- I’m not sure why we are able to diagnose and recommend remedies for other people’s ills so well, while we often have difficulty seeing our own.
Seeing ourselves in a good light is normal. But when we think our contributions are more significant than they are, we lose our focus on serving others and improving ourselves.
- It might not be so significant to overestimate how well we drive a car or how far we can drive a golf ball. But when we start believing that our contributions at home, at work, and at church are greater than they actually are, we blind ourselves to blessings and opportunities to improve ourselves in significant and profound ways.
President Uchtdorf asks a series of questions to cause us to reflect on our own lives and how we measure to to world.
- Is your heart set on the convenient things of this world, or is it focused on the teachings of the diligent Jesus Christ? “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Does the Spirit of God dwell in your hearts? Are you “rooted and grounded” in the love of God and of your fellowmen? Do you devote sufficient time and creativity to bringing happiness to your marriage and family? Do you give your energies to the sublime goal of comprehending and living “the breadth, and length, and depth, and height” of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ? Brethren, if it is your great desire to cultivate Christlike attributes of “faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, [and service],” Heavenly Father will make you an instrument in His hands unto the salvation of many souls.
Seeing our weaknesses and the improvements we need to make in our lives, without pointing out everyone else's will enable us to see what we can improve upon and how to be better followers of the Savior.
- Being able to see ourselves clearly is essential to our spiritual growth and well-being. If our weaknesses and shortcomings remain obscured in the shadows, then the redeeming power of the Savior cannot heal them and make them strengths. Ironically, our blindness toward our human weaknesses will also make us blind to the divine potential that our Father yearns to nurture within each of us.
Reading and hearing the words of the prophets causes us to reflect on our lives and points out clear things we can do to improve ourselves. How great it is to read a conference talk and be able to find specific actions that can be taken to improve our lives. Implementing the things we learn will help us be more humble, more trusting, and more open to the prompting of the Spirit concerning what we need to do to be better disciples of Christ.
- As you hear or read the words of the ancient and modern prophets, refrain from thinking about how the words apply to someone else and ask the simple question: “Lord, is it I?”
- Those who do not wish to learn and change probably will not and most likely will begin to wonder whether the Church has anything to offer them. But those who want to improve and progress, those who learn of the Savior and desire to be like Him, those who humble themselves as a little child and seek to bring their thoughts and actions into harmony with our Father in Heaven—they will experience the miracle of the Savior’s Atonement. They will surely feel God’s resplendent Spirit. They will taste the indescribable joy that is the fruit of a meek and humble heart. They will be blessed with the desire and discipline to become true disciples of Jesus Christ.
If we can put get past our pride, look beyond ourselves, and see wisdom from God, He will give us instruction and understanding on how to be a better disciple of Jesus Christ.
- We must put aside our pride, see beyond our vanity, and in humility ask, “Lord, is it I?” And if the Lord’s answer happens to be “Yes, my son, there are things you must improve, things I can help you to overcome,” I pray that we will accept this answer, humbly acknowledge our sins and shortcomings, and then change our ways by becoming better husbands, better fathers, better sons. May we from this time forward seek with all our might to walk steadfastly in the Savior’s blessed way—for seeing ourselves clearly is the beginning of wisdom.
Self-reflection is key to understanding how we can follow the Savior with greater purpose. We cannot make improvements in our lives if we are constantly looking at others mistakes. We will spend all our time being grateful that we are not them and that we don't have their problems in life. Instead we should recognize our need to change and improve ourselves. As we seek to understand what we can do to improve, it is my hope that we look at our lives instead of comparing ourselves to others.