Sister Janine Gilbert, a faculty member in the BYU-Idaho English Department, spoke at today’s BYU-Idaho Devotional in her address, “A Work in Progress.”

Sister Gilbert explained in her talk that God intends for us to steadily improve but we shouldn’t expect perfection in our quest of becoming like Him.

“We are God’s work, and it’s in the process of facing challenges and difficulties we learn patience, long suffering, and charity,” she said. “We learn to turn to Him, and in doing so, we become more like Him.”

In fact, Sister Gilbert said, learning can be very messy. As we strive to overcome mistakes and repent, we must learn to see ourselves as more than we currently are—the way our Heavenly Father sees us.

Sister Gilbert quoted writer Esme Raji Codell, saying, “The worst writing you did today is better than the best writing you didn’t do.” Sister Gilbert said that same advice rings true for our lives.

“When you fail in a particularly spectacular way, rather than doubt your worth or the worth of your effort, remember, He can work with that,” she said. “He can work with me, and He can work with you.”

In an interview prior to her devotional address, Sister Gilbert explained some of what motivated her to select her topic.

“I think it’s just something that we all struggle with,” she said. “I think there’s always a gap between our understanding and our ability to act on the knowledge that we have.”

She said part of understanding that we are a work in progress is realizing success often doesn’t come in the way or in the time we would like.

“Every effort brings us closer to who our Heavenly Father wants us to be, and he really isn’t concerned with many of the signs of success that we’re often concerned with,” she said.