The Beatitudes Embody the Constitution for a Perfect Life and Are a Blueprint for Our Own Lives

(See Matthew 5:1–12.)

President Harold B. Lee said:

“You want to know the ‘steps’ by which one can have his life patterned to that fulness that makes him a worthy citizen or ‘saint’ in God’s kingdom. The best answer may be found by a study of the life of Jesus in the scriptures. . . . Christ came not only into the world to make an atonement for the sins of mankind but to set an example before the world of the standard of perfection of God’s law and of obedience to the Father. In His Sermon on the Mount the Master has given us somewhat of a revelation of His own character, which was perfect, . . . and in so doing has given us a blueprint for our own lives. . . .

“In that matchless Sermon on the Mount, Jesus has given us eight distinct ways by which we might receive . . . joy. Each of His declarations is begun by the word ‘Blessed.’ . . . These declarations of the Master are known in the literature of the Christian world as the Beatitudes. . . . They embody in fact the constitution for a perfect life.

“Let us consider them for a few moments. Four of them have to do with our individual selves, the living of our own inner, personal lives, if we would be perfect and find the blessedness of that inward joy.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit. Blessed are they that mourn. Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness. Blessed are the pure in heart. [See Matthew 5:3–4, 6, 8.] . . .

“But in order to gain entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven we must not only be good but we are required to do good and be good for something. So if you would walk daily toward that goal of perfection and fulness of life, you must be schooled by the remaining four ‘articles’ in the Master’s Constitution for a perfect life. These beatitudes have to do with man’s social relations with others:

“Blessed are the meek. Blessed are the merciful. Blessed are the peacemakers. Blessed are they which are persecuted. [See Matthew 5:5, 7, 9–10.] . . .

“Gradually as we ponder prayerfully all these teachings, we will make what may be to some the startling discovery that after all, God’s measure of our worth in His kingdom will not be the high positions we have held here among men nor in His Church, nor the honors we have won, but rather the lives we have led and the good we have done, according to that ‘Constitution for a Perfect Life’ revealed in the life of the Son of God.

“May you make the Beatitudes the Constitution for your own lives and thus receive the blessedness promised therein.”

(Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Harold B. Lee [2000], 199–200, 202–3, 205.)