A man in a gray sweatshirt faces a forest full of green trees

Counting Dandelions: Looking Inward in an Environment of Comparison

Focusing on the things we can do to improve ourselves and avoiding comparison with others will allow the healing power of the gospel to help us.

With the increasing popularity of social media, we are constantly barraged with other people’s lives, which fosters an environment of comparison. We may criticize or applaud ourselves based on how we compare to others, but neither practice helps our spiritual or emotional growth.

During the Last Supper, Christ told his Apostles that one of them would betray him. Although they could have looked around the table pointing fingers and making accusations, they didn’t. Instead, every one of them asked, “Lord, is it I?” (Matthew 26:22). In Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s talk “Lord, Is It I?” he expands on the idea of focusing inward rather than pointing out other people’s shortcomings.

If our weaknesses and shortcomings remain obscured in the shadows, then the redeeming power of the Savior cannot heal them and make them strengths. -Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Photo by Paul Gilmore

Elder Uchtdorf shares a parable about dandelions in which a man is shocked at his neighbor’s negligence when he sees a dandelion in their yard. The man begins brainstorming ways to help his neighbor get rid of this singular dandelion before it leads to hundreds of other dandelions. As he passes his own yard, he completely ignores the hundreds of dandelions there because he is too preoccupied with the one dandelion in his neighbor’s yard. Elder Uchtdorf says, “If our weaknesses and shortcomings remain obscured in the shadows, then the redeeming power of the Savior cannot heal them and make them strengths.” By thinking only of other people’s dandelions, we unintentionally allow our own dandelions to remain hidden. If we want to improve, we need to bring our own flaws to light and ask the Savior for help to heal them.

Learn more about how to stop yourself from judging others and how to focus on your own growth by reading Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s full talk “Lord, Is It I?

Source: General Conference

—Kate Blatter, Latter-day Saint Insights


Find more insights

Read Kamber Alldredge’s article “It’s Not the Mote in Your Eye–It’s the Beam in Minefor another perspective on Elder Uchtdorf’s talk.

Read Amanda Buxton’s article “Why Humility Is the Key to Self-Improvement for more information about increasing our humility and improving ourselves.

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