Am I Good Enough? Will I Make It?

Am I Good Enough? Will I Make It?

Dear sisters and
brothers, what a blessing it is for us to gather to be
taught by the Lord’s servants. Isn’t it wonderful how many
ways our loving Heavenly Father guides and blesses us? He really wants us to come home. Through a series of tender
mercies as a young doctor coming out of
medical school, I was accepted for pediatric
residency training in a high-powered,
competitive program. When I met the other
interns, I felt like the least intelligent
and least prepared of all. I thought there was no
way I could measure up to the rest of the group. Early in our third month, I was
sitting in the nurse’s station in the hospital late one night,
alternately sobbing to myself and falling asleep as I tried
to write the admission orders for a small boy with pneumonia. I had never felt so
discouraged in my life. I didn’t have any idea
how to treat pneumonia in a 10-year-old. I began to wonder what
I was doing there. Just at that moment, one
of the senior residents put his hand on my shoulder. He asked me how I was doing,
and I poured out my frustrations and fears. His response changed my life. He told me how proud he and all
of the other senior residents were of me and how they
felt like I was going to be an excellent doctor. In short, he believed
in me at a time when I didn’t even
believe in myself. Like my own experience,
we often hear our members 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. 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.” Perhaps we feel much the
same as I did in the hospital that night. 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–or
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. 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 don’t 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! 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. I love the way that
President Gordon B. Hinckley used to teach this principle. I heard him say on
several occasions, “Brothers and sisters, all the
Lord expects of us is to try, but you have to really try!” “Really trying” means
doing the best we can, recognizing where we need to
improve, and then trying again. By repeatedly doing this,
we come closer and closer to the Lord, we feel His
Spirit more and more, and we receive more
of His grace, or help. I sometimes think we don’t
recognize how very much the Lord wants to help us. I love the words of Elder
David A. Bednar, who said: “Most of us clearly
understand that the Atonement is for sinners. I am not so sure,
however, that we know and understand that the
Atonement is also for saints. … “… The Atonement provides help for
us to overcome and avoid bad and to do and become good. … “‘… It is … through the grace of
the Lord that individuals … receive strength and assistance
to do good works that they otherwise would not
be able to [do]. … This grace is an
enabling power’ … or heavenly help each of us
desperately needs to qualify for the celestial kingdom.” All we have to do to receive
this heavenly help is to ask for it and then
to act on the righteous promptings we receive. The great news is that if
we’ve sincerely repented, our former sins will not
keep us from being exalted. Moroni tells us of the
transgressors in his day, “But as oft as they repented
and sought forgiveness, with real intent,
they were forgiven.” And the Lord Himself
said of the sinner: “If he confess his sins
before thee and me, and repenteth in the
sincerity of his heart, him shall ye forgive, and
I will forgive him also. “Yea, and as often
as my people repent will I forgive them their
trespasses against me.” If we will sincerely
repent, God really will forgive us, even when we
have committed the same sin over and over again. As Elder Jeffrey
R. Holland said: “However many chances you
think you have missed, however many mistakes you
feel you have made …, I testify that you have not
traveled beyond the reach of divine love. It is not possible
for you to sink lower than the infinite light of
Christ’s Atonement shines.” This does not mean in
any way that sin is OK. Sin always has consequences. Sin always harms and
hurts both the sinner and those affected by his sins. And true repentance
is never easy. Moreover, please understand
that even though God takes away the guilt and stain of our
sins when we sincerely repent, He may not immediately take
away all of the consequences of our sins. Sometimes they remain with
us for the rest of our lives. And the worst kind of
sin is premeditated sin where one says, “I can
sin now and repent later.” I believe that this is a
solemn mockery of the sacrifice and sufferings of Jesus Christ. The Lord Himself declared, “For
I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least
degree of allowance.” And Alma proclaimed,
“Behold, I say unto you, wickedness never was happiness.” One of the reasons that Alma’s
statement is particularly true is that with repeated
sinning, we distance ourselves from the Spirit, become
discouraged, and then stop repenting. But I repeat, because of
the Savior’s Atonement, we can repent and be
fully forgiven as soon as our repentance is sincere. What we cannot do is
rationalize rather than repent. It will not work to justify
ourselves in our sins by saying, “God knows
it’s just too hard for me, so He accepts me like
I am.” “Really trying” means we keep at it
as we fully come up to the Lord’s standard,
which is clearly defined in the questions we are
asked in order to get a temple recommend. The other thing that will
surely keep us out of heaven and separate us from the help
we need now is rebellion. From the book of Moses, we
learn that Satan was cast out of heaven for rebellion. We are in rebellion any
time we say in our hearts, “I don’t need God, and
I don’t have to repent.” As an intensive
care pediatrician, I know that if one
inappropriately rejects lifesaving treatment,
it can lead needlessly to physical death. Similarly, when we
rebel against God, we reject our only
help and hope, who is Jesus Christ, which
leads to spiritual death. None of us can do
this on our own power. None of us will ever
be “good enough,” save through the merits
and mercy of Jesus Christ. Because God respects our agency,
we also cannot be saved without our trying. That is how the balance
between grace and works works. We can have hope in
Christ because He wants to help and change us. In fact, He is
already helping you. Just pause and reflect
and recognize His help in your life. I witness to you that if you
will really try and will not rationalize or rebel–repenting
often and pleading for the grace, or help, of
Christ–you positively are going to be “good enough,” that
is, acceptable before the Lord; you are going to make it
to the celestial kingdom, being perfect in Christ;
and you are going to receive the blessings and glory and
joy that God desires for each of His precious
children–including specifically you and me. I testify that God lives
and wants us to come home. I testify that Jesus lives, in
the holy name of Jesus Christ, amen.

20 Replies to “Am I Good Enough? Will I Make It?”

  1. This message truly warmed my heart, the world expects so much from us and the feeling of inadequacy can be so overwhelming especially when I feel I am not achieving as much as the next person. I needed this message in my life.

  2. I just came from Efy, I was inspire to listen to a general conference talk. Some of the things he said I didn't even know about. Powerful message!

  3. This message was heaven sent for me I only started coming back to church after 6 yrs inactive I remember before conference I said a prayer asking heavenly father to give me a answer I recieved that anwer the holy ghost confimed in my heart I broke down tears filled my eyes peace came from that day I changed this talk gave me the streangth and hope I needed to go foward trusting in my savoir my testimony is their is a way back I'm so blessed to be a member of the lords true church in these last days.

  4. I've always thought I'd never be good enough. But this helps me realize that even though I will never be perfect in this life, I can at least strive to be, for I will be someday. I just need to keep trying. I realize that if I really try to stop doing wrong things, and strive to do good to the best of my ability, God will understand. This talk reaches into my very soul. And I will always remember it.

  5. I really love this talk. Elder Cornish really nailed it with this talk. " If we truly repented, our former sins will not keep us from being exalted".

  6. I remember meeting Elder Cornish later that night during the Priesthood Session in Plaza 1, and after shaking hands with him, the first thing I said to him was "I really appreciated your talk this morning. It was incredible." He exchanged a few words with my mission president and then went up to sit with the brethren. Elder Cornish later spoke to our mission and two of the things he said were as follows: "President Tate asked me to speak to your mission for a purpose that I do not normally accept: he asked me to speak to you based on the conference talk I recently gave in October. That is an unusual request. But I know the Lord needs this to happen, so I happily accepted the invitation to speak to you this afternoon." This talk was basically a 45 minute version of this 10 minute talk, just with more emphasis and points that were not previously mentioned or elaborated during General Conference. The second thing that he mentioned was mind-blowing: "Remember this one important thing dear Elders and Sisters: being wrong is COMPLETELY OKAY! We are going to be wrong many times in our lives. My wife never lets me forget that! But, we have to remember that even if and when we are wrong, we need to recognize it and be humble enough to change to become more and more like Christ. Remember this one fact: Satan was cast out of heaven for rebellion. What does this mean Elders and Sisters? Satan was NOT cast out of heaven for being wrong. (5 second pause) He was not cast out of heaven for being wrong. He was cast out of heaven (3 second pause) because he Would. Not. Change. The minute we decide that we are not going to change is when our path towards eternal life becomes blocked and impassable. Keep repenting and keep trying to improve."

  7. I comeing back to church of Jesus krisht latterday seant, may name is Bob.River, Take one year and one month ef, l use telpone brother inlow John Joseph, and now september 2018 Thank you Lord.Amen

  8. I like this talk a lot .
    I am wondering which Ensign Magazine
    It is in? So I can find it in the gospel library application and read it and highlight it.
    Please let me know.

  9. What does it mean to rationalize or to rebel? If one looks at the history of the church and its doctrine, and comes to a rational conclusion that it cannot be what it claims to be, and subsequently, being honest with themselves, leaves, is that considered "rationalizing" or "rebelling"?

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