The LDS Daily WOOL© Archive - Self-Esteem

"One of the great tragedies that can come in a human's life is the destruction of self-respect. This destruction is often self-inflicted. Elevated expressions of human feelings, example, and courtesy build self-respect. People are lifted when they are treated as if they already were what they could be." — Marvin J. Ashton, "Proper Self-Management", General Conference, October 1976

"To know who we are is important, but to know where we are in relationship to our earthly home and heavenly home is essential if we are to receive all the blessings our Father in Heaven has for those who love him and keep his commandments. Our eternal home is our ultimate destination. A proper yearning for home can prevent our getting lost in detours or paths that lead us away." — Marvin J. Ashton, "A Yearning For Home", General Conference, October 1992

"How tragic it is to see, on occasion, a life of usefulness lost because we have allowed an unkind comment to cause a wound or hurt. We let the injury become an open sore and fester rather than treat it with prompt skill and maturity. Some try to get even with their offenders by dropping out of life's race. How weak, how damaging, how self-restricting is the often used statement, 'I'll never go back as long as that person is there!'" — Marvin J. Ashton, "Roadblocks To Progress", General Conference, April 1979

"We strengthen and build by pointing out the good traits of a person and cause fear and weakness by being unduly critical. I am in agreement that tact is rubbing out another's mistakes instead of rubbing them in." — Marvin J. Ashton, "Strengthen The Feeble Knees", General Conference, October 1991

"Though this world has a way of diminishing and demeaning men and women, the reality is we are all of royal, divine lineage. In that unprecedented appearance of the Father and the Son in the Sacred Grove, the very first word spoken by the Father of us all was the personal name of Joseph. Such is our Father's personal relationship with each of us. He knows our names and yearns for us to become worthy to return to live with Him." - M. Russell Ballard, "The Atonement and the Value of One Soul," General Conference, April 2004

"As with the bud, so with the blossom. A boy is the only thing known from which a man can be made. I hope that we as parents are teaching our children that they are the sons and daughters of God, and that they have the capacity to become like him. It was the old Edinburgh weaver who prayed, 'O God, help me to hold a high opinion of myself.' Likewise I would counsel young people to hold a high opinion of themselves, to remember who they really are, and to put their faith in their Heavenly Father." - Paul H. Dunn, "Young People-Learn Wisdom in Thy Youth," Ensign, June 1971, p. 103

"I used to wonder, as a teacher so-called, why the Savior would spend time citing three parables about things that get lost. And then one day it dawned. People do get lost in various ways, and here in this great chapter of Luke [Luke 15] we find the Savior counseling how to recover them.

"Permit me this observation: The Savior might say to us today, if he were to teach this parable again, that sheep (or people who get lost) are not basically sinners by nature or even choice, but people, like sheep, get confused in what's important. In other words, they have misplaced values. And I am sure the Savior would say to the teacher in the classroom, to the adviser, 'If you want to retrieve this kind of person, put a higher value in place of the one he now elects.' Family, service, brotherhood are all greener pastures for today's sheep. Feeding here brings them home." - Paul H. Dunn, "What Is a Teacher?" Ensign, Dec. 1971, p. 119

"Not all of us are going to be like Moroni, catching the acclaim of our colleagues all day every day. Most of us will be quiet, relatively unknown folks who come and go and do our work without fanfare. To those of you who may find that lonely or frightening or just unspectacular, I say, you are 'no less serviceable' than the most spectacular of your associates. You, too, are part of God’s army." - Howard W. Hunter, "No Less Serviceable," Ensign, Apr. 1992, p. 64

The life of God—the eternal, exalted life we all seek—is inherently concerned with the salvation of souls. It is the 'work and ... glory' of God to bring 'to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.' (Moses 1:39.) It is by bringing about the conditions necessary for the salvation of his children that God glorifies himself, progresses, and expands his dominions. (See D&C 132:31.)

"Paul said that God 'will have all men to be saved.' (1 Tim. 2:4.) To our Father in Heaven, 'the worth of souls is great' (D&C 18:10), and 'the redemption of their soul is precious.' (Ps. 49:8.) Therefore, God sent his Son, the Savior and Redeemer, to loose the bands of death and atone for the sins of carnal, fallen men. The Lord suffered the pain of all men that all men might come unto him on condition of repentance. (See D&C 18:11-12.)" - Jack H Goaslind, Jr., "Our Responsibility to Take the Gospel to the Ends of the Earth," Ensign (CR), November 1983, p.32

“How can Christian belief and morality translate more completely into Christian action? Does our commitment fall short of being a consecration? The doubting Thomas wanted to believe; he believed part way. It is my firm persuasion that building self-esteem sufficiently to forsake all evil requires a consecration to the saving principles and ordinances of the gospel under divine priesthood authority. It must be consecration to simple, basic Christian principles, including honesty to self and others, forgetting of self, integrity of thought and action. The principles of the restored gospel are so plain, so clear, so compassionate, so endowed with beauty, so graced with love unfeigned, as to be imprinted with the indisputable impress of the Savior himself.” - James E. Faust, “The Dignity of Self,” Ensign (CR), May 1981, p. 8

"Spiritual self-esteem begins with the realization that each new morning is a gift from God. Even the air we breathe is a loving loan from him. He preserves us from day to day and supports us from one moment to another (see Mosiah 2:21)." - Russell M. Nelson, "Joy Cometh in the Morning," Ensign (CR), November 1986, p. 67

"Most of us who have ever heard of the great American leader Abraham Lincoln will recall what he said of his mother: 'All that I am, all that I hope to be, I owe to my Angel mother.' (in Abraham Lincoln's Philosophy of Common Sense, ed. Edward J. Kempf, New York: The New York Academy of Sciences, 1965, p. 60.) But how many of us know what his mother's last words to him were? They were 'Be something, Abe.'" - Marvin J. Ashton, "The Word Is Commitment", Ensign (CR), November 1983, p. 61

This is a paradox of man: compared to God, man is nothing; yet we are everything to God. While against the backdrop of infinite creation we may appear to be nothing, we have a spark of eternal fire burning within our breast. We have the incomprehensible promise of exaltation—worlds without end—within our grasp. And it is God’s great desire to help us reach it. - Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "You Matter to Him," Ensign (CR) October 2011

You live in a time of wars and revolutions. And yet, as President Brigham Young said, the world will be revolutionized by the preaching of the gospel and the power of the priesthood. And this work we are called to do. Women and men, our keeping the commandments is the most revolutionary development in the world, though it is often less noticed and less glamorous. Do not be discouraged, in the midst of the sweep of events of our time, if your life sometimes seems so small. Phillips Brooks observed, “Greatness, after all, in spite of its name, appears to be not so much a certain size as a certain quality in human lives.” - Spencer W. Kimball, "The Savior: The Center of Our Lives," New Era, April 1980

To be aware of one’s limitations and potentials on a continuing basis will help in improved self-esteem. We need to be constantly aware of the fact that we are children of God. He knows us. He hears us. He loves us. Proper self-image will help us keep our habits, lives, and souls directed in happy paths. How proud we should be in the knowledge we have godlike attributes. It was Abraham Lincoln who said, “It is difficult to make a man miserable when he feels he is worthy of himself and claims kindred to the great God who made him.” - Marvin J. Ashton, "Proper Self-management," Ensign (CR) November 1976

With all my capacity I encourage you to discover who you really are. I invite you to look beyond the daily routine of life. I urge you to discern through the Spirit your divinely given capacities. I exhort you to prayerfully make worthy choices that will lead you to realize your full potential. - Richard G. Scott, "Realize Your Full Potential," Ensign (CR) November 2003

“The worth of souls is great in the sight of God” is not an idle phrase but a heaven-sent declaration for our enlightenment and guidance. We must ever remember who we are and what God expects us to become. - Thomas S. Monson, “The Priesthood—A Sacred Trust,” Ensign (CR) April 1994

Since virtue and faith too often do not readily trade in the marketplace, some may feel that they can live by whatever standards their whim or fancy suggest. In a value-free society—free of morals, free of standards—many also live free of feelings of self-worth, self-respect, and dignity. Far too many young people, and older ones, too, fail to realize, as the motto of the city of Nottingham, England, affirms: Vivet post funera virtus (“Virtue lives on after death”). - James E. Faust, “The Dignity of Self,” Ensign (CR) April 1981

Having said this much regarding the Peculiarities of our people, let us, my brethren and sisters, continue to be a peculiar people. Let our influence be felt wherever we go. Let it be said of us that we are indeed a peculiar people, in this, that the love of God abounds in our hearts, and that we seek to build one another up, not to tear down. When we come in contact with the world let them feel that we have no spirit of hatred toward them, no spirit to tear them down, but that in the depths of our hearts we desire to save their souls and to do them good. - Rulon S. Wells, Conference Report, October 1905, Afternoon Session, p.97

In the intellectual approach to human worth, the values of faith in God and virtuous behavior cannot be quantitatively proven or measured, and so faith and virtue are often rejected by many as worthless. This is a route destined to failure because it does not take into account the powerful importance of the subjective things we can know but not measure. For instance, I love my wife and family, and I feel their love for me. You cannot measure how deep our feelings of love are for each other, but that love is very real to us. Pain is also difficult to measure, but it is real. The same is true of faith in God. We can know of his existence without being able to quantitatively measure it. Paul states, "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God." (Rom. 8:16.) - James E. Faust, "The Dignity of Self," Ensign (CR), May 1981, p. 8

A great psychologist, MacDougall, once said: "The first thing to be done to help a man to moral regeneration is to restore if possible his self-respect." Also I recall the prayer of the old English weaver, "O God, help me to hold a high opinion of myself." That should be the prayer of every soul; not an abnormally developed self-esteem that becomes haughtiness, conceit, or arrogance, but a righteous self-respect that might be defined as "belief in one's own worth, worth to God, and worth to man.” - Harold B. Lee, "Understanding Who We Are Brings Self-Respect," Ensign (CR), January 1974, p.2

Each person wants to feel safe in what is sometimes a very cruel, competitive world. Everyone is of great worth because each is a spirit child of God. - W. Craig Zwick, “Encircled in the Savior's Love,” Ensign (CR), November 1995, p.13

Please, my beloved brothers and sisters, we must stop comparing ourselves to others. We torture ourselves needlessly by competing and comparing. We falsely judge our self-worth by the things we do or don’t have and by the opinions of others. If we must compare, let us compare how we were in the past to how we are today—and even to how we want to be in the future. The only opinion of us that matters is what our Heavenly Father thinks of us. Please sincerely ask Him what He thinks of you. He will love and correct but never discourage us; that is Satan’s trick. –
J. Devn Cornish, “Am I Good Enough? Will I Make it?” Ensign (CR) November 2016

With the help of the scriptures, words of the prophets, and personal revelation, we gradually come to an awareness of our true nature and destiny. Once we grasp this reality, we can obtain the faith to move forward and overcome any obstacle standing in our way of fulfilling our foreordained destiny—including the obstacle of feelings of low self-worth. – Glenn L. Pace, “Confidence and Self-Worth,” Ensign, January 2005

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