Dr. Julie Crockett, associate professor in the Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology, spoke at Tuesday’s Devotional about maintaining individuality on the quest for perfection.
Crockett embraces her individuality and the uniqueness of others.
“I don’t know anyone exactly like me, and I truly enjoy it,” Crockett said.
Crockett explained that it's by God’s design that we are supposed to be different. God also designed us with the ability to become perfect. She said she often wonders that if we are all perfect, wouldn’t we all be the same and lose our individuality?
“As I continue to work towards this common goal, I want to keep my sense of self,” Crockett said. “How can I keep my individuality while striving for perfection?”
Individuality Is Important
Our gifts, experiences, perspectives and personalities are some aspects that define our individuality. Crockett taught this by sharing her experience working with a team for her senior capstone project. They worked to design a cheap machine that could test the strength of objects under a dynamic load.
Even though her team all had the same educational background, their individual backgrounds were needed for unique inspiration.
“In this phase of the design process it became immediately clear that our variety of life experiences was essential to a good design,” said Crockett.
The project was successful because of the ideas and skills each team member had. Crockett said their shared educational qualifications as well as their individuality were absolutely necessary for the project’s success.
“Our individuality began before we were here and will continue on after we leave,” said Crockett. “We can, and should, keep our good personality traits and remember those experiences which allow us a different perspective so we can empathize with and encourage others.”
Crockett confessed she has “road frustration,” which is not a Christlike quality, and an attribute she would like to change. This is an example of a part of her identity that is all right to lose.
“As we are changing and growing to become like our Heavenly Father, there are some things about us that will become similar — no one gets mad at each other on the road — which is probably a good thing. But I highly doubt we will all grow to attain the same sense of humor or love of classical literature or desire to run a marathon just because we are striving for perfection,” said Crockett.
Following Jesus Christ and developing attributes like he has is how to become more perfect. But it takes work. Crockett worked to be more patient while driving by listening to Spanish language teaching podcasts. She also developed the ability to learn audibly, as opposed to mostly visually.
“Thus, in the process of becoming more Christlike in patience, I developed a new personality trait which defines who I am, and it is one I am much more proud of than road rage,” said Crockett.
She taught that our individual and divine self emerges as we become more Christlike.
Perfected Beings Are Still Different
“Each member of the Godhead is a distinctly different individual and has a distinct personality,” said Crockett. “We can know this because we can know each of them individually.”
She shared that she knows Heavenly Father’s protective and watchful care. Crockett feels the Savior’s love and concern for individuals is part of his personality. She knows the Holy Ghost as a friend and comforter.
How Do We Do It?
Our early attempts at developing a Christlike attribute will probably not be our best. But they will get better and better each attempt. While developing her skills as an engineer, Crockett’s first attempts were not good. Through practice and learning, she has become more proficient.
“As we become more perfect, more like Christ, we become more individual,” said Crockett. “We begin to comprehend our eternal nature.”
Next Devotional: Elder Ronald A. Rasband
Elder Ronald A. Rasband, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the LDS Church, will deliver the Devotional address on March 13 at 11:05 a.m.
Elder Rasband’s remarks will also be broadcast live on BYUtv, BYUtv.org (and archived for on-demand streaming), KBYU-TV 11, Classical 89 FM, BYU Radio and will be archived on speeches.byu.edu.