People wonder by saying, "should I love myself first or my fellow man?" If one is full of love they are one with the Father and they are then one with the Son. If you are one with them you are full of love for yourself and your fellow man. I don't think you can't separate these things or split real Christlike love (which is what we must have) to pieces.
Let's say I despise myself, as a hypothetical situation. How am I now going to love anyone?
To echo Rochelle Hale's comment above, this article seems to ignore the second great commandment, 'love thy neighbor as thyself'. If I'm loving my neighbor as myself and I don't love myself then I won't be able to love my neighbor either. Loving God is obviously significant (first and greatest) but to ignore and/or dismiss the second great commandment which this article seems to do is very short sighted and not very helpful
Surely the idea that there's a "third implied commandment: to love thyself" is an encouragement for the narcissist and another burden for the depressed.
Thank you Brother Goddard!
In response to some comments, I would say that sometimes loving ourselves means being self-centered and prideful, as Brother Goddard indicates. Other times we might use the same phrase, as was mentioned that Elder Gifford did in General Conference, but mean accepting our identity and purpose, and the Lord's love for us, which
is quite different from the myth Brother Goddard was referring to.
I personally don't think most anyone needs to work at loving themselves in order to know how they'd like to be treated; that comes quite naturally to the natural man. The hard part is to look beyond ourselves, loving God and others, to know how to treat them!
Elder S. Gifford Nielsen said it best: “Our Heavenly Father wants us to love ourselves—not to become prideful or self-centered, but to see ourselves as He sees us: we are His cherished children. When this truth sinks deep into our hearts, our love for God grows. When we view ourselves with sincere respect, our hearts are open to treat others that way too.” We love God because he first loved us. When we know he loves us, we naturally start to love ourselves more, and then turn our feelings of acceptance, peace, and joy to serving others. Genuinely loving and serving others comes because we love ourselves, since God loved us first.
Loving yourself is a feminist psychofad that some have tried to elevate to scriptural status with the commandment to love others as you love yourself. President Monson made it clear that there is no such thing as self love. He said the source of love is God not yourself. The love of God is pure, unselfish, never self seeking, and the more selfless you become, the more this love can flow through you to others.
I felt a little uncomfortable when I heard these words in the last General Conference,
"I don’t know about you, but when I read these two great commandments, I detect a third implied commandment: to love thyself. Have you ever thought of loving yourself as a commandment? Can we truly love God and love His children if we don’t love ourselves?"
I may have mistakenly taken these words out of context or missed the point of the talk. It does feel awkward or contradictory from what I believe and what this excellent article teaches. Perhaps there is another learning opportunity or perspective that I don't understand?
To many people self-love means allowing themselves to feel God's love for them. It is not selfish, self-centered, or narcissistic. On the contrary, it is an act of faith, humility, and surrender. To me Jesus is the greatest example of that kind of self-love.
What happened to the second great commandment, love thy neighbor as thyself (Matthew 22:39)? When did this become a Latter-Day or an American myth? The golden rule is found in most cultures. If we understand how we want to be treated (love ourselves), then we will be more inclined to love and respect others and desire good for them. Loving and respecting ourselves is not selfish. It is a key to loving our neighbors as God would have us, and shows our love for Him as well.
Thank you immensely. If we were more interactive with prayer our motivation would raise to a higher level. I liked what Jared Halverson said (See Matt 22:36 - 39), that loving ourselves should be the third great commandment. I loved the spirit and poignant spirit of your article.
Thank you, Bro. Goddard, for addressing this topic. I have never been comfortable when I've heard taught the myth that we must love ourselves before we can love others. I prefer to consider the glorious truth that I am a daughter of a Heavenly Father who loves me, and it is my duty to spend my life striving to become more like His Son.
Thank you, Wally, for not only reminding us of these important truths, but also living a life that illustrates these principles.
Thank you for this wonderful insight! It is exactly what I needed to hear today!
This is so good. Thank you for setting aright a philosophy of the world that has, as you say, inverted God’s well-being pyramid and stood it on its head. Amen.
Excellent article. I would add, however, that my experience with working with victims of abuse for 30 years is that some struggle desperately to find anything of worth in themselves to even feel they can approach God. Especially one that did not seem to be around when the abuse was happening.They need a little push in the form of learning to see their strengths in order to feel that maybe they have enough worth for God to care about them. In that sense, they do need to love themselves. I have always interpreted that scripture from that perspective.
Thank you Brother Goddard❣️
This is one of the most enlightening articles I’ve read in my 73 years.
I have really enjoyed your previous articles also. You have a fine mind, inspired by the Lord to share truth with us.
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