Mormon Channel Blog

    The Strength of Self-Discipline: Building Your Personal Tabernacle

    January 22, 2019

    In biblical times, the tabernacle was a sacred portable temple where the people of Israel worshipped God. Today, Latter-day Saint tabernacles hold religious and civic events, like performances of The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah.

    But a tabernacle isn’t just a physical building where thousands of people gather. In a general conference talk, Gordon B. Hinckley said: “Our bodies, … our minds, are the tabernacles of our spirits. He who is the Father of those spirits would have us build strength and virtue into these personal tabernacles. Only in such strength is there safety and growth and happiness” (“Building Your Tabernacle,” Oct. 1992 general conference).

    One of the greatest ways to build a strong personal foundation is having the power of self-discipline.

    Self-discipline means having the ability to control your feelings and weaknesses, as well as doing what you know is right even when you’re tempted to abandon the right way of thinking and acting.

    When you don’t control your thoughts and actions, when you make excuses, you don’t progress. You instead waste your strength and remain stagnant. It can even lead to addictions that ruin personal relationships and your life.

    James Allen once said, “This powerful focusing of one’s thought and energy and will upon the doing of things is difficult—but daily efforts, strenuously made and patiently followed up, will soon lead to such a measure of self-control as will enable one to bring a strong and penetrating mind to bear upon any work undertaken. … He will thus, as his concentrative capacity increases, enlarge his usefulness in the scheme of things, and increase his value to the world, thus inviting nobler opportunities, and opening the door to higher duties, he will also experience the joy of a wider and fuller life.”

    Like Allen said, it’s in your daily efforts that you build and maintain a degree of resilient self-discipline. Here are some daily habits you can start doing to strengthen your self-discipline:

    • Know your weakness. We all have shortcomings. Recognize yours. You can’t overcome a weakness unless you do.
    • Remove temptations. Boosting self-control is all about keeping your temptations out of sight and out of mind. So throw away those mini donuts and turn off social media notifications while at work.
    • Set goals. If you want something, you have to set timely, attainable goals to achieve it.
    • Reward yourself. Knowing a reward is coming for achieving a goal is a great motivator. Rewards also help take the fixation off what you’re trying to change.
    • Forgive yourself. No matter how hard you try, there will be times when you fall short—and that’s OK. Forgive yourself, and continue moving forward.
    • Be organized. An organized life is a self-controlled life. Organization in your personal and professional life will help you achieve your goals.
    • Eat frequently. Low blood sugar weakens a person’s determination and ability to focus. Eating often keeps your blood sugar levels regulated and improves your ability to focus and make good decisions.

    Whether it’s in relationships, work life, or personal health, self-discipline is the one quality that contributes to a lifetime of health, happiness, and achievement. So make your personal tabernacle strong by making good daily decisions and continually exercising the power of self-discipline.