Who defines our aim? Who defines just what is 'perfection'? Nobody's perfect. (Romans 3:23) “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Although, since it is His definition, perhaps we can be judged 'close enough' .. How?
The gospel concept is that we surrender ourselves to God and His wisdom to achieve His righteous purposes. Solomon said (Prov. 12:1) “Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge” and (Prov 16:20) “He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he.”
His gospel defines our goal and the Atonement provides the way for us to get on and continue on the path to perfection depite the fact that we are nowhere near being perfect in the here and now. The path starts with Faith in Christ, continues on to Baptism and receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and eventually to Temple, to Temple Marriage, a righteous family and on and on.
When we discuss “Self Control” and “Self Discipline”, the implication is that we do it all by ourselves. But, in reality we are never really left all alone. Here, I believe, “Self” means 'between yourself and the Godhead'. In the Sacrament Prayer, we ask the Father to bless the tokens of the sacrament, and promise to take upon us the name of the Son, and always remember Him – keeping His commandments so that we can have the Spirit to be with us. It is a personal covenant, no one else can remember for us but it is between us and Them.
'Always Remember'-ing in my book is just another definition of Diligence.
[President Monson taught] “ .. it is up to each of us who hold the priesthood of God to discipline ourselves so that we stand above the ways of the world. It is essential that we be honorable and decent men. Our actions must be above reproach. The words we speak, the way we treat others, and the way we live our lives all impact our effectiveness as men and boys holding the priesthood.”
Diligence [from Preach My Gospel Chapter 6 Christlike Attributes p 121-122]
“Diligence is steady, consistent, earnest, and energetic effort in doing the Lord’s work. The Lord expects you to work diligently—persistently and with great effort and care. A diligent [person] works effectively and efficiently. Diligence in [your church assignments] is an expression of your love for the Lord and His work.
“When you are diligent, you find joy and satisfaction in your work. Do many good things of your own free will (see D&C 58:27). Don’t wait for your leaders to tell you what to do. Continue until you have done all you can, even when you are tired. Focus on the most important things and avoid wasting time. Pray for guidance and strength. Plan regularly and effectively. Avoid anything that distracts your thoughts or actions
President Benson said: “I have often said one of the greatest secrets of [church/missionary] work is work! If a [member/missionary] works, he will get the Spirit; if he gets the Spirit, he will teach by the Spirit; and if he teaches by the Spirit, he will touch the hearts of the people and he will be happy. [..] Work, work, work—there is no satisfactory substitute, especially in [church/missionary] work.” PRESIDENT EZRA TAFT BENSON THE TEACHINGS OF EZRA TAFT BENSON (1988), 200
What does it mean to be diligent?
Moroni 9:6 And now, my beloved son, [..] let us labor diligently; for if we should cease to labor, we should be brought under condemnation; for we have a labor to perform whilst in this tabernacle of clay, that we may conquer the enemy of all righteousness, and rest our souls in the kingdom of God.
What does it mean to be over-diligent?
D&C 10:4 Do not run faster or labor more than you have strength and means provided to enable you to translate; but be diligent unto the end.
What does it mean to be under-diligent?
D&C 107:99-100 Wherefore, now let every man learn his duty, and to act in the office in which he is appointed, in all diligence. He that is slothful shall not be counted worthy to stand, and he that learns not his duty and shows himself not approved shall not be counted worthy to stand.
In our hymn book #239 the chorus teaches; “Choose the right! Let wisdom mark the way before. In its light, choose the right! And God will bless you evermore.” Jacob’s plea was “O be wise; what can I say more?” (Jacob 6:12). It is wise to be diligent. It is unwise to 'run faster than we are able'. Let us not be slothful. Let us learn our duty and be 'counted worthy to stand'.
(1 John 5:2-3) “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.”
Matt 22:36-40 “Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
Matt 19:20-22 “The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? Jesus said unto him, 'If thou wilt be perfect' ..“ What would he tell you or I? As true diligent disciples, what would he have us do and be and become? May we learn to listen and to obey.