My Heavenly Father Loves Me
Hannah P., Minnesota, USA
I am Hannah. I am 18. And I am a cancer survivor.
I took a walk recently and was reminded of just how infinite our Savior’s love is. Even if I gave Him everything, it would never compare to His love for me.
I passed by people who smiled and waved.
I came to a park, where I swung on the swings.
I sat on a bench and watched a bird gather grass clippings for a nest, a butterfly land at my feet and flutter its wings, the cotton fall from the trees and be caught in the breeze, and a spiderweb glisten in the sunlight.
I listened to the wind rustle the leaves on the trees, the birds sing, the water from the lake wash up on the sand, and a bee buzz its way through the grass.
I felt the sun’s warm rays on my face, arms, and legs. I felt the wind brush against me, cooling my skin and rushing through my hair. Then I thought of what a miracle that was. I have hair. I felt my heart pump and my pulse slow down as I rested.
Then I just thought. I thought of what has happened and what may happen. I pictured myself years from now with the ones I love most laughing and playing in a similar park. I don’t remember everything I thought, but it doesn’t really matter, because in the end the song “My Heavenly Father Loves Me” (Children’s Songbook, 228–29) consumed my thoughts. I repeated it over and over, and I felt one last thing: peaceful, true, eternal, and amazing love.
And that is what it all comes down to—love.
Remember Your Worth
Brittany J., Indiana, USA
I was recently working on a project about body image and the media. I visited a local mall to interview dressing room attendants, who frequently see how people view their body image, to discuss my project. However, when I got there I started to feel self-conscious. I lost courage and felt like I could approach them only if I were prettier or skinnier. So instead, I thought I’d take some pictures of advertisements throughout the mall. But then I started feeling too self-conscious for that, too. I felt like people would judge me or think I was weird.
When I left the mall, I had made no progress on my project. The car ride home was long and miserable because the whole time I was just wishing I looked different. Suddenly I realized that the visit was completely related to my project. Even though I didn’t talk to anyone or take any pictures, I left the mall feeling worthless. I could see how I had allowed the media’s overbearing influence to overwhelm me. But it doesn’t need to be that way.
I want you to know that you are beautiful. You are you for a reason. God made you the way you are because He has a special purpose for you in life. Don’t get discouraged by the way the world may look at you. Don’t let worldly images affect the way you see yourself.
I encourage you to be happy with yourself and try to become the person you want to be—not someone the world thinks you should be. Please believe me when I say that you are beautiful. Remember that when God sees you—He sees your worth.
I Could Go to the Temple
Simon K., Uganda
When I was a new convert, I attended a class where a missionary couple taught about the temple. As the elder taught, he mentioned that in order to receive exaltation, you needed to attend the temple to receive temple ordinances. I did not even allow him to finish before I asked, “Do you mean those of us who live many miles away from the temple will never receive exaltation?”
In an instant, the teacher walked toward me. He placed both his hands on my shoulders and, looking straight into my eyes, declared, “If you live the gospel, you will enter the temple.”
I wondered how true his words could be. If all the belongings of my family were sold, the money would not be enough to buy the ticket to the temple and back, so I did not take him seriously.
A few years later I was called on a mission. Guess where? Cape Town, South Africa. I would have the opportunity to go through the Johannesburg South Africa Temple before and after my mission. I couldn’t believe it!
I was humbled to recall the words of the elder. I learned never to doubt that “with God all things are possible” (see Mark 10:27).
A Family Not Forgotten
Jack H., Utah, USA
One Sunday in July, I could feel the Spirit in the room as I passed the sacrament. After passing to the people in the back, I checked to make sure everyone had a chance to receive it. I then reverently walked over to the line of the other young men who had finished passing the sacrament.
As the other young men lined up, I looked around and saw a family on the far side of the chapel. I realized that they had not received the sacrament yet. It seemed too late, because the priests stood up and the line started to move. As the young men in front of me took the sacrament, all I could think about was that family and how they didn’t receive the sacrament.
I felt a great urge to break from the line and pass to that family. I knew it was the Holy Ghost telling me to do it, so I left the line and walked down the aisle toward the family near the back. As I grew closer, I felt warmth overcome me. I looked up and saw the family smiling at me. I could feel their appreciation for not forgetting them.
I passed the sacrament to the family even though I felt like everyone in the congregation was looking at me. I could almost sense the Holy Ghost whispering, “Good job.” You don’t need words to know that someone truly cares and appreciates your love and respect for them. All you need to do is a good deed.