Part 2: Excessive Talking About Ourselves!

I once observed that:

There are many people that keep up a steady chatter wherever they are and whoever they are with.

People thus engaged, are generally talking about themselves and it is always their favorite subject.

Take a good look at yourself. If you are one of these individuals, you need to keep quiet and listen more. Otherwise, you will probably continue to be dangerously self-absorbed.

People who are oriented toward Jesus Christ, the gospel, service, and others are not generally the ones guilty of incessantly chattering about themselves.

We are so self-absorbed, that most of us don’t even realize how much we do this. It’s time to take a good look at ourselves and evaluate our behavior.

Inordinate time during Sacrament meetings, testimonies, and lessons are spent in our talking about ourselves.


In Sacrament meetings, it often starts with our being asked to introduce ourselves or feeling like we need to introduce ourselves. Often these introductions dominate the total time we spend at the podium. There is nothing wrong with introducing ourselves. The problem is doing it to excess.

I’ve spent some time trying to come up with some guidelines as to what would be an appropriate and short introduction. This is what I’ve come up with for myself:

My name is Krista, I moved into the ward in 2019 and my husband died a short time later. I was born in the church and grew up out west. I am highly educated and have lived across the country. I made my living teaching. I have no children but I have two step-daughters and two step-grandchildren.

What I think is important about what this information conveys is that I’m a life-long member. This suggests I’m well-grounded in the gospel. It also tells people that I am a relatively new member of the ward and widowed.

Telling people I’ve lived many places and grew up elsewhere suggests my family network is at some distance. Having no children myself also suggests a narrow nuclear family network. It suggests my life experiences could be broad since I am educated and have lived many different places.

Also, my occupation suggests a great deal, as do most occupations. It suggests where and in what people have spent the majority of their time.

This gives leadership, Ministering Sisters/Brothers, and others a sense of what my capabilities and needs might be. It’s a starting point in understanding me which is what an introduction should be. People just need to understand a bit about where you are coming from.

Unfortunately, introductions are rarely this brief. We are often regaled with stories and circumstances that the speaker simply wants to share, for whatever reason, whether it has any remote relevance to gospel purposes or not.

Talks and Lessons

Including stories about ourselves in talks or lessons can be extraordinarily powerful, as long as the stories are relevant and contribute to understanding the gospel, strengthen people’s faith, or inspire us to be better. Too often, we want to share stories because they are funny.

If what we say teaches gospel principles and increases faith, I have no problem with it. The problem is, most of it doesn’t.

We should be more interested in telling/teaching people about the gospel than in talking about ourselves.

We are supposed to be teaching and illustrating doctrine. Let’s make certain our stories do that and aren’t just for personal aggrandizement or humor.

Our audience is a captive one. We need to make certain we use the opportunity appropriately – the way the Savior would.

Our Others

Some of the talk about ourselves is about what I call our others. Our others are generally our family members and those important to us. It’s still an indication of self-absorption and it also involves flattery.

For example, a stake leader was constantly talking about his wonderful two wives, extolling their virtues and how lucky he was to have them. (One was deceased.) This alienated at least one sister I talked with. She ended up with two lemon spouses and his remarks really bothered her.

Saying your wives are wonderful is one thing. Explaining what they do/did that causes you to think they are wonderful is something else. People can learn from that. Generalized flattery told to numerous other people may make your spouse feel good but it doesn’t really help the rest of us.

Praising our kids in church to others probably will have the same effect. Praising a particular praiseworthy trait or act, while giving examples, may help the rest of us learn.

We just need to be careful with what we say and to who we say it to.

Some of these themes were developed in this prior posting: Part 9: Local Leadership Corruption: Flattery

Spiritual Vaunting and the Perils of the Rameumptom Syndrome

“As teachers, we may speak with the tongues of angels; we may entertain, delight, amuse, astound. But if we have failed in keeping our focus on Jesus Christ, we have missed the mark and our teaching is only a shadow of what it ought to be. Always keep the focus on our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ.” Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Teaching in the Savior’s Way with Elder Uchtdorf”. Address given June 12, 2022. Accessed June 12, 2022 from

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