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To one degree or another we all struggle with selfishness. Since it is so common, why worry about selfishness anyway? Because selfishness is really self-destruction in slow motion. No wonder the Prophet Joseph Smith urged, "Let every selfish feeling be not only buried, but annihilated" (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 178). Hence annihilation - not moderation - is the destination! . . . Meekness is the real cure, for it does not merely mask selfishness but dissolves it!
Neal A. Maxwell
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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
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Selfishness is like a disease that suffocates our capacity to love. While love asks us to deny ourselves for the sake of another, selfishness demands we put ourselves first at their expense. When we choose to be self-centered, we become less kind and content""more needy, sensitive, and demanding. More unsatisfiable. Moodiness and impatience, laziness and irresponsibility, are only selfishness in disguise.
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Selfishness so often is the basis of money problems, which are a very serious and real factor affecting the stability of family life. Selfishness is at the root of adultery, the breaking of solemn and sacred covenants to satisfy selfish lust. Selfishness is the antithesis of love. It is a cankering expression of greed. It destroys self-discipline. It obliterates loyalty. It tears up sacred covenants. It afflicts both men and women.
Gordon B. Hinckley
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We can leave a place behind, or we can stay in that place and leave our selfishness (often expressed in feeling sorry for ourselves) behind. If we leave a place and take our selfishness with us, the cycle of problems starts all over again no matter where we go. But if we leave our selfishness behind, no matter where we are, things start to improve.
John H. Groberg
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In a world where God does not exist, any reasonable person must see that the propensity toward selfishness should be the most venerated of all human traits. From this it stands to reason that any man, knowing the total expanse of his existence to be finite, who does not devote every moment of his life to acts of pure selfishness, must be seen as nothing more than a fool.
Derek R. Audette
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I heard of somebody once who said he was interested in doing the greatest amount of good for the greatest number, and that the greatest number was number one. That was himself. That may sound like a little bit of selfishness, but if that is selfishness, at least it is a very intelligent selfishness. Everyone has a right to be interested in himself, and I am confident that God wants us to be interested in ourselves first; that is, the first soul that anyone should bring to God should be his own soul.
Sterling W Sill
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Since, according to me, your life is going to be a gradual process of becoming kinder and more loving: Hurry up. Speed it along. Start right now. There's a confusion in each of us, a sickness, really:selfishness. But there's also a cure. So be a good and proactive and even somewhat desperate patient on your own behalf - seek out the most efficacious anti-selfishness medicines, energetically, for the rest of your life.
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...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
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Very often inertia, selfishness, and vanity play the greatest role in our trust in others; inertia when we prefer to trust somebody else, in order not to investigate, be vigilant, or act ourselves; selfishness when the desire to speak about our own affairs tempts us to confide in someone else; vanity when it concers something that we are proud of.
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Stubborn selfishness leads otherwise good people to fight over herds, patches of sand, and strippings of milk. All this results from what the Lord calls coveting "the drop," while neglecting the "more weighty matters." (D&C 117:8) Myopic selfishness magnifies a mess of pottage and makes thirty pieces of silver look like a treasure trove. In our intense acquisitiveness, we forget Him who once said, "What is property unto me?"
Neal A. Maxwell
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Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live; it is asking others to live as one wishes to live. And unselfishness is letting other people's lives alone, not interfering with them. Selfishness always aims at uniformity of type. Unselfishness recognizes infinite variety of type as a delightful thing, accepts it, acquiesces in it, enjoys it.
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We are not built for the mountains and the dawns and aesthetic affinities, those are for moments of inspiration, that is all. We are built for the valley, for the ordinary stuff we are in, and that is where we have to prove our mettle. Spiritual selfishness always wants repeated moments on the mount. We feel we could talk like angels and live like angels, if only we could stay on the mount. The times of exaltation are exceptional, they have their meaning in our life with God, but we must beware lest our spiritual selfishness wants to make them the only time.
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Love is always ready to deny itself, to give, sacrifice, just in the measure of its sincerity and intensity. Perfect love is perfect self-forgetfulness. Hence where there is love in a home, unselfishness is the law. Each forgets self and lives for others. But where there is selfishness it mars joy. One selfish soul will destroy the sweetness of life in any home. It is like an ugly bush in the midst of a garden of flowers. It was selfishness that destroyed the first home and blighted all the loveliness of Paradise; and it has been blighting lovely things in earth's home ever since. We need to guard against this spirit.
James Russell Miller
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The average age of the world's great civilizations has been two hundred years. These nations have progressed through the following sequence: from bondage to spiritual faith, from spiritual faith to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependency, from dependency back to bondage.
Alexander Fraser Tytler
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Obviously, the choice between human selfishness and divine Selfishness is not about leaving or not leaving a relationship. More important are the day-to-day opportunities in the course of relationship. It is really the choice of living from the heart or living from fear. And how do you live from fear? Saying "yes" when your heart wants to say "no." Saying "no" when your heart wants to say "yes." By not listening to your heart (i.e., what is best for your soul), you compromise your truth, and cause suffering in the relationship. You may be afraid of hurting your friend. You may be afraid of losing their love and friendship. Whatever it is you are afraid of, it is still fear that is ruling you, rather than love.
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Question: You seem to advise me to be self-centered to the point of egoism. Must I not yield even to my interest in other people? Maharaj: Your interest in others is egoistic, self-concerned, self- oriented. You are not interested in others as persons, but only as far as they enrich, or enoble your own image of yourself. And the ultimate in selfishness is to care only for the protection, preservation and multiplication of one's own body. By body I mean all that is related to your name and shape- your family, tribe, country, race, etc. To be attached to one's name and shape is selfishness. A man who knows that he is neither body nor mind cannot be selfish, for he has nothing to be selfish for. Or, you may say, he is equally 'selfish' on behalf of everybody he meets; everybody's welfare is his own. The feeling 'I am the world, the world is myself' becomes quite natural; once it is es- tablished, there is just no way of being selfish. To be selfish means to covet, to acquire, accumulate on behalf of the part against the whole. I Am That Nisargadatta Maharaj
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