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Despite my desire to convey all of the wonderful things that I learn from Confronting the Myth of Self-esteem:  Twelve Keys to Finding Peace, I am realizing that it isn’t realistic for me to attempt to do so.  I will attempt here to select a few of the book’s powerful concepts, but anyone interested really should get the book and read the whole thing. 

I wrote previously here about “love and long-handled spoons.”  I realize that this story is not unique to this book, but nonetheless it teaches very clearly the synergistic relationship between generously giving of ourselves to others and then joyously receiving others’ love (especially Heavenly Father’s) for us.

Rasband describes two self-defeating pursuits.  The first is what she calls the “shortcut seeker.”  We tend to forget the law of the harvest- that you reap what you sow.  We have the tendency to want and even to expect celestial-level results while making only telestial-level efforts.  Her main point here, I believe, is that we forget that this life is a process of learning and growing and we instead impatiently want the results now.

The second mistake that we sometimes make is what the author calls “the checklister.”  In this scenario, we mistakenly think that we can of ourselves earn peace.  We mentally make note of all the wonderful things that we do, all the while thinking that surely we have done enough.  But instead of finding peace, we find that we are exhausted and frustrated.  The problem is in the measuring of our efforts, because the lasting peace we seek only comes through wholehearted, unmeasured devotion.

Throughout the book, Rasband refers often to scriptural examples that support her insights about losing oneself to find peace.  I have barely scratched the surface of what is covered in this wonderful little book.  I highly recommend it and would gladly loan you my copy if you promise to give it back!

self esteem

A few years ago I noticed this book on display at our local library.  It was short (130 pages) and seemed interesting, so I checked it out.  It has become one of my favorite books.

The full title of the book is Confronting the Myth of Self-Esteem:  Twelve Keys to Finding Peace, and its author is Ester Rasband.  It teaches truths about finding peace through developing humility, patience, love, unity, and gratitude.  As the title suggests, it also exposes myths to which we often succumb as we mistakenly search for self-esteem.

This little book is full of wisdom.  I have already quoted from this book in at least one other post at this blog, but I would like to do a series of shorter posts to share more of the insights offered by Ester Rasband.

In its introduction, Rasband explains that the purpose of the book is to highlight the difference between the world’s concept of self-esteem and God’s concept of confidence.

“It is perfect irony that that which our worldly self would prize most highly- feeling good about ourselves- can only be achieved by facing that which our worldly self would tell us that we must never face:  our nothingness.”

The first chapter teaches of the importance of accepting God’s word.  We have to overcome the tendency of choosing worldly philosophy over scripture.  In referring to the popularity of self-help books, she says, “How quick we are to try to give one another ‘peace made simple’ and ‘peace without pain.’…Oh, how important it is to look beyond the first glance- to look to the scriptures, which are the Lord’s instruction manual, and find not peace made simple, but peace made possible- not peace without pain but peace that overcomes pain.”

More from the book in a future post….

There were so many great talks from conference.  It is hard to pick just a few to highlight.  Here are a few of the main themes that seemed to be repeated by multiple speakers:

  • the need to practice the process of receiving revelation
  • the importance of living the gospel within our own homes and families
  • the significance of love- God’s love for us as well as our love for Him and for others; service
  • the gospel’s invitation for us to continually improve and to follow the Savior

I look forward to reading and studying the talks in greater depth.  The real challenge though is not to just hear the words but to live them.  I hope to write down two or three things to focus on during the next few months.

What were your impressions and/or favorite talks from conference?