As a teenager, I always felt a little cynical about God’s love. Rather than seeing His great compassion and understanding reaching into every corner of each of His children’s hearts, I saw His love as more of a generalized blanket thrown over all of humanity, one size fits all. For a long time, I didn’t recognize that He could love everybody and still understand me on an intimate, personal level.
Sister Cordon describes identity as the first of two essential truths youth–and the rest of us–need to understand. In order for us to have the capacity and confidence we need to build the kingdom, we need to be secure in our relationships with our heavenly parents and Jesus Christ. Knowing Their love is always extended to us can transform our perspectives as we make mistakes and work to realign ourselves with Their plan again and again.
When I was a kid, insecure and unsure of myself, my mom used to tell me I had to love myself before other people could love me. As an adult, I’ve also come to see that in order to wholeheartedly love others, I have to be secure in the knowledge that I am a daughter of God. When I’m steady in Their love, instead of turning inward in stress or worry, I can pour myself out in service, trusting I will be filled again.
After learning our identity, Sister Cordon teaches that our next step is knowing our purpose. Filled with light and joy, we can’t help but desire to share it with those on both sides of the veil. As our relationship with Jesus Christ and our heavenly parents deepens, our understanding of Their love and our capacity for reflecting it to others increases.
In this way, our identity and our purpose are inextricably linked. We need confidence in our identity in order to fulfill our purposes to build Zion and gather Israel. As we develop our holy relationships, we can bring our earthly relationships closer to heaven, too.
I am a daughter of heavenly parents, secure in my eternal identity. I know my purpose and seek to bring others with me as I grow closer to Jesus Christ.
This week, focus on grounding yourself in your eternal identity. Spend some time going over your patriarchal blessing. What does it say about who you are, who you may become, and you have always been? What other experiences have you had that have helped you understand your divine nature?
Once you’ve spent some time reconnecting with your divine identity, let what you know and how you feel ripple outward. Think of one person you can invite to come unto Christ this week. Perhaps invite a friend who is dealing with trials to come to the temple with you or serve a family member who needs a little extra attention. Or you may sit at your computer and spend some time doing family history. Bringing others to Christ can take many different shapes – pay and listen to know where you are needed this week.