McKinley taught our last FHE lesson from our series we were doing on Doctrine and Covenants 109:8.
"Organize yourselves, prepare every needful thing, and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God."
In her lesson she told us about a "parable" that she thought of to help illustrate a point. She said that Heavenly Father wants us to do our best but he doesn't expect us to be perfect.
"It's like when you are in elementary school and it is party day. The room moms come prepared with a craft for you to do. They pass out all the materials to each child and then show a model of what the craft should look like. All the kids are trying their best. They are looking at the model and trying to follow the directions as they have been explained to them but in the end, the craft they make doesn't REALLY look as good as the model that the room mom provides. But the kids take it home and give it to mom and dad anyway. And Mom and Dad are so excited. To them, it is the most beautiful thing ever! Because they know how hard the child tried and that it was made with love and he/she did the very best they could do."
Heavenly Father is like that. He knows that at some point we will be able to follow his example perfectly. Until then he is so thrilled when he sees us try our very best and do everything with love.
I think that is a terrific reminder that we should be gentle with ourselves and not try to EARN Heaven by being perfect at everything we do. We should recognize that HE only wants us to try our best and do it with love. Perfection will come later.