Spiritual Sunday: Am I a Success?

Happy Sunday everyone!

This month for my spiritual Sunday post, I’m going to re-post something I wrote for lds.org that got published a week or so ago.

When I submitted the article I called it, “Am I a Success?” In publishing it was changed to “How I Learned My Worth Isn’t Measured By Checklists” which is totally fine since admittedly my title-writing skills are mediocre at best.

I’ll just say that this article deals with measuring success. I discuss measuring worth in this article (note: our worth is innate and not dependent on our measurement of it).

That said, here’s the beginning of the article- read the rest by following the link at the bottom.


When I was a teenager, if someone asked me about Mormonism, about what differentiated it from other faiths, I usually listed off a few outward expressions of what made our church stand apart:

  • Three hours of church
  • No drinking or smoking
  • No sex before marriage
  • Tithing
  • Dressing modestly
  • No rated-R movies

Since these things tended to outwardly distinguish me from the rest of my friends quite notably, they became what I thought were the “biggest deals.” They came to define my religion, becoming the benchmark of a successful Mormon in my mind. No coffee or beer? Wore sleeves to prom? Didn’t see American Pie? Check, check, check. I’m a success!

I see now that these things easily became my standards of success because they were measurable. They were the outward stuff. Anyone could see them and check them off lists.

Inner vs. Outer

As I’ve grown older I’ve come to see the gospel as much, much more than those “outward” commandments. I’ve grown to trust and love the inward ones as well:

  • Love
  • Faith
  • Repentance
  • Hope
  • Charity
  • Gratitude
  • Devotion
  • Goodness
  • Kindness
  • Humility

These inward features have largely formed my new standard of “successful” righteousness. But there is one main problem with these new measurements: they are almost impossible to measure!

Do I have enough humility? faith? Do I love enough? I don’t know! How much is enough, anyway? 

[Read the rest here]

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