Respect for Self and for Others

President Harold B. Lee opened the October 1973 conference by focusing on the theme of the self-respect which flows from understanding and living gospel principles. 

“To some it may seem old-fashioned to speak of virtue and chastity, honesty, morality, faith, character, but these are the qualities which have built great men and women and point the way by which one may find happiness in the living of today and eternal joy in the world to come. These are the qualities which are the anchors to our lives, in spite of the trials, the tragedies, the pestilences, and the cruelties of war which bring in their wake appalling destruction, hunger, and bloodshed.”
As I read this talk, I reflected on the fact that understanding God’s plan not only helps us gain self respect, but also respect for others. I’ve felt a great improvement in how I treat others. In particular, I am more kind and charitable towards those in menial jobs such as service of sanitation. 

I think I once saw others through an impatient  and highly self-absorbed lens. If they did not live up to my standard then I was quick to criticize.

For me, membership in Christ’s church changes that. Because I know that I I am interacting with another fellow child of God, I am far less likely to be impatient or rude. I instead feel much more inclined towards charity and compassion. 

And I’m less likely to see myself as superior or elite. Instead, any advantages that I have are seen to be blessings and opportunities for service.

I’m not saying this is the only way to inspire such feelings. Far from it. But for me. I have felt that the gospel has truly influenced my life and moved me far closer to the Christ like ideal. Thanks to Christ’s atonement, I can better love not only myself but others


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