Seeing Ourselves through God’s Eyes Helps Us Find Our True Identity

Contributed By Sarah Harris, Church News staff writer

  • 23 May 2017

Sister Terry Echo Hawk speaks on her conversion experience during a breakout session of BYU Women’s Conference on Friday, May 5, 2017.  Photo by Valerie Johnson.

Article Highlights

  • By learning to see ourselves as God sees us, we can know our true identities.
  • Scripture study, temple work, and the sacrament are all keys to conversion.

“For me now, knowing I am a covenant daughter of God, a disciple of Jesus Christ, and being converted unto the Lord means knowing I know who I am.” —Terry Echo Hawk, women's conference speaker

Sister Terry Echo Hawk, wife of General Authority Seventy Elder Larry J. Echo Hawk, spoke at BYU Women’s Conference on May 5 about elements of the gospel that can help people find their true identity through conversion.

She said conversion is a journey that begins with a desire to know Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

“Conversion is a process,” Sister Echo Hawk said. “It is a conscious decision to turn toward God in all of our thoughts, actions, and desires.”

The most important way to turn to God is through repentance, Sister Echo Hawk said.

“Our repentance is one of the keys to conversion and finding our identity,” she said. “It is a gift we have the opportunity and responsibility to use in order to access the power of the Redeemer in our lives.”

Other keys Sister Echo Hawk said have helped in her journey of conversion are scripture study and prayer. She said that as an avid runner, just as she can get irritated when she can’t go for a run, her heart and soul are “weakened” when she can‘t study her scriptures every day.

“Study and prayer are living waters to my soul,” she said. “They keep me safe and anchored.”

Sister Echo Hawk said that the temple has also strengthened her conversion, especially when she prepares the names of her ancestors for temple ordinances.

“Great blessings are promised us, sisters, as we link our ancestors and act as proxy for them in the sacred ordinances of the temple,” she said. “This work also fills our lamps with the oil of conversion and helps us know and remember who we are.”

Sister Echo Hawk also pointed out that writing down spiritual impressions can enhance conversion.

The director leads the choir during the opening session of BYU Women’s Conference on Thursday, May 4. Photo by Nate Edwards, BYU Photo.

Women gather in the Marriott Center on the Provo campus for the opening session of BYU Women’s Conference on Thursday, May 4. Photo by Nate Edwards, BYU Photo.

“Another key for me is treasuring up and remembering in a small-paged journal the times when I received a personal witness from my Father and my Savior that They are near,” she said.

Sister Echo Hawk said there are many more gospel keys to finding one’s true identity, including partaking worthily of the sacrament each week.

“There is real power in our covenants when we carefully observe them and purposefully remember Him,” she said. “For me now, knowing I am a covenant daughter of God, a disciple of Jesus Christ, and being converted unto the Lord means knowing I know who I am.”

She said she and her husband keep a picture in their study of Jesus Christ, to which they attach names referring to the Savior in the scriptures. She said they have now attached more than 130 names—a number she is sure will continue to grow.

“When I see and ponder these names, I realize He is many things,” Sister Echo Hawk said. “Each name makes me more grateful for Him. Each name makes me love Him more. Each name teaches me of all He accomplished during His mission while performing the sacred Atonement for us. Each name helps me want to change and follow Him more completely.”

Sister Terry Echo Hawk speaks on her conversion experience during a breakout session of BYU Women’s Conference on Friday, May 5, 2017. Photo by Valerie Johnson.

Sister Jean B. Bingham and Sister Sharon Eubank sit on the stand with other leaders prior to the opening session of BYU Women’s Conference on Thursday, May 4. Photo by Nate Edwards, BYU Photo.

Women from around the world gather on the BYU campus for the annual Women’s Conference, cosponsored by the Relief Society, on Thursday, May 4. Photo by Aislynn Edwards, BYU Photo.

Women walk across the BYU campus during the annual BYU Women’s Conference, cosponsored by the Relief Society, on Thursday, May 4. Photo by Aislynn Edwards, BYU Photo.

Women walk across the BYU campus during the annual BYU Women’s Conference, cosponsored by the Relief Society, on Thursday, May 4. Photo by Aislynn Edwards, BYU Photo.

Women take notes during a breakout session of BYU Women’s Conference held on the Provo, Utah, campus May 4–5. Photo by Aislynn Edwards, BYU Photo.

Women attend a breakout session of the annual BYU Women’s Conference, cosponsored by the Relief Society, on Thursday, May 4. Photo by Aislynn Edwards, BYU Photo.

Women walk across the BYU campus during the annual BYU Women’s Conference, cosponsored by the Relief Society, on Thursday, May 4. Photo by Aislynn Edwards, BYU Photo.

Women attend a breakout session of the annual BYU Women’s Conference, cosponsored by the Relief Society, on Friday, May 5. Photo by Aislynn Edwards, BYU Photo.

Women walk across the BYU campus during the annual BYU Women’s Conference, cosponsored by the Relief Society, on Friday, May 5. Photo by Aislynn Edwards, BYU Photo.