Quotes on Man’s Worth

See also: D&C 46:87

I believe a capacity for creativity is inherent in our natures.  Perhaps it is one of the godlike attributes we inherit as our Heavenly Father’s children.  This attribute finds different expressions in each one of us.  In many it remains largely dormant because it is never given an opportunity to emerge.  It is likely that each one of us has creative powers that can be developed and that can add significantly to the joy and satisfaction we experience in our lives.  It may well be that this aspect of our development in mortality is as important in the eyes of a creative Heavenly Father as many other attributes that receive greater attention and emphasis.

Anyone who has struggled to paint a landscape and capture the essence of composition, light, and shadow reflected in nature simply cannot emerge from that effort without a more profound appreciation for the master Creator’s capacity to create the real thing. — Elder Dean L. Larsen, “Building Creativity,” New Era, August 1991, p. 4 

As members of the Church of Jesus Christ, we seek to bring all truth together.  We seek to enlarge the circle of love and understanding among all the people of the earth. Thus we strive to establish peace and happiness, not only within Christianity but among all mankind. 

In the message of the gospel, the entire human race is one family descended from a single God. . . .  

Every person is a spiritual child of God.  

In this gospel view there is no room for a contracted, narrow, or prejudicial view. . . .

There is no underlying excuse for smugness, arrogance, or pride. . . .

We believe there is a spiritual influence that emanates from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space.  (See D&C 88:12.)  All men share an inheritance of divine light.  God operates among his children in all nations, and those who seek God are entitled to further light and knowledge, regardless of their race, nationality, or cultural traditions.  

Elder Orson F. Whitney . . . explained that . . . “[God] is using not only his covenant people, but other peoples as well, to consummate a work, stupendous, magnificent, and altogether too arduous for this little handful of Saints to accomplish by and of themselves.” (In Conference Report, Apr. 1921, pp. 32-33; Ensign, Nov. 1991, pp. 18-19.)  

Recognizing this broad view of who can do good, we must be cautious that we do not confuse our opposition to wrong-headed ideas or dangerous practices with opposition to sincere, good-hearted people.  Many good and honest people of different faiths or of no faith at all are on the Lord’s side in seeking the betterment of their fellowmen and exerting a positive influence on society. — Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, “The Lord’s Side,” Ensign, March 1993, p. 69

It has been said that this church does not necessarily attract great people but more often makes ordinary people great.  Many nameless people with gifts equal only to five loaves and two small fishes magnify their callings and serve without attention or recognition, feeding literally thousands.  In large measure, they make possible the fulfillment of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream that the latter-day gospel of Christ would be like a stone cut out of the mountains without hands, rolling forth until it fills the whole earth (see Dan. 2:34-35; D&C 65:2).  These are the hundreds of thousands of leaders and teachers in all of the auxiliaries and priesthood quorums, the home teachers, the Relief Society visiting teachers.  These are the many humble bishops in the Church, some without formal training but greatly magnified, always learning, with a humble desire to serve the Lord and the people of their wards.

Any man or woman who enjoys the Master’s touch is like potter’s clay in his hands. More important than acquiring fame or fortune is being what God wants us to be.  Before we came to this earth, we may have been fashioned to do some small good in this life that no one else can do.  The Lord said to Jeremiah, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations” (Jer. 1:5).  If God has a work for those with many talents, I believe he also has an important work for those of us who have few. — President James E. Faust, “Five Loaves and Two Fishes,” Ensign, May 1994, p. 4

We must remember, in a world where some still go hungry, that men,  women, and children can starve from a lack of self-knowledge as much as they can from a lack of bread.  That is why, when Jesus invited his disciples to partake of the emblems of his body and blood (3  Ne.18:3-5), they were “filled” – filled with the spirit of heaven, filled with the spirit of hope, filled with more certain knowledge of  who they really were – “heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ.”  That same spirit bears witness to us yet that we are the “children of God” (Rom. 8:17, 16).

Indeed, as President Lee (and every other prophetic  voice) has declared, “The first thing to be done to help a man to  moral regeneration is to restore, if possible, his self-respect.”  (Quoted in Conference Report, Oct. 1973, p. 5)  The gospel of Jesus  Christ does that for its members in a unique and inimitable way.

When asked  “What can I know?” a Latter-day Saint answers, “All that God knows.”

When asked  “What ought I to do?” his disciples answer, “Follow the Master.”

When asked  “What may I hope?” an entire dispensation declares, “Peace  in this world, and eternal life in the world to come” (D&C 59:23), indeed ultimately for “all that [the] Father hath” (D&C84:38).

Depressions and identity crises have a hard time holding up under that response. — Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “Belonging: A View of Membership,” Ensign, April 1980, p. 27

This, brothers, sisters, and friends, is the whole history of the world in a nutshell. This is what you and I are doing day by day –  either adding unto and upon that talent which God has given us, be it small or great, or we are neglecting it and are preparing to meet just such a judgment as was pronounced upon the unfaithful steward in the parable. No one on this broad earth, will have it to say truthfully at the judgment seat of God, “Father, you gave me nothing; I have nothing to render up.”  All men have received something from the Great Creator. All men have received a measure of light and intelligence, and it is not for an individual or any set of individuals to sit in judgment upon the dispensations of the Almighty and say, “You have given me something so small that it was unworthy of improvement, and I have added nothing to it.” — Elder Orson F. Whitney, Collected Discourses, Vol.1, June 24, 1888

It is wonderful to know that our Heavenly Father loves us – even with all our flaws! His love is such that even should we give up on ourselves, He never will.

We see ourselves in terms of yesterday and today. Our Heavenly Father sees us in terms of forever.  Although we might settle for less, Heavenly Father won’t, for He sees us as the glorious beings we are capable of becoming. — Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, “The Great Commandment,” Ensign, November 2007, pp. 29-30

There are many things worthy of our consideration as we move along in the pathway to exaltation and glory. . . . In considering ourselves and how we have been organized and what we are doing, we discover that there is immortality connected with us. We are immortal beings.  That which dwells in this body of ours is immortal, and will always exist. Our individuality will always continue.  Eternities may begin, eternities may end, and still we shall have our individuality.  Our identity is insured. — President Lorenzo Snow, Conference Report, April 1901, p. 2

He did not limit or say “all who are perfect come unto me,” or just the rich, or just the poor, or just the healthy, or those without sin, or those who pray the longest, or just the sick.  His invitation is to all: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest,” comfort, peace; “for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

His plea to all is to love God, love His children, keep His commandments, and believe that Jesus is the Christ, born of God. (See 1 Jn. 5:1–3.) — Elder David B. Haight, “People to People,” Ensign, October 1981

Life is no brief candle to me.  It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got a hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations. — George Bernard Shaw

Sadly, in today’s world, a person’s importance is often judged by the size of the audience before which he or she performs.  That is how media and sports programs are rated, how corporate prominence is sometimes determined, and often how governmental rank is obtained.  That may be why roles such as father, mother, and missionary seldom receive standing ovations. Fathers, mothers, and missionaries “play” before very small audiences.  Yet, in the eyes of the Lord, there may be only one size of audience that is of lasting importance – and that is just one, each one, you and me, and each one of the children of God.  The irony of the Atonement is that it is infinite and eternal, yet it is applied individually, one person at a time. — Elder M. Russell Ballard, “The Atonement and the Value of One Soul,” Ensign, May 2004

What you see and hear depends a good deal on where you are standing: it also depends on what sort of person you are. — C. S. Lewis

When you are inspired by some great purpose . . . dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be. — Patanjali