President Gordon B. Hinckley said, "Be true to yourselves, and your respect for yourself will increase. Know that yours is a divine birthright. Cultivate a good opinion of yourselves." Notice no where in that quote is the idea of selfishness, conceit, or vanity. Rather we are counseled to have a good opinion of ourselves. Now what does this mean exactly if not vanity or conceit? I believe that we should think highly of ourselves and give ourselves credit when need be. I'll be the first to admit that thinking highly of myself is not one of my greatest traits, however, something that is crucial for our understanding as human beings in this life is to realize our worth. Every person is a son or daughter of God. As children of our Heavenly Father, we are blessed with divine traits and talents. The Lord did not give us talents so that we could hide them away. He gave us these talents and traits so that, as individuals, we would be given the chance to shine. What would could any one offer to humanity if no one was blessed with any talents? Humanity would not exist if that were so. I think it is very important that we not only recognize our talents, but also work to develop them in every way we can. By doing this, we will be able to accept ourselves for who we are and learn to "cultivate a good opinion" of ourselves.
I recently talked to a friend of mine and asked him what were some qualities that he really valued and looked for in potential girls. One of the traits he listed was that she should have self-confidence. Now I wouldn't say that I'm all that self-confident, although I have gotten better. But I never really thought that it would be unattractive to other people to not be self-confident, but thinking about it, it kind of is. When people put themselves down, it makes me feel sad for them that they don't realize their worth, and it is also not very attractive. I guess my message with this whole rant is don't forget who you really are. Don't forget your divine birthright. Remember that no one can make you feel bad but you. And always remember that "mediocrity will never do. You are capable of something better." (Gordon B. Hinckley)