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Our Identity Gives Us Purpose

Our identity isn’t determined by worldly labels or arbitrary divisions. We all inherit a divine identity and purpose from our eternal parents.

I’ve always had a lot of identities. I’m a Southern Californian, a redhead, an oldest sibling, a student, a book-lover, a woman, and a daughter. There are so many facets of my identity, and they all separate me into a different group. Despite the many labels assigned to me and to all of us, there is one label that is universal and all-encompassing: we are all children of our heavenly parents. 

"Look deep in your souls and ask how you can fulfill your purpose of being a child of God by loving the Lord and loving your neighbor more faithfully than you ever have before." - M. Russell Ballard

Image by Josh Willink.

Our identity as a child of heavenly beings gives us a purpose that our other identities do not. In President M. Russell Ballard’s BYU devotional “Children of Heavenly Father,” he says that our “purpose is found in the two great commandments: we are to love the Lord with all our hearts, might, and strength and to love our neighbors as ourselves.”

There are many ways to love God and to love our neighbors, but President Ballard invites us “to look deep in [our] souls and ask how [we] can fulfill [our] purpose of being a child of God by loving the Lord and loving [our] neighbor more faithfully than [we] ever have before.” Doing these two things will bring us greater happiness, fulfillment, success, and peace than anything else. Behaving like a child of God will heal the contention and evil plaguing the world. 

While it’s perfectly appropriate to be proud of our hometown, cultural heritage, or passions, we can remember that those parts of us are subsets of our true identity. None of these subsets will provide us with an inherent purpose for our earthly life. When we doubt our worth, we can know that we are a child of heavenly parents, and that there is inherent purpose in that identity.

Read or watch President Ballard’s full speech “Children of Heavenly Father.”

Source: BYU Speeches

—Emma Campbell, Latter-day Saint Insights


Find more insights

For more insights into President Ballard’s talk, read “Remembering Our True Identity” by Rebecca Brown.

Watch and listen to this rendition of “I Am a Child of God” to understand your divine identity.

Read and watch President Kevin J. Worthen’s devotional address “Knowing Who You Are” to learn more about your identity as a child of heavenly parents.

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