“Selfishness,” Eternal Marriage Student Manual (2003), 304

“Selfishness,” Eternal Marriage Student Manual, 304


Selected Teachings

President David O. McKay

“I know of no better way to bring about harmony in the home, in the neighborhood, in organizations, peace in our country, and in the world than for every man and woman first to eliminate from his or her heart the enemies of harmony and peace such as hatred, selfishness, greed, animosity, and envy” (Gospel Ideals, 292).

President Spencer W. Kimball

“It all comes back to one word, doesn’t it: Selfishness” (Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, 313).

“Every divorce is the result of selfishness on the part of one or the other or both parties to a marriage contract. Someone is thinking of self—comforts, conveniences, freedoms, luxuries, or ease. Sometimes the ceaseless pinpricking of an unhappy, discontented, and selfish spouse can finally add up to serious physical violence. Sometimes people are goaded to the point where they erringly feel justified in doing the things which are so wrong. Nothing, of course, justifies sin. …

“The marriage that is based upon selfishness is almost certain to fail. The one who marries for wealth or the one who marries for prestige or social plane is certain to be disappointed. The one who marries to satisfy vanity and pride or who marries to spite or to show up another person is fooling only himself. But the one who marries to give happiness as well as receive it, to give service as well as to receive it, and who looks after the interests of the two and then the family as it comes will have a good chance that the marriage will be a happy one” (“Marriage and Divorce,” 148–49).

President Gordon B. Hinckley

“Selfishness so often is the basis of money problems, which are a very serious and real factor affecting the stability of family life. Selfishness is at the root of adultery, the breaking of solemn and sacred covenants to satisfy selfish lust. Selfishness is the antithesis of love. It is a cankering expression of greed. It destroys self-discipline. It obliterates loyalty. It tears up sacred covenants. It afflicts both men and women” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1991, 96; or Ensign, May 1991, 73).

Elder Neal A. Maxwell

“In our failures, there is usually disguised selfishness, the overreaching for ‘a bridge too far.’ Whether in financial or civic ruin or in infidelity and divorce, proud selfishness is usually there. Lack of intellectual humility is there among those who have deliberately cultivated their doubts in order, they think, to release themselves from their covenants. Some nurture their grievances assiduously. Were their grievances, instead, Alma’s seed of faith, they would have long ago nourished a mighty tree of testimony” (Meek and Lowly, 6–7).