Near the end of the last chapter of the last book in the Book of Mormon, the prophet Moroni is writing to us who live in the last days and who have the opportunity to read his words in our own language (Moroni 10:32):
Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.
Is it true that some “Mormons” go astray in self-righteously aspiring for perfection? That could be a complex issue and part of the problem may include negative use of the label “Mormon,” but let’s get to the point. Some non-LDS critics have proclaimed that we are self righteous, and some LDS leaders have, on occasion, at least hinted that we need to avoid that attitude, so let’s see if the Book of Mormon can help. Moroni 10:32 (quoted above) gives us a key to a successful Christian life, exhorting us to allow ourselves to be perfected in Christ. This relates to a verse in the Old Testament: Deuteronomy 6:5.
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
Jesus himself referred to this great commandment: Mark 12:29-30.
And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
He also told us how we can know of his doctrine: John 7:17.
If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.
When the Savior was teaching the Jews in their promised land, about two thousand years ago (or trying to teach as many as he could, for some would not listen), those who were willing to change (repent) were able to do so because of their faith in the Messiah who was reaching out to them. But other relatives of the Jews, the Nephites and Lamanites of the Western Hemisphere, also had the promise that the Messiah would appear to them. Jesus Christ did appear to them, in fulfilment of the promises of their prophets, but not until after his resurrection.