BYU Devotional: Sarah Coyne, we are of royal birth


Sarah M. Coyne, associate professor of the Department of Family Life, analyzed superheroes and princesses that media portray to imply what it truly means to be royal in her devotional address on Tuesday, May 31.

Sarah Coyne spoke about “The fantasy and the reality of your royal identity” on May, 31 2016.

Coyne just completed a study on the effect of the superhero and princess culture on children. She found that this popular culture set off unrealistic and undesirable expectations from both men and women.

“Batman, Captain America, Ironman and Spider-Man all have some excellent redeeming qualities, yet they pale in comparison with the ultimate superhero: Jesus Christ.”

Heroic attributes stem off of Christ-like actions and true royalty comes from our divine heritage, according to Coyne.


Coyne explained that today’s culture fantasizes superheroes’ masculine qualities which triggers body dissatisfaction and depression in men.

“In the eternities, I cannot imagine everyone walking around looking like they are on steroids!”

God carefully crafted each individual with  a different shape and size as a gift for us and in order to make a magnificent creation. Coyne suggested that those who accept and embrace this gift takes the key step to understanding their royal identity as heirs of God’s kingdom.

The speaker also explained that Jesus Christ contrasts from today’s superhero ideal. He is empathetic, soft, gentle, tender and kind. He goes about defending justice not in an aggressive way that media demonstrates, but with bravery and courage.


Speaking from the experience of living in England and viewing the media coverage about the royal family, Coyne suggested that we are all obsessed with royalty.

One of the reason many people adore royalty is because it resembles our true identity as child of a loving Heavenly King and Queen, explained the associate professor.

Using the words of Sara Crewe from “A Little Princess,” Coyne read, “I am a princess. All girls are. Even if they live in tiny old attics. Even if they dress in rags, even if they aren’t pretty, or smart, or young. They’re still princesses.”

As children of God, everyone is destined to become royalty someday.

Coyne also talked about few fantasies regarding what it means to be a “princess.”

Most often princesses wait for a perfect prince to take her hand and lead her to a happily ever after, but the storyline misleads youth to be concerned about finding Mr. Right. Rather, Coyne said to focus on becoming a princess who the prince will be attracted to.

The speaker explained that becoming an attractive princess doesn’t mean becoming the “thin ideal,” which can be damaging to a girl’s self-worth.

“To the women in this room — I cannot say this strong enough. Love who you are. And part of that means loving your body, with every blemish, stretch mark and perceived flaw,” said Coyne.

Many princesses also are rescued by the prince while they fall asleep.

“Ladies – we are not on this earth to fall asleep,” said Coyne.

God demands women to serve the community, the church, and the family. Coyne advised the audience to receive as much education as possible so that women can learn and grow in the full capacity.

“Even though we are not here to fall asleep we will be rescued by a prince. . . He goes by many names, but one of my favorites is the Prince of Peace. I love my Savior Jesus Christ,” said Coyne.

From our divine heritage to our eternal potential, every single one of us are of royal birth. Coyne concluded that our realization of “royal” identity will change our perspective.

“I hope that realizing that you are ‘royal’ changes the very way that you see yourself; your body; your family; your life; and your destiny.”

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