyed listening to talks by Elder Uchtdorf. Interestingly, it seems to me that a recurrent theme of his talks is perfection. Two of the three talks have been directed solely to women in the General Relief Society Conference. Perhaps these talks stand out to me because I am in need of their wisdom, but I suspect that the expectation of perfection (and resulting frustration from falling short) must be a pervasive problem amongst the women of the church, for it to receive such attention. In the mouth of three witnesses...: 

October 2008 "Happiness, Your Heritage"
"To me it appears that our splendid sisters sometimes undervalue their abilities—they focus on what is lacking or imperfect rather than what has been accomplished and who they really are."

October 2011 "Forget Me Not"
"I want to tell you something that I hope you will take in the right way: God is fully aware that you and I are not perfect.
"Let me add: God is also fully aware that the people you think are perfect are not.
"And yet we spend so much time and energy comparing ourselves to others—usually comparing our weaknesses to their strengths. This drives us to create expectations for ourselves that are impossible to meet. As a result, we never celebrate our good efforts because they seem to be less than what someone else does.
"Everyone has strengths and weaknesses."

2011 Christmas Address
“We have in our minds a picture of how everything should be—the perfect tree, the perfect lights, the perfect gifts, and the perfect family events. … [But] sooner or later, something unpleasant occurs … and the picture-perfect Christmas we had imagined, the magic we had intended to create, shatters around us.”  (Hmmm... I wonder if he reads my blog)

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