Person standing in the middle of a road

Remembering Our True Identity

When we remember our true identity, we’re better prepared to serve our spiritual brothers and sisters.

I’m the type of person who, during a one-hour drive, can listen to all sorts of music—classical, country, rock, indie, pop, opera, and Broadway. So, I easily connect with people who also love all sorts of music. You probably have a hobby or interest that connects you to others too. While connections that give us a group identity are important, we don’t have to connect just because of our likes or dislikes. Instead, we can connect with others because of a deeper identity we all have: being children of God. 

President M. Russell Ballard reminds us of this identity—our most important one—in his talk “Children of Heavenly Father.” In the talk, President Ballard explains that each of us has “always been a son or daughter of God with spiritual roots in eternity.” President Ballard then states that, unfortunately, “history has shown us that often we set up ‘group identities’ based on false and incorrect ideologies that have harmed or marginalized others.” 

Photo by Aleksandra Boguslawska

Instead of grouping people together by “false and incorrect ideologies,” we should remember that we’re all part of a much larger group: children of God. We’re all neighbors because we’re “inhabitants of the same planet, and we are dependent upon each other for our mutual survival, happiness, and peace. When we remember that everyone we meet is a member of this larger society and is a child of Heavenly Father, we’re more likely to have compassion for them, even “if they belong to a different group and at times are identified as our enemies.” 

President Ballard pleads with us: “Keep your divine identity at the center of everything you do.” As you do so, he says 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.” 

Read President M. Russell Ballard’s talk “Children of Heavenly Father” to learn more about why remembering our true identity can help us serve those around us.


—Rebecca Brown, Latter-day Saint Insights


Find more insights 

Read Kevin J Worthen’s devotional address “Knowing Who You Are” for more insights on our divine identity as children of Heavenly Parents.

Take a look at Michelle D. Craig’s talk “Eyes to See” to learn more about how to truly see others as our brothers and sisters. 

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  1. Nice lead in! And great point; remembering who we truly are really can make all the difference in our lives and our decisions.

    • Latter-day Saint Insights

      Thanks for reading! And we agree. Remembering that we are children of God can give us strength and happiness.

  2. In 1987, I learned from two Latter Day Saints missionaries that their church’s doctrine teaches that the biblical ‘lake of fire’ meant for the truly wicked actually represents an eternal spiritual burning of guilt over one’s corporeal misdeeds.

    Accordingly, I figured, upon an atrocity-committing monster’s physical death, not only would he (or she) be 100 percent liberated from the anger and hate that blighted his physical life; also, his spirit or consciousness would be forced to exist with the presumably unwanted awareness of the mindbogglingly immense amount of needless suffering he personally had caused.

    I believe that, for good or bad, our brain is what we basically are while our soul is confined within our physical, bodily form.

    • Latter-day Saint Insights

      Thank you for sharing your perspective with us. It is interesting to think about how our identities are connected to our souls and physical consciousness.

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