What You Are Meant to Be


Margaret D. Nadauld
Adapted from an October 2000 general conference address.
You inherited great potential for good from your heavenly home. May you grow to become all you were meant to be.

It is a remarkable blessing to be a daughter of God today! We have the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are blessed to have the priesthood restored to the earth. We are led by a prophet of God who holds all of the priesthood keys. I love and honor President Gordon B. Hinckley and all of our brethren who bear the priesthood worthily.

I am inspired by the lives of good and faithful women. I know our Heavenly Father loves His daughters very much. From the beginning of time the Lord has placed significant trust in them. He has sent us to earth “for such a time as this” (Esth. 4:14) to perform a grand and glorious mission. The Doctrine and Covenants teaches about the “noble and great ones.”

“Even before they were born, they, with many others, received their first lessons in the world of spirits and were prepared to come forth in the due time of the Lord to labor in his vineyard for the salvation of the souls of men” (D&C 138:56).

What a wonderful vision that gives us of our purpose on earth! We must always remember that where much is given, much is required (see D&C 82:3). Our Heavenly Father asks His daughters to walk in virtue, live in righteousness, so we can fulfill our life’s mission and His purposes. He wants us to be successful, and He will help us as we seek His help.

Divine differences

That women were born into this earth female was determined long before mortal birth, as were the divine differences of males and females. I love the clarity of the teachings of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve in the Proclamation on the Family. They state: “Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.” From that statement we are taught that every girl was feminine and female in spirit long before her mortal birth.

God sent women to earth with some qualities in extra capacity. President James E. Faust of the First Presidency observed that femininity “is the divine adornment of humanity. It finds expression in your … capacity to love, your spirituality, delicacy, radiance, sensitivity, creativity, charm, graciousness, gentleness, dignity, and quiet strength. It is manifest differently in each girl or woman, but each … possesses it. Femininity is part of your inner beauty” (Ensign, May 2000, 96).

Our lives reflect that for which we seek. If, with all our hearts, we truly seek to know the Savior and be more like Him, we shall be, for He is our divine, eternal Brother. But He is more than that. He is our precious Savior, our dear Redeemer. I ask, with Alma of old, “Have ye received his image in your countenances?” (Alma 5:14).

Recognizing them

You can recognize young women who are grateful to be daughters of God by their outward appearance. They understand their responsibility over their bodies and treat them with dignity. They care for their bodies as they would a holy temple, for they understand the Lord’s teaching: “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” (1 Cor. 3:16). Young women who love God would never abuse or deface a temple with graffiti. Nor would they throw open the doors of that holy, dedicated edifice and invite the world to look on. How even more sacred is the body, for it was not made by man. It was created by God. We are the stewards, the keepers of the cleanliness and purity with which it came from heaven. “If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are” (1 Cor. 3:17).

Grateful daughters of God guard their bodies carefully, for they know they are the wellspring of life and they reverence life. They don’t uncover their bodies to find favor with the world. They walk in modesty to be in favor with their Father in Heaven. They know He loves them dearly.

You can recognize young women who are grateful to be daughters of God by their attitudes. They know the errand of angels is given to women, and they desire to be on God’s errand, to love His children and minister to them; to teach them the doctrines of salvation; to call them to repentance; to save them in perilous circumstances; to guide them in the performance of His work; to deliver His messages. They understand they can bless their Father’s children in their homes and neighborhoods and beyond. Young women who are grateful to be daughters of God bring glory to His name.

You can recognize young women who are grateful to be daughters of God by their abilities. They fulfill their divine potential and magnify their God-given gifts. They are capable, strong young women who bless families, serve others, and understand the glory of God is intelligence. They are young women who embrace enduring virtues in order to be all our Father needs them to be. The prophet Jacob spoke of some of those virtues when he said their “feelings are exceedingly tender and chaste and delicate before God, which thing is pleasing unto God” (Jacob 2:7).

Grateful daughters of God love Him and will teach others to love Him without reservation and without resentment. They will grow up to be like the mothers of Helaman’s youthful army who had great faith and “had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them” (Alma 56:47).

Motherhood

When you observe kind and gentle mothers in action, you will see women of great strength. You will observe that their families can feel a spirit of love and respect and safety when they are near her as she seeks the companionship of the Holy Ghost and the guidance of His Spirit. You will see they are blessed by her wisdom and good judgment. The husbands and children, whose lives these mothers bless, will contribute to the stability of societies all over this world. Grateful daughters of God learn truths from their mothers and grandmothers. They teach their daughters the joyful art of creating a home. They seek fine educations for their children and have a thirst for knowledge themselves. They help their children develop skills they can use in serving others. They know that the way they have chosen is not the easy way, but they know it is absolutely worth their finest efforts.

They understand what Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the Quorum of the Twelve meant as he said, “When the real history of mankind is fully disclosed, will it feature the echoes of gunfire or the shaping sound of lullabies? The great armistices made by military men or the peacemaking of women in homes and in neighborhoods? Will what happened in cradles and kitchens prove to be more controlling than what happened in congresses?” (Ensign, May 1978, 10–11).

Grateful daughters of God know it is the nurturing nature of women that can bring everlasting blessings, and they live to cultivate this divine attribute. Surely when a woman reverences motherhood, her children will arise up and call her blessed (see Prov. 31:28).

Always remember that women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are coarse; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity.

Reaching your potential

How I pray that every young woman will grow up to be all the wonderful things she is meant to be. I hope that as a daughter of God you honor the priesthood and sustain worthy priesthood holders. I hope you understand your own great capacity for strength in the timeless virtues that some would scoff at in a modern liberated world for women.

May you understand the great potential for good you inherited from your heavenly home. We, as women, must nourish our gentleness, our nurturing nature, our innate spirituality and sensitivity, and our bright minds. Celebrate the fact that girls are different from boys. Be thankful for the position you have in God’s grand plan. And always remember what President Hinckley said: “Woman is God’s supreme creation. Only after the earth had been formed, after the day had been separated from the night, after the waters had been divided from the land, after vegetation and animal life had been created; and after man had been placed on the earth, was woman created; and only then was the work pronounced complete and good” (Ensign, Sept. 1988, 11).

Remember all that you are and must be, all that you were prepared to be in royal courts on high by God Himself. Thankfully consider how you can use with gratitude the priceless gifts you have been given to lift others to higher thinking and nobler aspirations.

[photos] Photography by Steve Bunderson. Posed by models