Selfishness Quotes

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Selfishness is the Cause of Most of Our Misery

"To lie, steal, murder, envy, to be sexually immoral, neglect parents, break the Sabbath, and to bear false witness—all occur because one mistakenly seeks to please himself for the moment regardless of divine standards or human consequences."

Elder Neal A. Maxwell, April Conference 1995


"If we want to increase in Christ, there must be a decrease of self."


"Of all influences that cause men to choose wrong, selfishness is undoubtedly the strongest.  Where it is, the Spirit is not."

William R. Bradford, "Selfless Service" - Ensign, November 1987, page 76


"It is selfishness which is the cause of most of our misery."

Gordon B. Hinckley (November 1988 Ensign, page 54)


"All sin is selfish, whether it be lying, cheating, stealing, immorality, covetousness, or idleness.  Sin is for one’s own ends, not for another’s--certainly not for the Lord’s ends."

Derek A. Cuthbert, "The Spirituality of Service" - Ensign, May 1990, p 12


There is no real happiness in having or getting, but only in giving."

N. Eldon Tanner  (General Conference Report, April 1967, page 104)


"Ironically, brothers and sisters, the natural man who is so very selfish in so many ordinary ways is strangely unselfish in that he reaches for too few of the things that bring real joy.  He settles for a mess of pottage instead of eternal joy."

Neal A. Maxwell, Fireside, 3/27/1994


"A narcissist society, in which each person is busy looking out for number one, can build neither brotherhood nor community.  Aren’t we glad in this Easter season and in all seasons that Jesus did not selfishly look out for number one? No wonder we have been told, 'Thou shalt have no other gods before me,' and this includes self-worship! (Ex. 20:3; emphasis added).  One way or another, the grossly selfish will finally be shattered, whimpering, against the jagged, concrete consequences of their selfishness."

Neal A. Maxwell - 'Repent of [Our] Selfishness' (D&C 56:8) - "Ensign," May 1999, 25


"...rise above selfishness.  This includes spiritual selfishness, when one looks toward personal edification and strengthening and has no other interest than one’s own salvation. To be blessed is not an end in itself; we must be a blessing to others.  All people have a talent in one way or another to touch and inspire other people's lives.  Let us not only look inward and proudly say 'all is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth'  (2 Ne. 28:21),  but let us be a light unto a chaotic world."

Hans B. Ringger - "What Shall We Do" - General Conference, April 1994


"He that falls in love with himself will have no rivals."

Benjamin Franklin (Lesson Enhancers, Bookcraft, Salt Lake City, 1990, page 87)


"Think what a contribution selfish people of great talent could have made if their commitments had been made to Jesus Christ instead of to themselves! We will do better in every aspect of our lives if we commit to a God in whose life we see miracles, power over disease and death..."

Vaughn J. Featherstone - "Commitment," [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1982], p. 94


"Satan had two conditions [to his plan]: the first was the denial of agency, and the second, that he would have the honor.  In other words, something had to be in it for him.  And thus he became the father of lies and selfishness.  Taking up one's cross and following the Savior means overcoming selfishness; it is a commitment to serve others. Selfishness is one of the baser human traits, which must be subdued and overcome. We torture our souls when we focus on getting rather than giving."

James E. Faust, "What's in It for Me?" Ensign, Nov. 2002, 19


"Selfishness is really self-destruction in slow motion."

Elder Neal A. Maxwell - Ensign, May 1999, 23


"The most difficult thing for us seems to be to give of ourselves, to do away with selfishness. If we really love someone, nothing is too difficult for us to do for that individual. There is no real happiness in having or getting unless we are doing it for the purpose of giving it to others.  Half the world seems to be following the wrong scent in the pursuit of happiness—many think it consists of having and getting and being served, when really happiness is found in serving others."

N. Eldon Tanner, "The Great Commandments," Ensign, July 1980, p. 4


Teaching Unselfishness

Would you have your children grow in a spirit of unselfishness? Indulgence of selfish desires will not do it. Rather, let them come to see in their own homes, and in their most intimate family associations, the truth of the great principle set forth by the Lord: 'Whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it.' (Mark 8:35.)

 Gordon B. Hinckley, "Faith: The Essence of True Religion," p.67