Elder Vern P. Stanfill, General Authority Seventy, spoke during the Sunday afternoon session of April 2023 general conference. He spoke on the difference between perfectionism and being perfected in Christ. The following is a summary of what he said.
Elder Stanfill’s talk summary
There is a temptation in the world and even the culture of the Church to obsess about perfectionism. “Remember that perfectionism is not the same as being perfected in Christ.”
The latter is the process, guided by the Holy Ghost, of becoming more like the Savior. “As we accept the Savior’s invitation to come unto Him, we soon realize that our best is good enough and that the grace of a loving Savior will make up the difference in ways we cannot imagine.”
Never underestimate the Savior’s power. “A simple word of kindness, a brief but sincere ministering visit, a Primary lesson lovingly taught can — with the Savior’s help — comfort, soften hearts and change eternal lives.”
Self-comparison is not the same as emulation. While the former is rarely productive and can be spiritually destructive, “emulating those we respect who demonstrate Christlike attributes can be instructive, uplifting and can help us become better disciples of Jesus Christ.”
The Savior will use one’s sincere, though seemingly insignificant, efforts to accomplish His work. “If we simply do the best we can and trust Him to make up the difference, we can become part of the miracles that surround us.”
Remember that perfectionism is not the same as being perfected in Christ.
Our clumsy efforts can lead to miracles, and in the process, we can participate in a perfect harvest.
If we simply do the best we can and trust Him to make up the difference, we can become part of the miracles that surround us.
Who is Elder Stanfill?
- Elder Vern P. Stanfill has served as a General Authority Seventy since April 2015. He has also served as an Area Seventy, stake president, high councilor, bishop, elders quorum president and full-time missionary in Toulouse, France.
- While studying agricultural economics at BYU, he met his wife, Sister Alicia Cox Stanfill, a convert from Newport Beach, California. They married Dec. 17, 1980, in the Salt Lake Temple, and are the parents of four children.
- Elder Stanfill grew up working on his family’s ranch in Townsend, Montana, and returned to run it after graduating from BYU. He later sold the ranch and managed a portfolio of real estate and financial instruments, as well as structured philanthropic and estate matters.
- One of Elder Stanfill’s passions is flying both fixed-wing and rotor aircraft. His love of aviation led him to qualify and possess a commercial license for airplanes and helicopters. His favorite airplane to fly is the Swiss-made Pilatus PC-12; for helicopters, he enjoys the Bell Jet Ranger.
What has Elder Stanfill done recently?
- During the October 2015 general conference, he spoke on preparing oneself with the powerful light of spiritual strength.
- He presided at the Helena Montana Temple groundbreaking on June 26, 2021.
- At a BYU devotional, he spoke on Christ’s peacemakers remaining blessed, eternal ‘influencers,’ on March 1, 2022.