He speaks about one of the problems we have is that we compare ourselves to others and where they are on the path of righteousness. We always see others are more prepared, more righteous, more spiritual than ourselves and believe we will never be as good as them.
- 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—and 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.
Of the question "Am I good enough?" he speaks plainly and gives us the hope that we will be good enough if we repent and accept the changing power of the atonement in our lives.
- 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 do not 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.
He refers to President Hinckley who spoke about this in the past.
- I love the way 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.
What we need to do on our part is to "really try," ask for help, and act on the things that we are told we need to do to have the atonement sanctify us.
- 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.
- 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.”
Although the atonement is amazing and real, we need to be careful not to take advantage of the atonement and justify our sin and say we can always repent later. If we have questions on how we should be living our lives, we can turn to the temple questions for guidance.
- 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.
Finally, he concludes with his testimony.
- 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.
This was my favorite talk from General Conference. What hope Elder Cornish provides each of us. Our Heavenly Father's plan is to exalt each and every one of us. It is His joy and work to bring each one of us home. He wants us to succeed and He wants us to return to live with Him. Elder Cornish gives us clear direction on how to do our part. Once we do our part, we need to have faith that the atonement is real, that Christ has made up the difference, and that we can worthily return to God's presence through the atoning blood of our Savior Jesus Christ. We can do this. We will do this. But we have to repent, "really try", and accept the blessings of the atonement which causes us to change for the good. We will make it is the perfect example of what the scriptures refer to as hope.