Joseph’s brothers had plenty of reasons to be unhappy with themselves. They had treated Joseph badly—threatening him with death and selling him into slavery—and had never fully reckoned with the consequences of their actions. The guilt they carried with them colored their reaction to the adversity they were now experiencing in a time of famine. (See Genesis 42:21-22.)
But when Joseph revealed who he was, he immediately tried to set their minds at ease:
I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt.
Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.Genesis 45:4-5
He certainly wasn’t condoning their actions, but he was suggesting that it was time to move on, not to beat themselves up endlessly for their past mistakes.
When Nephi struggled with feelings of guilt, also caused by family conflict, he urged himself to do better and found hope in the promise of God’s help:
Awake, my soul! No longer droop in sin. Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the enemy of my soul….
O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever.2 Nephi 4:28, 34
Elder Dieter F. Uchtorf has encouraged us to pay attention to our relationship with ourselves:
It may seem odd to think of having a relationship with ourselves, but we do. Some people can’t get along with themselves. They criticize and belittle themselves all day long until they begin to hate themselves. May I suggest that you reduce the rush and take a little extra time to get to know yourself better. Walk in nature, watch a sunrise, enjoy God’s creations, ponder the truths of the restored gospel, and find out what they mean for you personally. Learn to see yourself as Heavenly Father sees you—as His precious daughter or son with divine potential.“Of Things That Matter Most,” General Conference, October 2010
Today, I will strive to have a good relationship with myself, not to be overly harsh or unforgiving when I fall short of my expectations. I will see past mistakes as opportunities to do better in the future, not as albatrosses holding me back from progressing. Just as Jesus Christ can heal rifts in my other relationships, I will trust that He can help me be at peace with myself.