During the afternoon session of the 185th General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Elder Dale G. Renlund of the First Quorum of the Seventy encouraged members of the Church to keep on trying to live the gospel.
Elder Renlund began his talk by quoting Nelson Mandela, whosaid, “I’m no saint—that is, unless you think a saint is a sinner who keeps on trying.”
Elder Renlund said the term “saint” is frequently used to designate those who have gained a state of holiness or perfection, but that Latter-day Saints know that they are far from perfect.
“Our theology does teach us, though, that we may be perfected by repeatedly and iteratively ‘relying wholly upon’ the Doctrine of Christ,” Elder Renlund said.
Elder Renlund said members of the Church, even those who have been a conscience deliberate sinner and have repeatedly faced failure and disappointment, should not define themselves as such if they keep on trying to do the right thing.
Elder Renlund quoted President Thomas S. Monson when Monson said, “One of God’s greatest gifts to us is the joy of truing again, for no failure ever need be final.”
Elder Renlund said that Latter-day Saints should be tolerant with themselves as well as tolerant with others as they try to overcome weaknesses and use the Atonement in their lives.
“My invitation to all of us is to evaluate our lives, repent, and keep on trying,” Elder Renlund said. “If we don’t try, we’re just latter-day sinners; if we don’t persevere, we’re latter day quitters; and if we don’t allow others to try, we’re just latter-day hypocrites.”
Elder Renlund said true Latter-day Saints persevere and help others to do so.