• Print
close
Breaking news

Membership in God’s earthly kingdom, designed to prepare us for His heaven...read more

Our True Identity

“If the Lord were to speak to you, He would urge you to understand your identity – To know who you really are…” Here is the outline of a future discourse.

  • Activity (if teaching lesson)
    • $100 bill (crumple, stomp on, tear) it retains it same value no matter what it goes through people still want it.
    • “If the only words you hear today are ours, you or we have failed.” Elder Scott
    • Identity Crisis Game. Use words to describe the identity of a person and have people guess. Much like Family Feud
    • Video “Make handicap disapper” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BlTIl7BTJIE
    • List how people view their identity/image
    • “The more I can know of God the dearer and more precious he is to me and the more exalted are my feelings towards him.” God the Father, pg.109 Brigham Young
    • Can you want what you already have?
  • Who do you think you are? (Genealogy TV Show)

    • Talent – sports, entertainment
    • Title – Profession, spouse, singleness, calling (bishop, rsp), peers
    • Temporary Possessions – wealth
    • Challenges – sin, habits, limitations, physical/visual
    • We live in a comparative (compartmented) culture – Identified by the things we can do or think we have earned.
      • “People don’t know where they are going and they are in a hurry to get there.”
      • “We are three people at once; who we think we are, who others think we are, and who we really are?”
    • Who we think we are motivates all that we think and do
      • We live up to the identities we believe about ourselves
      • These provide a false (and temporary) sense of security
      • Sunshine philosophy – but what happens when the sun sets and the storm settle? No solid (eternal) foundation, upon which Helaman tells us to build.
      • “Do not spend time for that which is of no worth or your money for that which cannot satisfy” 2 Nephi 9:51
    • You are not your age, social status, marital status, income, mistakes,
      • “When man found the mirror, they lost their soul.”
    • Our real identity is inherent. We are only 1 generation from God. We came from the presence of God and are destined to become Gods.
      • “As man now is God once was, as God is man may become.” Lorenzo Snow, D&C 130
    • Don’t understand who we are and less we understand who he is. The whole concept of the brotherhood of man is based upon the concept of the fatherhood of God.
      • Religion is both vertical and horizontal
      • The divine center page 291
    • If Satan can get us to forget or deny our true identity then “anything a man does is right…” No change is required, no commitment, no “feelings” to follow a given plan
      • These truths have been cleansed from the modern Bible, from the plain and precious truths of the Gospel.
      • He is an imitator not a creator
      • Talks about what you don’t have rather than what you do
      • “son of man” not “son of God”
      • “People want to sin and call it physiology…” Of souls symbols and sacraments
      • “Three questions; where did you come from, where are you going, how can I profit from it.” Maze Runner – Scorch Trials
    • We are bombarded daily with decisions (advertisements), but none of them are neutral. Most of what we experience is:
      • The philosophy of men mingles with marketing and manipulation.
      • They know how to tweak the environment to get you to do something.
        • Why else would a company spend $M on 30 second TV spots, have one sentence on cigarette commercials and it’s a warning, use beautiful bodies and more catch music to sell?
        • Coke – Open Happiness? What? Open a bottle of chemicals and dangerous sugars that does no good for the body then litters the world with trash? and I’m opening happiness?
        • Road signs for traffic.
    • ID = identity and destination
    • “You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him to find it within himself”
  • How to Identify your Identity
    • the unexamined life isn’t worth living
    • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVsXO9brK7M
      • Who you are (you)
      • What you do (you)
        • what are you highly qualified to teach or do
      • Who you do it for (them)
      • What you they want and need you provide (them)
      • What you get out of it (them)
        • how they changed or transform because of it
    • Confirmed?
  • How does the world see you?
    • To most you’re a consumer, to many part of a crowd, and to all politicians a ploy for a vote…
      • We are generally, something (not even someone) to be earned, gained, exploited for their purposes
      • What are their purposes and their end for you? Do they have your best interest at stake?
      • These are often friends and family or popular brands we want to be a part of, it’s only “natural and human”
    • “There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilization—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit—immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.” C.S. Lewis
    • These are often friends and family or popular brands we want to be a part of, so it’s only “natural and human”
      • Natural Man ≠ True Identity
      • Even feelings can be deceptive. We have to find the feeling, not just following a fleeting one
    • “Some of Satan’s imps got into the display window of life’s department store and mixed up the labels. They put cheap price tags on expensive articles, and expensive price tags on things of little value. They thought it great sport to see people paying the highest prices for worthless things. These Satanic imps have also been at work in the arithmetic book of life and have mixed up the pluses and minuses… We need to unmix the labels and see that the right price tags are on the right articles. We need to go through life’s arithmetic book and make sure that we understand which activities carry pluses and which carry minuses. “
  • How does God, Eternal Father, see you?
    • “If the Lord were to speak to you, He would urge you to understand your identity – To know who you really are…” Elder Scott from “Identity, Priorities, Blessing.” CES 2010
    • Divine Definition of Ourselves… from revelation not people’s perceptions or social mirror (Steven Covey, The abundant life, embracing our divine role)
    • To God. You are his Children. You are Christ’s (not a consumer) – He has bought you with a price, with his precious blood, and call you his own (Christian).
      • “How knoweth the master whom he has not served, is a stranger unto him or is far from the thoughts and intents of his heart?” Mosiah 5:13
      • “Come to this knowledge of the glory of God, his goodness…” Mosiah 4:11
      • You are Christs child in Gods plan;. To the world you are a critical consumer (Presidents telling us to go out and spent, do our part for the economy) in their plans. Enjoy now, pay later.
      • Swipe plastic instead of study doctrine.
      • Consumed in Christ or consumed by the world.
      • We don’t have to criticize, condemn, compare, or complain when we understand, believe, know
    • Of all the title He has; EarthlyFather Heavenly Father https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5FxdCgD-qI
    • Recognize your personal worth. “The Age of Reason” tells the story of Marguerite who receives a letter at 40 from herself at seven. Hasn’t lead a life based upon her identity. If it were possible for you to receive a letter from your premortal life, what would it say (about who you are and were)? What impact would such a letter from a forgotten but very real world have on you if you were to receive it today?
      http://www.lds.org/ensign/2014/06/young-adults/follow-the-path-of-happiness?lang=eng

      • “One of the great adventures of life is finding out who we really are and where we came from and then consistently living in harmony with our true identity as children of God and with the purpose of our existence”
      • Perspective is precious but perishable. (We will prove them herewith, Neal Maxwell, pg. 64) and you must be the policeman.
      • Actions from proper perspective is more valuable than results/reaction from politeness, political correctness,
      • Pushy people don’t have perspective
    • Proper perspective comes with a proper price
      • “Heaven knows how to attach the proper price on something so sacred and celestial as freedom (identity)” Thomas Paine
      • How much are you willing to know?
    • Psalms 82:6 “I have said ye are Gods, and all of you are children of the most High”
  • Temporal Stories
    • Viktor Frankl – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viktor_Frankl
      • Experience in concentration camps
      • “There is plenty of want and strength in this world, but a need for will.”
      • “Ever more people today have the means to live, but no meaning to live for.”
      • “Bridge players tell me that there must be some money on the game or else people don’t take it seriously. Your bid for God or no God, for a good God or the cosmic Sadist, for eternal life or non eternity will not be serious if nothing much is staked on it. And you will never discover how serious it was until the stakes are raised horribly high… Nothing less will shake a man out of his merely verbal thinking and his merely notional beliefs. He has to be knocked silly before he comes to his senses.” pg.37
      • “Only torture will bring out truth… Only under torture does he discover it himself” C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed pg. 38
    • Examples from “Switch – How to change things when change is Hard.”
      • Nurses or other tough jobs. People are motivated by identity more than consequences. Zookeeper or bee keeper study
      • Kakapo Rescue: Saving the World’s Strangest Parrot
        • It was a single identity of islander, not threat of consequences that save it
      • 20% Already there. Car wash punch card story. Email newsletter sign ups
      • Student in School. They must either shrink or grow but rarely rise above the role they think people have for them
    • 128 Hours Story (vision about being a father)
    • Identity Theft = fastest growing crime in America (according to FBI)
    • CIA or military work
      • Motivated by identity and the purpose which comes with it. Give all for it
    • Mr. Gillette purchasing “Harlem Globe Trotters”
      • Called twice and reminded them he was a “Gillette” the P&G brand even though he’s not connected to the wealthy family, but by name they thought he was and sold the team.
    • Otzi the iceman from the alps. What is his identity?
      • Trying to deduct everything about him from clues left frozen in ice; what he ate, how he died, what he did, who he knew. They even say there are living relatives based upon DNA.
      • No need to guess and deduct when the heavens are open, but people like to theorize, hypothesis and make up stories without substance because it doesn’t require any change. But the heavens are open again unlike the time in which he lived – the copper age.
    • How would the world and world wide web (WWW) be different if people had to reveal their true identity? Most of what happens on the internet is done because of anonymity.
    • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gc4HGQHgeFE
    • Story of people given X or O’s book kids
  • God gives his gospel, which is full of patterns or sequences
    • Three major ones (not only):
      • Atonement – All for us
      • Temple – All are the same unto God
      • Restoration – All have beginnings and purpose and must experience the same events in the same sequence
        • See below
    • The Lords Pattern for Problem Solving – All starts with identity
    • #1 Identity #2 Principles #3 Structure (6 Events by Covey)
      • Come to Christ then his church
      • First individual souls then the community of souls. The redeemer pg. 112
    • Be active in the gospel. not just the church
    • http://segullah.org/daily-special/the-battle-in-our-brains/
    • No other success can compensate for mistaken identity
      • Actually, anything else is a LIE
  • Scriptural Stories
    • Jesus Christ
      • The question of the ages is “What think ye of Christ?” Matthew 22:42
      • What do ye because of it?
      • Modern Theologians strip Jesus of his divinity and then wonder why men do not worship him…” Gordon B. Hinckley (Conference, April 1966, pg 85)
      • Obtained not a fullness at first but line upon line. Taught true identity and vision from the Father in desert for 40 days before suffering.
      • Private battles – live out our public battle in our minds and in our hearts before we ever come to them in fact.” The Redeemer, pg. 90, visualization pg. 84
      • Identity is connected to our will. The will of Christ was swallowed up in the Father thus able to understand/receive his true identity.  We have to give “will” to receive identity. Pg.89 obedience = love = identity. How can you do wrong and expect to feel right let alone think right.
        • Divine definition from revelation not people’s perceptions or the social mirror.
        • “Judge something by what you have to give up to get it.” Dhali Lama. What are you willing to give up for the pearl of great price, of eternal price.
      • “Jesus Christ never wanted to be different from his Father…” God the Father, pg. 140
    • Genesis
      • How does the whole Bible start? “God created man in his own image” our identity, relationship to God. We are God’s in embryo. He knows us and wants us to know WHO and WHOSE we are.
    • Adam
      • Didn’t have the distractions of our day, but still came to know his identity as Michael, the creator of the earth, etc.
    • Noah
    • Ammon & King Lamoni
    • Spoke of God first
    • Moses
      • God almost kills, put your hand in your bosom…
    • Jacob & Esau
      • Sold birthright for a mess of pottage. How much did he care about his identity
    • Joseph of Egypt
      • Obtained birthright because Rueben cared more for selfish sin than inherent identity
      • Retained his true identity throughout whole experience then eventually revealed his identity to his brothers during disaster
    • Nephi vs. Laman
      • “Took no thought
      • I don’t know the meaning of all things, but I know God loveth his children.
        • “We don’t know it all, but we know enough.”
      • Went back to get the plates revealing and retaining their identity. Identity was their survival
      • Our faith must always be greater than our knowledge
    • Tree of Life
      • Those in the great and spacious building saw themselves as above or better than those holding to the iron rod. Their identity was with their peers and possessions.
    • Christ Visiting America
      • Behold,” He said, “ye are the children of the prophets; and ye are of the house of Israel; and ye are of the covenant which the Father made with your fathers, saying unto Abraham: And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed” 3 Nephi 20:25
    • Apostles after Christs Death
      • Cleopas thought Christ was to redeem Israel. No mention of Christ identity, activity or mission after death on road to Emmaus. Luke 24:19-26
      • The Redeemer, pg. 259
    • Joseph Smith (restoration)
      • First Vision started it, not #2 principles or #3 Church
      • Try to get people into the temple before baptism, baptism before faith and repentance, etc..
      • Each event (experienced) builds on each other (6 Events by Covey)
    • Alma the Younger
    • The Jews (gone astray)
      • Stuck to their identity of commandments/ordinance instead of the identity in Christ. Instead of looking forward to Christ, they “looked beyond the mark.” Jacob 4:14-18
    • Job
      • https://www.lds.org/scriptures/ot/job?lang=eng
      • People thought he lost everything, but really retained all that is important. His friends “Curse God and die…”
      • It’s not just about gritting your teeth and bearing it. The little engine that could. Identity provides the “destination (postcard)”, the purpose, plan to achieve and power to persevere. You know, endure to the end… Getting through the gates is easy
    • Patriarchal blessing
      • Read yours, does it include identity as one of the first things. At least your identity to a “house” and “tribe”
    • Articles of Faith
        • First principle #1 is that God exists and #2 a correct knowledge of his attributes (where we came from) well before we simply do what is asked or fulfill #3 follow obediently.
      • # 1 – We believe in God, Jesus Christ and Holy Ghost
      • # 4 – First principle is faith, BUT first part of faith is found in “Lectures on Faith”
    • If something like this is so important than why doesn’t everyone know? Why isn’t it just given?
      • To each is given a gift. Some to know, some to believe those who know, some to follow. 
    • Family
      • If we aren’t literal children of God (our Heavenly Father) then it doesn’t matter what stance we take on the family, what role we place in it, or what our sexual preference is BUT…
    • Missionary and Converts
      • People are converted for many reasons, but if they don’t experience the first event (IDENTITY) they won’t be truly converted. They can fill the spirit, be baptized, and all this in the sunshine but only identity, combined with the other experiences will truly convert
        • We know the sun shines even though it’s behind the clouds. It doesn’t stop the game
        • More stories here from Friends, Food, Family, Fun, Ukraine Welfare, etc.
        • Missionaries that had success had an eye to see people are they truly are, not by their temporary circumstance (6 Events by Stephen Covey)
    • Read through scriptures looking for identity. Any other prophet?
  • God-Given Identities
    • Birth
      • Daughter or Son (God & earthly parents)
    • Temple
      • Spouse, Family
    • Calling(s) in the Kingdom (church)
      • Priesthood – D&C 84:33-44
      • Purpose in life (unique, inspired)
    • God’s Army: Reserved for last days
      • “God has reserved you for the eleventh hour–the great and dreadful day of the Lord. It will be your responsibility not only to help bear off the kingdom of God triumphantly but to save your own soul and strive to save those of your family and to honor the principles of our inspired constitution.” Ezra T. Benson “14 Fundamentals in Following the Prophets”
    • All other identities are TBU (business term) – True but Useless
    • “Be what you are. This is the first step toward becoming better than you are.” August W. Hare (1792-1834)
    • “Man by searching cannot find out God… Never unaided…” God the Father, pg.79
    • Profound and practical
    • “The more I can know of God, the dearer and more precious he is to me, and the more exalted are my feelings toward him.” God the Father, pg. 109
    • “Everyone knows who they are and what God expects from them.”
      • Fiddler on the Roof
      • “Who we are and what God expects of us” BYU Devotional, Jeffrey R. Holland
    • You are God’s own child. He loves you with an infinite  unconditional love. You have infinite worth and potential. You are not to compare yourself to anyone else because he doesn’t.” Steven R. Covey
    • We are made up of software and hardware
      • There are security vulnerabilities in us that must constantly be updated and protected against.
  • Application of True Identity
    • “our citizenship is in heaven…” Philippians 3:20
      • We want our passport in Zion and keep our visa for Babylon. We cannot have dual citizenships, dual identity
      • No man can serve two masters
    • We all have the E-Gene (eternal) but Identity isn’t implanted
      • Identity doesn’t come without effort. It doesn’t exclude us from trials, exempt us from the world, but it doesn’t change with experience
    • “Those with an eye single to the glory of God (not wrapped up in education or profession or possessions) see the clearest…” and understand their identity Neal A. Maxwell, Pathway to Discipleship
      • D&C 93:36-37 Glory of God is intelligence (see intelligence vs knowledge)
      • “knowing how He feels about us will increase our own desires to stick with Him no matter what. The better we understand why Christ offered Himself for us, the more willing we are to submit to whatever He may ask of us.” The contrite Heart, 44
    • “Whosoever will lose his life for my sake, shall find it (identity)…” Mathew 16:25
    • Spiritual things have a short shelf life
      • It’s apply immortal principles to mortal life.
      • Living celestial laws in a celestial world
        • The teletial treadmill is temporary and doesn’t make one fit to meet the Father
      • You need your A Game everyday
        • “Life is the only game where the victory is won and people are still trying to decide which jersey to wear.” Elder Holland
        • Which identity to uphold
        • It’s like have a map of or watching the traffic in Loas, when you live in LA
        • Think about Lebron James showing up at game 5 in a Yankees uniform and fleets
        • Using Salt instead of Sugar in a cookie recipe (Mission – Elder Pixton)
        • That’s how absurd mistaken identities are yet
        • The wrong moral mortal compass
    • It’s a Journey
      • Pilgrims Progress by John Bunyan
      • Journey to the “celestial city” was met with many obstacles but fought with his new identity as “Christian” in  and with Christ
      • http://pilgrims-progress.net (see map)
    • “Seeing the distance is the beginning of humility, but love closes the distance between us.” The Redeemer Pg. 44
    • People know the church is true to the degree they are true to the church
      • People know their true identity to the degree they are true to it.
      • This is truth. “Things as they were, are and will be” D&C 93:24
      • True saints will know their shepherd, the name by which they are called and hear/hearken to his voice.
      • Avoid wearing masks
    • We should work on God-esteem not self-esteem
    • Mind the Gap (British subway saying)
      • Between who we are and who we want to or should be
      • Where we are, where we need to be
      • “We need all weather souls” Neal A. Maxwell
      • The destroyer of an eternal plan is a good one (distractions, detours)
      • “You are so unlike your Christ…” Ghandi (right but wrong)
    • Reasons (excuses) always vary but Christ is consistent
      • “People are always looking for something other than God to make them happy.” C.S. Lewis
        • Looking for other identities, jerseys, masks besides the one we were given an agreed to before we were born
      • “All happy families resemble one another, but all unhappy families are unhappy in their own way.” Leo Tolstoy
    • It’s not about doing (church) but becoming (gospel)
      • We all must be Active in Gospel and active in Church
      • It’s not what you’ve done, but we we become. The only way we can return is to become.
      • Churchianity vs Christianity
    • We are spiritual being have a temporal experience not temporal being having an occasional spiritual experience
    • Christ fulfilled his predestined mission by following his identity as the First born of the Father and Redeemer
      • Not just a wanderer with a nice message of hope and peace
    • These things need to be written in the heart (fleshy tablets of the heart) not just discussed or theorized
      • Because our identity is defined it means action
      • “To know and not to do is really not to know…” Stephen Covey
    • We need to change ourself not circumstance
      • “God works from the inside out, the world works from the outside in…” President Kimball
      • “People are more willing to change their circumstances but not themselves.”
    • We will all have an identity crisis at times.
      • “Spiritual amnesia” Elder Maxwell
      • In the land of the blind, a one-eyed man is king
        • “Ye Blind Guides” Matthew 23:24
      • Spiritual amnesia
    • Success in life, church and gospel is found in identity. Principles can be learned, but not truly (and long-term) lived independent of true identity.
      • The spirit that teaches and confirms truth comes from the Father not by random or simply reverent theological thought.
    • “Strength of character does not consist solely in having powerful feelings, but in maintaining one’s balance in spite of them. Even with violence of  emotion- judgment and principle must still function like a ship’s compass… however rough the sea.” Carl von Clausewitz
      • If you know how to swim it doesn’t matter how deep the water is
    • Profound and practical
    • “The more I can know of God, the dearer and more precious he is to me, and the more exalted are my feelings toward him.” God the Father, pg. 109
    • Obedience is the only path of safety
      • Elder Donald L. Staheli of the Seventy quoted President Ezra Taft Benson (1899–1994) in order to teach about the power that comes through obedience: “Regardless of our age and stage in life, daily obedience to gospel principles is the only sure way to eternal happiness. President Ezra Taft Benson put it most poignantly when he said, ‘When obedience ceases to be an irritant and becomes our quest, in that moment God will endow us with power’” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1998, 108; or Ensign, May 1998, 82).
      • “There is but one path to safety to the Latter-Day Saints and that is the path of duty. It is not a testimony; it is not a marvelous manifestation, it is not knowing that the Gospel is true — it is not actually knowing that the Savior is the redeemer; but it is the keeping of the commandments of God, living he life of a Latter-day Saint.”Heber J. Grant “Seeking the spirit, McConkie, pg. 13
    • Beautiful things don’t ask for attention (see image below)
  • Why is this important?
    • The is a “grand key” which if you will honor will crown you with God’s glory and bring you out victorious in spite of Satan’s fury. (14 fundamentals in following the prophet).
    • Everyone has or will go through challenges
      • We need more than understanding and knowledge, but truth and conviction beyond ourselves and this earth to stay the course (chart it).
      • Proper use of agency
      • people rarely act beyond what they believe about themselves
      • “The significant problems we have cannot be changed with the same thinking.” Albert Einstein
    • Not just motivation, but foundational to our motivations, choices
      • You don’t have to try harder… you
    • See Steven Covey, reason for 6 Events
      • Break through was a break with
    • “True doctrine applied changes attitude and behaviors faster than the study of behavior changes behavior” Boyd K. Packer
      • True identity properly understood and applied will…
    • Break through was a break with
    • True Identity = true thinking, acting, words, character, direction,
    • This is “god’s definition” of you, not the social source
    • “If men do not understand the character of God, they do not comprehend themselves.” Joseph Smith
      • “No man can know himself if he doesn’t know God.” Joseph Smith
    • Requires Testimony and Conversion
    • “You’re not going to find any peace until you admit to yourself who you really are.” Jason Bourne movie
  • Others (destination postcard) from “Switch”
    • Rider
    • Elephant. Carrot/stick, motivation, recognition, environment
    • Journey. Path
  • Resources

Tags: ,

No Comments

Leave a reply

Story Page