Knowing we are Children of God

Sister Joy Jones the Primary President spoke about how coming to know we are a child of God can change our perspective and our life.

She began quoting the conversion story of one sister who explained that “‘When I found the gospel, I found myself.’ She discovered her worth through divine principles. Her value as a daughter of God was revealed to her through the Holy Ghost.”

I could relate to that experience. When I first gained my testimony of the Gospel, I was filled above all with my sense of eternal worth in the eyes of God. I knew how much he loved me and could see, for just an instant, what he could make of me.

I also recently read of the poet Maya Angelou and her powerful Christian faith. She related an experience when she first came to know of the love of God for her personally that transformed her

Maya Angelou was in a vocal class in 1955 when she experienced a spiritual turning point. She was reading aloud from H. Emilie Cady’s classic Lessons in Truth, the book she had selected for the class, when the instructor asked her to read a passage over again.

Angelou felt she looked foolish, being asked to read it again. As a young aspiring dancer in a room full of serious singers, she was already self-conscious, plus she was the only student of color and the youngest in the class.

So when the instructor, Frederick Wilkerson, asked her to repeat that line, “God loves me,” she said it louder and more strongly. In that instant, she knew she was a child of God, and had to leave the room. Once away from the others, she started weeping because of what she realized.

“God loves me … this God that made the leaves, the stars and rivers … and you, loves me, Maya Angelou.”

It was humbling, Angelou would later recall. Those words gave her a newfound freedom to go out and do good things and to do them well.

“That’s why I am who I am, because God loves me, and I’m amazed at it,” she said in a 2003 TV interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2013

Truly that knowledge changes us and transforms everything.

What really struck me about Sister Jones’s message is that she makes it clear that remembering our divine identity requires work and diligent effort. It is not simply passive knowledge we can store away somewhere in the back of our mind, but a knowledge that we must refresh and keep vital.

Sisters, let’s not be confused about who we are! While it is often easier to be spiritually passive than it is to put forth the spiritual effort to remember and embrace our divine identity, we cannot afford that indulgence in these latter days.

We cannot forget and instead must continually remember our divine heritage and try to fully internalize what that means for us.

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