Yes, you are of great worth (see Doctrine and Covenants 18:10). You have infinite and eternal worth as a child of God, and abuse cannot diminish or take away your worth in His sight.
If you have been abused, you may feel unworthy of attention or love from others, including Heavenly Father. You may also think that the abuse has caused you to lose your worthiness to receive blessings of the gospel. However, your worth is not determined by anything that happens to you.
Sister Joy D. Jones, General Primary President, explained that “spiritual worth means to value ourselves the way Heavenly Father values us, not as the world values us. Our worth was determined before we ever came to this earth” (“Value beyond Measure,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2017, 14).
Abuse can create confusion in your heart and mind, causing you to question your worth or worthiness. However, abuse does not diminish or take away your worth because your worth never changes.
Understanding Your Thoughts and Feelings
You may have some of the following thoughts or feelings:
- I’m not worthy.
- I could have prevented this.
- I am guilty.
- God doesn’t love me anymore.
- Nobody will ever love me.
- I am damaged beyond repair.
- The Savior’s Atonement applies to others, but not me.
- I need to be perfect.
These feelings are common, but they are lies that come from the adversary. Heavenly Father and the Savior’s love for you is never diminished. You are worthy of love. Consider the Apostle Paul’s words:
“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
“Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38–39).
Knowing the source of all truth, our Father in Heaven, can help you dispel your fears or negative thoughts.
The scriptures help us understand how we can recognize inspiration and direction from our Heavenly Father: “Wherefore, all things which are good cometh of God; and that which is evil cometh of the devil; for the devil is an enemy unto God” (Moroni 7:12).
You may need help from others to work through your unhealthy thoughts and feelings. The sooner you get help, the easier it will be to develop power over these beliefs. It is never too late to get the help and support you need to work through and dispel these beliefs.
Understanding Your Worthiness
Your worthiness is not determined by anything that happens to you, and you do not need to repent for what someone has done to you.
For those who have been sexually abused, you may feel that you are morally unclean or that you have broken the law of chastity. “Victims of sexual abuse are not guilty of sin. … If you have been a victim of abuse, know that you are innocent and that God loves you” (For the Strength of Youth [booklet, 2011], 36). Your virtue cannot be taken from you by the actions of others.
Your Worth Cannot Be Diminished
Among the most important truths we can come to know and understand in this life are who our Heavenly Father is; who His Son, Jesus Christ is; who we are as children of God; and what our relationship is to the Father and the Son (see John 15:1–5; Romans 8:16–17; Doctrine and Covenants 50:41).
Elder D. Todd Christofferson declared, “God’s love is infinite and it will endure forever” (“Abide in My Love,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2016, 48). God wants us to feel “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, [and] temperance” (Galatians 5:22–23). As you understand that Heavenly Father loves you, you will begin to understand and believe your great worth.
There is nothing that can happen in this life, including the actions of others, that has the power to diminish your worth.
President Thomas S. Monson said: “Your Heavenly Father loves you—each of you. That love never changes. … It is simply there. It is there for you when you are sad or happy, discouraged or hopeful. God’s love is there for you whether or not you feel you deserve love. It is simply always there” (“We Never Walk Alone,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2013, 123–24).
- “The Great and Wonderful Love,” Anthony D. Perkins, Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2006
- “Satan—The Great Deceiver,” Marion G. Romney, Ensign, July 1971
- “Knowing Who You Are—and Who You Have Always Been,” Sheri Dew, BYU Women’s Conference
- “Our Identity and Our Destiny,” Tad R. Callister (Brigham Young University devotional, Aug. 14, 2012)