I loved Elder Cornish’s hopeful message that we truly can and will make it back to God through the power of the Atonement of Christ. As Elder Cornish notes, it is easy to often get discouraged when we fall short of God’s perfect standards. It is easy to begin to wonder whether we are good enough.
“As with my own experience, our members often ask, ‘Am I good enough as a person?’ or ‘Will I really make it to the celestial kingdom?’ Of course, there is no such thing as ‘being good enough.’ None of us could ever ‘earn’ or ‘deserve’ our salvation, but it is normal to wonder if we are acceptable before the Lord, which is how I understand these questions.”
At times, we can see the teachings at Church as disheartening because we recognize our failings. But the Lord does not want us to experience frustration. Instead, he simply wants us to be encouraged to get better:
“Sometimes when we attend church, we become discouraged even by sincere invitations to improve ourselves. We think silently, ‘I can’t do all these things’ or ‘I will never be as good as all these people.'”
Elder Cornish lays out the solution. That solution involves turning to God and seeking comfort from him rather than comparing our selves to others. It involves trusting him and his merits and grace:
“Please, my beloved brothers and sisters, we must stop comparing ourselves to others. We torture ourselves needlessly by competing and comparing. We falsely judge our self-worth by the things we do or don’t have and by the opinions of others. If we must compare, let us compare how we were in the past to how we are today—and even to how we want to be in the future. The only opinion of us that matters is what our Heavenly Father thinks of us. Please sincerely ask Him what He thinks of you. He will love and correct but never discourage us; that is Satan’s trick.”
If we turn to God and ask him what he thinks of us, then we can also know that we have reason to hope. We can also know that we will make it back to God.
“Let me be direct and clear. The answers to the questions ‘Am I good enough?’ and ‘Will I make it?’are ‘Yes! You are going to be good enough’ and ‘Yes, you are going to make it as long as you keep repenting and do not rationalize or rebel.’ The God of heaven is not a heartless referee looking for any excuse to throw us out of the game. He is our perfectly loving Father, who yearns more than anything else to have all of His children come back home and live with Him as families forever. He truly gave His Only Begotten Son that we might not perish but have everlasting life!1 Please believe, and please take hope and comfort from, this eternal truth. Our Heavenly Father intends for us to make it! That is His work and His glory.”