Article Title

Origins of Human Worth


John M. Rector


This paper addresses the problem of conditional self-worth among Latter-day Saints. Four principles are expounded which form the foundation of a cognitive strategy to replace the irrational belief that the worth of human beings is contingent on certain external conditions: (1) people are not upset by things, but by the view they take of things; (2) all human beings are flawed, imperfect, and fallible; (3) all human beings have equal worth; and (4) the worth of a human being in his or her capacity to become as God. These hierarchical principles form the basis of a healthy personal philosophy that encourages an unconditional view of human worth. The author asserts not only that belief in the unconditional worth of human beings is a more enlightened life-approach than a concept of conditional human worth, but also that unconditionality is more conductive to emotional health and is consistent with both the central teachings of Jesus in the Gospels, and the words of modern-day prophets.