Be Ye Therefore Perfect

K. Douglas Bassett

D&C 93:11-14, 20, 26-28; Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 345-346; History of the Church, Smith, 6:306-307; Doctrines of Salvation, Smith 2:36; Miracle of Forgiveness, Kimball, pp. 208-209; Companion to Your Study of the Book of Mormon, Ludlow, p. 267; Conference Report, Apr. 1953, pp. 110-111; Journal of Discourses 2:129-130; refer in this text to 3 Ne. 27:27

“C. S. Lewis … had this to say … ‘The command Be ye perfect is not idealistic gas. Nor is it a command to do the impossible. He [Christ] is going to make us creatures that can obey that command. He said (in the Bible) that we were ‘Gods’ and He is going to make good His words. If we let Him—for we can prevent Him, if we choose—He will make the feeblest and filthiest of us into a god or goddess, a dazzling, radiant, immortal creature, pulsating all through with such energy and joy and wisdom and love as we cannot now imagine, a bright stainless mirror which reflects back to God perfectly (though, of course, on a smaller scale) His own boundless power and delight and goodness. The process will be long and in parts very painful; but that is what we are in for. Nothing less. He meant what He said’ (Mere Christianity, p. 172). The command ‘Be ye … perfect’ (Matt. 5:48) is not one that can be executed overnight, or even by the end of mortality. It takes much, much longer to overcome all our mortal weaknesses… . Even if we subscribed to the possibility of becoming perfect in mortality, … the pathway to perfection is just too long, the time to walk it exceeding whatever our allotted years in mortality may be.” (Alexander B. Morrison, Ensign, Apr. 1995, p. 42)

Latter-Day Commentary on the Book of Mormon