We often look and talk of the Atonement in relation of how it helps us in our pains and afflictions and trials. Using the Atonement to help us with that is part of the enabling power of it. But there is more to it. In a fabulous Conference talk by Elder David Bednar, there is one sentence that I feel sums it up well:
"[T]he enabling and strengthening aspect of the Atonement helps us to see and to do and to become good in ways that we could never recognize or accomplish with our limited mortal capacity."
"We could never recognize." That hints at "after all we can do," which puts me in mind of the scriptures Matthew 5:48 and 3 Nephi 12:48.
In Matthew, the King James version says: "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." There are a couple of footnotes to consider. The first is that there is a translation from when Joseph Smith was going through the Bible. It states, "Ye are therefore commanded to be perfect. even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." So, this is a commandment. The other footnote shows that the Greek meaning for perfect is "complete, finished, fully developed." We have a lifetime to reach that, and yet, as an Institute teacher once pointed out, this will never be possible. Not on our own. We have to have the Savior's help to pull us the rest of the way, but only after we have done everything we can possibly do. We're not going to get a free ride for doing nothing.
Also, in the scripture from 3 Nephi: "Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I or your Father who is in heaven is perfect." That same Institute teacher pointed out that Jesus does not refer to himself as perfect until after His resurrection. The scripture in Matthew was delivered when He was still living on Earth. The scripture in 3 Nephi took place one the American continent, after he was resurrected. This is a crucial fact, because the Savior Himself was not perfect until after He was resurrected. Which means we can stop getting hung up over our perfection in this life, because it just isn't going to happen. Our growth and goal for perfection does not end at death. It will continue from what we've done in this life on into the next.
The Savior was able to reach the perfection that our Father wants us to achieve. And you can bet that He wants to help us reach that perfection. He has the power to help us achieve it. If only we do everything on our part that we can and then reach out to Him to access that enabling power. And this reaching out for that power? It isn't a one-time deal. It is a constant process throughout our lives in all that we do.