Saturday, February 23, 2008


Anti Guilt- The Myth of Perfectionism
by Dr. John Lund

Unrealistic Expectations: Plato did a number on us [the western civilization]. He introduced the notion of 'Dualism'- separating physical and spiritual. The 'Platonic Ideal' polarizes and demonizes "corrupt" material from "perfect" spiritual ideals. President Gordon B. Hinckley has said that is inherently a pessimistic doctrine and incorrect. Yet a lot of people have bought into this "platonic ideal" that if something is not absolutely "perfect" then we are not good enough.

Catholics and Jews wrestled with ‘Hellenism’, a philosophical foundation of the Greeks who worked hard to convert the Jews. They set up 10 cities east of Galilee called the Copulas and two universities. The reactionary group, orthodox Jews in opposition to this came up with 613 commandments. Catholics have the 7 sacraments to transcend "corrupt" mortality into the "ideal" world of God. Protestants said this is a gap no man can cross. We will have to rely on grace vs. works.

The Prophet Joseph Smith revealed there is no dualism. It is a single. “As man is God once was. As God is man may become”. Even spirit is 'material', just more refined matter in nature. "We are not traditional platonic Christians."

There are those in the church who still want to adhere to a platonic ideal. They set up an impossible standard that neither they nor anyone else can live up to. It makes us vulnerable. Bruce R. McConkie said: "Perfectionism afflicts the church." This is a dangerous thought process and denies individual revelation. Frustration comes from disappointment when really our options and possibilities are endless. Values are flexible. Chieko Okazaki said: "In principle great clarity. In practice great charity. Diversity is a stregnth." Do not worship ideals. Unrealistic ideals rob us of ability to focus..on this season of life right Now. (See 'Discover the Joy' by Chieko Okazaki)
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"Let her alone. Her sins, which are many, are forgiven, becouse she loved much.. and did what she could."


Jenna said...

Wow. This is a very thought provoking blog.

I found you off the LDS Women's Bloggers site, and I'll return again soon to learn more.

Beth said...

Molly you are really putting a lot of work into your blog, great job!

LAHansen said...

What an awesome blog. I'll look forward to visiting often. Thank you for these great thoughts!

Oh...feel free to check out my blog anytime!

Dream Big said...

Ok, now I know why you recommended me to read the "cookie cutter" talk :). I have been noticing a lot of women at church talking about this guilt they feel for not doing "enough".

I am so greatful for all the ways we have to better ourselves, but am also greatful that my life does not fit in a cookie cutter mold. Now that I am not trying to fit in a mold, I am a much more joyful person.

molly said...

You got it! I am so happy to hear from you Jamie. Thank you all for your comments.