Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Becoming Is More Important Than Doing

“The suggestion here is clear: one can be a worthy LDS woman without living up all the time to the Mormon church’s ideal vision of woman … Writing such a laudatory biography of an ancestor who sometimes lapsed, I believe, permits a contemporary woman to be more tolerant of her own lapses, recognizing – if only subliminally – that a woman does not have to be perfect to be worthy of praise and honor.”

I love this quote, because I think it reflects so well the core foundation of the Gospel - hard work coupled with an understanding that our failures in our efforts to become perfect are less important than the effort itself. What we become is more important than what we do.


funnysoprano said...

I want so badly to forgive myself for those lapses. They seem to happen so often, yet I respond with guilt every time. It is definitely a trait that needs learning

Ramona Gordy said...

Have you had a chance to read a talk by Sister Beck? "And Upon my Handmaids in those days Will I pour out my spirit? I am a new convert,and I have been attending church for almost 3 yrs. I must say that being a member of this church is awesome and then quite overwhelming. At times I feel hopelessly inadequate because I feel that I don't measure up. I don't have the history,the family background,or what ever. These are things that I realize that I probably won't measure up to my own standards,but I recall a revelation to Emma Smith where she was counseled to seek for better things. I love this quote from Sister Beck's talk,maybe you have read it too, but when I read it and take it to heart,the Spirit bears witness to me that we are our Fathers beloved sons and daughters and He is well pleased in us.

Measuring Success
"Good women always have a desire to know if they are succeeding. In a world where the measures of success are often distorted, it is important to seek appreciation and affirmation from proper sources. To paraphrase a list found in Preach My Gospel, we are doing well when we develop attributes of Christ and strive to obey His gospel with exactness. We are doing well when we seek to improve ourselves and do our best. We are doing well when we increase faith and personal righteousness, strengthen families and homes, and seek out and help others who are in need. We know we are successful if we live so that we qualify for, receive, and know how to follow the Spirit. When we have done our very best, we may still experience disappointments, but we will not be disappointed in ourselves. We can feel certain that the Lord is pleased when we feel the Spirit working through us. Peace, joy, and hope are available to those who measure success properly"“And upon the Handmaids in Those Days Will I Pour Out My Spirit”Julie B. Beck :Relief Society General President

ji said...

In D&C 117:12-15, the Lord is speaking of Oliver Granger -- but in the spirit of likening the scriptures unto ourselves, we might try reading these verses with our own names.

v.13 "Therefore, let him [or her] contend earnestly for the redemption of ... my Church, saith the Lord; and when he [or she] falls he [or she] shall rise again, for his [or her] sacrifice shall be more sacred unto me than his [or her] increase, saith the Lord. v.15 Therefore let no man despise my servant [fill-in your name here], but let the blessings of my people be on him [or her] forever and ever.

Papa D said...

funnysoprano, there is a fine line between guilt that motivates repentance ("sorrow unto salvation") and guilt that motivates discouragement and depression and giving up ("sorrow unto damnation"). The key to me is the hope we have in Christ Jesus - that he has paid for us (everything that would keep us separated from God) as long as we strive to do our best. Iow, our lapses are forgiven if we continue to strive to be faithful.

RGG, I agree with Sister Beck - with only one "disclaimer". Some people who suffer from depression or simply have a hard time feeling and recognizing the Spirit might read that quote and believe that they aren't good enough if they don't know they are "successful" in that way. With that one disclaimer, thanks for sharing her quote.

ji, that's a great promise - and it highlights the fine line I walk when I talk of doing and becoming. It's critical to "do" - but it's more critical to do in a way that enables growth and "becoming". Rote, checklist, blind doing isn't obedience to the higher law, since that would have qualified us under Lucifer's plan. We have to choose to do through faith in becoming.

You probably agree with that; I just wasn't sure with only the passage you quoted.