Jesus Christ, God’s only perfect, Begotten Son, knelt in anguish in the Garden of Gethsemane and bled from every pore (see Doctrine and Covenants 19:18). He was nailed to the cross and willingly gave up His life. These acts of pure love and sacrifice were performed for every person who will ever live on this earth.
Why? So that we might know without question that “we are everything to God.”1
Being raised as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I have been blessed to know the phrase “I am a child of God” throughout my life. This simple yet powerful doctrine is engrained in us as members of the Church, whether we are born into it or find it later in life. It is fundamental to everything we do.
Because the adversary despises that we know this sacred truth, he finds conniving ways to distract us from it or forget it altogether. For me, I’ve heard the phrase, “I am a child of God” so often that I sometimes have a lackadaisical attitude toward it. I am a perfectionist by nature, and Satan frequently uses this to my detriment. I tend to be much too concerned with how others perceive me. I don’t deliberately commit sins, but I deny the Lord’s atoning sacrifice by thinking that I am worth less than the price He paid for me. And though I sincerely try to keep my covenants and strive daily to be obedient, I often let my insecurities and negative thoughts overpower the knowledge that I truly am God’s daughter.
During the weeks leading up to general conference, I found myself wallowing in the muck of my self-doubt and pessimism. I was chastising myself for all my parenting mistakes; belittling my struggle to balance work, graduate school, kids, and a clean house; and even criticizing the fact that I am not as positive and optimistic as some of my friends. I had totally lost sight of what my purpose is and who I really am.
Thankfully, Heavenly Father is infinitely patient with those of us who experience various types of divine-identity crises. In His mercy, He offers us continual reminders of the role we play in His eternal plan. I have found that general conference is one of the many ways God lovingly reminds us of who we are.
In his April 2022 general conference address, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said: “We might sometimes want to run away from where we are, but we certainly should never run away from who we are—children of the living God who loves us, is always ready to forgive us, and will never, ever forsake us. You are His most precious possession, His child, to whom He has given prophets and promises, spiritual gifts and revelation, miracles and messages, and angels on both sides of the veil.”2
As I pondered this statement, I began to wonder if I really understood its magnitude. Then the Holy Ghost filled my heart, and I realized that my human follies cannot stifle the truth that lives within me—I am a child of God, a potential goddess.3
Our Heavenly Father is an omniscient, omnipresent, all-powerful God. We are nothing compared to Him, and He does not owe us anything. Yet He chooses to give us everything. We are “heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17). He offers us His kingdom along with all He has.4 He even sacrificed His only perfect, sinless child to save us all. If we were not truly divine in nature—literal sons and daughters of the Almighty God—He would not put forth such great efforts to bless and preserve us. As Elder Holland said, we are “His most precious possession.”
It is easy to let sins, shortcomings, insecurities, and so many other things cloud our perception of who we are. The adversary works tirelessly to ensure that we are constantly confused on that point. But now, in moments when the adversary attempts to use perfectionism and negativity impede my understanding of my divine identity, I have the knowledge and confidence to stop him.
With the spiritual confirmation of Elder Holland’s message firmly planted in my heart, I don’t have to doubt who I am or wonder what I’m worth. None of us do. As we take time to think about and embrace all God has done for us, we are lovingly and profoundly reminded that every one of us literally is “a child of God.”