Assorted sliced citrus fruits on brown wooden chopping board.

You Were Meant to Be Different

You may feel you don’t belong in church because you are different, but God designed you to be different, and he needs you and your unique strengths in his plan.

There may be some times in the Church when you feel like you don’t belong. But you do belong—of course you belong! God always meant for you to be different. It doesn’t matter if you have dyed hair, a shaky testimony, a slightly inappropriate sense of humor, or a love of heavy metal. You are who you are for a reason, and you were sent here for a reason.

Smiling woman with a quote by Marleen Williams that says, "We were different individuals in the pre-earth life, and we will continue to be different in the next life."

Photo by Luis Quintero

In her 2018 devotional “Discovering Your Divine Individuality,” Julie Crockett insists that being different from everyone else is God’s plan. “We are supposed to be different,” she says. “We were different individuals in the pre-earth life, and we will continue to be different in the next life.” 

To illustrate her point, Crockett goes on to talk about a mechanical engineering project from her college years. Every team member involved with the project had unique lives and ideas, enabling each of them to approach the task differently. In the end, the project benefited from each member’s individual perspective. Because of their differences, the team created a far better project than they would have if they’d worked alone—or if they had all been the same. 

Likewise, your unique ideas and methods are exactly what God needs in his great project: Your struggles with testimony have given you empathy. The sins you’ve overcome have taught you wisdom. Your unique style has taught you to judge others not by their looks, but by their hearts. God loves you, and he needs you and your unique qualities in his Church and in his plan.

Do you worry that becoming more like Christ will make you less like you? Julie Crockett addresses that worry in her devotional “Discovering Your Divine Individuality.”

Source: BYU Speeches 

—Anna Freeman, Latter-day Saint Insights

FEATURE IMAGE BY EDGAR CASTREJON

Find more insights

 Impostor Syndrome, the feeling that everyone in your field is qualified except you, may be why you feel you don’t belong; learn about BYU students who feel the same in “‘I Don’t Belong’—Impostor Syndrome Affects BYU Students.

See how we can use our differences to edify one another in “A Gospel of Relationships,” a BYU devotional by psychology professor Marleen Williams. 

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