The word perfect has two definitions according to my favorite definer: Google. Those two definitions are 1. having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics; as good as it is possible to be and 2. absolute; complete (used for emphasis). Read those once more and consider with me the 'imperfect' definition of perfection used so widely today. To explain this definition we need to look within the Christian religion. In Christianity we believe in the ability of continuous growth, that although we may falter and do wrong, we can become better. This includes forgiveness of sins, capabilities to develop more desirable attributes, and ultimately, to become more like the man we call Saviour. This ideology comes from biblical verses such as Isaiah 1:18, which reads 'Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool'. Then we move into the New Testament where Jesus commands us to 'Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect' (Matthew 5:48). And as we read these verses we have a strange predicament. We believe in a perfect God, one who does not make mistakes, and we are commanded to be perfect like unto Him. But we are, according to Christian tradition, a fallen people prone to sin and error thus making it impossible for us to truly be perfect in this mortal existence. Do you see perhaps where the flaws are coming in?
Now let's jump back into yesterday at General Conference before I give you my spiel on my own interpretations of the word perfect. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, the Second Counselor in the LDS church, addressed the men of the church on the topic of marriage. (If your like me you are probably already thinking, "Oh great, everyone will talk marriage to me even more...) His talk was great, and he spoke of marriage so lovingly, but then he made a statement that just does not work for me. He mentioned the idea of single men waiting for the perfect woman and then stated that she does not exist. Following this remark he said, "If there were a perfect woman, do you really think she would be that interested in you?" My answer is a very strong and resonating 'YES!' I do believe in a perfect woman, and I do believe that a perfect woman can be and will be interested in me. Let's get onto my reasoning because y'all are starting to think I'm crazy and hopeless now.
I served for two years as a missionary in Iceland (I promise I'm not just distracting you now!). I learned the Icelandic language and it changed my perspective on a lot of things, some more positive than others. One of those changes was my interpretation of the word perfect. In Icelandic the adjective perfect is fullkominn and the verb to be perfect is að fullkomna. This word is comprised of two parts, the word full and the verb að koma. The word full in compounds means completely or totally. The word að koma means, in this instance, to get there. So the words fullkominn and að fullkomna refer to a state where we have come to completeness, wholeness, or a sense of begin total. Go back to my definitions from my friend Google. Which definition does this sound like to you? To me this lines up completely with definition number 2, which according to that definition makes it perfect.
Now back to ideology. For centuries the Christian world has distorted this word, perfect, to mean without flaws, sins, and mistakes. We have taken away the simplicity of a word that means complete, whole, total. Do you feel that you can say that you are complete? How about whole? Total? I think that I can confidently say that I feel that I am whole and complete, but not without error. I believe that most of us can actually state that we feel whole and complete, and I think we can all agree that we have a lot of improvements to make as well. But why should our flaws restrain us from being perfect in the sense of being whole? As Jesus worked miracles upon the earth He consistently referred to this process as being made 'whole'. In John 5:6 he asked the man at the pool "Wilt thou be made whole?" His role in our lives is to make us whole, complete, even perfect. God commands that we be sinless, yet He gives us time to become that person and He is not disappointed in our shortcomings. He watches us and accepts that we aren't there yet, but we are trying to be better. For heaven's sake every year in America the nation sets New Year's Resolution to try to be better! But I don't think it is wise or appropriate to let that keep us from being whole.
So, now that I've rambled on, yes, I do believe in a perfect woman for me. And yes, I do believe that that perfect woman will be interested in me, not as an imperfect project but rather as a perfect man. And together we will be perfect, whole, complete, and total. Will we have flaws? Of course. But we will be whole.