Why “Getting it Right” Could be the Wrong Mindset

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“I just want to get it right.”

I bury my face in my hands, finally realizing what it was. I just want to get it right. The past few months—past year even—felt like a complete failure. That, of course, was also me being a little melodramatic, but it was also me realizing how perfectionistic I was.

The counselor looked at me, waiting for me to say more, but I didn’t.

“And who wanted to get it right?” He asked.

I lifted my head out of my hands, confused. He repeated the question.

“Before we came here, who wanted to get it right?”

“I…I don’t know…” I said.

Then he said something that changed my life.

Many of us have heard the story about Heavenly Father presenting a plan to his children before we came to this earth. In this family council, there were two ideas offered up for how we would be saved. Satan essentially presented a plan in which he would force us to do everything right, taking away our choice.

“But what did the savior want? Did he want us to ‘get it right,’ as you say?” My counselor asked.

“No,” I said a bit hesitantly. “No, he wanted us to… to make choices.”

My counselor nodded his head. “Exactly, he wanted us to make choices. He knew we wouldn’t get it right, and that was ok, because he provided a way that no matter what happened, we could still return home. The savior wanted us to have experience.

Then my counselor continued, “We like to compare life to a test, like we are given a set of multiple choice answers and there’s only one right answer. If you make the wrong choice, you get deducted a point. But I don’t like that analogy.

“I think we came to this life to write the textbook. We came to this world to gain experience, to make decisions and learn from them. We look at our decisions—decisions that have nothing to do with morality or sin—and place them in categories of right or wrong, but maybe we should look at them like they are: experiences that teach us something, different options representing different chapters in the textbook of life.”

Satan wanted us to get it right, and Jesus Christ wanted us to make choices. I liked the idea, but I struggled with it—and sometimes still do—because I couldn’t help but feel like there had to be one choice that was better than another. I learned that sometimes there are, but the good news is we have someone who makes up for those poor decisions, our Savior Jesus Christ.

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