I recently taught Relief Society on a conference talk titled “We Are His Children” by Elder Christophe G. Giraud-Carrier. I invite you to think of how you see each member in your family. How you might see and perceive each other. All of the dynamics involved. You think of each member. How they think of you. And how you think of yourself. I extend this concept to our relationship with our Heavenly Parents and the rest of humanity. Explaining how the same dynamics apply on a broader scale.
Drawing from Elder Carrier’s talk, I share examples of individuals from scriptures, who were seen differently by others than how our Heavenly Parents saw them. I want to emphasize the importance of recognizing that our Heavenly Parents see us differently than how we see ourselves or how others see us.
I want to encourage all listeners to reflect on how you see and perceive others in your lives. As well as how your see yourselves. By being a child of our Heavenly Parents, you have value and worth. Just like everyone else who has ever lived and will ever live. By recognizing the unique perspective of our Heavenly Parents, I believe it can help shift our own perceptions. And also enhance our relationships with others and ourselves.
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0:00 Hey, what’s up everyone, it’s Jennie Dildine, the LDS mission coach and you are listening to the LDS Mission Podcast, episode number 133- And That Includes You. I’m Jennie, the LDS mission coach. And whether you’re preparing to serve a mission, currently serving, a returned missionary or a missionary mama like me, I created this podcast just for you. Are you searching for epic confidence? Ready to love yourself and to learn the how of doing hard things? Then let’s go. I will help you step powerfully into your potential and never question your purpose again. It’s time to embrace yourself. Embrace your mission, embrace your life, and embrace what’s next.
0:53 Hey, everybody, welcome to the podcast. Happy New Year, Happy 2024. Here we are on the brink of a new year. Now I feel like this time of year can elicit a lot of different feelings. For a lot of different people. I know some people find the new year to be super motivating and super exciting and super inspiring. I actually don’t find that to be true for me, most often. And so I just want to give you a little bit of a shout out if this time of year feels more like you want to slow down a little bit. Like you want to hibernate a little bit like you want to rest that makes a lot of sense. If if you’re just kind of having a hard time figuring out what your purpose is or why you’re doing what you’re doing. All totally normal. I want us to all just take a minute and honor that. Sometimes we look around and we’re like, Am I missing something? Maybe there’s a lot of like goals going on in your mission and new stuff for the new year. All totally good and fine. There is you know a lot of, there are a lot of people that that this time of year really does that for them and makes them really excited. But there are also those of us who need to kind of slow down I my body just wants to be asleep and in hibernation mode right now. So if that’s you, I see you, it’s okay. Know that that energy and stuff is gonna come back around for you. My energy always seems to come back around like March when we head into springtime. I always think of springtime for me as my new year. So all good stuff, all inspiring stuff happening right now. And also just giving ourselves more reasons to be kind to ourselves. While we may not be feeling as motivated and excited about kind of the things that are going on in our lives.
2:51 We have recently wrapped up all of our Christmas. Actually it was just this morning, Oh, Christmas and New Year’s I should say it was just this morning that my kids went back home. I kind of had a group of them go home last weekend. Then a few go home after the New Years. We had the most amazing and lovely time together doing a lot of fun stuff, but also a lot of like just hanging out and playing games and watching movies. We rented the Era’s Tour, of course, as we all should, if we are Taylor Swift Fans. Like I am, and my daughters and my daughters in law. Also a lot of sports watching going on, as is often the case during New Year’s and New Year’s Day and stuff like that. So we are just kind of all getting back into the swing of things with work and school and my one daughter in law starting a new job at the Children’s Hospital, because she’s graduating from nursing school. So lots of fun things happening, lots of things going on.
3:55 I also recently taught Relief Society. And I started thinking about the fact that I hadn’t really taught Relief Society in a while. Somehow I ended up teaching twice, really back to back in July, just with the way that the teachers worked out and stuff. And then I ended up trading with someone. So it had been a while since I taught. But I think that the lesson that I taught, which is on a conference talk, was really maybe a valuable one for us all to sort of think about and one that I wanted to share with you here. So the name of the talk was from this last October conference. So October 2023 and the talk was, We Are His Children, and the talk was given by Elder Christoph G Gerard Caray. And if you’re serving your mission in France, or somewhere where you speak or you know French, I probably totally butchered that name. But um, he’s of the 70. This talk just gave me a lot of stuff to sort of thinking about and actually reinforced a lot of the things that I teach here and that we help our clients really start to believe and think about and different ways to think about yourself. And so I wanted to share a little bit of that with you here.
5:13 So I want you to think of, if you could picture like a portrait, or even just like an iPhone picture of your family. Okay, so maybe it’s a recent picture, so that everyone that’s in your family is in that picture. For me, it would be me, my husband, my five children, and also my two oldest sons that are married now, and so I have two daughters in law. What I started thinking about with this talk, and as I’ve been kind of mulling it over is that there’s a lot of ways that everyone in this family portrait sees each other. Okay, so I’m going to talk specifically, just as an example is, if I was picturing my family, and Ruby is the youngest. There’s a lot of sort of ideas and ways and feeling kind of popping around within the family. So if we were just focusing on Ruby, there’s the way that Ruby sees my husband and I, and there’s the way that my husband and I see Ruby. There’s the way that Ruby sees her siblings, and her sisters in law. And there’s the way that those sisters in law and those siblings see Ruby. There’s also the way that my husband, and I see all of her siblings, and there’s the way all of her siblings, see my husband and I. And then there’s also the way that Ruby sees herself. Okay, so if we were to kind of draw this on a diagram, maybe Ruby would be a little stick person in the middle, and then me and my husband would kind of be over to the left side of her, and her siblings would be on the right side of her, right? And so there would be a lot of kind of back and forth arrows with the way Ruby sees us would be an arrow pointing towards me and my husband, and the way we see her would be an arrow pointing towards her. And then we’ve got all these arrows kind of going back and forth, and give and take going in all of those directions. Then the way Ruby sees herself, we would just put a big circle around her in the middle. Given all of these sorts of relationships, and the ways that we think about each other as our earthly family. Maybe we can just think about for a minute how we actually see someone in our family, like you could think, how do I see my mom? Or how do I see my dad? Or maybe if you’re listening to this podcast, and you’re a parent, how do I see my missionary who is serving right now? And we can kind of play with these relationships, and these ways that we see each other the things that we feel the things that we think about these people. If you feel so inclined, and you want to, it could be interesting to sort of write some of those things down and just kind of evaluate. Like, where am I at with my dad? Where am I at with my siblings? So I’m just curious, as you start to think about that, what are those relationships like? Do you get pleasure out of them? Do you find enjoyment in thenm? Do they feel kind of stressful at times? Is it overwhelming at times? So we can just kind of, you know, play with that a little bit. And the thing that I really started considering with this lesson in particular, is that the same way that we have these relationships, and these ways that we think about one another in a family, these sorts of concepts also apply in a broader sense with our quote, unquote, heavenly family. So we have our Heavenly Parents, there’s you, and then there’s all the rest of humanity that you get to interact with on a day to day basis. I do feel like more than anything, once I had children, it really was one of those things that has been able to help me understand on some small level, how it must feel, or how our Heavenly Parents must feel about us. Because they are my children. And I care about them deeply. And now that I have daughters in law as well, I care about them deeply. It kind of puts everything into perspective, because I get to sort of contrast and compare how I feel about them and how they feel about me with maybe how my Heavenly Parents feel about me and how I get to choose to feel about them. So this same sort of like diagram that maybe you see in your mind, we could change it out and we could put you as the little stick figure in the middle, and then we could put our Heavenly Parents on one side. Then all of the rest of your quote unquote siblings, your the rest of humanity on the other side. We would have these same arrows going back and forth, there would be the way that you see and think about your Heavenly Parents. There’s the way that they see and think about you. There’s the way that you see all of humanity, and the people that you’re teaching on the mission and the people that you interact with. And there’s also the way that those people that you interact with on a day to day basis, maybe at college or wherever. There’s the way that those people see you. There’s also the way that our heavenly parents see all of humanity. Then there’s the way that you see yourself.
10:48 So I wanted to just read a little bit from this talk, because here’s a couple of examples that he shared from. He says, from the conference talk, he said, “Do you recall the experience of the prophet Samuel had when the Lord sent him to Jesse’s house to anoint the new king of Israel, Samuel Saul, Elia, Jessie’s firstborn, Eliab, it seems was tall and had the appearance of a leader Samuel saw that and jumped to a conclusion. He also said, do you recall the experience of the disciple Ananias had when the Lord sent him to bless Saul. Saul, his reputation had preceded him. And Anand is had heard about Saul and his cruel, relentless persecution of the saints Anandis heard and jumped to a conclusion that perhaps he should not minister to Saul. It turned out to be the wrong conclusion. And the Lord taught Anandis, he is a chosen vessel to me to bear my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel.” He also talks about the scribes and Pharisees when they saw the woman taken in adultery, “what did they see? A depraved woman, a sinner worthy of death? When Jesus saw her, what did he see? A woman who had temporarily succumbed to the weakness of the flesh but could be reclaimed through repentance and His Atonement? When people saw the Centurion whose servant was sick with palsy, what did they see? Perhaps they saw an intruder, a foreigner, when to be despised. When Jesus saw him, what did he see? A man concern for the welfare of a member of his household who sought the Lord and candor and faith. When the people saw the woman with an issue of blood? What did they see? Perhaps an unclean woman, an outcast to be shunned? When Jesus saw her what did he see? A sickly woman lonely and alienated due to circumstances she did not control. Who hoped to be healed and belong again.” So, Elder Gerard Caray, he basically says, What is the thing that all of these stories had in common? And what they had in common is that the way that sort of humanity, or the people they were interacting with, the way that they saw this person was different than the way that our Heavenly Parents would see them. Or the way that our Heavenly Father had seen them.
13:03 He talks about the scripture, and this is the one that I kind of want to focus on is 1 Samuel 16:70. He says, “look not on his countenance or the height of his stature, because I have refused him for the Lord’s you have not as a man see it for the man look at on the outward appearance, but the Lord, look if on the heart.” What does this actually mean? I think that we hear there’s certain scriptures and things that we hear a lot in, you know, the church and on our missions, and at school and all of that, and in Sunday school, and we kind of gloss over them. We’re like, yeah, that makes sense, and the Lord, you know, is able to see into our soul in the goodness that is there. Then there’s us as humans, who can only see what’s on the outside, right? Of course, like the only way we’re going to be able to sort of like, quote, unquote, judge someone, whether righteously or unrighteously. It’s based on what we see them doing. It’s because we don’t have the same sort of X-ray. I don’t know if X-ray is even the right word. Capability to see into someone’s heart and soul. Like our Heavenly Parents do. So what I started thinking about was the fact that sometimes we have a hard time seeing people’s hearts. Because we don’t, we only can base stuff on what we see on the outside. So as I’ve talked a lot, in this podcast, I’ve talked about how sometimes we put value in achievement. We put value in how righteous someone is. We put value in some in when someone meets their goals, and things like that. Whereas the Lord, look, it’s on the heart or Heavenly Parents look upon the heart. Because we are their children. So I think it could be a good practice for all of us to try to as much as possible start to see other people the way that our Heavenly Parents see us. But at the same time, this is why I titled this podcast, “And That Includes You,” is because I also want all of us, as we head into this new year, to be able to know that when we claim that we are His children, and that He loves us unconditionally, that goes for you, too.
15:29 What I see a lot on the mission and even in my ward, or, you know, the circles that I run in, is that we really believe that other people, the rest of humanity, that God loves them, and that God sees their heart, and that God knows them and cares for them. Regardless of what’s going on on the outside, regardless of what they’re doing, regardless of the things that they’re struggling with. But often, what I find is when we turn it to our inside self, we sort of don’t really always believe that that applies to us, too. But the same unconditional love that our Heavenly Parents have for the rest of humanity, they have for you, too. So I love this quote that he shared from CS Lewis, he says, “It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses. To remember that the dullest, most uninteresting person, you can talk to may one day meet a creature, which, if you saw it, now, you would be strongly tempted to worship. There are no ordinary people.” And I think we understand that about other people. But it goes for you, too, you are not an ordinary person, you have never talked to a mere mortal, is what CS Lewis says, “nations cultures aren’t 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 Mary snub, or exploit.” And this includes us too right? Why do we have such a hard time seeing ourselves this way? I think one of the reasons right is I sort of have this idea that when we came to earth, they opened all of us up, and they kind of poured some “not enoughness” into us. I think there was a purpose in that. I think that there was that that was part of the plan. So that we would always want to kind of turn back to our Savior and and know that we needed other people and needed our Savior.
17:41 So I think that is just sort of part of our human makeup that we tend to see ourselves in a more critical way. I think we also just come to our missions into our college experiences, into our marriages, into all of the things that we do with, a lot of history there. With a lot of genetics and with a lot of conditioning and with a lot of experiences that we bring to the table. Some of those include, like, I’m doing it the right way, or I’m doing it the wrong way. That there’s a right way to be a missionary or there’s a wrong way to be a missionary. Or there’s a right way to be a college student, or there’s a wrong way to be a college student. Or there’s a right way to prepare for a mission, or there’s a wrong way to prepare for a mission. So I think that all of us, we’re going to sort of have these ideas about how other people shouldn’t do it. And we’re going to have a lot of ideas about how we should do it.
18:42 So the question becomes is, if we are trying to be more like our Savior, and we’re trying to be more like our Heavenly Parents who truly can see the heart? How do we become more inclusive? How do we do this in our district meetings? How do we do this in our Relief Society meetings? How do we do this in our young women’s classes? How do we become more inclusive? The first question I asked myself was, why are we not more inclusive? You know, maybe if we think about a middle school or something like that, or even some of the things I see going on in my own Ward, why are we not more inclusive? And I came up with a few things of why we don’t include people. We just assume everybody’s fine. Like if you’re looking at that missionary in your district, or in your zone, and you’re like, Oh, they’re fine. They’re just fine. They don’t need interaction with me. Maybe another reason is that we’ve got our own insecurities. I think that that is true most of the time is that I’m just sitting here feeling insecure about what someone might think of me and so I don’t reach out. Sometimes I think that we do judge people and we do think that they should be better than they are instead of just meeting them where they are. Sometimes we don’t ask what would actually help someone, we just make assumptions about where they’re at and what they might need. I think one of the reasons we’re not more inclusive is because sometimes, this is the one I came up with, is sometimes I feel a little bit rebellious. Like, Oh, if you’re gonna tell me to do that, I might not do it, kind of feeling. Sometimes we’re just too busy to be inclusive, or to invite someone into our circle. Maybe we’re just comfortable with the friends we have on the mission or the roommates that we have. So we don’t reach out of ourselves. And then I think one of the main ones, right is that we just have this function of our brains where we only, you know, want to kind of keep doing things the way that we’ve always done them. It’s actually like a tribal instinct that we all have as humans, that it feels safe to just stay in your little tribe or your group. So it takes a lot of courage, it takes a lot of effort, it takes a lot of planning and thought and conscious thinking to be able to reach outside of that, to start to be more inclusive.
21:11 In this talk, he talks about his wife, who was just really good at serving anybody, no matter where they were at. No matter where they were, in their life or anything like that. Let me share what he said. He says, “that it didn’t matter economic status, skin color, cultural background, nationality, degree of righteousness, social standing, or any other identifier or label, was of no consequence to her. She sees with her heart, she sees the child of God and everyone.” So what are some of the things that we can do to become more inclusive, and what I came up with, and what some of the sisters in my word we’re talking about is this idea of just using language that is more inclusive. Instead of just saying, you know, you’re teaching a lesson, maybe in Relief Society, or an elders quorum or something like that, that’s just like everybody needs to have a celestial marriage. I think it can go a long ways to say, there might be some of you in this room who are struggling in your marriage, and that’s okay. That’s why we have a Savior. And start being more inclusive. Maybe instead of just saying everybody should serve 24 months, and no one should have any mental health challenges. Every female should serve 18 months and it’s just terrible if you come home early. Instead of saying that, use some language to include the people that did have that experience. Say, and if you didn’t serve the full 24 months, or you didn’t serve the full 18 months, that’s okay. Like, it’s okay to be where you are. I see you, I acknowledge you. And one that’s particularly close to my heart is my son who is special needs. It’s not going to work out for him to serve a mission, and many people will say, Well, he should be on a service mission or something like that. Maybe he should, like I don’t pretend to have all of the answers. But we can use language to be more inclusive of people’s experiences that are different from our own. Maybe we’re in a district meeting, instead of saying, I just fasted and prayed and now everybody and I met my goals. Say, some of you may have fasted and prayed and still not met your goal and that’s okay. Okay, do you see what I’m saying? We can use language to speak to, and address and help people feel included in the conversation.
23:36 Okay, so this is a quote from President Nelson, he said, “first and foremost, I am a child of God, and so are you.” He said, “and so are all the other people around us. I pray that we may come to a greater appreciation of this wonderful truth, it changes everything.” And I think that this does change everything. When we think of these humans, that are on this journey with us, this mortal journey, or maybe your mission journey, or your college journey. When we truly see all of us as humans, that sometimes do it awesome and sometimes don’t do it awesome at all. That it really does change everything. When we start to see ourselves as those children of God, that it changes us. It changes the way we make decisions, it changes the way we treat ourselves. We start to have more gratitude for this earthly experience and the journey that we have with these friends and neighbors that are on the same journey with us. So the other thing that I love that President Nelson had said, “My dear brothers and sisters, how we treat each other really matters. How we speak to and about others at home, at church at work and online really matters.” And what I would add to that is and that goes for you too! How you treat yourself really matters. We’re not always going to we treat ourselves awesome. Again, it’s just that human brain wants to beat us up sometimes so that we stay stuck and we stay small. And it’s okay that we’re afraid and we’re not going to do it awesome all of the time, and that’s okay. But how we treat ourselves when we’re having those experiences really does matter.
25:17 2 Nephi 26:33 says, “He inviteth them all, all to come in to him black and white bond and free, male and female, and he remember it the heathen,.” When I read that I was like, aren’t we all basically heathens? We just are. “And all are also a like unto God.” So isn’t that the like the paradox, right? Is that we are all heathens, and we are all his children. That doesn’t just include others. That goes for you, too. I love that the title of this talk was, We Are His Children. Because it doesn’t say we become his children or earn a spot as one of his children. Or we have to do a whole bunch of stuff to be loved by Him or become his children. It just says we are His children.
26:06 I think what I finally came to, is, after kind of reading this talk and studying it and stuff like that is I used to sort of see this scripture, “the Lord looketh on the heart,” like the Lord sees our goodness. But after like thinking about this and thinking about inclusivity, and, and sort of how we’re all sort of on this equal ground when it comes to this human experience. We have these trials in these things that are difficult for us. What I realized is that maybe Heavenly Father just doesn’t see our goodness, our heart. Maybe what he what we mean by that Scripture is just because we have a beating heart. So just because you’re alive, just because you exist. Regardless of what you’re doing, or not doing. Or the way you’re serving or not serving. Or the things you’re feeling or not feeling. Just because you have a heart, you have worth and value. The Lord looketh on the heart, and if you have one, and you exist on this planet, you have worth and value to him. The way he sees you is as His child.
27:23 This is another quote from the talk. He says, “I testify that he whom we addressed as our Father in heaven is indeed our Father. That He loves us. That he knows each of his children intimately, that he cares deeply about each one, and that we are truly all alike on to him.” And then he says, elder Gerard Caray, he says, “I pray that like him, we may love others because that is the right thing to do. Not because they are doing the right thing, or fitting the right mold.” And that my friends, I also want us to remember includes you. You don’t have to do it the right way. You don’t have to fit the right mold. You are loved, and valued, and complete, and worthy, and amazing and inspiring. Just because you exist. Just because you have a beating heart that goes for all of God’s children. And that includes you, too. All right, sending you so much love to the missionaries all over the world the return missionaries sending you kindness and enjoyment for this new year. Wherever you’re at if you’re in hibernation mode or motivated. It’s all good and wonderful and fine. Okay, everyone have the most amazing week and we’ll talk to you next time.
28:59 Serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints can present a unique set of challenges. And many of those challenges you might not even see coming. So you’re gonna want a unique set of solutions. It’s easier than you think to overcome worry and anxiety, serve the successful mission you’ve always dreamed up and navigate your post mission experience with confidence. That is why I created some amazing free goodies that I’m sharing in my show notes. Maybe you want to grab the free training for preparing missionaries, my video course for RMS or maybe you and I should hop on a free strategy call. If you’re ready to take your preparedness to serve or your preparedness to come home to the next level. Then go grab one of those freebies. And in the meantime, no matter which part of the mission experience you were involved in. Just now that Jennie the LDS mission coach is thinking about you every single day.