In the Bible, a given name is often synonymous with a God-ordained identity or destiny. Gideon, however, sees himself differently—as insignificant and powerless. As a result, he is living in fear and weakness.
What Gideon teaches us about our Identity and Destiny We may not have an angel turn up on our doorstep with a message from God like Gideon did. We may not even have a personal prophecy. But we can begin to grasp our God-given identity and destiny. When we do, it will have life-changing consequences to others and ourselves. It may be helpful to consider the clues He has given—your unique experiences, passion, abilities and spiritual gifts. Remember—He took Gideon by surprise and may have some surprises in store for you too.
Prayer journaling is one helpful tool that you can use to converse with God. Take time to pray and ask your Father the questions:. Allow them to speak positive guidance into your life.
Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. When God calls Gideon, the young man does not comprehend his destiny or his identity—in fact, he is currently being and behaving the very opposite of what God has called him to be.
Gideon is fearful, however his God-given identity is to be bold. He feels himself to be the smallest and least significant, but God is calling him to be a leader. In the Bible, those whom God uses powerfully usually have a history of weakness or failure in their very area of strength. God is by nature a Redeemer. Consider where you have been hurt and wronged, or have sinned, or are weak. These are the very things God is redeeming. With His help you will not only overcome those weaknesses, but they will become points of strength.
They will become areas in which you minister to others. Remember, too, when your Heavenly Father speaks to you of your identity and destiny, it will be something beyond your own natural ability to accomplish. An encounter with God is an invitation to relationship with Him.
He has the opportunity to be an Abraham, a Moses—a friend of God. Gideon has the opportunity now, to not only overcome the enemy, but also to lead Israel in worship of God. However, tragically,he will fall short of his destiny and instead, lead the nation into idolatry.
Here is the very foundation of our identity and destiny. We are created to have an intimate love relationship with God. This is both the beginning of our identity and the ultimate end of our destiny.
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As Christian believers, we are sons and daughters of a loving Heavenly Father. This is the relationship that Jesus paid to restore when He shed His blood on the cross. And before we can fully understand our personal identity, we need to comprehend our Family identity.
Only once we have understood this can we fully embrace and enter into our personal God-given identity—and fulfill it. Here are 9 clues to help you explore who you are uniquely in God. If identity is a struggle for you, I encourage you to take some time to journal or pray about the points you particularly relate to. You carry the family DNA and attributes. You are Righteous in Christ. Can you look back on your life and recognise times and seasons in which you felt the most fulfilled, the most alive?
This is not about relationships, but settings. What were you doing during these times, and most importantly, what aspects of your persona and passion were emerging and being revealed? What Scriptures have God used to speak to you personally about your life? What prophetic descriptions—about who you are—have resonated with you? Perhaps you have personal prophecies you can consider as part of this process, or personal things God has spoken to you directly.
The key is —what words and names describe you as a person? How does God see you? These are the ones who have believed in you.
These people have been gifts from God to nourish your identity and help release your potential. Who were they, and what was the best in you that they brought out? What did they see in you that you may have sometimes doubted yourself? What tests have you undergone that ultimately brought out something good or strong in you? Let me repeat that phrase: At this time I would like to ask for the help of two of the prophets of this dispensation to give comfort and answer some questions that can arise in the hearts of faithful, young people of the Church. There is no Latter-day Saint who dies after having lived a faithful life who will lose anything because of having failed to do certain things when opportunities were not furnished him or her.
In other words, if a young man or a young woman has no opportunity of getting married, and they live faithful lives up to the time of their death, they will have all the blessings, exaltation and glory that any man or woman will have who had this opportunity and improved it. That is sure and positive. Not all women in the Church will have an opportunity for marriage and motherhood in mortality. But if you in this situation are worthy and endure faithfully, you can be assured of all blessings from a kind and loving Heavenly Father—and I emphasize all blessings.
Maybe we can now review some basic principles that can help us in our eternal familial relationships and that can help us prepare ourselves to meet God. Let me talk to you who are now or will be husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, to you children of God of divine origin and eternal destination. Chief among the organizational arrangements and foreordinations in the premortal existence was the organization of lineage and family.
Offices and positions in the Church or in the earthly kingdom would be important, but these would be only for a time and season, whereas relationships associated with the family are to endure throughout the endless eternities. Latter-day Saints, the responsibility of saving this sacred institution devolves largely upon you, for you know that the family ties are eternal. They should be eternal. There is nothing temporary in the home of the Latter-day Saint. There is no element of transitoriness in the family relationship of the Latter-day Saint home.
That all such ties are eternal should be maintained. To the Latter-day Saint the home is truly the cell-unit of society; and parenthood is next to Godhood. Our Father in heaven, who loves his children, desires for them that which will bring them happiness now and in the eternities to come, and there is no greater happiness than is found in the most meaningful of all human relationships—the companionships of husband and wife and parents and children.
What a brilliant objective: Eternal families are not created simply through the birth of children. Strong family ties do not happen by chance. To assume that eternal families will be developed through osmosis by the mere fact that we are members of the Church and that our children have been born in the covenant is only wishful thinking. It is only an expression of desire. Family unity is forged by time, patience, service, teaching, and sacrifice.
Eternal life is family life. In order to accomplish that great objective, we must live worthy lives. Our Heavenly Father wants obedience from his children. He wants a home where spouses remember their marriage vows and honor them. He wants a home where the father is devoted to the family with which he has been blessed—a home where union, love, and understanding between father and mother and also between parents and children prevail. He wants a home where there is, in the words of President Spencer W.
Fatherhood is leadership, the most important kind of leadership. It has always been so; it always will be so. Father, with the assistance and counsel and encouragement of your eternal companion, you preside in the home. It is not a matter of whether you are most worthy or best qualified, but it is a matter of law and appointment.
You preside at the meal table, at family prayer. You preside at family home evening; and as guided by the Spirit of the Lord, you see that your children are taught correct principles. It is your place to give direction relating to all of family life. You take an active part in establishing family rules and discipline.
As a leader in your home you plan and sacrifice to achieve the blessing of a unified and happy family. To do all of this requires that you live a family-centered life. What is the most important priesthood calling that a man in the Church can have? Can he have any greater influence in the kingdom of God than the influence he has in the lives of his family members? Is he as concerned about magnifying his calling as a husband and father as he is about his other callings in the Church?
To begin to strengthen the priesthood, brethren, we must return the fathers to their divinely appointed place at the head of the family. As fathers ourselves we must ensure that we do not neglect our own families. We should be teaching our people over and over again that the most important position in time and eternity is that of the Father.
Kimball, address delivered to priesthood leaders, August ]. What a great honor and glory. What an ever-enduring happiness to become the mother of the sons and daughters of God—not only for giving them earthly life but also for bringing them, by a careful and devoted motherhood, to transit on the path that leads to eternal life. Providing opportunity for the spirit children of our Father in Heaven to come to earth and work out their own salvation with the consequent great price that mothers pay to make this possible is not, for sure, the whole responsibility of motherhood.
I would recommend to you to go and study the meaning of the word nurture and its implications. I am sure you will have a better and more profound understanding of what the First Presidency said in This divine service of motherhood can be rendered only by mothers. It may not be passed to others. Nurses cannot do it; public nurseries cannot do it; hired help cannot do it—only mother, aided as much as may be by the loving hands of father, brothers, and sisters, can give the full needed measure of watchful care. Motherhood is near to divinity. It is the highest, holiest service to be assumed by mankind.
It places her who honors its holy calling and service next to the angels. I would like to make clear, at this point, that we understand that there is not a superiority factor in the husband-wife relationship or in the roles that they play as they walk as a family in all righteousness to the mansions of exaltation ahead. The roles of father and mother are equally important, but not identical. In the true Patriarchal Order man holds the priesthood and is the head of the household of faith, but he cannot attain a fulness of joy here or of eternal reward hereafter alone.
Woman stands at his side a joint-inheritor with him in the fulness of all things.
April 2018 General Conference
Exaltation and eternal increase is her lot as well as his. Godhood is not for men only; it is for men and women together. By divine fiat, the Priesthood is conferred on the men. This means that organization must prevail in the family, the ultimate unit of the Church. The husband, the Priesthood bearer, presides over the family; the Priesthood conferred upon him is intended for the blessing of the whole family.
Every member shares in the gift bestowed, but under a proper organization. No man who understands the gospel believes that he is greater than his wife, or more beloved of the Lord, because he holds the Priesthood, but rather that he is under the responsibility of speaking and acting for the family in official matters.
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It is a protection to the woman who, because of her motherhood, is under a large physical and spiritual obligation. Motherhood is an eternal part of Priesthood. Widtsoe, Evidences and Reconciliations, arr. Homer Durham Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, , pp. We can take, for example, the responsibility of presiding righteously in the home.
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It is also significant that we find a similar pattern among the faithful of the American continent at the time the Lord visited and ministered to them. Some of the things that the faithful Saints did in unity in both places were that they testified of Jesus Christ, studied the word of God, and ministered to each other with love. They knew who they were, they knew what they had to do, and they did it with love for God and for each other. They were part of a magnificent kaleidoscope moving forward with one accord.
Some of the blessings they received were that they were filled with the Holy Ghost, miracles took place among them, the Church grew, there was no contention among the people, and the Lord blessed them in all things. We can suppose that the reason why they were so united is because they knew the Lord personally. They had been close to Him, and they had been witnesses of His divine mission, of the miracles that He performed, and of His Resurrection.
They saw and touched the marks in His hands and feet. They knew with certainty that He was the promised Messiah, the Redeemer of the world. Even though we may not have seen our Savior with our physical eyes, we can know that He lives. Miracles happen when the children of God work together guided by the Spirit to reach out to others in need. We hear so many stories of neighborly love shown among people when catastrophe strikes. For example, when the city of Houston suffered a massive flood last year, people forgot about their own needs and went to the rescue.
An elders quorum president sent a call for help to the community, and a fleet of 77 boats was quickly organized. Rescuers went around the affected neighborhoods and transported whole families to one of our meetinghouses, where they received refuge and much needed help. Members and nonmembers worked together with one purpose. In Santiago, Chile, a Relief Society president had the desire to help immigrants in her community who had come from Haiti. By counseling together with her priesthood leaders, she and other leaders came up with the idea to offer Spanish classes to those immigrants, helping them integrate better into their new home.