Last year I was sitting around with some of the young women in my ward,
trying to think of ways that we could remember which color goes with which young woman value. Our goal was to tie the meaning of the value to the color somehow, like: “I am going to CHOOSE between an apple and and ORANGE today!” (Choice and Accountability = orange). When we got to “Divine Nature” I asked them, “ok… so what is Divine Nature?” And…. there was a really… loud… silence. They couldn’t tell me what it was! So I said, “Divine……..Nature……!” what do those words mean separately? “That my nature is divine?” “YES!”, I said, “So what does that mean?” “That I have a divine nature?” “Exactly! What does that mean?” “Um….. that my….nature….. is divine?”
Ok… I could see that we needed to talk about this.
“All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a DIVINE NATURE and destiny.” (The Family: A Proclamation to the World, emphasis added).
I often ask my students the question… “Why did we come to earth?”
And the most common answer is this: “So we can return to Heavenly Father.”
“And….?” I will probe.
“And gain a body.”
And… then I will turn with them to Moses 1:39. THIS is important to grasp. “For behold this is my work and my glory to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.”
Ok… I will write IMMORTALITY on the board.
“What is immortality?”
“Living forever!” … they usually know the answer.
“Good! Living forever with a resurrected body! Ok… What is ETERNAL LIFE?”
“Living forever!”… they usually don’t know the answer.
So I will ask the girls in the class to tell me the very last word in their young women theme.
(Can YOU do it?)
Then I share this quote by President Spencer W. Kimball… “Immortality is to live forever in an assigned kingdom. Eternal life is to gain exaltation in the highest heaven.” (Ensign, November 1978, 72).
So what have we just learned?
1- That Eternal Life = Exaltation
2- That it exists in the highest degree of the Celestial Kingdom
Also, on lds.org, it says this about eternal life: “Eternal life is the phrase used in scripture to define the quality of life that our Eternal Father lives.”
3- That Eternal life is the kind of life that Heavenly Father hs
This is what Elder Bruce R. McConkie said about this: “We know that the name of the kind of life he lives is Eternal Life and that it consists of living in the family unit and of possessing all power, all might, and all dominion.” (Elder Bruce R. McConkie, Ensign, Nov 1976, p.106)
So Eternal Life is the description of Heavenly Father’s life. He doesn’t just live forever, but he has ETERNAL powers, ETERNAL posterity, and ETERNAL creations. Not all of his children will gain exaltation, but we all have the divinity within us to become like Him.
“What does a kitten become?” I will ask.
“A cat – duh!”
“What about a puppy?”
“What about a child of God?”
“A… God” (This is often an ah-ha moment for a lot of kiddos)
“Yep! Divine Naure!”
One year I was sitting in a meeting with Elder Ballard, as he was talking with a group of seminary teachers. I will never forget something he said in that meeting. “If my grandchild were in your seminary class, there is one thing I would want you to be certain to teach them….” I remember this striking me with such force and knowing that since he was personalizing that statment to his grandchildren, whom he certainly adored, that it would hold much gravity. “I would want you to teach them that they are a child of God.”
I remember hearing this quote about (then) Elder Eyring,
“Elder Henry B. Eyring of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles tells us a tender personal story that makes this point in a penetrating way. When he was a teenager his family moved from a very comfortable environment for young Elder Eyring to a location that was not to his liking. He sulked for a bit until the Spirit spoke directly to him about who he was in God’s plan and how he ought to proceed. One day the Spirit instructed, ‘When you find out who you are, you will be sorry you didn’t try harder.’ I suspect this spiritual admonition for more diligent effort is probably appropriate for most of us. The Lord will lead us in our particular role if we will seek and follow His guidance.” (Quoted by Elder Robert C. Oaks, BYU Devotional, ‘Understand Who You Are”21 March 2006.)
The understanding of who we really are, what that really means, and what that means we can become… can absolutely change our bearings in life. It can effect every choice we make, the way we treat others, and how we see ourselves.
It is pivotal.
Remember to visit the three other blogs hosting this celebration!
And here is today’s GIVEAWAY!
From minimoments comes this sweet custom diversity family peg dolls. These make great open ended toys and are montessori and waldorf inspired. You will win one of the families already painted or get a custom painted straight-legged family (up to six members). Your choice!
Minimoments also sells diversity friend peg dolls and these cute customizable missionary dolls that can be made into Christmas ornaments.