I'm sorry I missed last Thursday! I've been trying to think of what I should write about, and keep thinking that nothing is good enough. The very thing I wanted to write about was that the idea of perfection is sometimes a daunting requirement of us that hinders our progress, and here I am thinking my posts won't ever be good enough so I shouldn't write anything at all!
It is the same with feeling like we have to be perfect spiritually. Thinking that we have to BE perfect ourselves is so overwhelming, it often brings about a hopeless feeling that we will never make it, and we can never be close enough, so we might as well not try.
I learned a very valuable lesson about what it means to be perfect just a few months ago after attending Education Week at BYU. It was an amazingly spiritual week full of renewed dedication to be better, but very daunting at the same time to know that I will make mistakes, and I will always fall short, no matter how much I want to do better. One evening, after a day full of classes, I went back to where I was staying and just started praying where I could be alone.
I had waited after one of the speakers talks to tell him thank you, and he said some words to me that I felt were coming straight from Heavenly Father just for me. At that moment I realized God was using a good man to get through to me. I knew that God loved me, and I could feel it coming from this man because of his worthiness to have the spirit with him.
And I wondered how amazing it would be if I could have that same spirit in me, that I might share God's love with others... that he might work through me to reach out to others. I finally understood in that moment what it means to be "ONE" with Him. As I met with that speaker, he represented the Savior himself, because he was able to get himself out of the way and let the Savior speak through him. I wanted to remove myself so that others might see the Savior instead of me. That they might see His acts, His mercy, that He might dwell IN me, that I do only His will and not mine, that He lives vicariously through me.
When I think of President Monson, and how many times he has listened to the spirit telling him to bless the life of ONE person, I truly feel that the Savior is working vicariously through the Prophet. That He is doing exactly what Christ would do if He were on the earth, and if ALL of us would let Christ work through us, there would be so many of Him and His work would be done.
I realized that if I could just give myself up completely that He might take my place, that he might replace me, that I could lose myself and find Him in me, and that we together would be ONE, and the Father ONE in us because I have given up myself that others might look at me and see the Savior instead. That they would see His light in my eyes, feel his love in my arms, hear his words from my mouth. And that's what He means when he wants us to be ONE with Him. That we let Him INSIDE us, and we get ourselves out of the way.
And if I can get myself out of the way- my sinful, flawed self, and replace it with Him, THEN can I be perfect because I am one with Christ, and He is inside me, and I've given up all of the flawed and imperfect me.
So I don't have to be perfect by myself. I just have to get myself out of the way and let Him In- His spirit to be inside me, and we can together be perfect because He is taking my place.
I hope this makes sense because I tried to type an entire night of inspiration into one little page. But it was amazing to me, and I wanted to share it with you.