With the birth of my 12th grandchild a few weeks ago, I found myself reflecting on our time here on earth. This little granddaughter came earlier than expected weighing only 3 lbs 9oz., but she is a fighter and soon was strong enough to breathe on her own. She was so loved by all who knew of her existence.
If only we would all be so lucky. But we actually are that lucky. We are all so loved by a remarkable Heavenly Father but somehow in our adulthood, we forget this bit of information.
I love what Rosemary Wixom said in her talk, Discovering the Divinity Within (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints (LDS) General Conference October 2015), “We come into the world ‘trailing clouds of glory’.
The Family: A Proclamation to the World teaches that each one of us ‘is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents’ and each has a divine nature and destiny. Heavenly Father generously shares a portion of His divinity within us. That divine nature comes as a gift from Him with a love that only a parent can feel. We come to this earth to nurture and discover the seeds of divine nature that are within us.”
We each have a divine heritage whether we believe this idea or not. God looks upon our hearts, not our exterior. In the Old Testament, we read the story of Samuel who was to choose the next king of Israel. Samuel was told to take “an heifer” to sacrifice and visit with the man Jesse who had eight sons.
One of those sons would be the next anointed king of Israel. After parading seven of them past Samuel, this prophet knew not one of them was what the Lord wanted. Samuel then asked Jesse, “Are here all thy children?” and Jesse answered, “There remaineth yet the youngest, and behold he keepth the sheep.”
Samuel asks Jesse to send for this youngest son remembering what God told him earlier: “…Look not on his countenance or the height of his stature; because I have refused him; for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” (1st Samuel 16:7) David was that young son and he became the king of Israel regardless of his stature or appearance. The Lord knew his heart and what he was to accomplish.
Not only are we loved but we are judged by our hearts. The tragic story of the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting which took the lives of 20 elementary students and six teachers back in December 2012 by Adam Lanza was heart breaking. Alissa Parker, one of the parents of a child murdered there talks about how she and her husband were able to deal with this tragedy in a book called An Unseen Angel.
Alissa Parker felt impressed to seek for comfort of this terrible event in the LDS temple near her home after her husband had a conversation with one of their daughters about the child who was murdered. She wrote: “I knew that Emilie (her daughter who was murdered) was telling me to view the shooter in a different way, the way God would have seen him.”
It is human nature to always assume that someone who does something bad is just really bad. We want to compartmentalize the actions we disagree with. It might be the case for a few but I think that there is more good in most people than we realize.
If Jessie would have had the insight to see his youngest son, David, as God did, he would have included him in the introduction to Samuel with his other brothers. If Adam Lanza had known of his true identity from God, he wouldn’t have gone on that shooting spree killing those innocent people.
How important it is to know our true identity; to know in our hearts that we are loved by our God and then live our life accordingly. So, to my little granddaughter who came a bit early, let’s continue to love and care for her as she grows to adulthood so she will remember her true identity as we all should.
Valerie Steimle has been writing as a family advocate for over 25 years. As a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, she promotes Christian living in her writings and is the mother of nine children and grandmother to twelve. Mrs. Steimle authored six books and is a contributing writer to several online websites. To her, time is the most precious commodity we have and knows we should spend it wisely. To read more of Valerie's work, visit her at her website, The Blessings of Family Life.