I was in a class at college where my professor was trying to make a point that most people are just average and will live average lives, and thats ok. We don’t need to set ourselves up for disappointment by expecting something more. We just need to do our part.
To make his point he said, “For instance I could point to anyone this room, ask you to give me a short summary of your life and I bet it will most likely be average.”
Then he made the mistake of pointing right at me. I immediately felt my face flush and it wasn’t because I was being singled out. It was because I knew I was going to disappoint him. He asked my name. I gave it. He asked where I was from and I answered. “Ok average Amber from average New Mexico give us a short description of your life up until now.”
As the words came out of my mouth I watched as the professor’s eyes got bigger and bigger. “Well, I was born to hippie parents who converted to the Mormon Church. I was raised in the middle of nowhere in a home with no plumbing or electricity. I was one of 13 children, 8 of whom were adopted. One was a boy with special needs and 6 were adopted from an orphanage in Calcutta, India.”
The room was uncomfortably silent when I finished speaking. The professor stared at me with his mouth half open, eyes wide… but then they started to narrow. “Oh, haha, very funny. Now what’s your real story?” I nervously looked around to see if others thought I was joking and my face got so hot I wanted to put my cold hand up to my cheek. He tried again, “You are kidding right?” I let out a hesitant laugh, “Nope, all true.”
Then as if to test my story he started asking question after question. To my relief he smiled and laughed in astonishment with every answer. His lecture went completely out the door as he spent the remainder of the class asking different questions about my childhood. Classmates joined in the questioning and I answered despite how bizarre it felt to become the center of attention during a college lecture. As class ended my professor smiled, “Well, above average Amber, you totally proved me wrong.”
I could have proven him wrong without telling him a single thing about my childhood though. I believe that if you are a Child of God you are WAY above average. And, news flash, we are all children of GOD! We are all filled with His light and we fill the measure of our creation by doing everything we can to brighten that light and brighten the light of others.
If we look at the small snapshot of our lives it may be easy to believe we are just ordinary. BUT this body is not where we began.
5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee… Jeremiah 1:5 (KJV)
29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Romans 8:29 (KJV)
Our spirits have lived longer than and have done more than we can even imagine. Before we came to earth, our spirits lived together with Heavenly Father in a spirit world where we worked, learned and progressed as much as we could. But, we needed the opportunity to have a mortal experience and we needed somewhere to go to have that experience.
It was because we were a WHOLE LOT MORE than average, that out of love and the desire to help us reach our amazing potential, our Savior Jesus Christ created this world for us.
And because we are a WHOLE LOT MORE than average, He then offered himself. He knew we would make mistakes in our mortal experiences but He loved us so much that He was willing to suffer beyond imagination so we could repent, be forgiven, and receive resurrection and eternal life.
4 ¶ Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:4-5 (KJV)
He wanted us to be able to come back to Him, to be together again. We were so grateful because we wanted this too. It must have been exciting the day we left or watched our loved ones leave the spirit world to come to Earth… hoping we would accept our Saviors sacrifice.
Imagine what you could say if someone pointed at you, asked for a summary of your life, BUT you could remember what you accomplished, the important role you played, who you were before you came to earth. It would not be average. It would be phenomenal.
When the Savior sees us He sees our spirits from the beginning of existence all the way to what they can become in the eternities.
An example of this is found in Mark 10:21 (KJV) when a young man came to Jesus to ask what he must do to receive eternal life. Jesus did not know him as others may have. This likely was their first meeting… but He KNEW him, He recognized the light of his spirit. This is clear in one sentence, “Then Jesus beholding him loved him.”
When Jesus “beheld him” He recognized who he was from long before and his love came from knowing who he was in the world before this one. I also believe that if Jesus beheld each of us, the experience wouldn’t be all that different.
You probably can’t tell but when I started to write this I wanted to write about Charity. But I went this direction because the foundation of Charity is to begin to understand why the Savior loves each of us personally.
Charity is described as the pure love of Christ but I offer a deeper definition in this quote:
“Walking with the Savior will change the way you look at others. He will teach you to see them through His eyes, which means seeing past an outward appearance and into the heart. This is how the Savior was able to see Simon not as an impulsive fisherman but as Peter, the rock-solid future leader of His church. This is how He was able to see Zacchaeus not as the corrupt tax collector others saw but as an honest, upright son of Abraham. If you walk with the Savior long enough, you will learn to see everyone as a child of God with limitless potential, regardless of what his or her past may have been. And if you continue walking with the Savior, you will develop another gift He has- the ability to help people see that potential in themselves.” (Henry B. Eyring, “Walk With Me” April 2017 General Conference)
To have Charity we may need to start with ourselves. Have you ever knelt down in humble heartfelt prayer and asked, “Heavenly Father how do you see me? Will you show me?” He may not show you the entire picture but He will show you His love, He will help you recognize things you need to repent of and He will give you steps to gently guide you on the path to becoming the person He sees.
Our Charity will also grow as we seek to see the light in others. We can practice this in with our family members in our own homes, at church, and school, and even with people we’ve never met. Before we judge or loose patience, stop an ask Heavenly Father to love as He loves and see as He sees.
As we do this the result will be what is described in Mathew 5:16 (KJV)
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Unkind thoughts, words and judgments will only dim our lights. Our light will only shine as bright as the light we seek to see in others. As we see light in others and treat them accordingly they will begin to see that light in themselves and they in turn will begin to share their light and on and on.
We are way above average. We are loved beyond comprehension. We have potential beyond comprehension. I know this love and potential come through and because of our Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ. We lived before we came here and were faithful and noble spirits, we came here for a small but important part of our existence, and after we are done here we will see our Savior again, He will look into our eyes… behold us… love us... and we will remember who we were before we came to earth. My prayer is that when that day comes we will be filled with joy and not regret.