The Family: A Proclamation to the World teaches that every human being is, “a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and as such, each has a divine nature and destiny.”1
Knowing our divine identity as beloved children of God and our divine destiny as heirs in His kingdom is vital information as it answers many questions of the soul. It teaches us exactly why we are here, where we came from, and where we are going. It also puts into perspective that the Plan of Salvation is a plan made by loving Heavenly Parents on behalf of their children.
Satan often attacks this idea through feelings of worthlessness, distance from God, or perhaps making us think that we cannot reach our full potential. If he can convince us of these things then he can very easily pull us off the strait and narrow and into his gulf of misery.2
I created this page because so many people struggle alone. Sometimes our struggles to cause us to feel failure, inadequacy, isolation, fear, and so much more, feelings that the adversary thrives on. We fear to ask for help during times of trouble because everyone around us seems happy or “perfect.” We fear that if people knew our struggles they would see us as we may see ourselves, that we won’t fit in, or simply no one will understand.
I always hoped for a culture where taking off our masks wasn’t so scary; where our experiences wouldn’t define us, but our character and divine nature would. Not one where we sit and dwell in misery (that’s the extreme that all of us probably want to avoid) but one where when someone is struggling and they let others know, they don’t feel so different, and perhaps we all counsel together to offer aid. Not in a pitying way, but in an empathetic manner, as Christ would, because we’ve all been somewhere like that before.
So here’s my little passion project where I want to talk to talk to people about how they became okay with not being okay through Jesus Christ and His atonement. How opening up helped them not only find support but turn outwards and support others.
But for now (as I get this project going) I just want to share a few my thoughts with anyone who might benefit from being reminded that they are a beloved child of God, though imperfect.
When asked how to help those struggling with pornography, President Russell M. Nelson said, “Teach them their identity and purpose.” Tad R. Callister went on to say that that response was, “an appropriate response to of the challenges we face in life.”3
To know our divine identity and purpose, we need to understand what it means to be a child God. I found that in this stage of the plan, mortality, “we live in a fallen world and for now we are a fallen people,” and that “every one of us aspires to a more Christ-like life than we often succeed in living. If we admit that honestly and are trying to improve, we are not hypocrites; we are human.”4 We are Celestial beings under construction in a mortal body.
We all come short, not just in weakness, but also in virtue. In understanding our fallen state, we must understand its remedy, grace. Brad Wilcox commented on grace, saying that there is not a certain point we must reach before grace comes into effect, Christ, the giver of grace, paid our debts in full.5 As long as we are honestly striving to follow the Savior, He will accept our efforts. As Neal A. Maxwell puts it, “sometimes with smudges on our cheeks, dirt on our hands, and shoes untied, stammering but smilingly we present God with a dandelion—as if it were an orchid or a rose! . . . [and] He receives it.”6
So, why does He accept the dandelion? Because He wants to help us turn it into an orchid or a rose. “When the Savior knows you truly want to reach up to Him—when He can feel that the greatest desire of your heart is to draw His power into your life—you will be led by the Holy Ghost to know exactly what you should do.”7 By showing Him our desire for His power, Ether 12:27 comes to pass, “And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.”8 He will guide the way and take our weakness and increase them with strength tenfold.
He does this through the power of His infinite and atoning sacrifice. Heavenly Father knew we would be far from perfect, no performance without flaw, so He sent His Son to take upon Himself all the hardships of our fallen state. He sent His Son so that our meager dandelions can be turned into orchards and roses through Jesus Christ. After all, our efforts and strength will always come up short, that is why it is so important to know that “it is by grace we are saved after all we can do.”9
Through magnifying our small efforts and scrubbing the dirt off our faces, the atonement enables us through grace to achieve all the Father wants for us—exaltation. As a loving Father, He desires His children to enjoy all He has. Surely, with a great future ahead, we must not only be Celestial beings under construction but act like it. As I’ve studied what it means to be a beloved daughter of Heavenly Parents I have found that it means to have value beyond measure; no matter how meager my offerings may be, how strong my weaknesses are, or how scarlet my sins may be, I am loved. Because of that love, He has a provided a Savior, to magnify our efforts, humble and make us grow, and free us from our sins through repentance so we may return to our Heavenly home.
1. “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” paragraph 2.
2. 1 Nephi 8
3. Tad R. Callister, Our Identity And Our Destiny, August 2012 BYU Speeches.
4. Jeffery R. Holland, Be Ye Therefore Perfect—Eventually, April 2018 General Conference.
5. Brad Wilcox, His Grace is Sufficent, August 2011 BYU Speeches.
6. Neal A. Maxwell, that Ye May Believe, 1992, pg. 100
7. Russell M. Nelson, Drawing the Power of Jesus Christ into Our Lives, April 2017 General Conference
8. Ether 12:27
9. 2 Nephi 25:23
10. Jeffery R. Holland, Belonging, New Era Magazine, April 1980