Skip to main content

Love Thyself

The second great commandment is to "love thy neighbor as thyself" (Matthew 22:39). Countless lessons and talks have focused on the first part of the commandment, loving others, so we often ignore the second part. But love for others stems from love for self. It may not seem true: there are many people who are compassionate and kind who have self-love issues. However, I believe that their capacity to love others would increase dramatically if they learned to love themselves. When someone is filled with self-hatred and other negative emotions, there is little room for positive emotions, even for others. In fact, self-hatred is selfish (note self is in both words); it's focusing solely on ourselves. On the other hand, when we are filled with self-love, we are happier, more optimistic people with greater capacity to see the needs of others and fill them.

I remember first learning this lesson from watching The Buttercream Gang. A former member of the gang goes on a rampage in the store, yelling at his friends for trying to help him. They don't understand why he is treating them so badly when they are trying to be his friends again. He answers, "Because I hate myself!" Once he learns to love himself as his friends love him, he becomes a good person again and reconnects with his old friends.

Loving ourselves is not easy. There are many reasons why we don't love ourselves: sins, weaknesses, physical insecurities, emotional insecurities, abuse, lies, false comparisons, etc. But there is one reason why we should love ourselves that crushes all the reasons not to: Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us. We are so full of worth that Jesus suffered agonizing pain and death for us without ever stopping loving us.

Their love is incomprehensible to our human minds sometimes, allowing Satan to plant lies about this doctrine. An article in the October Ensign addressed these lies and reminded us that God's love is unconditional and eternal and that the Atonement can take away our negative feelings about ourselves.

Challenge: Read the article in the Ensign. Choose one lie that you frequently fall for and work on dispelling it with the truth.

Comments

Anonymous said…
great post and great article
love
DAD

Popular posts from this blog

Family Home Evening for Babies

Family home evening can sometimes be a challenge because we don't know what to do. This is especially true for those of us with only a baby. There are plenty of ideas for single members, couples, and families, but I have yet to find good suggestions for planning a family home evening lesson for a baby (not yet in Nursery). So I compiled my own list: Read gospel-related board books. They are short and introduce common scripture stories in a very simple manner. Read the scriptures. Elder Bednar said, "Youth of all ages, even infants, can and do respond to the distinctive spirit of the Book of Mormon. Children may not understand all of the words and stories, but they certainly can feel the 'familiar spirit' described by Isaiah (Isaiah 29:4; see also 2 Nephi 26:16)." Sing Primary songs together. There is no better way to invite the Spirit, teach basic gospel principles, and prepare your baby for Nursery and Primary. Sing interactive songs to get wiggle…

The Sacrament Prayers

We hear the sacrament prayers every week, but do we listen to the words and know the purpose of the prayers? I have broken down the blessing on the bread to help us better understand the sacrament, something I was advised to do in my patriarchal blessing.

O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy son, Jesus Christ,
First, we address Heavenly Father. Then we ask Him in humility and verify that we are doing so in Jesus's name, as we are commanded to do all things in His name (3 Nephi 27:7, 9).

to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it,
The Guide to the Scriptures on lds.org defines the words bless and sanctify as follows:
Bless: To confer divine favor upon someone. Anything contributing to true happiness, well-being, or prosperity is a blessing.
All blessings are based on eternal laws (D&C 130:20–21). Because God wants his children to find joy in life (2 Ne. 2:25), he grants blessings to them as a result of their obedience to hi…