19 April 2007

Gift of Identity

I am part of a online community that is studying the living scriptures, words of the leadership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. We are currently studying the April 2007 General Conference Addresses. As we read the articles we are encouraged to highlight, make notes, write down thoughts and ideas, share our thoughts and impressions and really study and learn from the articles. Occasionally I will write a more formal response to the readings.

This is response to the article
Daughters of Heavenly Father by Susan W. Tanner

I have come to realize more poignantly recently the huge gap in understanding who we really are, Daughters of a Heavenly King, and how many people feel about themselves. As this subject came up for discussion with my friends recently they said I had been blessed with a "gift" in knowing who I was, in always feeling like I was a wonderful person, my Gift of Identity, of knowing that I am a Daughter of God, a wonderful and unique person in my own right.

I never realized what a huge blessing this has been in my life - and that others struggled with this issue, and probably don't even realize what a struggle it is. I must thank my Heavenly Parents and my Earthly Parents for this wonderful gift. I can't say that I remember any specific incident that taught me to be so self confident, but I'm sure that although it may have been a spiritual gift from Heavenly Father I was blessed to grow up in a home where I was always respected and treated like a Child of God.


It has been awhile (years) since I've thought about my young womens personal progress, but I remember loving the Young Women values, and how important it is to remember that I have divine nature. I look forward to the day when my daughters become Young Women and we can learn the Young Women theme together and I can teach them more about their divine nature.

Of course, that starts with teaching them that they are Children of God. We have been memorizing "My Gospel Standards" and it is a tough thing to memorize. I think it may be an even tougher thing to internalize. The June 2006 Friend Sharing Time has some great ideas on how to learn more, I'm excited to rev up our devotionals again and really learn about these great words for my Children, God's Children.Friend February 1997Friend October 2005 - Bookmarks

Sister Tanner says, "The Spirt gives us glimpses into who we are. Often the Spirit speakes to us when we pray, read the scriptures, ponder upon the Lord's Mercies to us, receive priesthood blessings, serve others, or feel loved and affirmed by others." Although I don't rmembe specific instances, I always remember feeling loved by my parents, and my family. Ok, yes, there were times when we fought, hard, and passionately, but we always loved each other. I also remember many, many priesthood blessings that I recieved as a young adult, by different priesthood holders, that stated, "Your Heavenly Father loves you." That always brought tears to my eyes and a wonderful feeling to my heart. I know that my Heavenly Father loves me, and I know that it was important to him that I learned that and internalized that. I want to share that feeling of being loved, not only by Heavenly Father, but by eartly parents with my children and with all Children of God.

Sister Tanner spoke of Moses and his experience speaking with God and learning that he was a Son of God, and then afterwards being buffeted by the wiles of the cunning one. Our children need to learn to recognize the difference between good and evil to be able to resist tempation. How do we (as adults) learn this difference and then teach it to our children. We learn to feel the Spirit in our lives by going to the temple, attending our church meetings, having the Spirit in our homes and actively seeking to feel the Spirit. If the Spirit is only an occasionaly visitor we won't notice the buffetings of Satan in our lives. I am so thankful for the presence of the Holy Spirit in our daily lives as we are able to homeschool our children. I know that they will be able to resist temptation better, because they will recognize the lack of protection from the Spirit.

I am so thankful for the home and family that I was raised in that allowed me to feel the Spirit and the love, to learn and to grow, that taught me about Heavenly Father and his true gospel, that valued following our leaders, and listening to the Prophet so that I can now build upon that solid rock and continue my progression into the Celestial Kingdom by really studying, pondering, and teaching my family upon a sure foundation.

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