Today during my scripture study I kept coming across things that spoke to my issues with perfectionism. This is what I wrote in my study journal:
“The joyful news for anyone who desires to be rid of the consequences of past poor choices is that the Lord sees weaknesses differently than He does rebellion. Whereas the Lord warns that unrepented rebellion will bring punishment, when the Lord speaks of weaknesses, it is always with mercy.” – Elder Richard G. Scott
WHAT A BLESSING!! I struggle so much with my perfectionism, and this seems like the perfect answer. Obviously the most important piece of the puzzle is for me to lean on the Savior through the Atonement. But this also helps. When I openly choose to do bad things, it is going to be difficult to repent and it is rebellion. But when I just struggle and am truly trying to overcome my sins (some of the things I am thinking of are being short with my family members and allowing stress to dim my hope in the Savior), the Lord understands and will continue to bless me with strength and forgiveness as I strive to do better.
2 Nephi 4:17-19:
“Nevertheless, notwithstanding the great goodness of the Lord, in showing me his great and marvelous works, my heart exclaimeth: O wretched man that I am! Yea, my heart sorroweth because of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities.
“I am encompassed about, because of the temptations and the sins which do so easily beset me.
“And when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of my sins; nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted.”
I don’t love this to compare myself to Nephi per se, but I love what it means. It means that in Nephi’s own progression, he too has fallen short of the glory of God. We all have fallen short of that glory, and we all need the Atonement. I would imagine that he falls less short of it than I do, but that doesn’t actually matter. It doesn’t matter how I compare to my fellow man, how I stack up against their righteousness. It isn’t a competition to get into heaven – there isn’t a cutoff as to how many people are allowed inside. The only competition I have is myself and my own weaknesses, and I have the best trainer, the best support, available to me 24/7.