FHE: Divine Nature

by | Jul. 29, 2010


Conference Talk: For more information on this topic read "Remember Who You Are!," by Elaine S. Dalton, Ensign, May 2010, 120-23.

Thought: Remember who you are! You are elect. You are [children] of God.

(Elaine S. Dalton, "Remember Who You Are!," Ensign, May 2010, 120-23.)

Song: "I Am Like a Star," Children's Songbook, p. 163

Scripture: I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High. (Psalms 82:6)

Object Lesson: Materials Needed: One apple and a knife.

Procedure: Cut the apple in half widthwise, and show the inner part. Tell the class that every apple has a similar five-sided star inside that holds seeds. No matter what the condition of the apple is (withered, bruised, or ready for picking) the star and its seeds are still inside.

Explain that we are like the apple. Each of us has the potential (seed) of becoming like Heavenly Father. No matter what happens to us, we still have the seeds of a divine nature and the potential of godhood.

(Beth Lefgren and Jennifer Jackson, Power Tools for Teaching, [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1988], p. 19.)

Story: Late one afternoon in the San Jose, California, airport, people were milling around, waiting for the luggage to appear on the carousel, with few seats available for waiting. The usual airport noises added to the restlessness of the impatient travelers. A group of strangers, we were each interested in our own destinations.

Against the wall near the outside door, an elderly woman sat hunched over on one of the few benches in the waiting room, a couple of boxes tied with string tucked next to her feet. I moved over near her and watched. She seemed not to notice me. She wrung her frail hands, spotted with age, over and over again, while deep lines furrowed her face. Many people walked by with little notice as she kept a steady watch on the outside door.

Taking a few steps closer, I asked, "Could I be of any help to you?" She looked up, startled, then said, "I'm supposed to meet my daughter out in front. She said she would come and pick me up, but I don't know where to go, and I can't carry my things."

Together we got through the big door with her packages and found a bench near the area where people were being picked up. I wondered how long she had been waiting, and if her daughter knew how frightened and unsure her mother was in this unfamiliar place. Might better arrangements have been made for this elderly woman who seemed so alone, frightened, and unsure? The anxious traveler slowly sat down once again and pulled her packages close to her. Looking up through her wire-rimmed glasses, she asked, "Who are you anyway? You must be somebody."

I told her my name and then asked this stranger bent with age and the care of years, "Who are you?" "Oh, I'm nobody," she said. Nobody? I thought. You're somebody's mother and you're . . . At that moment a car pulled up, and a middle-aged woman in fine clothes got out of the driver's seat and hurried toward the elderly woman. "That's her. That's my daughter," the mother told me. . . .

Since that day in San Jose, I hear ringing in my ears a tired voice, saying, "Oh, I'm nobody." Just how many nobodies are there in this world? And how many somebodies? And how do you tell the difference?

In London, England, on a beautiful day in April, that question popped into my mind again. We arrived at Heathrow Airport and took a taxi to our hotel by way of Buckingham Palace. It was three o'clock in the afternoon, and large numbers of people were moving toward the palace. As we rode down the street opposite the palace entrance, we saw uniformed policemen mounted on beautiful black horses. Lines of school children in navy uniforms with brass buttons, looking as official in their uniforms as the officers of the law, were carrying beautiful bouquets of bright yellow daffodils. "Surely this is not a regular occurrence," I said, and the taxi driver informed me that it was a celebration for Queen Elizabeth's birthday. The celebration was to begin at four o'clock, when the children would gather in front of the great palace and begin singing. Fifteen minutes later the Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth II, would appear on the balcony and everyone could participate in this historic event by singing happy birthday to her.

You can be sure that at four o'clock, I was at Buckingham Palace. I looked around at the people - young and old, poor and well-to-do. I watched as they stood with eyes riveted on the balcony, which was decorated with red, white, and blue bunting. At four o'clock the children began to sing. Fifteen minutes later a hush fell over the crowd. The balcony doors opened, and out stepped six uniformed buglers in fancy attire. They raised their instruments, with long banners hanging from each horn, and played a stirring fanfare. Then the people in the courtyard cheered as the queen came into view. She was dressed in a bright yellow suit, and as if by signal, the children waved their bright yellow daffodils and sang the special birthday song. The queen waved to the people, many of whom had tears in their eyes. There stood the Queen of England, a real somebody surrounded by her subjects, her kingdom, and her empire.

I supposed no one had ever asked Queen Elizabeth, "Who are you?" If they had done so, everyone could answer, "She is the Queen of England." No more would need to be said.

Is it power and authority, popularity, prestige, and position that makes one a somebody? My mind raced by from the Buckingham Palace in London to the airport in San Jose, from the Queen of England to the elderly woman who told me, "Oh, I'm nobody."

I wanted to tell the old woman in San Jose that she could become a queen. I wanted to tell her about the gospel of Jesus Christ. I wanted to tell the Queen of England that she too could become a queen - not just the Queen of England, but a queen forever in God's kingdom.

As I watched the crowds of people at the Queen's birthday, I wished I could stand on the balcony of Buckingham Palace and shout to every young woman within the sound of my voice, "You are a somebody!" I wish that I could talk to every young woman personally. I would say, "You are a daughter of a Heavenly Father who loves you and who has an eternal plan for you that is centered in Jesus Christ your Savior." I would tell her that she has a divine nature and has inherited divine qualities. I would ask every young woman in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to ask everyone she meets if they have heard, and, if not, to shout it loud and clear: No one is a nobody! Everyone is a somebody in our Heavenly Father's kingdom! We are all daughters of God.

(Ardeth Greene Kapp, I Walk by Faith, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1987].)

Activity: Have family members take turns pretending to be a famous person. The rest of the family pretends to be a writer who is interviewing them for a magazine. Ask questions such as:

  1. How would you describe yourself? What do you think makes you special and unique?
  2. Think back on your life. Tell about three of your favorite experiences.
  3. What kinds of things do you like and dislike? What is your favorite way to spend time? What do you like to avoid doing if possible?
  4. What are your daydreams? If you could spend a summer vacation doing anything you wanted in any part of the world, what would you do?
  5. What do you like best about being you?
  6. When you leave this earth, what do you want people to remember about you?
(adapted from Candace Smith, The Sunday Activity Book, [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1983], p. 52.)

Refreshment A Bunch of Crunch

  • 1 package (any size) cornflakes
  • 1 package (any size) oven-toasted rice cereal
  • 2 cups flaked coconut
  • 1 lb. (4 cups) salted peanuts
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups white corn syrup
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
In a large bowl mix together cereals, coconut and peanuts. In medium saucepan combine sugar, corn syrup and milk; cook and stir until mixture reaches soft ball stage, washing down sides of pan. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Pour over cereal mixture; stir until entirely coated. Turn out onto counter top; separate into pieces to cool. Store in a cool dry place.

(Winifred Jardine, Mormon Country Cooking, [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1980] p. 302.)

Comments and feedback can be sent to feedback@ldsliving.com