Your Body is a Gift

Reading: “Counsel to Young Men,” President Boyd. K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, April 2009 General Conference, Priesthood Session

In the talk I read today President Packer spoke to the young men of the church in a personal, straightforward way.  He offered much advice to the young men on preparing for adulthood.  While I enjoyed the whole talk, one part especially stood out to me as something that also could be applied to my current situation.  President Packer urged the young men to respect and love their bodies.  He said,

I learned that you should always take care of your body. Take nothing into your body that will harm it, such as we are counseled in the Word of Wisdom: tea, coffee, liquor, tobacco, or anything else that is habit-forming, addictive, or harmful…

You may see others who seem to have been given a more perfect body than yours. Do not fall into the trap of feeling poorly about your height or weight or your features or your skin color or race.

You are a son of God. You lived in a premortal existence as an individual spirit child of heavenly parents. At the time of your birth, you received a mortal body of flesh and blood and bone in which to experience earth life. You will be tested as you prepare yourself to return to our Heavenly Father.

I ask you the same question that Paul asked the Corinthians: “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?”

Currently I am having a bit of a struggle with myself over my body.  When I had my daughter I gained way, way more weight than I excpected to.  Since the time that I had my daughter I have lost a good portion of that weight but not as much as I would like.  Now, as my husband and I are planning for the next child, I am worried about what a second pregnancy will do to my body.  In the past week I’ve been thinking about this a lot and how I can deal with it.

As I read President Packer’s words of advice I felt reassured by his admonition not to compare your body with other’s bodies.  I also appreciated how he encouraged us to love our bodies but also care for them and keep them healthy.

I think part of the reason I have been worrying about my body is that I compare myself too much to other beautiful women.  Yet, this just ends up being a distraction from what is really important: keeping my body healthy.  I cannot control what my body looks like, but I can control what I eat and how I care for my body. Heavenly Father doesn’t want me to feel bad because I am not as beautiful as someone else, but he does want me to take care of the body he gave me.

Today I am going to record my calories for the day.  I had been doing really good before the move, but have gotten out of the habit.  I use a simple app on my iPod to help me keep track in an easy way.  Counting calories is a great way to make sure I am eating healthy food.

What do you do to take care of your body? Is there any stories or scriptures that help motivate you to take good care of yourself?

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1 comment so far

  1. Michaela Stephens on

    Something I’ve learned to do to take care of my body is to be careful how much I eat. I think this is particularly important in a culture that dishes up huge plates of food. I’ve learned that it’s best if I don’t eat until I’m really full. Rather, I eat until I am moderately satisfied. It’s possible to slowly condition yourself to stop eating sooner.

    Another thing I’ve tried to do more is align my eating more with the Word of Wisdom.


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