They Became for Themselves – 3 Nephi 1:29

29 And there was also a cause of much sorrow among the Lamanites; for behold, they had many children who did grow up and began to wax strong in years, that they became for themselves, and were led away by some who were Zoramites, by their lyings and their flattering words, to join those Gadianton robbers.

The Savior taught that “whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it” (Matthew 16:25). Ironically, as these young Lamanite adults “became for themselves,” they were susceptible to the persuasions of the Zoramites. Surely, flattery has the most impact on people who are self-absorbed. Therefore, one reason we become less independent when we turn inward is because we lack the perspective needed to overcome the “persuasions of men” (D&C 5:21).
I love the following quotation from Neal A. Maxwell:

Surging selfishness…has shrunken some people into ciphers; they seek to erase their emptiness by sensations. But in the arithmetic of appetite, anything multiplied by zero still totals zero! Each spasm of selfishness narrows one’s universe that much more by reducing his awareness of or concern with others. In spite of its outward, worldly swagger, such indulgent individualism is actually provincial, like goldfish in a bowl congratulating themselves on their self-sufficiency, never mind the food pellets or changes of water (“Repent of [Our] Selfishness,” General Conference, April 1999).

Today, I will override my tendency to be selfish and will intentionally turn my thoughts, feelings, and actions outward, toward the people around me. I will begin that process by praying this morning for the people within my circle of influence.

2 thoughts on “They Became for Themselves – 3 Nephi 1:29

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  1. I love the maxwell quote! Good ole Maxwell, how I miss him. I have always found this passage of scripture interesting. I think we see ample example of youth “becoming for themselves” in our society, and it is strange to witness first hand the emptiness and loneliness it brings. Thanks for putting it in perspective that it is an action of selfishness. So glad we know the remedy to to that vicious infection.


  2. I miss Elder Maxwell too. I remember President Hinckley's words at Elder Maxwell's funeral: “I know of no other man who spoke in such an interesting and distinct manner. His genius was the product of diligence. He was a perfectionist determined to exact from every phrase and sentence every drop of nutrition that could be produced. Each talk was a masterpiece, each book was a work of art. I think we shall not see one like him again.”


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