Our divine nature has nothing to do with our personal accomplishments, the status we achieve, the number of marathons we run, or our popularity and self-esteem. Our divine nature comes from God. It was established in an existence that preceded our birth and will continue on into eternity.”Rosemary M. Wixom
She shared about an experience she had with her kids not long ago.
I was with my littles and baby Gwen, that’s my youngest daughter, she’s three months old. She’s with me and we’re having our little bedtime routine… I said, why do we love baby Gwen? And I said, is it because.. she can run really fast? And they’re like, mom, she can’t even walk….. And I said, Oh, well it must be because she has beautiful hair. And they’re like, mom, she’s bald. And I’m like oh yeah, you’re right. I said, is it her beautiful smile? And she doesn’t have any teeth. Is it because she’s really good at, you know, like I’m going through the things? That sometimes we make our worth all about, right? Why did we love, why do we love it? And then they’re like, huh? I said, we love baby Gwen because she’s ours. She has never done anything to deserve our love or earn our love or be worthy of our love. She’s done nothing, she’s just here.”Spiritually Minded Mom Interview with Chelsea Bretzke
I love this story that Chelsea shares. It teaches a foundational principle of truth that has been on my mind a lot lately. We are loved by our Heavenly Parents because we are Theirs. We did nothing to earn it and we can do nothing to lose it. We are loved because we are. This matters so much for every single individual to truly know for themselves.
But how? How we do learn this and truly internalise it for ourselves. And help those we love to do it too?
In April 2019 Elder Takashi Wada gave a talk about feasting upon the words of God through studying the scriptures. He had a wonderful list of blessings that come from truly studying the Word of God. And one of the things he listed was how the scriptures can help us know who we really are.
When we struggle with our own identity and lack of self-esteem, the “pleasing word of God” (Jacob 2:8) in the scriptures will help us know who we really are and give us strength beyond our own. Recognizing my identity as God’s child was one of the sweetest moments I have ever experienced. In my early teenage years, I did not know anything about the teachings of the Savior. When I first read the New Testament, the words of Christ truly healed my wounded soul. I realized I was not alone and that I am a child of God. As I recognized my true identity before God, I realized my infinite potential through Christ’s Atonement.”Takashi Wada
I have found this to be true in my own life. The more time I spend with the word of God, the more I see and feel and know the love of God for me individually. Some scriptures that teach me that God knows me individually:
And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.”1 Corinthians 15:49, KJV
Paul is teaching about celestial bodies and the earth. Our eternal nature. And he teaches that the earth is created in the image of the celestial kingdom. Just like we as humans, are created in the image of our Heavenly Parents. As I look at the beautiful world around me when I am in nature, I feel filled with a deep love of God. I know that I am one of His beloved creations.
If you find yourself worrying about what other people say about you, may I suggest this antidote: remember who you are. Remember that you are of the royal house of the kingdom of God, daughters of Heavenly Parents, who reign throughout the universe.You have the spiritual DNA of God. You have unique gifts that originated in your spiritual creation and that were developed during the vast span of your premortal life. You are the child of our merciful and everlasting Father in Heaven, the Lord of Hosts, the One who created the universe, spread the spinning stars across the vast expanse of space, and placed the planets in their appointed orbits.”Dieter F. Uchtdorf
It is comforting to know that in the great expanse of all of God’s creations, we are included in them as well. That His hand is watching over us too.
And there came a voice unto me, saying: Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed.”Enos 1:5, Book of Mormon
Wonderful lessons are taught by the records of Enos. He shared how he had not lived up to what he knew he should. But he remembered what he had been taught by his parents – about a loving God and an elder brother Jesus Christ who had been sent to save them. Enos worked hard to be worthy of the gifts and blessings that God offers to us. He prayed continuously for day and night to hear that he was forgiven. And in that experience he also learned that Heavenly Father knew him when he called him by name and forgave him of his sins.
And God remembered Noah, and every living thing..”Genesis 8:1, KJV
I love this verse. In its simplicity it teaches the truth that God watches over us, along with every other living thing on the earth. I found it a few years ago when I was searching for something else. And it stopped me in my tracks. It testified to me. I am one of those living things. And God remembers me.
…calling me by name…”Joseph Smith History 1:17 – The First Vision
Many things changed on the day that an unlearned 14 year old boy went into the woods in rural New York to pray. He had an amazing experience that changed the course of history. So many wonderful principles are taught to us through the miraculous “First Vision”. And one of the ones that sticks out the most to me, is found in the first words that Heavenly Father said to Joseph.
Joseph Smith History 1:17 (emphasis placed by author)
Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ came to the earth to speak directly to Joseph. And they knew exactly who they were coming to see and speak too. They called to him directly by using his name. If they are aware of a unlearned boy in the middle of farm country in western New York in the 1800s, why would they not be aware of me?!
Remember the worth of Souls is great in the sight of God”Doctrine & Covenants 18:10
Remember in this verse says to me that we already know. We remember things we previously knew. You don’t remember things you haven’t learned. And this verse is saying that we know that the worth of souls is great. We come to this earth already filled with worth and love. And some how the experiences of mortality rub it off and make us forget what we already know to be true – that we are children of God and have infinite potential.
All of you need to drink in deeply the gospel truths about the eternal nature of your individual identity and the uniqueness of your personality. You need, more and more, to feel the perfect love which our Father in Heaven has for you and to sense the value he places upon you as an individual. Ponder upon these great truths.”Spencer W. Kimball
And it came to pass that Moses looked upon Satan and said: Who art thou? For behold, I am a son of God, in the similitude of his Only Begotten.”Moses 1:13, KJV
Satan came to Moses to try and tempt him. To rub off some of the light that Moses had been blessed with during his amazing experience with Jesus Christ. Moses saw Satan for what he was – and in that also knew who He was. Moses knew that he had power to overcome Satan because he is a son of God. There is great strength in this. When we see who we really are, it gives us strength to overcome whatever Satan tries to tempt us with.
I have had times in my life when I have not felt that love. And wondered if God knew me. And I have prayed and asked Him to help me see myself how He sees me. It is one of the most wonderful experiences to get a glimpse into that love.
Quite a few years ago, my husband and I were living on the east coast of Canada with a new little baby boy. I was feeling lost so far from home and weighing on my mind was this idea of the Lord seeing me. I felt unseen in a sea of people. So I prayed one night to ask Heavenly Father if he saw me and knew me.
The next day I got a phone call from my Stake President asking me if I could speak at the upcoming Stake Conference when, then, Elder Henry B. Eyring would be visiting our Stake. I said yes and then got off the phone and wondered why he would think of me. I prepared and prayed and worked on my talk.
The day came and I gave a talk in a school auditorium filled with saints anxious to hear an apostle of the Lord. After the meeting I had opportunity to shake Elder Eyring’s hand and we had a very brief conversation.
But in that very brief conversation, Elder Eyring said something that spoke to a prayer I had had years earlier. One that I did not get answered and it weighed on my heart. A prayer I had not shared with very many people at all. But when Elder Eyring talked to me and satisfied that concern I had carried around for years, I knew God saw me. That he knew me. And He loved me. I am sure Elder Eyring would not remember the experience now at all. But I knew that God had sent the answer to me directly.
I have asked God a few times over my life to know that He sees and loves me. And every time He has somehow confirmed to me of His love. Most of the time they have been very small experiences or feelings that build me up and strengthen my knowledge of Him. But somehow He has told me or shown me of His love.
One of the sweetest messages the Spirit will relay is how the Lord feels about you.”M. Russell Ballard
I testify this is true. If you’ve never asked God to how He feels about, I challenge you to ask him.
And then pay attention to the love notes that He sends you.