“The Earth shall be in distress nations with perplexity, the seas and the waves roaring men’s hearts failing them for fear.” Luke 21
This is the description that Christ gave to His disciples about our day. Today's current events make it clear that Christ saw our day and saw how hard emotionally it would be for us. Because he saw our day, he knew we would need help to find peace. He is aware of our needs and has sent us aid in forms of each other, scriptures and prophets to help guide us to peace.
Finding your peace and hope has never been more important. Never before have we see our entire world in such distress, physically and emotionally.
The president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, President Russell M. Nelson specifically addressed this scripture in our day. He also did a short video on it that you can watch here: Men's Hearts Will Faith Them
"What we’re seeing is a prediction that in these latter days people will be afraid. Men’s hearts are failing and that includes women because they forget their identity and their purpose. "
Having our "hearts fail us" means that we lose our faith and belief that things will get better. President Nelson teaches us that we specifically lose our faith when we do two things:
Forgot Our Identity- Who am I?
Forgot Our Purpose - What is my Purpose?
Trials in our day are not going to go away. In fact, President Nelson recently said “The road ahead will always be bumpy, but the destination will be serene and secure. So, fasten your seat belt, hang on through the bumps, and do what’s right, and your rewards will be eternal.”
So if our earth is going to continue on this bumpy path we need to find a way to guard ourselves against losing hope and that is living your identity and purpose. In order to not lose your identity and purpose, you need to know what it is. Here is some information to help you if you are struggling to find it.
Who am I?
There is great power in understanding your identity. Knowing your true identity will shape your thoughts and actions.
Our world contains more information than any other period of history. This is a blessing but can also be a curse. With the overload of information, it can sometimes be hard to distinguish truth.
The beautiful thing is that you get to decide what you want to believe. You get to decide what you want to be.
I choose to believe that we all share the same core origins. I would argue that the stronger the foundation of your identity that is rooted in being a child of God, the stronger your self-worth becomes. The stronger your sense of self-worth becomes, the less insecure, defensive, and fearful you will be.
This is my core identity:
I am a Child of God.
I have a spirit that existed before this life.
I came to earth to obtain a body to be tested to grow.
I have 100% worth.
I have unlimited potential.
I have the ability to seek knowledge.
I have the ability and the right to make choices.
I have a will to master. I can control thoughts, emotions, appetites, and passions.
I have a right to worship God and can seek power from him to fulfill my destiny.
These identities can not be changed. They are the base of who I am. These define my self-worth. I believe every human being shares this core identity.
Sometimes people make the mistake of thinking their identity comes from how they are experiencing this life or the roles they play. For instance, I am a mother, I am a life coach, I am a wife, I am girlfriend, I am a sister.
The problem with using these roles as defining your identity is that you will never be perfect in these roles, you will always feel lacking. If I am basing my self-worth on my success, will power, productivity that is a bumpy foundation and I will always find myself feeling less and this is where I will see my "heart failing".
My identity as a Child of God can’t become MORE “child of God” by my own merits, and I can’t become LESS “child of God” by my mistakes. I just am a child of God. The divine was given to me without anything I did to earn it so I can't unearn it.
Identifying as a Child of God with 100% worth will always give me hope during times of distress.
What is my purpose?
Once you do the work on understanding your identity then deciding your purpose gets a lot easier.
Decide your purpose in one sentence. My purpose is to help others see their true worth, Having a purpose helps me stay aligned to my true-self no matter what I am doing in my life.
We have to be careful about how we judge others in how they choose to live their purpose. Everybody has a role to play and everybody's role is equally important. I actually love the thought that we get many roles and purposes and that is part of our growth.
To give you an example of the difference between our identity and purpose I'll share with you a question I was recently asked.
Somebody asked, "How can I be an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints while at the same time supporting my son who is gay?" This was an easy question for me to answer. My core identity is not being LDS it is being a child of God and how I want to best experience life as a child of God on this earth is being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Living Christ's gospel as a member of the LDS faith actually helps me best live my purpose as the supportive mom I want to be. When I distance myself from Christ's gospel, I find myself having less love and acceptance for others and that is not how I want to show up as a mom.
See how this example separates your identity and your life purpose? Your identity is who you are and that doesn't change, but your purpose is how you choose to experience life and that is how we use our agency (ability to make choices) and this where we learn and grow as human beings- this is the reason we are all on this earth.
You have the choice of how you want to think about your purpose, how you show up, and how you want to feel about your choices. Our circumstances in life will always be changing, but knowing we have the power to choose how we feel about them is powerful.
The Lord was very clear that He wants us to experience peace on this earth and knowing your identity and purpose will give you the peace he talks about in John 14: 27 He states "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."