“Whatsoever Ye Would That Men Should Do to You Do Ye Even So to Them”

Joseph F. McConkie, Robert L. Millet

Our guide and standard for human conduct is summarized succinctly in this verse. It is a remarkable distillation expression: it says so very much in so few words. This verse is the meaning of the command,

“Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Matthew 22:39; see also Romans 13:9; Galatians 5:41).

Jesus did not intend to suggest that each person strive to love himself, nor did he mean to indicate that we should spend much time at all in trying to build our love for ourselves. He taught instead the ironic but infinitely true principle that only as we lose ourselves can we find ourselves (see Matthew 16:25).

We gain the inner peace and stability of soul promised by the Savior only as we lose ourselves in our quest for God and as we give of ourselves selflessly in service to others. Thus the real meaning of “love thy neighbour as thyself” is: “Love your neighbor as you would want him or her to love you. Treat others as you would want to be treated.” Indeed, “If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shaft love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well” (James 2:8).

Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 4