Despite a day full of church and family activities, I was determined not to miss another Sunday in my goal to explore faith more fully. I sat down with this month’s issue of my church’s magazine, the Ensign, and was drawn to the title of one particular article, Your Divine Heritage by Elder Robert C. Oaks. Two quotes from the article really got me thinking.
In the first paragraph, Elder Russell M. Nelson is quoted as saying “Understand who you are in God’s plan.” A little while later, a story is recounted where Elder Henry B. Eyring received the impressing that “When you find who you are, you will be sorry you didn’t try harder.”
What powerful messages.
At the same time, what amazing reminders of my own insecurities.
I have mentioned recently (although in a password-protected sort of way), that I have a real tendency to feel like I don’t measure up. I am plagued by fears that there is something I should be doing–someone I should be being–that I’m not. And that makes me feel like I’m failing. When I read the Elder Eyring quote, “When you find who you are, you will be sorry you didn’t try harder,” it touched a nerve. At 31-years-old, I still don’t feel like I know entirely where I fit in God’s plan. And I wonder if I will have regrets when I figure it out.
Let me back up a bit and clarify. In a general sense, I know who I am. I’ve been learning and believing it my entire life.
I sang about it in Primary.
I Am a Child of God.
I recited it in Young Women.
We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we love him…
I believe in the divine potential within myself–within us all.
It is the specifics that elude me. And, just maybe, my inner control freak has a hard time processing that.
But, how do you find out those specifics?
A scripture quoted from the Book of Mormon near the end of the article reminded me of a concept that I learned in a college religion course:
And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.
Remember. It is a word that is used frequently in the scriptures (especially in the Book of Mormon). Remember the covenants you made with the Lord. Remember His deliverance of the faithful. Remember who you are.
The amazing thing, though, is that remembering can be a way of determining your future. Similar to the concept that those who don’t know the past are condemned to repeat it. Except much more positive.
Those who understand the past have the opportunity to shape the future. Those who remember their worth and potential are able to do anything.
Therefore, cheer up your hearts, and remember that ye are free to act for yourselves—to choose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life.
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, reconcile yourselves to the will of God, and not to the will of the devil and the flesh; and remember, after ye are reconciled unto God, that it is only in and through the grace of God that ye are saved.
~2 Nephi 10:23-24
Does this suddenly open my eyes to who I am, or what I should be doing? No. But it gives me a place to start–a clue of how to find out. Maybe, instead of trying to find the future, I should spend more time remembering the past. Remembering the doctrines of the scriptures. Remembering the words of the prophets. Remembering impressions, promptings, and counsel that have been given to me.
Maybe, once I’ve done that, I will remember who God planned for me to be.