Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A Righteous Self Respect

This following Article caught my eye and I really enjoyed it and helped me gain a better eternal perspective.

Certain products from the hair care industry are promoted with the catchy motto: "You're worth it." The implication is that the extra cost of the product is justified because the customer deserves it, or is "worth it."

We might be well advised to adopt a similar motto: "I'm worth it."

This isn't meant in a haughty or egotistical vein; rather, it's intended as a reminder of who we are individually: a son or daughter of God, a person of value, someone who really is worth something.

Some people make disparaging comments about themselves: "I'm stupid." "I never do anything right." "I'm not good for anything." The list of put-downs of the self is long. And so wrong.

A psychologist once said: "The first thing to be done to help a man to moral regeneration is to restore, if possible, his self-respect."

And an unknown Englishman of earlier days wove this prayer: "O God, help me to hold a high opinion of myself."

"That," said President Harold B. Lee of the Englishman's plea, "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"' (Stand Ye in Holy Places, p. 7).

The most sure way to achieve a healthy sense of self-worth, self-respect or self-esteem is to understand our divine heritage. We know little about our pre-mortal existence, but we do know that we were valiant sons and daughters of God who accepted His great plan of salvation. Because of our loyalty to His cause, we gained the privilege of obtaining mortal bodies and coming to Earth as sons and daughters of worth.

The Prophet Joseph Smith said, "If men do not comprehend the character of God, they do not comprehend themselves" (History of the Church, 6:303).

In our own day, we have this counsel: "Knowing who you are — who you really are — is closely tied to knowing God, for you are His children" (President James E. Faust, First Presidency Message, Ensign, March 2001, p. 2).

Latter-day Saint children sing, "I Am a Child of God," which helps them learn of their divine lineage.

The precept that we are children of God isn't new to latter-day revelation and teachings. From the Old Testament, we are taught, "All of you are children of the most High" (Psalm 82:6).

And the New Testament tells us, "We are the offspring of God" (Acts 17:29).

Jesus instructed His disciples how to pray: "Our Father which art in heaven.... (Matthew 6:9).

In an address at the most recent general conference, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve noted that negative speaking "so often flows from negative thinking, including negative thinking about ourselves. We see our own faults, we speak — or at least think — critically of ourselves, and before long that is how we see everyone and everything. No sunshine, no roses, no promise of hope or happiness. Before long we and everybody around us are miserable."

Elder Holland quoted from Elder Orson F. Whitney's conference address of April 1917: "The spirit of the gospel is optimistic; it trusts in God and looks on the bright side of things. The opposite or pessimistic spirit drags men down and away from God, looks on the dark side, murmurs, complains, and is slow to yield obedience."

We have just commemorated the Easter season, and in every sacrament meeting we are reminded of the Atonement. As we contemplate what the Savior did for each one of us, we must realize that He felt that we were worth His pain and suffering. He made that sacrifice so that each one of us "might repent and come unto him" (Doctrine and Covenants 18:11). He wants us to be with Him. He regards us as having worth.

Let us endeavor to recognize who every one of us is — a child of God. Knowing this, we can recognize not only our value, but also that of everyone else. We can have an optimistic spirit about ourselves and who we are. And, in our upward reach to improve our lives, and in acknowledging and expressing appreciation for the good things that come our way, we can say, "I'm worth it."

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