Perfection vs. Love, the final battle

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Curt Sunshine
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Re: Perfection vs. Love, the final battle

Post by Curt Sunshine » 04 Sep 2009, 11:25

Fwiw, I don't think it's a matter of perfection vs. love. I went ahead and posted a new topic about "Be Ye Therefore Perfect" that starts by equating perfection with love. I figured that would be easier than making a comment be longer than the orignal thread. :)
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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Re: Perfection vs. Love, the final battle

Post by 1topen » 11 Sep 2009, 16:17

Obviously Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ can achieve all things at all times, but as human beings Im not so sure.
My personal experience has been that it is VERY difficult. I don't Know that I believe one can be both consciously seeking for personal perfection and give real love at the same time.

On a day to day level I am very surprised that my relationships with my family members and friends have moved to a much deeper more loving place since my church paradigm has shifted. I know now that when I was busy serving being TBM that I was self serving all the time ( although I absolutely did not think it at the time). I was working towards perfection so hard in my life that my goal was self related, even if I was giving service the goal was still self. You have to drop the goal in order to truly transcend to a higher place.

I am beginning to see that when you realize that your ability to love is all that you can be absolutely sure of that everything changes. I am shocked at the difference in my relationships with my nieces and nephews for eg, I think that I was holding back from them because i subconsciously felt that there was a competition between them and my own children which was heavily fueled by church "power points". Now my own need for that that has gone my real love for them has come so strongly.

Perhaps it is only when you have become perfected in your ability to lose sight of your own self/immediate family etc, that you can then achieve both love and perfection at the same time. But it is a product of your behavior not a motivating factor for that behavior.

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Re: Perfection vs. Love, the final battle

Post by Jordan » 11 Sep 2009, 23:25

1topen wrote:Perhaps it is only when you have become perfected in your ability to lose sight of your own self/immediate family etc, that you can then achieve both love and perfection at the same time. But it is a product of your behavior not a motivating factor for that behavior.
LOVE your post.
I agree, too. It's like to the competing plans during the war in heaven... Christ's plan WAS charity, losing yourself, TRUE love. Satan's was selfishness, etc.

I think that true love, losing ourselves for another is the key to the whole story. True love is hard, but it is DEEPER, like you say. I was shocked, too, by the difference in my love after this very difficult change in perspective. It's made the journey so very worthwhile.

Again, love your post.

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Brian Johnston
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Re: Perfection vs. Love, the final battle

Post by Brian Johnston » 18 Sep 2009, 07:33

To be clear, that scripture that says "Be yea therefore perfect" does not say be perfectly obedient. It just says to be perfect. I wish I could remember where I heard this recently. I listen to a lot of religious podcasts. I think it must have been a Speaking of Faith episode. Anyway, someone mentioned this scripture and talked about perfection.

In the context of the time it was written, there was no such thing as mass-production. We moderns think of perfect as the same as "flawless," having no imperfections or deviations from design. ALL the widgets coming out of the assembly line are exactly the same, they are perfect. If not, they are discarded for scrap.

This was not the case in the time of Jesus. Perfection, which comes from the Latin Perfectus, indicated being complete, excellent, finished, accomplishing a purpose. In law, a contract is perfected when all the conditions have been executed. Flawless was not really something thought of in the world where everything was made custom by hand craftsmen.

So this person I was listening to changed the interpretation. He said being "perfect" like God is perfect was a state of being whole, complete and fulfilling our purpose, like God is whole and complete, and He accomplishes his designs and purposes for humankind.

This statement did not mean we can never make a mistake, or that we can not have any nicks or scratches. We are all custom made vessels by the master potter. No two are the same, but they are all beautiful and functional.

This view makes it easy for perfection to exist in harmony with love and compassion, indeed love may in fact perfect us.
"It's strange to be here. The mystery never leaves you alone." -John O'Donohue, Anam Cara, speaking of experiencing life.

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Re: Perfection vs. Love, the final battle

Post by swimordie » 18 Sep 2009, 13:04

Perfectly stated, val, no pun intended!! ;)
Perfectionism hasn't served me. I think I am done with it. -Poppyseed

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Re: Perfection vs. Love, the final battle

Post by Poppyseed » 19 Sep 2009, 05:26

I love that post Val. Thank you.
“Be not afraid of growing slowly; be afraid only of standing still.” --old Chinese proverb

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Bruce in Montana
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Re: Perfection vs. Love, the final battle

Post by Bruce in Montana » 19 Sep 2009, 10:47

Nice Val.

Thanks for that.
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
-William S.

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Re: Perfection vs. Love, the final battle

Post by AmyJ » 08 Feb 2018, 09:57

swimordie wrote:
26 Aug 2009, 10:14
Are we (lds) striving so hard for perfection because of trying to become like Christ/follow His example?
Sometimes. I honestly think that some of it is self-preservation - we don't want to make choices to end up in a bad place in the next life. This includes pathways that MAY lead us there - even if there is good to be had in the pathway.
swimordie wrote:
26 Aug 2009, 10:14
Where does His example of unconditional love fall in that paradigm?
I think there are 2 developmental processes at play here:
1. We are learning how to be better followers of Christ usually by teaching another generation in some fashion the things we have learned AND/OR reviewing the things that previous generations have taught us. At the start of this process there is a lot of "Don'ts" for safety and best practice reasons - and sometimes it is hard for us to transition from seeing(teaching) that person as someone we are over to someone we are counsel to. It becomes easy to focus on the "how" of obeying the rules without moving onto the "why" of obeying the rules (the highest motivation is love) and "what" the PEMDAS of rules (or rule hierarchy) exists.
2. Along with the first developmental process is the ability to recognize that not everyone is at the same point developmentally and there are plenty of reasons why this is the case. In the last 6 months or so, I ask people things like "what are you working on for yourself, why is this important to you, and how is it going" and then I "mourn" with them if the situation warrants it, or recognize them for their successes. I stopped trying to define the situations that require morning or celebration against some specific rules. I feel I am drawing closer to people by doing this, and that I am drawing closer to God as well.
swimordie wrote:
26 Aug 2009, 10:14
In my mind, there appears to be a practical conflict: how is love, both giving and receiving, affected by our OCD drive for perfection?
True Love (whether it is tough love, VT, parenting, service to others, or being in a relationship) means continually looking towards how to serve, love, and help others. It is not tied to the expectations of others aside from God because you are loving someone to love them, not to fulfill an obligation (NOTE: A person needs to keep in mind when learning to show or receive love a) there are boundaries/safety issues that need to be resolved first and may be at play b) that love is both about the good uplifting feelings and the grittiness of dealing with mortality (and unwise/immature decisions))

OCD drive for perfection is by it's nature introspective.

Because on multiple levels they are opposite functions, balance is crucial and very hard to achieve for very long.
swimordie wrote:
26 Aug 2009, 10:14
Can perfect love and perfect obedience coincide?
I am staking my life on that through believing in Jesus Christ and in the Atonement.

I try to look for instances where perfect love and perfect obedience collide in parental figures and church leaders. It is a case of generational and leadership roulette. However, my 8 year old humbles me in the micro-instances where she loves me as perfectly as she is able to do so, shows that love for me, and is obedient to the rules as a) I have taught them or b) required that she obey them.

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Re: Perfection vs. Love, the final battle

Post by AmyJ » 08 Feb 2018, 09:58

Rix wrote:
26 Aug 2009, 12:25
Okay...another "twisted" answer from me... ;) :)

I think that neither exists without the other. God IS love, so if we are to obey God perfectly, I submit that is done, and only done, with perfect love.

:? :?
This works for me.

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Re: Perfection vs. Love, the final battle

Post by AmyJ » 08 Feb 2018, 13:56

swimordie wrote:
26 Aug 2009, 15:55
What's more important, love or obedience? Why?
It depends on the specific objective and the developmental level involved.

For some principles, I want my children to obey them first, and learn to love/respect them later (if at all).

For most principles, my job is to introduce the general concepts and my understanding based on my narrative with my children. This is my right/priviledge/responsibility as their parent. But more importantly, there comes a point where I teach them to run cost-benefit analysises of their own (including the consequences of those choices for themselves) and I face the unintended consequences of those choices as well. At that point, the training wheels are off and the child is spiritually flying whichever way they are going to go. As they learn to soar and fall, my role becomes more counselor and less director.

With new converts and those who are already developed as people, my role is to be a cheer leader, counselor and sounding board. I become a mentor only in the sense that maybe some of the habits they wish to trade up out of I have been there too and can offer a few words of practical advice.
swimordie wrote:
26 Aug 2009, 15:55
(btw, these are semi-rhetorical questions, but for TBM's I perceive a real dilemma, though none would be admitted, admittedly ;) )
(pss-if this is just a silly mind exercise between stage 3 and stage 5, someone just say so)
The big problem I am beginning to have with the scriptures is that they were written for societies that were very much in survival mode. The consequences of disobedience were religious, social, and could be physical as well. If you wanted to walk away from the rules, there was a real chance that someone would actually stab you in the back as opposed to just turning your social life into shreds - and you wouldn't live long enough to care anyways. Now, society is moving beyond that - between people living longer (and having time to think) and having more reliable access to food and education, the rules that served previous generations well are stretching like a rubber band now - and some of us are in the way of the rubber.

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