Elder Donald L. Hallstrom: I Am a Child of God

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Elder Donald L. Hallstrom
Elder Donald L. Hallstrom (LDS Church)

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were taught the importance of having a knowledge that each person is a child of God during times of trial.

During the 186th Annual General Conference, Elder Hallstrom of the Presidency of the Seventy said, “This doctrine is so basic, so oft stated, and so instinctively simple that it can seem to be ordinary, when in reality, it is among the most extraordinary knowledge we can obtain.”

He explained various ways members can identify themselves while on earth. According to Hallstrom, these include: place of birth, nationality, language, occupation or hobby.

“These earthly identities are not wrong, unless they superseded or interfere with our eternal identity — that of being a son or daughter of God,” Elder Hallstrom said.

He asked the congregation to consider what their own responses are to the serious trials of life.

“Is our first response to remember who we are— that we are children of a loving God? Is that coupled with absolute trust that He allows us some earthly suffering because He knows it will bless us, like a refiner’s fire, to become like Him and to gain our eternal inheritance?” Elder Hallstrom asked.

Quoting Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve, Elder Hallstrom said, “You can have what you want, or you can have something better.”

Elder Hallstrom spoke of attending a meeting in Monrovia, Africa, after the World Health Organization declared it safe from the 2015 Ebola outbreak, which killed nearly 5,000 people.

“As we entered the hall, the spiritual atmosphere was electric! The Saints were prepared to be taught,” Elder Hallstrom said.

“In one of the most remarkable spiritual experiences of my life, I was taught a profound lesson that day. We live in a world that can cause us to forget who we really are. The more distractions that surround us, the easier it is to treat casually, then ignore, and then forget our connection with God. The Saints in Liberia have little materially, and yet they seem to have everything spiritually.”

Elder Hallstrom taught that the most important thing for Saints to understand about their identity is that they are children of God.

“In today’s world, no matter where we live and no matter what our circumstances are, it is essential that our preeminent identity is as a child of God. Knowing that will allow our faith to flourish, will motivate our continental repentance, and will provide the strength to be ‘steadfast and immovable’ through our mortal journey.”

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