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An Example of How Mormons Teach Personal Responsibility

Summary:
In “Mormonism Has More Important Things to Preach than the Purported Evils of Gay Marriage,” I write:Mormonism is one of the key reservoirs of belief in personal responsibility these days—that by dint of effort, one can make one’s own life better and contribute to making the world a better place.Jordan Peterson tells the story of giving a talk about personal responsibility to students at Harvard—who had to be quite accomplished to get admitted—and having many come up afterward to tell him how meaningful that message was to them and how no one had ever given them that message of personal responsibility like that. I got that message of personal responsibility growing up in Mormonism. I am grateful for that. This is the kind of message that Mormonism should be telling the world, going up

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In “Mormonism Has More Important Things to Preach than the Purported Evils of Gay Marriage,” I write:

Mormonism is one of the key reservoirs of belief in personal responsibility these days—that by dint of effort, one can make one’s own life better and contribute to making the world a better place.

Jordan Peterson tells the story of giving a talk about personal responsibility to students at Harvard—who had to be quite accomplished to get admitted—and having many come up afterward to tell him how meaningful that message was to them and how no one had ever given them that message of personal responsibility like that. I got that message of personal responsibility growing up in Mormonism. I am grateful for that. This is the kind of message that Mormonism should be telling the world, going up against the tide that emphasizes injuries and rights without sufficiently balancing that emphasis by also talking about responsibility and personal agency.

At the top of this post is a recent example of Mormon’s being taught personal responsibility—that they can make a difference in their own lives and for the world. It isn’t exactly how I would teach personal responsibility, but it does a good job of getting the basic message across.

Miles Kimball
Miles Kimball is Professor of Economics and Survey Research at the University of Michigan. Politically, Miles is an independent who grew up in an apolitical family. He holds many strong opinions—open to revision in response to cogent arguments—that do not line up neatly with either the Republican or Democratic Party.

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