Thursday, April 21, 2016

Our First and Most Profound Identity

About a week ago, I rediscovered a video that I had blogged about exactly three years and a month ago today. The video highlighted a deaf person who based his identity on being deaf. Signing to a group of deaf students, he said, "We're deaf: first, last, always." When I first saw that video, I was unsettled. I knew that it was foolish to base one's identity on what one could or could not do, but at the time, I wasn't sure what I should base my identity on. My answer came in the following General Conference, in which Bishop Dean M. Davies and President Deiter F. Uchtdorf stressed the importance of our identity as children of God.

In the April 2016 General Conference, Elder Donald L. Hallstrom shared a similar message. The main purpose of his talk, I Am a Child of God, was to remind us that we are, in fact, children of God, and that that truth should be at the core of our personal identities.
This doctrine is so basic, so oft stated, and so instinctively simple that it can seem to be ordinary, when in reality it is among the most extraordinary knowledge we can obtain. . . .
With few exceptions, everyone participating in this meeting could right now, without written lyrics or music, sing “I Am a Child of God.” This beloved hymn is one of the most often sung in this Church. But the critical question is, do we really know it? Do we know it in our mind and in our heart and in our soul? Is our heavenly parentage our first and most profound identity?
I hope that it is. Elder Hallstrom taught us that "A correct understanding of our heavenly heritage is essential to exaltation," but he warns us that in this world full of distractions, it can be easy to neglect and forget our relation with God. Thanks to Elder Hallstrom's talk, I was reminded that I truly am a child of God. I hope that that knowledge will stay with me throughout my life and influence the decisions I make. The young man in the video said that "Hearing [people] don't know who they are." But we do. We are children of God: first, last, and always.

1 comment:

Barbara Robarts said...

First, last, and always. What a difference that makes!