How to Face Our Own Unworthiness & Still Find Peace

by | Dec. 30, 2015

All of us struggle with feelings of unworthiness. We reach those moments in our lives when we recognize our own nothingness. But, in those moments, we can better see the glory of God and the hope He offers each one of us.

The following is an excerpts from The God Seed by M. Catherine Thomas. 

In this world many of us feel a separation, a gap between our ordinary, everyday mind, and the nourishing presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. We may think, at some level, “I want to come to Thee, but I need to wait until I am more together— more worthy.”

Worthiness is a recurring issue for each of us. My husband and I have had the privilege of serving in three temples. We welcomed many people through those doors. Many of us, who grasp what the temple really is, bring a certain sensibility there —a hesitancy, a little discomfort.

And that all people who shall enter upon the threshold of the Lord’s house may feel thy power… a place of thy holiness. (D&C 109:13)

Stepping upon the threshold of the temple, sensing the force of holiness there, we may feel some inner conflict about worthiness. It is the very impact of this felt holiness that may arouse confusion about coming to the temple. Sometimes we may fear that we will somehow reveal our deep sense of unworthiness or inadequacy—all of which may preclude our experiencing what is there. Or maybe we’re afraid we won’t feel anything. But most of us come with a desire to experience something divine—but can we? “Worthy” can be such a bothersome notion. . . .

Yet who of us has a truly pure heart?

Because, not too far under the surface, we find that we’re critical, prideful, angry, resistant, vengeful, defensive, abrupt, cold, rough with others, unbelieving….—we have these impurities in our heart. And we have to hide all of this, if we can, wearing a mask of our worthiness. And yet, our spirit knows what is in our heart, and we sense this void between our self and the presence of the Lord.

As we read the scriptures we notice that the greatest among us fully acknowledge their unworthiness: Father Jacob cries out: “O God … I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast shewed unto thy servant” (Genesis 32:10). The brother of Jared cries, saying, “O Lord, do not be angry with thy servant because of his weakness before thee; for we know that thou art holy and dwellest in the heavens, and that we are unworthy before thee” (Ether 3:2).

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Get more great insights with The God Seed.

For behold, the mystery of godliness, how great is it! — D&C 19:10

We believe that human beings can grow into Gods; we accept the importance of coming to Christ and also of awakening our divine attributes and powers — but how to do that seems obscure. In recent years, studies in adult developmental psychology have cast unexpected light on the path to Godhood. They illustrate that human beings already possess the potent seeds for unfolding into more highly developed beings.

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