A while ago, I came across this insightful quote from Elder Kevin W. Pearson:
“Average is the enemy of excellence, and average commitment will prevent you from enduring to the end.”
The context of this quote referred to commitment in keeping the commandments, or in remaining faithful to the gospel of Jesus Christ. When I read it, however, I thought of my efforts in everyday tasks and responsibilities. I reflected on the areas of my life where I may only have average commitment and resolved to improve.
Elder Pearson is correct that it takes more than average commitment to endure well, whether this applies to living the gospel or in other settings, such as hobbies or academics. Regarding commitment to the gospel, I recently learned in my Book of Mormon class that the phrase “enduring to the end” meant something different for the ancients than it does for us today. Enduring to the end alluded to the idea that ancient Christians were willing to endure faithfully, even if it meant they were persecuted and killed for practicing their religion. Today, enduring to the end has a connotation of doing the best we can in the trials we face. It can be very challenging to balance responsibilities in the midst of trials, but take comfort in the words of President Monson:
“Sometimes you feel inadequate and ineffective because you cannot do all that you feel you should. Rather than continually dwelling on what still needs to be done, pause occasionally and reflect on all you do and have done. It is most significant.”
I love this quote! President Monson reminds us that God does not want us to feel burdened by how we are lacking. Instead, our loving Heavenly Father wants us to feel encouraged and willing to do better. This may involve examining what we have already accomplished in order to realize our potential to succeed.
In whatever setting you may be striving to endure well in, remember that Heavenly Father only expects our best efforts, and will help us accomplish what He knows we are capable of. You can conquer the enemy of excellence by enduring with the Savior by your side!
When was a time you noticed Heavenly Father helping you accomplish something you didn’t think you were capable of?