Stop trying to perfect yourself. You cannot do it. Ever.

There is a myth prevalent among members of the Church.  It is that if you try hard enough you can make yourself perfect.  Wring every ounce of selfishness and lust and laziness from your being, it asserts, and then you will be worthy of God’s love, light, and goodness.  It is an absolute and pernicious lie.  Of course sin will never bring peace; and peace is what each of us seeks after we pull back the veneer of both false doctrine and understanding.  But the truth is that only God can make anybody pure.  We use a word to describe the process of becoming pure: sanctification.  How does one become sanctified?  By yielding your heart to God.  Once you give up trying to perfect yourself (which is trying to put yourself in the place of God), and give up your own desire to make something of yourself (the great lie of our day), and truly want to do only what God wants you to do, then He will sanctify you in his own time and own way.  The only way to gain all is to give up your own life and turn to God.

“Nevertheless they did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God.” (Helaman 3:35 )

The same goes for charity.  You cannot “charitize” yourself no matter how hard you try. You can ask God, and if you do so with all your heart, He can bless you with the gift of charity.  Seriously.

“Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.”  (Moroni 7:48)

You can’t make anything good of yourself.  Give up.  Stop trying.  Turn your heart over to God and He can/will make something good of you.  Trying to do it yourself leads to frustration, pain, and grief, as do all practices that mingle the philosophies of men with scripture.

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