Do You Know Who You Are?
Updated: Jul 5, 2022
A few years ago, I was having a conversation with a friend of mine.
It was late at night and we were joking around about the crazy ups and downs of life; dreaming how WONDERFUL it would be to ditch the roller coaster . . .
and take a few spins around the lazy river . . .
when all of the sudden, my friend got VERY quiet.
She looked at me, with her serious, probing eyes, and asked,
“Do you know who you are?”
Well, her question COMPLETELY caught me off guard and I think I responded with something really intelligent, like, “. . . Huh?”.
So she asked me again. ya know, a little s-l-o-w-e-r this time . . .
“Do you KNOW who you are? Do you know who you were before you came here? And who you were sent here to become?”
Talk about your heavy questions, right?
I seriously just SAT there, STARING at her with this BEFUDDLED look on my face. (While SHE, no doubt, began to question the level of my intelligence . . ."Umm, hello? Anybody home?") But honestly, I didn’t know how to answer her question . . . I mean, sure, I knew who I was in a GENERAL sorta way . . . Ever since I was a tutu-twirling, pig-tail wearing Sunbeam, I've known I was a child of God. (Romans 8:16) (Hebrews 12:9)(D&C 76:24) I knew all through my gangly, awkward, brace-face, teenage years that I was a daughter of my Heavenly Father, who loved me. (Romans 8:35,38-39) (Jeremiah 31:3)(John 13:34) I knew I lived with my Father in Heaven before I came to this earth, and was sent here to receive a body, to learn, to grow, to be tested, to become more like Him . . .
just. like. everyone else. (D&C 138:56)(Abraham 3:22-26)(Alma 34:32)(2 Nephi 31:12)
But she wasn’t asking me if I knew who I was in a GENERAL sorta way. She was asking me if I knew who I was in a SPECIFIC sorta way. And NO ONE had ever asked me that before.
Well, finally I had to say SOMETHING, and in my panic, I decided to save face, “Yeah, I know who I am.”
(But on the inside, I was REALLY like . . .“Huh?”)
When I went to bed that night, I couldn’t sleep. Her question was HAUNTING me.
I felt just like Ebenezer Scrooge when he was being tormented by the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future . . .
”DO YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE?
DO YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE??
DO YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE???"
And the sad truth was . . . I didn't. I was 33 years old (descending into the depths of middle age-dom) and I didn’t know who I was. I had never asked.
What I DID know, was if ANYONE could help me understand who I was, it was my Father in Heaven. He was the ONE person who knew me EVEN BETTER than I knew myself.
So that very night, I rolled outta bed, got down on my knees, and asked Heavenly Father one of the most IMPORTANT questions I have EVER asked Him . . .
“Who Am I?"
I PLEADED with him to help me understand more about who I was before I came to this earth, and who I was sent here to become. I asked Him to help me understand more about my gifts and my divine mission . . . in a SPECIFIC sorta way.
And do you know what’s SO awesome?! He ACTUALLY answered me!
The answer didn’t come all at once, but little by little, piece by piece, as I continued to ask, He continued to answer.
I began to learn things about myself that I NEVER knew before.
”Our Heavenly Father sees our REAL potential. He knows things about us that we do not know ourselves. He prompts us during our lifetime to fulfill the measure of our creation . . . Let us resolve to follow the Savior and work with diligence to become the person we were designed to become.” (“Of Regrets and Resolutions”, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Oct. 2012, General Conference)
That ONE question changed the trajectory of my life because I started to see myself, not through the WORLD’S eyes, but through HIS eyes. I started to understand more about the talents and gifts He had given me, to bless those around me and help Him in His great work.
Oh, the world is HAPPY to tell you "who you are" and "what you're worth". The world is NOT shy to tell you who you "should" be (and place limits on who you "could" be).
There’s just one teensy-little problem with the WORLD'S opinion . . . the world is CLUELESS about who you are and who you were sent here to become.
If you TRULY want to understand who you are, you'll need to turn to the one person who knows you better than ANYONE else . . . and THAT is your Father in Heaven.
“I testify to you that God has known you individually . . . for a long, long time (see D&C 93:23). He has loved you for a long, long time. He not only knows the names of all the stars (see Psalm 147:4; Isaiah 40:26); He knows your names and all your heartaches and your joys!”
(Elder Neal A Maxwell, "Remember How Merciful the Lord Has Been", April 2004, General Conference)
Yes. Heavenly Father knows EXACTLY who you are.