I met with my bishop yesterday to talk. I love my bishop. He’s one of the most loving, forgiving, and open men I know, and he has literally burned the last 5 years of his life in service to his ward. He’s one of the few men I’ve known who I’ve readily claimed as “my” bishop, and it’s an ownership based an a recognition, gratitude, and deep love for his labors.
One of the things he talked about during our meeting was that sometimes we get bogged down by the 5% of our lives that is wrong or out of place while failing to recognize the 95% of our lives that is correct. His comments were deeply appreciated and uplifting for me personally. They helped me regain a positive outlook on my life and feel more hopeful about my role and purpose and future.
In thinking about what he said, I’ve realized that Satan will use what little we provide him to do battle against us. In another conversation today, I found out that a good friend has left the church. He never really stated why, but I felt that somewhere in his life something had gone wrong and Satan had convinced him of the overwhelming nature of what had happened. In short, the 5% overwhelmed the other 95%.
I’m becoming more and more convinced that the Lord is absolutely just. His judgment will be such that each of us will individually and collective recognize it as so. He will not judge us equally for we are not equals. He will not judge us to equal standards for what is my all is not your all. Rather, His judgment will weigh me against myself with His atonement to cover the gaps.
I remember hearing from a member once that she thought the Celestial Kingdom would be the smallest of the Kingdoms of Glory. I disagree. I think it will be immense and full of life. When comparing the Kingdoms to the Sun, the Moon, and the Stars, I don’t think they were only in brightness and glory, but in size. Surely a loving Father wouldn’t create a plan that would doom the vast majority of His children. Of course, He lives within the laws He has created and will judge according to those laws, but the Way was given and provided for all mankind to return.
When pondering your 5%, don’t forget the 95%. The 95% should never overshadow our need to consistently work on improving our lives, but neither should we lose faith and hope because we have failed here and there along the path.
In closing, my bishop also stated the principle that it is progress, not perfection that makes us truly worthy. Perfection may be the end goal, but as long as we are progressing, there is always hope. Always.