Individual Worth

One of the LDS church’s Young Women Values is “Individual Worth.” I used to think it was a real positive that Mormonism taught us that we were children of God and had the potential to become like Him. That “spark of divinity” within us made us inherently worth something. I still think that, at least in principle.

But the more I’ve thought about this, our worth as church members was always conditioned on our ability to contribute to the growth and prosperity of the church.

“The worth of souls is great.” This means that a soul that contributes to the church has worth. If not, we’re worthless.

“The family is the basic unit of the church.” This means that the church sees our families as existing for the church’s benefit, and not the other way around. Families that do not contribute have little worth.

I think this is why it’s so easy for a lot of church members to completely write us out of their lives when we leave or stop contributing. We are literally worthless.

The good thing, of course, is that we do not need anyone’s approval to be worth something. Each human being has inherent worth and dignity, with or without the approval of others.

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