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The LDS Daily WOOL© Archive - Self-Control

"If, in your case, the physical tends to dominate, all the more reason to bridle it and find the other dimensions. Bridle is the word that wise father Alma used in counseling his son Shiblon, and the promise he attached is the key to understanding: 'Bridle... your passions, that ye may be filled with love.' (Alma 38:12.) Bridling increases strength, increases power, increases love. There are absolutely two ways you can control a horse. (We learned a little bit about horses last night.) One is to kill it; one is to bridle it. Alma never said kill your passions. The implication is not that passions are evil, that we shouldn't have them. On the contrary, we bridle something we love, something whose power we respect." - Paul H. Dunn, "Teach 'the Why,'" Ensign, November 1981, p. 72

"The Church urges men to have self-mastery to control their appetites, their tempers, and their speech. A man is not at his best when he is a slave to some habit. A man is not his best who lives merely to gratify his passions. That is one reason why the Lord has given the Church the revelation of the Word of Wisdom so that, even from boyhood and girlhood, young men and young women may learn to control themselves. That is not always easy. The youth today face enemies-false ideologies and immoral practices "glossed over" and "seasoned with a text." Sound preparation is necessary to meet and conquer these enemies. Keep in mind that man's earthly existence is but a test as to whether he will concentrate his efforts, his mind, his soul upon things which contribute to the comfort and gratification of his physical nature, or whether he will make as his life's purpose the acquisition of spiritual qualities." - David O. McKay, "Conference Report," October 1969, First Day—Morning Meeting, p.8

"'What is man?' asked the psalmist. (Ps. 8:4.) The answer: '[God] made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.' (Ps. 8:4-6.) It is, therefore, our responsibility to climb ever upward and to wear God-given crowns honorably. Young men, especially those of a 'chosen generation' and 'royal priesthood,' must understand that they are the spiritual offspring of God and that no one becomes in truth a man until he reverences the Father of spirits and allows inner powers to control his thoughts, words, and actions. (See 1 Pet. 2:9; Acts 17:28; Heb. 12:9.)" - Carlos E. Asay, "Be Men!," Ensign (CR), May 1992, p.40

"The computer is a wonderful instrument when it is properly used. But when it is used to deal with pornography or so-called chat rooms or for any other purpose that leads to evil practices or evil thoughts, then there must be self-discipline enough to turn it off.

"The Lord has declared, 'Purge ye out the iniquity which is among you; sanctify yourselves before me' (D&C 43:11). No one can mistake the meaning of those words.

"He says further, 'The elements are the tabernacle of God; yea, man is the tabernacle of God, even temples; and whatsoever temple is defiled, God shall destroy that temple' (D&C 93:35). There is no equivocation there. The Lord has spoken plainly that we must take care of our mortal body and avoid that which would do it harm.

"He has made to each of us a great promise. Said He, 'Be thou humble; and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers' (D&C 112:10).

"And further: 'God shall give unto you knowledge by his Holy Spirit, yea, by the unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost, that has not been revealed since the world was until now' (D&C 121:26).

"All of us would do well to study the life of the Master and try to emulate His words and doings. We would likewise do well to study the life of the Prophet Joseph. From his example, each of us could learn much concerning our own behavior." - Gordon B. Hinckley, "Rise Up, O Men of God," Ensign, November 2006

“Brethren, part of my warning voice tonight is that this will only get worse. It seems the door to permissiveness, the door to lewdness and vulgarity and obscenity swings only one way. It only opens farther and farther; it never seems to swing back. Individuals can choose to close it, but it is certain, historically speaking, that public appetite and public policy will not close it. No, in the moral realm the only real control you have is self-control.” - Jeffrey R. Holland, “Sanctify Yourselves,” Ensign (CR), November 2000, p. 38

“The most inspiring thing about the life of Jesus was not his ability to quiet the storm or control the tempest, but his absolute control of himself. The Master did not need to make a single mistake in order to find out that it was wrong. We have developed a fairly good control over some of our body members; for example, I have great authority over my finger. If I tell it to bend, it bends. If I tell it to unbend, it unbends. If I give my feet an order, they obey immediately, and we will have succeeded in our religious responsibility when we get that same kind of control over our thoughts, our emotions, our tongues, our industry, our faith, and our desire to serve God. Some of us have mistrained our appetites to a point where we tend to ‘think’ with our stomachs; that is, our appetites frequently have more influence in directing our lives than our reason or even the commandments of God. This same misuse of our powers frequently gives our fears, our doubts, our prejudices, our hates, and our sex impulses the control of our lives. Before we can be successful in our God-given dominion, our emotions must be brought under the direction of the spirit.” - Sterling W. Sill, “Conference Report,” October 1963, General Priesthood Meeting, p. 78

You … are God’s [child], hence heir to all he has. His purpose and goal is to bring to pass your immortality and eternal life. You are the most important thing that exists—his most important creation. So we must be master of our beings and control ourselves, and not be controlled by some habit or by someone else. We must be lifters and not leaners. Reach for the stars. - Ted E. Brewerton, "My Son and Yours—Each a Remarkable One," Ensign (CR) October 1986

At each moment of His suffering, the Redeemer of the world showed exceptional self-control. He always thought of blessing others; with kindness and tenderness, He pleaded for John to take care of His mother, Mary. He asked His Father in Heaven to forgive the executioners who crucified Him. - Carlos H. Amado, “Christ the Redeemer,” Ensign (CR) May 2014

I now turn to mastery of our own private thoughts. In this realm, conscience is the only referee that can blow the whistle when we get out of control. If not bridled, our thoughts can run wild. Our minds are a part of us that really require discipline and control. I believe reading the scriptures is the best washing machine for unclean or uncontrolled thoughts. For those who are eligible and worthy, the sanctity of the holy temple can lift our thoughts above the earthy. - James E. Faust, “The Power of Self-Mastery,” Ensign (CR) April 2000

No one needs to be grouchy. No one needs to be unpleasant. Everyone can control his emotions if he wants to, just as he can control his appetites. - Mark E. Petersen, "Conference Report," October 1961, Second Day—Morning Meeting, p. 49

We have a gracious, kind, and loving Father in heaven who stands ready to help us. Self-mastery, self-control, and self-discipline are required strengths that enable us to set aside temptations to do wrong. It is a wonderful feeling to conquer wrong practices and to be free and unencumbered from their detrimental effects, both physically and spiritually. When we have conquered our bad habits and replaced them with good ones, living as we should, obedient and faithful, then we are on our way to the presence of God. - Delbert L. Stapley, "Good Habits Develop Good Character," Ensign (CR), November 1974, p.20

There are two important elements in self-mastery. The first is to determine your course or set the sails, so to speak, of moral standards; the other is the willpower, or the wind in the sails carrying one forward. As I said before, character is determined by the extent to which we can master ourselves toward good ends. It is difficult to say just what builds good character, but we know it when we see it. It always commands our admiration, and the absence of it our pity. But it is largely a matter of willpower. – N. Eldon Tanner, “Success if Gauged by Self-Mastery,” Ensign (CR) May 1975

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