“Therefore I Would That Ye Should Be Perfect Even As I, or Your Father Who is in Heaven is Perfect”

Ed J. Pinegar, Richard J. Allen

The higher law is now given for us to live. The law of Moses is fulfilled in Christ. The higher law of celestial living is a law of the heart and soul. It is not a schoolmaster of specific behaviors but a law of living a Christlike life that we might become perfect. This is the charge: to become as He and His Father are. And we can, through Their grace and blessing (see 3 Nephi 27:27; Moroni 7:48). On this subject, President Gordon B. Hinckley has said:

This is the commandment which is before us. Regrettably we have not reached perfection. We have a great distance to go. We must cultivate the faith to reform our lives, commencing where we are weak and moving on from there in our work of self-correction, thus gradually and consistently growing in strength to live more nearly as we should.

With faith we can rise above those negative elements in our lives which constantly pull us down. With effort we can develop the capacity to subdue those impulses which lead to degrading and evil actions. (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1997], 430)

President Ezra Taft Benson has taught:

To walk in the steps of Jesus is to emulate His life and to look unto Him as our source of truth and example. Each of us would do well to periodically review His teachings in the Sermon on the Mount so that we are totally familiar with His way. In that sermon, one of the greatest of all sermons, we are told to be a light to others, to control our anger, to reconcile bad feelings with others before bringing gifts to the Lord, to love our enemy, to refrain from unholy and unvirtuous practices, to not allow lust to conceive in our hearts. We are further instructed how to pray, how to fast, and how to regulate our priorities. When these teachings are applied, Jesus said, we are like the wise man who built his house on a firm, solid foundation.

We, His disciples, must follow the way of the Master. He is our guide to happiness here and eternal life hereafter. Our success in life will be determined by how closely we learn to walk in His steps. (Come unto Christ [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1983], 37)

Commentaries and Insights on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 2