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.
Read Diane Spangler’s article, “The Body, a Sacred Gift,” in the Ensign and the Liahona.
Sources: Ensign and Liahona
—Alison Brimley, Mormon Insights
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.
This is a very important perspective. As someone that has had problems with my body image, i think what it says in this article is extremely important to remember. If we think of our bodies as a gift from God, the self-loathing and the discomfort that we may feel towards our bodies should stop being such an important part of who we are.
I love how you point out that our bodies are sacred gifts. This is something that I think we (or at least I) have a tendency to forget. Personally, I’ve overcome some body-issue problems. Mine weren’t anything special, and I didn’t do anything unhealthy or obsess over it. I just thought that my nose was too big and that I was plain. That changed once I decided to do something one day. In a youth conference, the speaker told a story about an ugly man whow would tell himself, everyday, that he looked great. Eventually, the speaker realized that the man did look great and was confident in his body. This really stuck with me, so I started to do it. I think that it really helped for me to stop noticing the imperfections and start noticing the things that made me beautiful and unique. Instead of fixating on the things that I perceived as negative, I started focusing on the positive. Doing that has really helped me to appreciate the body that God gave to me.