M. Catherine Thomas
published in Selected Writings of M. Catherine Thomas,
(Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 2000) 237-250

[Note: The numbering of paragraphs does not exist in the published version but are included here for educational expediency.  Everything else remains as published.]

1 The concept of the pursuit of self-esteem as a solution to man's most basic spiritual, emotional, and physical needs is not found in the scriptures.  One might be surprised to find that in the scriptures there are no positive references to self-esteem, self-confidence, or self-love.  This is not because God does not feel exquisite tenderness for human beings, but because he knows a better way for human flourishing than focusing on raising self-esteem.

2 Whatever the valid uses of the term self-esteem are, however much good is intended, I wonder if self-esteem isn't a red herring. The term red herring comes from the practice of dragging this smelly fish across a trail to destroy the original scent. Thus a red herring is a diversion intended to distract attention from the real issue. I suggest that the issue of self-esteem is a diversion to distract us from the real issue of our existence.

3 We might be justified in telling people to fix their self-esteem in order to solve their most basic problems if we knew nothing of mans premortal life or the spiritual purpose of his earthly probation and reductions or his glorious destiny. But the fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ teaches the true nature and true needs of the self and suggests that one cannot really define man without God.

4 I suggest that there are two major human conditions that the self is subject to that may have led to the idea that the pursuit of self-esteem was important: 1) mans vulnerability, or even pain, incident to the fall of man; and 2) the conflict or pain created by ignorance of divine law or by personal sin.

5 First, the pain incident to fallenness: Like our Savior; though to a lesser degree, we condescended to come to a fallen world, having agreed to submit to a considerable reduction in our premortal powers and quality of life. As we came to earth, separated from the presence of heavenly parents, we died spiritually (Helaman 14:16) and, in a sense, we were "orphaned." And now, with memory veiled, and much reduced from our premortal estate, somewhat as aliens in a world that is inimical to our spiritual natures, we may carry an insecurity, a self-pain, which pervades much of our emotional life. Like Adam and Eve, we feel our self-consciousness or spiritual nakedness. The scriptures teach about this nakedness as a feeling of guilt or shame (see, for example, 2 Ne 9:14 and Mormon 9:5). Do we have, as well, a sense of loss from deeply buried memories of who we once were in contrast with who we are now? But here are my main questions:  Is it possible that in our efforts to find security we have fallen into a number of errors? Is it possible that we have created the whole issue of self-esteem in an attempt to soothe this fallen, homesick self?

6 There is a better way to find what our hearts long for than by seeking greater self-esteem. Our Savior, who felt all this pain himself (Alma 7:11-13), would not send us to earth without compensation for the distresses He knew we would feel, separated from Him. He would not leave us comfortless. Recall the passages in John in which the Savior told the Twelve that He will be with them only a little while (John 13:33). Peter responded with "Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake" (v. 37). Jesus, sensing their pain, almost their desperation, at his leaving them, promised, "I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you" (John 14:18). The English word comfortless translates the Greek word for orphans: "I will not leave you orphaned."  The Savior continues, "If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him" (John 14:23). "My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (v. 27).

7 Here we grasp the stunning insight that the Lord Jesus Christ Himself is that consolation, that compensation, designed from the foundation of the world to comfort the human pain of fallenness, to compensate men and women for their earthly reductions and sacrifices. Only the atonement, or more expressly the at-one-ment, of the Redeemer and the redeemed can heal the pain of the Fall.  When we feel how much he loves us, we can not help but love him: "We love him," John writes, "because he first loved us" (1 John 4:19).  His love is the consolation.

8 Now to the second source of pain.  The Lord explained, speaking to Adam: "When [thy children] begin to grow up, sin conceiveth in their hearts, and they taste the bitter" (Moses 6:55). What is this bitterness? The Lord says it is the conception of sin in our hearts. The pain of fallenness, then, is compounded by the bitterness of sin.

9 To understand why sin produces this bitterness, we remember that each individual spirit was begotten by glorious Heavenly Parents and thereby inherits a nature which, at its very core, is light, truth, intelligence, and glory (D&C 93:23, 29, 36). "Knowest thou not," the Prophet John Taylor wrote, "that thou art a spark of Deity, struck from the fire of His eternal blaze, and brought forth in the midst of eternal burnings?" (1) . Christ says, "I am the true light that is in you, and . . . you are in me; otherwise ye could not abound" (D&C 88:50). Christ is the life and the light of every person (John 1:4,9). King Benjamin teaches similarly that God preserves us from day to day, lending us breath, that we may live and move . . . even supporting us from one moment to another (Mosiah 2:21), and that all we have and are that is good comes from him (Mosiah 4:21).

10 I ask, if we live and move and have our being in him (Acts 17:27), where is self-esteem? How do I even separate my self out from the abundant grace that makes my life and even my intellect go forward in some marvelous symbiosis with my Creator? The human self cannot be defined without putting God in the definition.

11 Is seems obvious that we-- created out of the very stuff of truth, and permeated by his power--cannot live against our own natures of light and truth and intelligence without setting up conflict and spiritual dis-ease within ourselves. Sin goes against our most essential nature (Alma 41:11; Helaman 13:38). The quality of our emotional and spiritual existence is governed by divine law, and whether or not we know about these laws, or observe them, we are continually and profoundly affected by the laws of light and truth. Much of our unhappiness is self-inflicted through ignorance or through deliberate sin.

12 So here we have a challenging situation: a person, whose primeval nature is truth and light and purity, begins, under the influence of a fallen environment and a fallen body, to act against his spiritual nature. His sins of ignorance or choice produce bitterness, and he begins to suffer, but usually he doesn't know what the real source of his unhappiness is. He thinks it has something to do with the people around him, or he thinks it has to do with his circumstances. We don't entirely blame him for his confusion, because of course the reason we came to earth was to learn to discern good from evil so that we could be delivered from the miserable consequences of evil and darkness (2 Nephi 2:26). But, as Elder Neal A. Maxwell observes, "The heaviest load we feel is often from the weight of our unkept promises and our unresolved sins, which press down relentlessly upon us." (2)

13 Resistance to our spiritual natures manifests itself as guilt, despair, resentment, self pity, fear, depression, feelings of victimization, fear over the scarcity of needed things, and other forms of distress. These are all functions of the fallen self and we all necessarily experience them. However, the pursuit of self-esteem will not solve the problems of the self that is in conflict because of sin or even of ignorant neglect of spiritual law.

14 There is another form of pain inflicted on people.  Many people, especially children, are victimized by others. Their suffering is great and they often need much tender help and instruction in order to recover. Their understanding of who they are must be restored to them: they must accept what the Lord Jesus Christ is offering them. Both of these healing truths are founded in faith and are processed through the Spirit.  They must come to draw on the resources of truth and light, uncovering their own divinity and divine connections. But the pursuit of self-esteem will not solve the problems of those who suffer from others' sins against them.

15 When people are sinned against they often adopt ways of thinking and acting to defend themselves as they cope with their unhappy situations. They may learn to lie, or to try to manipulate and control others, or to live against their own deepest feelings of right and wrong, to blame, to resent, to resort to angry confrontations, and so on. These coping behaviors are understandable--they were developed in order to survive, but that doesn't lessen the truth that these behaviors are self-defeating and ultimately increased in pain. Until a person stops sinning, no matter what the justifications for his sinning, no matter how innocently he began, he cannot get entirely well (Alma 41:15). In such a case, the sinned-against person must at some point acknowledge that he made choices that increased the pain of his victimization. The beauty of that realization is that a person can make new choices in greater harmony with light and truth. Elder Richard G. Scott spoke on being healed from the evil acts of others:

16 "No matter what the source of difficulty and no matter how you begin to obtain relief--through a qualified professional therapist, doctor, priesthood leader, friend, concerned parent, or loved one--no matter how you begin, those solutions will never provide a complete answer. The final healing comes through faith in Jesus Christ and His teachings, with a broken heart and contrite spirit and obedience to His commandments.

17 ". . . Do what you can do a step at a time. Seek to understand the principles of healing from the scriptures and through prayer. . . . Above all, exercise faith in Jesus Christ.

18 "I testify that the surest, most effective, and shortest path to healing comes through application of the teachings of Jesus Christ in your life."(3)

19 The precepts of man cannot produce comprehensive healing and at best can endure only for a season (3 Nephi 27:11). Only the actual conversion of the fallen self through the power of the Lord Jesus Christ can rectify what is really amiss in a human being. An angel called this fallen self the natural man, saying, "The natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father" (Mosiah 3:19).

20 Could this putting off of the natural man through the Lord Jesus Christ actually be a recovery of our true, premortal self in all its wholeness and beauty, its love, its fearlessness and power?

21 We have this account of King Benjamin's people, who, upon hearing the word of God, became painfully conscious of their carnal state. They cried out, "O have mercy, and apply the atoning blood of Christ that we may receive forgiveness of our sins" (Mosiah 4:2). With that cry, their sensitive souls were cleansed by the Holy Spirit, top to bottom, of all their accumulations of willfulness, disobedience, and enmity; and into that vacuum rushed the sublime love of God. They received "peace of conscience, because of [their] exceeding faith. . . in Jesus Christ" (Mosiah 4:3--is it possible that "peace of conscience" is the Lord's term for what we call self-esteem?). Perhaps these saints had not realized just how spiritually sluggish they were until that mighty power consumed in love all their sins and their pain and their sickness and their infirmity (Alma 7:11-13). They became acquainted with God's goodness and tasted his love. Not only that, they had come to their true self.

22 King Benjamin, seeing their joy, taught them how to retain it: "I would that ye should remember, and always retain in remembrance, the greatness of God, and your own nothingness, and his goodness and long-suffering towards you. . . .  If ye do this ye shall always rejoice, and be filled with the love of God, and always retain a remission of your sins" (Mosiah 4:11-12).

23 What does the Lord mean by the nothingness of man? Several scriptures describe men in this way. King Benjamin asks, "Can ye say aught of yourselves? . . . Nay," he says (Mosiah 2:25). "Remember . . . your own nothingness" (Mosiah 4:11). Moses exclaims, "Now, . . . I know that man is nothing" (Moses 1:10). Ammon says, "I know that I am nothing" (Alma 26:12). Alma teaches that "man had fallen [and] could not merit anything of himself" (Alma 22:14). Nephi exhorts us to rely wholly on the merits of Jesus Christ "relying alone upon the merits of Christ, who was the author and the finisher of their faith" (Moroni 6:4). The Savior himself declares to his apostles, "Without me ye can do nothing" (John 15:5).

24 We recoil at nothingness because we try so hard to overcome our feelings of unimportance. But nothingness does not mean valuelessness.  The Lord assures us that we are each of infinite worth to him. Rather, nothingness refers to man's fallen and reduced state in this mortal sphere (Mosiah 4:5). Nothingness describes not man's lack of value but rather his reduced powers during his mortal probation and, especially, his all-encompassing need for the Lord. Nothingness reminds us of the reductions we voluntarily subscribed to before the foundations of this world in order to come to earth and learn how to be taught from on high.

25 That is, nothingness is not only our actual state in the mortal probation, but also our personal perception when we persist in living in spiritual death, separate in our own minds from God. The Holy Ghost reveals that we are actually one with God (D&C 88:49-50) and when we align ourselves with the mind and will and power of God, that separation is healed and we feel alive in Christ (2 Nephi 25:25). The restoration of the rest of our self, through communion with God, fills us with the reality of fulness that we seek. Coming to Christ actually heals a false perception of separateness, which healing restores the fulness of all that each of us is.

26 Elder Richard G. Scott tells of a sacred experience in which strong impressions came to him during a period when he struggled to do the work the Lord had given him that was far beyond his personal capacity to fulfill. The Lord said to him, "'Testify to instruct, edify and lead others to full obedience, not to demonstrate anything of self. All who are puffed up shall be cut off.'" And then, "'You are nothing in and of yourself, Richard.' That was followed with some specific counsel on how to be a better servant."(4)

27 Ammon joyfully described his own nothingness: "I do not boast in my own strength, nor in my own wisdom; but behold, my joy is full, yea, my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God. Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things" (Alma 26:11-12). For Ammon, it seems, the whole concept of self-esteem was irrelevant. Being filled with the love of God was of far greater worth than any sense of self-confidence. If one grand objective of earth life is to gain access to the grace of Jesus Christ for our trials and divine development, we will immediately realize that self confidence is a puny substitute for God-confidence. With respect to confidence, the Lord says, "Let thy bowels. . .be full of charity towards all men, . . . and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God" (D&C 121:45).

28 Both Nephi and Mormon teach that when man is without charity he is nothing (2 Nephi 26:30; Moroni 7:44).  Here we realize that as true followers of the Lord Jesus Christ we must embrace the gift of charity, which is the gift of happiness, in order that we might pass from nothingness to godliness.  I am suggesting that we might want to substitute for the pursuit of self-esteem the pursuit of full discipleship with its attendant spiritual gifts, among which is the sublime spiritual gift of the pure love of Christ.  Mormon wrote: "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure" (Moroni 7:48).

29 The Lord identifies love and virtue as the essential ingredients in feelings of confidence and security. By these we dwell safely in the Holy One of Israel (1 Ne 22:28). Indeed, might the pursuit of self-confidence actually pull us away from the connection the Lord is trying to make? Might it not merely produce carnal security (2 Ne 28:21)?

30 One might notice that the pursuit of self-esteem seems to produce anxiety, while increasing humility and faith and connectedness with the Lord produce consolation and rest. Mormon describes church members who, waxing "stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ," are filled "with joy and consolation" (Helaman 3:35). Alma instructs his son to teach the people "to humble themselves and to be meek and lowly in heart; . . .for such shall find rest to their souls" (Alma 37:33-34).

31 Some may not like the dichotomy between the pursuit of self-esteem and faith in the Lord. Some may say that you can pursue and have both. But I do not find this idea of both pursuits in the scriptures; perhaps that it is because there may be an incompatibility between the two. King Benjamin says, "Remember your own nothingness and God's goodness." In trying to have both, is there a possible double-mindedness? James says that "a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways" (James 1:8). If the pursuit of self-esteem can lead to self-promotion, a person would be in spiritual trouble. Nephi says of self promotion: "Priestcrafts are that men preach and set themselves up for a light unto the world, that they may get gain and praise of the world; but they seek not the welfare of Zion. Behold, the Lord hath forbidden this thing; wherefore, the Lord God hath given a commandment that all men should have charity, which charity is love. And except they should have charity they were nothing" (2 Ne 26:29-30).

32 Here Nephi seems to view setting oneself up for a light to the world in order to get praise as directly antithetical to having the pure love of Christ. One apparently can't do both. The Savior says, "Therefore, hold up your light that it may shine unto the world. Behold I am the light which ye shall hold up" (3 Ne 18:24). Again he says that if our eye be single to his glory, our whole bodies will be filled with light: "Therefore sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God, and the days will come that you shall see him" (D&C 88:67-68). It seems as though the less attention we can give to self-esteem, the more light we can have.

33 Low self-esteem is often associated with feeling of incapacity, or a sense of victimization, or the realization that we can't make happen the opportunities, the approval, and the feelings that we need. But our relief comes when we realize that God has limited our powers so that as we cleave to him he can work his mighty miracles in our lives. Indeed, Moroni teaches that hopelessness and despair come from lack in one's access to the Lord Jesus Christ (Moroni 10:22-23).

34 We may think that we or some other mortal opens the necessary doors to our future, but this conclusion is an error: We ourselves do not open these doors; only the Lord does. We exercise our agency through our choices, we make possible his miracles by our choices, but he retains the power to open or close the doors.

35 Often doors have closed before us that seemed to lead to the opportunities we thought we had to have. We may have assumed that the closed door was a reflection of some inadequacy in ourselves; but, perhaps the closed door had nothing to do with whether we were good or bad or capable or incompetent. Rather, even now a loving Father shapes our path according to a prearranged, premortal covenant (Abraham 2:8); the opening or the closing of these various doors is dependent on the Lord's perfect perception of our developmental needs. All the elements that we really need for our individual experience here, he puts onto our path. The most important things that will happen to us in this life will come to us often by no initiative of our own, but rather because he is piloting the ancient plan. He says that he does nothing save it be for the benefit of the world (2 Ne 26:24); He has promised that, if we will be faithful, all things will work together to our good in order that we may be conformed to the image of his Son (Romans 8:28-29).

36 With respect to doors closing or other kinds of divine deprivations, Elder F. Enzio Bushe says, "When you are compelled to give up something or when things that are dear to you are withdrawn from you, know that this is your lesson to be learned right now.  But know also that, as you are learning this lesson, God wants to give you something better." (5)

37 Therefore, we do not need to fear that our future lies in the fact that an authority over us plays favorites, or that a person's employer isn't well disposed toward him. Under such a belief, one might be tempted to think that only self promotion, or image manipulation, or the compromising of what one really believes will open the doors. But even though someone in authority thinks he opens doors, there is really only one Keeper of the Gate (2 Ne 9:41). "No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper," he says. "This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord" (3 Ne 22:17).

38 Now, I ask you, as various doors open and close, as the Lord Jesus Christ orchestrates even the details of our lives, as we are obedient to him, where is the need to pursue self-esteem? We don't need it. Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ will take us so much farther.

39 Christ himself is our model where the self is concerned. He says of himself:
1. "The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do; for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the
     Son likewise" (John 5:19).
2. "I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things" (John 8:28).
3. "The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works" (John

40 Moroni wrote that the resurrected, perfected Christ spoke to him in "plain humility" (Ether 12:39). Elder Neal A. Maxwell observed that, "The Savior--the brightest individual ever to walk this planet--never sought to 'prosper' or to 'conquer' 'according to his genius' and 'strength'!" (Alma 30:17). (6)  "Every man," Korihor taught, "fared in this life according to the management of the creature; therefore every man prospered according to his genius, and. . . every man conquered according to his strength" (Alma 30:17). Alma identified this precept that man prospers solely by his own resources as the doctrine of the anti-Christ.

41 It seems to me that the fallen self may actually be an interloper in most of what we do and that we can find relief from the stresses and strains of self-promotion by saying, in effect, "Get thee behind me, Self." I wonder if this is what the Savior means when he says, "He who seeketh to save his life shall lose it: he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it" (JST, Matthew 10:34). The fallen self seems to be a constant intruder as we strive for selflessness. President Ezra Taft Benson pointed out that "Christ removed self as the force in His perfect life. It was not my will, but thine be done." (7)

42 I have become aware of how demanding of attention the self is. What a lot of prayer and deliberate living and fresh insight it will take for me to remove my self as the force in my life! I have become aware that all my sins rise out of the self-absorption of my heart--impulses rising like the ticking of a clock in their persistent quest for self-gratification, self-defense, and self-promotion. It seems as though a change is needed at the very fountain of my heart, out of which all thought and emotion rise. Could I actually come to the point where I could act without calculating my own self-interest all the time? Could I really live my daily life so that I was constantly listening for the Lord's will and drawing down his grace to accomplish it?  And when the Lord in his mercy meshes his power with my agency and my effort and brings forth some measure of success, I ask, where is self-esteem? Where is even the need for self-esteem? I feel as though I just want to say instead, "Lord, increase my faith" (Luke 17:5).

43 How then does one appropriately think about oneself? I offer you Elder F. Enzio Busche's remarks. He said:
"A disciple of Christ is. . . constantly, even in the midst of all regular activities, striving all day long through silent prayer and contemplation to be in the depths of self-awareness to keep him in the state of meekness and lowliness of heart." (8)

44 It seems appropriate as well to be conscious of our preciousness to our Father, while at the same time to feel meek and lowly before his sacrifices on our behalf, his respect for us, and his continuing graciousness to us. Again, Elder Busche spoke of the point at which we realize the Lords love: "This is the place where we suddenly see the heavens open as we feel the full impact of the love of our Heavenly Father, which fills us with indescribable joy. With this fulfillment of love in our hearts, we will never be happy anymore just by being ourselves or living our own lives. We will not be satisfied until we have surrendered our lives into the arms of the loving Christ, and until He has become the doer of all our deeds and He has become the speaker of all our words." (9)

45 When Christ is the doer of all our deeds and the speaker of all our words, I have to ask, where is self-esteem? I propose that self-esteem becomes a nonissue for the person who is perfect in his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

46 If I decide to give up some of the attention my self demands, what will I replace it with? The Lord answers, "Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not" (D&C 6:36). The self is so demanding that perhaps one can only let go of the pursuit of self-promotion as one cleaves to the Lord Jesus Christ (Omni 1:26). As with Peter walking on the water, it may be our sudden self-consciousness that will cause us to fall (Matthew 14:28-30).

47 The world speaks of self-image, but Alma spoke of receiving the image of God in our countenances (Alma 5:14). In fact, we are informed: "All those who keep his commandments shall grow up from grace to grace, and become. . . joint heirs with Jesus Christ; possessing the same mind, being transformed into the same image. . . even the express image of him who fills all in all; being filled with the fulness of his glory; and become one in him, even as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one." (10)

48 It seems as though the perception of the self as an entity separate from God will, under the right conditions, get thinner and thinner.

49 President Ezra Taft Benson has pressed us to be "changed for Christ," "captained by Christ," and "consumed in Christ." (11) We might ask, What is it that must be consumed? Maybe it is our old concept of self--the one we have learned from the precepts of men. Is it possible that the pursuit of self-esteem might delay this mighty change? Indeed, what if one ceased defining self-esteem or justifying one's pursuit of it, and just ignored it? What if, instead one just began to obey whatever divine instruction one was not obeying, to sacrifice whatever needed sacrificing, and to consecrate whatever one was holding back? What if one just set out to "seek this Jesus" (Ether 12:41)?

50 So many issues that revolve around the subject of self fade like the dew in the sun as one cultivates faith in the Savior. Without him, nothing else matters. No amount of self-esteem or anything else can adequately fill the void.

51 It is possible for the self to insulate itself from the love of the Lord Jesus Christ and not know it or feel it. The Savior's love is realized only when we open ourselves to the Spirit of the Lord through prayer and obedience. Otherwise, the thing we crave most, the experience of God's love, remains a hidden mystery. But no matter who we are or what we have done, we can repent, and may with full assurance seek to be clasped in the arms of Jesus.

52 The model for man's flourishing is in the scriptures. There we learn that, by ourselves, without Christ in our lives, we will feel the sorrows of the uncomforted, natural man. But with the Lord Jesus Christ, we will flourish. One who practices faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and teaches others to do so also, will find relief from the stresses and anxieties of the pursuit of self-esteem.

Revised from an address originally given at a BYU Devotional, December 7, 1993; later published in Spiritual Lightening (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1996), 17-30.

  1. John Taylor, "Origin and Destiny of Woman," in The Vision, comp. N. B. Lundwall (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, n.d.),
  2. Neal A. Maxwell, "Murmur Not," Ensign, November 1989, 85.
  3. Richard G. Scott, "To Be Healed," Ensign, May 1994, 9; emphasis in original.
  4. Richard G. Scott, "Acquiring Spiritual Knowledge," address delivered at BYU Education Week, 17 August 1993,12.
  5. F. Enzio Busche, "Unleasing the Dormant Spirit," BYU Devotional address, 14 May 1996.
  6. Neal A. MAxwell, "Out of the Best Faculty," Annual University Conference, Brigham Young University, 23-26 August
  7. Ezra Taft Benson, "Cleansing the Inner Vessel," Ensign, May 1986, 6; emphasis in original.
  8. F. Enzio Busche, "Truth Is the Issue," Ensign, November 1993, 25.
  9. Ibid., 26.
10. Lectures on Faith, 5:2.
11. Ezra Taft Benson, "Born of God," Ensign, July 1989, 4.