At church today, I ran into a girl who I have contact with perhaps once a month. I can never remember her name, but she annoys me. I realized today why–she is very concerned about appearing perfect, and, the natural shape of her face and nose makes it appear that she is always looking down at the world around her.
We chatted for a bit–small talk, which I totally suck at, and I realized that she is quite a nice person, one who probably has a lot of the same neuroses that I do.
Mormons are very concerned with perfection–we are taught that the purpose of this life is to become perfect, like our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ (see Matthew 5: 48 and 3rd Nephi 12:48) When perfection is discussed, we are reminded that perfection is impossible to obtain without the saving power of the atonement of Jesus Christ, and we will not be perfect until after the resurrection.
Granted, I know more Mormons than any other denomination, but it seems like we are more concerned with showing the world a perfect face than the rest of humanity. We have to be the most humble, the most sincere, the kindest, the most generous, etc. It’s exhausting, frustrating, and, quite frankly, depressing.
I’ve talked about this before from a personal viewpoint. WHY do we have to put a perfect face forward? Everyone is human, and everyone who has ever lived (besides Christ, of course) made or makes mistakes. We are not perfect. We are flawed, we mess up, we do dumb stuff. The beauty of the Plan of Salvation is that as many times as we mess up, we can repent and start fresh and new.
I know full well that one of the biggest challenges I face is overcoming the need to appear perfect. I know that no one thinks or expects me to be perfect right now, but I get mad at myself when I fall short. When I am fully aware of my shortcomings, I don’t want to go to places where I think they will be highlighted.
It doesn’t matter, I suppose. All we can do is keep moving forward.