We know that our bodies are gifts from God and that we are made in his image. So why is it so hard to love our bodies?
In “The Body, a Sacred Gift,” published in the Ensign and Liahona, Diane Spangler reports that 63 percent of women and 50 percent of men are unhappy with their bodies. This kind of dissatisfaction can be totally consuming—and it can affect even the seemingly educated, faithful and talented people we envy.
But being unhappy with our bodies isn’t just a physical problem; it has serious spiritual consequences. When we hate our bodies, we disregard the truth that they are a sacred gift to help us serve others and to glorify God. When we are persuaded to forget this truth, we are focusing on the body as a way to glorify our own self.
Feeling gratitude for our bodies may ultimately require sacrificing something worldly to gain something heavenly. Perhaps we will have to give up an unhealthy quest to be thin. We may also have to overcome excessive grooming or overeating.
But the blessing of making room for an accurate view of our bodies is freedom, says Sister Spangler—“freedom from the tyranny of vanity, fashion, envy, superficiality, self-criticism, backbiting, the ill effects of overeating or under eating, lust, pornography, substance addiction, tattooing, and a host of other forms of worldly weight and oppression.”
If you are struggling with negative feelings toward your body, the time to ask for Heavenly Father’s help is now.
Find more insights
Read or watch more about the sanctity of our bodies in Susan W. Tanner’s 2005 general conference address.
Read or watch Elder Jeffrey R. Holland address this subject in his conference talk titled, “To Young Women”.
Watch a video on lds.org about realizing the beauty within us.