“The Worth of Souls Is Great,” Ensign, Aug. 1989, 51
Objective: To help sisters better recognize their worth and great importance in God’s plan and in the Church.
Carol (the names have been changed) has been a full-time homemaker for the last twenty-five years and has found great satisfaction in that role. But after her youngest son left for a mission, she began to feel “empty.” It will be several years before her husband retires and they can serve a mission. In the meantime, she plans to attend college, but doesn’t know what she wants to study. As a mother, she was needed, but now she wonders about her worth as a person.
Diane, who is single, has similar concerns. “I sometimes feel that I need to have a prestigious job and an impressive lifestyle and measure up to wordly standards in order to justify my existence,” she says.
Both Diane and Carol are making a serious mistake by basing their whole sense of selfworth outside of themselves. They have forgotten that we all have inherent worth simply because we are daughters of God! Though our lives and circumstances may change, our worth does not.
The Lord values his children for reasons far different from the world’s; he “seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” (1 Sam. 16:7.)
The world believes that the requirements for self-worth are beauty, youth, wealth, and success. Patricia Holland, former counselor in the Young Women general presidency, counseled women college students: “As women we are becoming so concerned about having perfect figures, or straight A’s, or professional status, or even absolute motherly success that we are being torn from our true selves. We often worry so much about pleasing and performing for others that we lose our own uniqueness, that full and relaxed acceptance of ourselves as a person of worth and individuality.” (“The Soul’s Center,” address given at a Brigham Young University devotional 13 Jan. 1987.)
No matter what our social status, appearance, or circumstance, our Heavenly Father loves us and wants us to recognize our worth. Our behavior may sometimes prevent us from feeling esteem for ourselves, but we can change that behavior. If we sin or make mistakes, we can repent. The Lord suffered “that all men might repent and come unto him.” (D&C 18:11; italics added.)
When we struggle with self-worth, we need to remember the story of the widow’s mite. (See Mark 12:41–44.)Jesus did not call attention to the wealthy, who made a great display of presenting their offerings; instead, he pointed out the widow. She was not well-known or fashionable. She had few possessions. But Jesus saw her worth as a great woman who was willing to share what she had.
Like her, each of us has a contribution to make to the Lord’s work and to mankind. Paul taught this principle when he explained how each Church member is a member of the “body of Christ.” (See 1 Cor. 12:12–27.) He also wrote, “We are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ.” (Rom. 8:16–17.) What great value we each have as a child of God and an heir of his kingdom!
Share with the sister you visit a talent or quality that you’ve noticed she possesses and with which she contributes to the Lord’s work. Lovingly invite her to continue to contribute to the Lord’s work.
(See Family Home Evening Resource Book, pp. 7–11, 20–31, 36–42, 109–17, 146–55, 245 for related materials.)