President Boyd K. Packer’s words are plain and precious: “You are a child of God. He is the father of your spirit. Spiritually, you are of noble birth, the offspring of the King of Heaven. Fix that truth in your mind and hold to it. However many generations in your mortal ancestry, no matter what race or people you represent, the pedigree of your spirit can be written on a single line. You are a child of God!”
“When you … see our Father,” Brigham Young described, “you will see a being with whom you have long been acquainted, and he will receive you into his arms, and you will be ready to fall into his embrace and kiss him.”
This talk reached out to my heart and reminded me that no matter what you DNA says, you are identified as a Son or Daughter of God. You have worth in His eyes, and He loves you.
The one who seeks to confuse us, wants our identities to be confused also. He wants us to embrace our differences and to allow them to divide us, not bring us together. You have only to look around you at the world today and you can see the evidence of confusion and anger. You can see that we are challenged always in a world that doesn't want to acknowledge our spiritual identity.
I invite each of us to seek God and His Beloved Son. “Nowhere,” President Nelson directed, “are those truths taught more clearly and powerfully than in the Book of Mormon.”27 Open its pages and learn that God does “all things for [our] welfare and happiness”;28 that He is “merciful and gracious, slow to anger, long-suffering and full of goodness”;29 and that “all are alike unto [Him].”30 When you feel hurt, lost, scared, upset, sad, hungry, or hopelessly abandoned in life’s extremities31—open the Book of Mormon, and you will come to know that “[God] will never desert us. He never has, and He never will. He cannot do it. It is not His character [to do so].”32
Coming to know our Father changes everything, especially our hearts, as His gentle Spirit confirms our true identity and great worth in His sight.33 God walks with us along the covenant path as we seek Him through prayerful pleadings, scriptural searchings, and obedient strivings.
The message of this talk to me is so clear. We need to turn our hearts to Him, to seek to know Him, to know how very much we are loved by Him. His hands are reaching toward each one of us. It is up to you and me if we will reach out to take those hands, and the comfort and hope that they offer. We are truly children of God.
I have been the receiver of so many tiny miracles in my life. Things that have surrounded me that I try and make sure I take the time to notice. They can be as simple as a sunset, or the nest of a pair of eagles. They can be kind words and even kinder voices. They can be the way someone notices something I have done or said. There are so many miracles in each of our lives. So many time that Heavenly Father reaches out to remind each one of us that we are loved and wanted and needed, right where we are.
Occasionally, I forget that. Occasionally I struggle to remember that I have worth. Life can be hard. It can be downright awful sometimes. I am learning that if we forget to look for the miracles, it is too easy to get swallowed up in the storms.
I have spent way too much of my life focusing on the rain, instead of the beauty of the rainbows. Too much time remembering every single negative in life, without acknowledging the many positives. Too much time focusing on the impossibilities rather than on the miracles that already surround me.
So, remember the miracles. They are a testament of His love. They remind us of His caring. They remind us of who we are, and who we are meant to become. They are all around us if we will just take a moment to look and see.
It has been an interesting couple of weeks in our home. My husband was diagnosed with skin cancer. We weren't sure how bad it was, or what getting rid of it would entail. To be honest, we weren't even sure how bad it could possibly be.
So, he made the appointments, got the biopsy, received the results of the biopsy and made the appointment to have it removed. That happened this Saturday. Neither of us was ready for how much they would take off his face, or what type of scar he would have at the end.
To be honest, he was probably just a little more upset about cutting his beard than the scar.
I have spent a lot of time thinking this week and being grateful. Thinking about how it could have been and being grateful for the medical care that came up on the mountain to take care of him. I have also been grateful for all the thoughts and prayers and well wishes from so many around us.
We had no idea how aggressive skin Cancer could be. We really had no idea what to expect at all. So, it was a little disconcerting to find that he had two types of cancer. One a slow growing kind, and one very aggressive type. I am so grateful that they could get all the cancer and that the scar won't be too bad after it is healed. I had time to reflect on what this man means to me and how very blessed I really am.
I have a husband who never goes to doctors. He doesn't take any medication and he is very healthy. He found a small sore on his face, it did not heal or get better and started to turn dark. He called the doctor himself and went in to have it checked out.
I am so blessed that he knew something wasn't right and went in to have it looked at.
I realize how much he means to me and to our family. This crazy, messy, chaotic life we live is really filled with pretty amazing moments in spite of it. We have children who love us and care about us. We have the opportunity to serve them and help them and be there for them. We have them mostly raised and are blessed to see them grow and learn and develop. We get to experience the joy of grandchildren and the love and blessings they bring into our lives.
I have lived too much of my life waiting for moments to pass. Waiting for things to change. Waiting for something to be different. Today, I am learning to just enjoy the moment I am in. Each step of the way brings it own trials and blessings, but also so much joy.
My husband has always told me that I need to stop and smell the roses a little more often. Today, I can see just how much he might be right. This moment, right here and now, is worth everything to me. And so I move forward, one small, tender mercy at a time.
This moment is life.
I am afraid of the dark. My imagination gets going and I can dream up any wickedness you can imagine. When I was a child, I watched one, single, horror movie. I have nightmares of drowning and bodies to this day. My imagination needs no help!
I remember one night when I saw a face in the window. It seemed to my child's mind to be very evil. I saw dark hair and blue eyes. I felt sure that he could see me too and that he wanted me.
For the first time in my very young life, I got to my knees under the covers and prayed. I prayed with all the sincerity of my 5 year old self. I prayed that Heavenly Father would keep the man away and that he could not hurt me. I didn't dare look at the window until much later, but I prayed until I was comforted.
During that prayer, I felt the knowledge come into my mind to know where a flash light was. Tiptoeing silently through the small apartment, I went to he right drawer and pulled the flashlight that I found there, I also pulled some extra batteries. I ran back to bed with that small light and kept it under the covers to protect me from the darkness.
I don't know what my mother thought happened to that small light, but I kept it for many years. I put it carefully between the wall and the bed. As a teenager, it was my reading light and my babysitting light. I used it when I needed to see something and when I needed to feel secure. I also used it when I needed to see my way home in the darkness.
Not only can happiness be found when you remember to turn on the light, but I learned that safety and security could be found also. I learned the God answers prayers, even for very young insecure children, and I learned that I really was loved and watched over.