The Lord has said, “Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God;… And how great is His joy in the soul that repenteth!” (Doctrine & Covenants 18: 10, 13 p. 29)
We each have a Spark of Divinity
Each of us have a spark of divinity in us as sons and daughters of God! What a marvelous truth! “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ…” (Romans 8: 16-17 in the Bible)
If sons and daughters of God, then God has an important plan for each of us, our existence on the earth with a mortal body housing our divine eternal spirits is an important step in our progress to become heirs of a loving Heavenly Father and beloved Savior Jesus Christ. Unfortunately many of the children of God do not understand their divine heritage and waste their lives following many wrong selfish paths trying to find happiness without God in their lives.
Are We Judging Ourselves with The Wrong Measuring Criteria
We all can fall prey to the world’s measuring criteria that can make us feel inferior to others. Often we are unaware that we are ascribing worth to people in ways that contradict or challenge our professed beliefs as Christians. Wealth, physical appearance, education, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality and religious affiliation, are just some categories that can be used to lift some folks up and bring others down. Are beautiful people better people? Does God love them more? I am sure we would all respond with a resounding no; however, do you say no when you look in the mirror and criticize yourself or when you criticize others for their appearance? Do we believe what we say? Remember ideal beauty is a construction of this world. We can point to the usual suspects for this false system of value—the fashion industry, advertising, television, and so on. And yes, we are bombarded with images that say, “This is beautiful. If you are this, you will be popular and you will be important.
See Others as God Sees Them
Heavenly Father knew that we would have trouble with this. Indeed, the scriptures are full of commands to resist the human impulse to rank people and instead to see them as God does. For example, Leviticus contains several injunctions to the Israelites to accept and love all those among them. We read: “and if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him. But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.” (Leviticus 19:33–34 in the Bible)
Christ Himself refused to recognize distinctions of class, nationality, race, gender, politics, or faith among people but instead saw each individual as a child of God worthy of His time, service, teachings, and love. When a diseased woman who was shunned by others approached Him for help and took hold of His garment, He neither condemned nor dismissed her but blessed her (see Luke 8:43–48 in the Bible). When a fallen woman approached Him to wash His feet Christ didn’t chastise her but instead accepted her act of charity (see Luke 7:37–38 in the Bible). When the Pharisees criticized Him for dining with a publican, a man who represented the wrong profession, the wrong politics, and an alien occupying nation, Christ rebuked them saying that His word and His love was for all (see Mark 2:15–17; Luke 15:1–2 in the Bible). When Jesus saw the Samaritan woman at the well He did not shun her as taboo would demand for being a woman and a Samaritan but spoke to her, taught her, and loved her (see John 4:5–42 in the Bible). The Savior said, “…That ye love one another; as I have loved you…” (John 13: 34 in the Bible)
The Unfortunate Consequence of Not Knowing Who We Are and Our Divine Potential
When we are not aware (and take no interest in finding out) of who we are and our divine potential, then the natural man or women can take over and we seek the selfish pleasures of the flesh and do not develop our Godlike potential spiritual qualities. After we leave this life and enter the world of spirits we will eventually realize who we are and our divine potential and that we fell far short during our earthly life of what we could have become, it will generate internal suffering. “For behold, when ye shall be brought to see your nakedness before God, and also the glory of God, and the holiness of Jesus Christ, it will kindle a flame of unquenchable fire upon you” (Mormon 9: 4-5 p. 484 in the Book of Mormon)
Dallas Jones, Local Leader in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Some of the article was taken from remarks by Kristin Matthews, BYU Devotional August, 2013. For a more detailed discussion call (231) 383-8359 or send an email to [email protected]