Sunday, January 12, 2014

Understanding Who We Are (and WHOSE We Are)

This morning we had an unusual Sabbath Day, and I described it in an e-mail to our children and grandchildren:

It doesn't happen often, but today we awoke to blizzard-like conditions at the Ranch. The wind had blown so hard during the night Mom had trouble sleeping. (I didn't). The snow was blowing and drifting to a point the road was indistinguishable. I estimated the drifts were two feet deep in some places. It's still snowing and our plow guy won't get here until this afternoon when it stops. So we stayed home and taught one another. We had a priesthood/Relief Society lesson, then a Sunday School lesson. 

President Harold B. Lee
Maybe you wouldn't know it unless a Sunday School teacher showed it to you, but today's Old Testament Sunday School lesson featured a video snippet from Grandfather Lee's opening sermon in the Tabernacle on October 5, 1973. He reminded us our station in mortality comes to us as a reward for our faithfulness in the pre-existence, a condition to which we were foreordained. And may I hasten to add, I believe "the noble and great ones" are the faithful sons and daughters who have embraced the covenants, NOT exclusively the leaders of the Church, as we are sometimes taught. We are foreordained to be parents in the new and everlasting covenant of marriage, united with our posterity in that covenant. Grandfather concluded with these words that might be as real and timely today as they were when he uttered them:

It was George Bernard Shaw who said, “If we all realized that we were the children of one father, we would stop shouting at each other as much as we do.”
Now, as I come to the closing of this address, I trust that I might have given to you and others who have not yet listened to such counsel, something to stimulate some sober thinking as to who you are and from whence you came; and, in so doing, that I may have stirred up within your soul the determination to begin now to show an increased self-respect and reverence for the temple of God, your human body, wherein dwells a heavenly spirit. I would charge you to say again and again to yourselves, as the Primary organization has taught the children to sing “I am a [son or a daughter] of God” and by so doing, begin today to live closer to those ideals which will make your life happier and more fruitful because of an awakened realization of who you are.
This talk was his opening address at his final General Conference in October, 1973. Two and a half months later he was dead on December 26th. When we come to love ourselves for who we are (and WHOSE we are) - foreordained sons and daughters of God - EVERYTHING changes - how we view ourselves, how we treat others we love around us, and how we treat total strangers. 

His message uplifted us this morning as Mom and I studied and taught one another. Hopefully, you have all had a similar experience today.

Love and blessings,


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