It wasn’t until the last few weeks of my mission that I learned one of the most important lessons of all.
When I served as a full-time missionary in Cusco, Peru, I did my best to be obedient, to overcome my fears, and to be positive even amid trials. Despite my best efforts, I compared myself to others—a self-destructive practice that stopped me from experiencing greater happiness. I felt like a fraud, and I forgot my worth in Heavenly Father’s eyes.
One day just weeks before I completed my mission, a Church member helped me see that by comparing myself to others, I wasn’t following Heavenly Father’s plan. This member asked me, “Where in the scriptures does it teach that we should compare ourselves to others?”
“Nowhere,” I replied.
“And which part of the plan of salvation teaches us to compare ourselves to others?” he continued.
“Sister, the gospel of Jesus Christ isn’t a gospel of comparison. When we compare ourselves to others, we’re seeking approval from our peers rather than concerning ourselves with God’s approval.”
Even though I learned this important lesson a little late in my mission, it was a crucial moment that has affected my life ever since. Nearly three years later, I still worry about what others think of me more than I should. But I remember to look up and consider my Heavenly Father’s opinion of me—the only opinion that really matters.
In the talk “Your Infinite Worth and God’s Infinite Love,” Sister Jennifer Kearon discusses the importance of recognizing and remembering our infinite worth. She says, “Each of you is of unlimited, boundless, endless worth . . . to your Father in Heaven, the One who knows you best, no matter what anyone else might think or say about you. . . . Your Father in Heaven loves you, whoever you are, whatever you are struggling with. You are enough. You are enough. He loves you just the way you are, right here, right now, in all your beautiful messiness.”
Sister Kearon’s words are a much-needed reminder that comparing ourselves to others and seeking worldly approval are completely unnecessary practices that will get us nowhere. So when we find ourselves looking around for approval, we need to look up! Joy and peace stem from the gospel of Jesus Christ, not negativity. We have infinite worth. As we turn to Christ in all our “beautiful messiness,” he transforms our weaknesses into strengths. Through Christ’s grace, we are enough.
Read, watch, or listen to Sister Jennifer Kearon’s talk “Your Infinite Worth and God’s Infinite Love” to learn more about recognizing our worth.
Source: Worldwide Devotional for Young Adults
—Rebecca Purse, Mormon Insights
feature image by steve johnson
Find more insights
Check out Sister Joy D. Jones’s talk “Value Beyond Measure” and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s talk “You Matter to Him” to understand more about the destructiveness of comparison and the joy we can feel through seeking God’s approval.