11.08.2006

Identity

Last Sunday in Relief Society the presidency taught and it was a really good lesson. They taught about body image and the parts of ourselves we really need to focus on that have no bearing on our physical appearance. At first I thought this would be the typical "you're beautiful no matter what" lesson we frequently got in Young Women, but it wasn't. The lesson rather focused on how our understanding of our divine nature makes our physical imperfections unimportant. The presidency had asked a few girls before class to tell how they knew they were daughters of God and it was really a touching lesson.

I think this was an excellent choice of topic (it was also based off of one of Elder Holland's more recent conference talks) because it hit at the core of some things. Now I'm not a wayward child by any means, but moving away from home compels you to reevaluate yourself and what is really important. You change, even over the course of a couple of months, and fortunately in my case, my changes are good and deal more with how I think about things and how I react to different situations, but some people have a hard adjustment. For most, if not all, of us in Relief Society, this is our first time living away from home and I can see how it would be traumatizing if you didn't already have a strong sense of self. This lesson helped me re-realize who I am and what is really important.

The lesson concluded with those few girls standing and telling how they knew they are daughters of God and I was prompted to write down how I know. Sometimes life gets clouded with things ranging from family to school to friends to boys to church and it's easy to lose sight of who you really are; in moments like those, I think it's important to have some hard evidence of what you know. So here it goes . . .

I know I am a daughter of God because I've never doubted it. I know that sounds almost contradictory because you read and hear stories about girls who have gone astray, but then in a moment of revelation realize who they really are. For me it's that peace that has always reminded of who I am. I was taught since infancy that I'm a child of God and while it would have been easy to let that slide off, I internalized and made it a part of my identity. I've relied on that definition of myself and I allow it to encompass my personality, my acts, and my thoughts. Placing a strong faith in that identity has never let me down--I've never been disappointed when I trust in that knowledge. The fact that I'm a daughter of God is reinforced on occasion as well; sometimes out of the blue, I'll hear a song or read a passage out of a book or hear a piece of music that stikes me to the core, testifying of my divine heritage and potential.

I know I'm a daughter of God because I've felt His Spirit play a major role in my life. In my life, I've seen the Holy Ghost work as Comforter, as Guide, as Testifier, as Protector, and in each instance manifesting to me of God's love. Sometimes I let go a little; I don't study my scriptures as I should, don't read my patriarchal blessing as often, don't have fervent prayers like I should and I feel and notice the difference. The Holy Ghost has the ability to be a part of every aspect of my life and it's up to me whether I allow it. Sometimes it's hard to have a staunch faith in something you can't see or hear, but feel. It's hard sometimes to put all your trust solely in impressions, but it's never let me down.

Here are some reasons why I know Heavenly Father knows and loves me as Charlotte:
  • He sent me to a time with indoor plumbing and dentists
  • He sent me to earth when the full Gospel was restored and where I can enjoy the blessings of the Priesthood.
  • I have a father who is a worthy Priesthood holder.
  • I learned how to drive a stick without too many mishaps.
  • I could come out to school where I already have family upon whom I can trust.
  • I have constant, unwavering friends
  • There is the Internet
  • I currently live so close to a temple.
  • I have a close relationship with my siblings.
  • I have parents who never let me forget how much they love me.
  • He sent me to a time when there's Clorox bleach and Swiffer dusters
  • I was born in a free country where I have innumerable opportunities
  • I have access to millions of books
  • I have a close relationship with my family
  • There are phones, texting, email, blogs, and snail mail all open for communication
  • The Atonement allows me the opportunty and ability to return to Him

These are just a few of my thoughts of late. I'm so glad I know who I am and why I'm here. I'm so glad I've never doubted and that I've never been disappointed in trusting in the knowledge that I'm a daughter of God.

5 comments:

Jill said...

I can only imagine how delighted your parents will be when they read this. Charlotte, this is a beautiful post and it is so wonderful to read something like this. You have been very blessed in your life and this post is evidence of that. It was a treat to read. Thanks for sharing.

michelle said...

I love this post. Here's my favorite part: "It's hard sometimes to put all your trust solely in impressions, but it's never let me down." So so true!!!

And I agree with Jill, your parents are fortunate to have a daughter who has a testimony of her divine nature and can express it in such a beautiful way. There truly is no joy greater than that of seeing your children walk in truth.

dpw said...

Amen! What a joy, as a parent, to know that my daughter is firm in her faith and testimony. Thank you for expressing it so beautifully. My testimony has been srengthened in many ways today--I'll tell you more later. For now, know that I love you, and--of all your myriad accomplishments and talents--(and there are many), the fact that you have a strong testimony of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ is the thing that makes me the happiest and brings me the greatest joy.

Anonymous said...

Hey Charlotte that was an experiance like I had and i love how you said that you've always known that you were a daughter of God

Anonymous said...

Hey Charlotte that was an experiance like I had and i love how you said that you've always known that you were a daughter of God
Love Julie your cousin

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