MicrosoftTeams-image (112).png

Seeing Like Jesus with Michelle Craig

Tue Sep 20 09:00:07 EDT 2022
Episode 2

It is easy to get caught up in the hustle and ignore others—and ourselves—without even meaning to. But there is magic in becoming more present when we are with friends, family, and even strangers! In this episode, we explore the power of seeing ourselves and others as God sees us, and what that practice looks like in our day-to-day lives.

When we are in the presence of other people it is a holy place.
Michelle Craig

About Michelle Craig:
Michelle Craig lives in Orem, UT and currently serves as the First Counselor in the General Young Women’s Presidency. She is a mom, a grandma, and loves chips and chocolate—preferably together!

Top Takeaways from this episode!

  1. God sees us as his beloved children. We have divine DNA!
  2. We always have access to heaven. It is important we set aside intentional time to be still and access that connection.
  3. When we share what we love about others with them we can help them see themselves how God sees them! How exciting!
  4. When we are in the presence of other people it is a holy place. Because people are holy!
  5. In times of doubt try asking God how he sees you. Trust that through Christ weak things can be made strong!

Something to think about:

What is something we are doing that we should stop doing? What is something we are not doing that we should start doing?

Small and simple weekly challenge:

Let’s try putting away our phones when we are with other people and be intentional about communicating the good we see in them! Offer a sincere compliment that isn’t based on appearance!


Eyes to See by Michelle


Kathryn Davis 0:00

What do you see when you pass a panhandler on the corner, or when someone with a different family situation than yours moves into your neighborhood, or when you look in the mirror? Hi, and welcome to magnify, and LDS Living podcast where we talk about using our influence as followers of Jesus Christ to make a difference in the world. I'm your host, Kathryn Davis, a mom, a seminary teacher, and a Traeger enthusiast who loves God. In our busy, fast paced lives, it's easy to look right past a person without ever noticing them, or to set someone aside because we've labeled them and determined we don't have anything in common. And maybe the person we've labeled is ourselves. This season in the Magnify community, we're exploring how to love better, to love more like God loves. And it starts with learning to notice what he notices and see what he sees. My guest today is Michelle Craig, who spoke on this topic in general conference in a talk titled, "Eyes to See." She currently serves as the first counselor in the general young woman's presidency. And guess what? She's also my sister.

Michelle Craig 1:08

Yay, lucky me!

Kathryn Davis 1:11

I am especially excited for this conversation. But first, I want to share a couple of fun facts with you, about Michelle.

Michelle Craig 1:18

Oh, dear. Okay.

Kathryn Davis 1:21

No, they're great facts. First of all, I don't know if you know this. Everybody probably doesn't. But Michelle is an amazing cook. In fact, probably most of my family's favorite recipes have come from Michelle. And she also loves chips and chocolate, particularly when those two things are combined.

Michelle Craig 1:41

And popcorn.

Kathryn Davis 1:43

Popcorn and chocolate?

Michelle Craig 1:44

Yes. Both! Yes to all of it.

Kathryn Davis 1:50

She is also the grandmother of 12 beautiful and fun grandchildren, which is definitely a highlight in her life. Michelle, I'm so glad you're here today. And can we talk a little bit about your general conference talk from October 2020? It's titled "Eyes to See." And it's probably one of my favorite talks, because I think it feels really easy to apply and it's not very overwhelming for people. So why did you choose this message?

Michelle Craig 2:21

Well, I think it's something that I had been thinking about for a long time. I've thought about that for years. And I remember listening to a BYU devotional or forum where David Brooks spoke, and he's a columnist. And he said this phrase, and I quoted part of it in my talk, but when he said it he gave voice to something I had been feeling and thinking about for years. And I didn't know I would talk about it in conference, but I knew there was a talk I had to write, I had to develop the thought. But he said, "Many of our society's great problems, flow from people not feeling seen and known. There is a core democratic trait that we all have to get better at. And that is the trait of seeing each other deeply, and being deeply seen. It's a question of understanding each other." And again, when he said that, I remember writing that down and going back and listening, and I just had to get it out, I had to develop the thought. And I started writing the talk and it became a conference talk.

Kathryn Davis 3:34

I love that. I just think the premise of your message is that we can pray for the Lord to open our eyes to see the things that we don't notice. And this includes how God sees us. And I think this is so important, because as women, and as youth, we are constantly overwhelmed with messages that we are not enough, we're not skinny enough. We're not pretty enough. We're not smart enough.

Michelle Craig 3:59

We're not anything enough, and that is Satan. That is a lie. I love that President Nelson as our Prophet, this is one I feel with his key messages, is our identity. And that devotional that he gave to young adults in May, where he talked about we have three identifiers or three labels. We're children of God, we have a divine nature and eternal destiny. We are children of the covenant and we are disciples of Jesus Christ. And if anything replaces those labels as our main identifier that's not going to lead to happiness and joy. I will never forget, as a young woman presidency, a couple of years into our service sitting down with the First Presidency, and it was a remarkable blessing. And they just wanted to listen. There wasn't an agenda. And we talked and Sister Cordon out asked a question at the end. And she said, "President Nelson, what is it that you want the young women and the youth of the church to understand today?" And with all the love of a grandfather and the boldness of a prophet, he immediately said, "They need to know their identity and their purpose." And those are some key messages that as a young women general presidency too, that we try to message, identity and purpose. And we also talk about belonging. And those are things that President Nelson talked with President Cordon about when she received her calling, as young women general president. So I think identity and having eyes to see clearly who we are, really and who others are. There's a lot of power in that.

Kathryn Davis 5:46

And part of our identity is how God sees us. So how do you think God sees us? When the message from the world tells us something completely different, how does God see us?

Michelle Craig 5:59

I think God sees us. As our Prophet said, I think he sees us as His children, as beloved sons and daughters. We have divine DNA. And I think he sees and understands perfectly, those things that we struggle with, those things that are difficult, our potential. And I think he sees us, as instruments to, and as people who can be used to do and to become great things. And as we are intentional about our discipleship, one of those identifiers that President Nelson talked about, I think he sees how he can take weak things and help them become strong. I think he sees our capacity, our innate goodness, I think he also sees our purpose. And I think he also sees those things that are hard. And he understands, and it's okay, and Ether 12:27, we have weakness inherent because we're on a mortal journey. But as we turn to Jesus Christ, with His grace, we can become strong.

Kathryn Davis 7:05

So Michelle, listening to the prophet, and you've just quoted a scripture Ether 12:27, which is one of my favorites. I think those things can help us understand our true identity. But have you always felt that or known that? What other things have helped you along your path to understand that?

Michelle Craig 7:25

That's a really good question. I have not, you know, it's been a struggle my whole life. I'm 59 years old. And it's still hard for me, sometimes. But I think that we all have access to heaven. And I think we need to ask, I think some things that have helped me is to be intentional about creating space, and quiet and stillness to ask the question. We live, like you said, in a world that's very noisy, and we get a lot of messages, and we get a lot of things thrown at us. And I think we need to be intentional about connecting, and about finding stillness and quiet and space. And we need to ask the question, how do you feel about me? I think that's revelation that we're all entitled to receive. What do you see in me? What is my purpose? What is an errand? What's something I can do?

Kathryn Davis 8:26

And not just asking once.

Michelle Craig 8:28

Yes, it's something that sometimes many times a day. Gosh, you know, I still need to do that. But I have to be intentional. Because if we're not intentional about carving out quiet time, life just happens. And it's so busy. And it may not be an hour, maybe five minutes, it may be in the shower, it may be driving to work, you know, turn off the radio, but just doing something, to have quiet and peace and to ask the question and ask it again. And again. I think something else that's helpful is our patriarchal blessings. When we talk about identity and purpose, and belonging, a patriarchal blessing is all of those things. So I think, getting a blessing and for our youth and for parents, and but getting a blessing and reading it often. And being reminded.

Kathryn Davis 9:20

Being reminded of your identity and your purpose and being children of the covenant.

Michelle Craig 9:26

And disciples of Jesus Christ. I think those are some things and I mean, I think being intentional asking, finding quiet in my blessing. I have also come to understand how God feels about me, sometimes through other people. And I think that we need to lift and build other people and that we need to send messages of love and that we believe in we see potential and goodness in other people and there have definitely been people in my life, who have had more belief in me than I've had in myself, and who have given me responsibilities or have communicated, perhaps gifts that they see in me that I didn't see in myself and the spirit has borne witness in a quiet moment that God sees that as well. So, that's another way that I've been blessed.

Kathryn Davis 10:19

And I think you said in your talk, the more you understand your true identity and purpose, soul deep, the more will influence everything in your life. And I think when we can understand that about ourselves, then it's easier to see that in others. And that goes back to that quote by David Brooks, that you stated, that understanding who we are, we can see that divinity in others. And so what do you think it means to see others deeply?

Michelle Craig 10:53

I think, to see others, again, with those primary identifiers that President Nelson gave, first and foremost as a child of God. And I remember reading several months ago, in Revelation 12. And I love this chapter in the New Testament, because it talks about the life before this. And in verse seven, there was a war in heaven, and Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon fought and his angels. And I like to ask when I'm talking, who were those angels? It was us. It was all of us. We stood alongside Michael, and we fought against the dragon and his angels. And we overcame. And how did we overcome in verse 11, And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives unto the death. We were able to overcome there the same way that we overcome here, because of Jesus Christ, and His atoning sacrifice. And I often asked you, okay, what are characteristics of those kind of spirits? Who loved not their lives unto the death? And who overcame by the word of their testimony? And I hear adjectives like, courageous, valiant, loyal, true. Yes, that is correct. You know, who you're describing? Your describe you. That's who you are. And that's who you have always been. And I think we need to remember our testimonies, that we came to Earth with those, and it just really struck me a while ago, when I was reading this, I thought, everyone on this earth chose God's plan. Everyone on this earth chose to follow Jesus Christ, when they had eyes to see. When they could see clearly, when their vision wasn't clouded by the mists of darkness that are so prevalent in this world. And so we all have people that are difficult or that struggle, there are challenges, it's part of mortality. And I need to remind myself sometimes who they are, who they have always been, and that they chose Jesus Christ, when they could see clearly

Kathryn Davis 13:17

Such a powerful reminder. And I love how, earlier you mentioned that when we understand who we are, we can see others clearly. And that at times in your life, there have been those who have seen you, and believed in you, even when you didn't believe in yourself. I think one of those people for me is definitely dad.

Michelle Craig 13:41

Yeah. Okay, don't make us cry.

Kathryn Davis 13:47

You know, Dad saw the best in us and believed in us even when it was hard for me to believe in myself. And I want to be one of those people. For someone else. Right, I want to see the best in others. And I think it's so easy to be distracted. You mentioned that, like taking time to be still and making sure we can connect with heaven. But it's so easy to be distracted by our phones, and by everything else going on. Sometimes we don't see others, we don't acknowledge others. And you told this great story in your conference talk about an experience that you had with this. Would you mind sharing it?

Michelle Craig 14:27

Sure. I had received an interesting impression the day before in sacrament meeting and I mentioned in my talk that I often during the sacrament ask two questions of myself, and not just during the sacrament, but these are questions whenever I want revelation. What am I doing that I should stop doing? And what am I not doing that I should start doing?

Kathryn Davis 14:52

I think those two questions, they are awesome.

Michelle Craig 14:55

And they were questions that I have heard, and it's in the footnotes. I want to give credit to Elder Kim Clark. And I heard him ask those two questions in a talk once, and they just really, really have had an impact on me. But I pay especially attention when a thought seems random, or out of the blue, because I'm like, I don't think I came up with that. But it was during the sacrament. And I asked myself, those questions and the thought came, put away your phone when you're standing in line. And I thought, okay, so the next morning, I was in target. And it was the first Monday in December, it was busy, and I had a long list of things to do. And I remember standing in line, and I was just kind of, you know that little anxiety that we all feel. And I pulled out my phone, and I just so clearly remember that impression, to put my phone away. So I put it back in my purse, and I just stood there and looked around and saw an elderly gentleman, just right in front of me. And all he had in his cart was cat food. I think he had four or five cans. And I just was awkward. And I mean, I didn't know what to say. And I said, Oh, I see you have a cat. And that just started a conversation that was just really sweet. And he said, You know, I haven't told anybody this, but today's my birthday. And it was just right as he was getting up to the cashier, and I wished him a happy birthday. And I just offered a prayer right then and Heavenly Father, thank you. Thank you for that prompting, and that I could wish him a happy birthday. And I hope there are other people who wished this kind man happy birthday. But it was such a reminder to me. And honestly, since that time. Yeah, I expect that isn't changed for you. Yeah, I. And now that I told the whole world. At that prompting, I really am intentional about not getting out my phone in line. And the fact was just a few months ago, again, I was in target. It was in the return line target shopper, I go to Target and Costco and to the grocery store. That's it. But I was returning something and I was just standing there. And I could see a woman out of the corner of my eye, you know, looking at me and getting on her phone, and she's probably looking at my picture. Isn't she's looking at me. And then she came up to me. She said, Are you Michelle Craig? And I said I am and she said, I thought so you weren't on your phone. I thought it was you. And anyway, I just I have been more intentional about being off of my phone in line. And I'm going to admit, and not just in line, but in other places as well. But COVID hit and we were masked up and we were six feet apart and it became harder to connect. At least it was for me. But I think we need each other. I really do. Can I?

Kathryn Davis 15:35

I was just going to ask because sometimes I know you hear stories from people who have been inspired by your message, have you heard experiences from others who have felt inspired to put away their phone and have connected in different ways and opportunities?

Michelle Craig 18:46

I have. It's been a really sweet, unexpected thing over the past few years to get emails from people who were in waiting rooms in doctors offices, and had really sweet experiences. One experience I remember. It was from a young woman who was in the car with her husband, and a natural time to be on her phone. She wasn't driving. And she said that she remembered my talk and that impression to put away her phone while she was in the passenger seat. So she put away her phone. And she said she just started looking around and she looked up and she looked down and she saw down a side street an elderly woman who was bringing out a garbage can and collapsed. And so she saw that and she and her husband, you know turn the car around and were able to help this sweet woman who needed some help and no one had seen and so it's just a reminder to me that we need to be aware and we need to be present. I have a good friend Who said, when you stand in holy places be wholly there. w h o l l y. We know holy places, our temples, they're churches, they're our homes. And I believe holy places are also when we're with other people.

Kathryn Davis 20:17

I think that's really profound, that when we're with other people, we're in holy places, because they're holy.

Michelle Craig 20:26

I have really just come to believe that and being with another person is a holy place, and when when we treat them as they deserve to be treated, and so I think distraction is one of the adversary's greatest tools. And we can be in the right place at the right time. But if we're distracted, and quite often that distraction has a screen, but not always, but we can be in the right place at the right time. But if we're distracted, if we're not giving place in our hearts, our spirits, our minds, for the Holy Ghost to speak to us, then we're missing out.

Kathryn Davis 21:01

We're missing opportunities to follow Jesus Christ and be his hands.

Michelle Craig 21:07

To be his hands. And Jesus Christ is the perfect example. You mentioned our dad, who was one who saw deeply and affirmed. And I was thinking that, you know, our dad follow the example of Jesus Christ, who was the perfect example of seeing others deeply. And I noticed when I read scripture, often, how everybody was better after an interaction with Jesus Christ. He affirmed identity, He challenged others to become the best versions of themselves. He bore witness of the Father in all things, He helped others. And I just think, how are people after an interaction with me? Probably not always better, you know. So Jesus Christ is the perfect example. And I think if we can just follow Him and pray to treat others and try to see others as He does, the world will be a better place.

And I think it's really important to remember, and I loved this message of your talk, that having eyes to see isn't necessarily coming from our grit and our efforts, but that it's a gift from God. It's something we can ask for. We don't have to do it ourselves.

I think, like, so many spiritual gifts, we need to ask. It's just asking and then acting. Acting is when we have faith in Jesus Christ, we act. And I think we ask for eyes to see ourselves and others as Christ does. And then we act and we try to act in accordance with that. And I think acting in faith, sometimes even when we don't know the answer, even when we don't quite see. But as we exercise faith, to engage in the miracle, and to add that we'll be blessed.

Kathryn Davis 23:12

There's this great proverb that I love that says, you pray with your feet. Yes. I think praying for eyes to see. And then acting, acting, putting away distractions. You said that as we ask God to help us see others more deeply, and then we act we will also discover our own identity and purpose. So as we pray with our feet, and we act, we'll learn more about ourselves. Why do you think it works like that?

Michelle Craig 23:42

Well, I think like President Nelson says, the Lord loves effort. And he rewards effort. And so I think when we pray, to have eyes to see and then act in accordance with promptings that we receive with the things that we have been taught from a prophet, as we try to follow the example of Jesus Christ, I think he blesses our efforts. I really think it's part of the miracle that Jesus Christ will help us to see others and ourselves as he does, as we're acting. I think it's a natural outcome as we try to act in accordance with that, that it's just it's a cycle. It's an upward cycle. It's a natural outcome of our faith and our belief and our action.

Kathryn Davis 24:28

Have you felt Jesus Christ, bless your efforts? Have you felt him increase your capacity to do so?

Michelle Craig 24:37

Yes. I think all of us have, you know, it's the miracle of the loaves and the fishes and offering our ordinary offerings with our whole heart. And I think all of us will, at one time in our lives receive a task that just seems bigger than we are. Whether it's a calling whether it's a physical or mental health challenge, whether it's a relationship challenge, we all, just because it's mortality, we all face things that are bigger than we are. And I have just seen, and I believe that when we, like the youth theme this year, from Proverbs three, five, and six, that when we trust in the Lord with all of our hearts, and lean not to our own understanding, the Lord will direct our paths. And he will open up doors and make us equal to the tasks. And I've seen that in my current calling, for sure, because every day is outside of my comfort zone. Every day, really, this podcast is outside my comfort zone, Kathryn.

Kathryn Davis 25:50

Mine too.

Michelle Craig 25:51

But every day, but I've just seen you know what, the Lord is more concerned about my growth than he is about my comfort. And I don't want it to be that way. I just don't. But as we just act in faith, and as we open our mouths and move our feet and do those things that are hard. You know what, and for some people, it may be getting out of bed. It's different. Our capacity is different from person to person and at different times in our lives. But as we offer our all, as we're wholehearted in our devotion, the Lord will magnify and bless. And I don't know how it works. It's I think, elder Maxwell called it the divine arithmetic, you know, that one plus one can be more than two, when we do it with—

Kathryn Davis 26:41

However small or insignificant It seems we are or we feel the Lord can magnify that.

Michelle Craig 26:50

Yeah. And we just, we don't hold back, whether it's in a grocery store line or a doctor's office, don't be quiet, because you don't know what to say. David Brooks said, there is a need for each of us to see and to be seen. And like I said, I think when we're with other people that can be a holy place. And as we are intentional about reaching out and connecting. Gosh, and don't you think we need that more than ever? This world, we need to connect, we need each other, we need to gather. We all need that.

Kathryn Davis 27:29

And I love that it's something that we can pray for and be blessed with. Right and, I think as you followed promptings to do so that you've been blessed, and your capacity has increased to see people. I know, that's how my family feels around you, like you see my kids, you talk with my kids, you acknowledge, and you connect. And I think what you were saying is how important that is that connection, that people feel seen, that they feel valued, and they feel heard.

Michelle Craig 28:03

We all want that. You know what we all need that our spirits need that. And as we pray for that gift, because it doesn't come naturally. And there's so much to distract us. So I get I think we need to be intentional.

Kathryn Davis 28:19

Michelle, I think it's so easy to feel overwhelmed and inadequate. I think that's the message we get every day. And so we'd like to end every episode with a small idea or a small action or something we can do to implement. So before we let you go, what would be a small and simple suggestion that we could do for this week, or even this day?

Michelle Craig 28:44

Well, we've been talking about something small and simple. How about we put away our phones, when we're with other people? And we can all do that. And we can make conversation and we can talk and what if we were intentional about communicating to other people, what we saw in them, something good. That we offer a sincere compliment that maybe doesn't have to do with how they look or what they're wearing,

Kathryn Davis 29:11

So, putting away our phone in, I love that idea in holy places. And when we're with somebody else, that's a holy place, and then offering a sincere compliment. That doesn't have to do with looks. That's beautiful. I'm going to work on that. Michelle, I just have to tell you, I have loved every minute of this. Thank you for being here and for sharing what you've learned on this topic and for being such an example to me, and to so many. I know so many of my seminary students talk about your talk a lot, and it's something that they feel like they can do, that they can follow. And as we act, I truly believe God will bless and God will be with us as we do.

Michelle Craig 29:57

Amen. He will I know he will.

Kathryn Davis 30:01

We'll link to Michelle's talk is to see in the show notes, or you can always Google it, whichever is easiest. And we would love to have you join us on Instagram @magnifycommunity. And of course, subscribe and listen to the Magnify podcast wherever you get your shows. Thank you for being here. And let's meet back here again next week.

Transcribed by

View More