January Young Women Lesson: Who am I, and who can I become?


Introduce the doctrine

Begin class with this video of a young woman named Pamela Hirwa reading a poem she wrote called Significant in Every Way.  Note that at many church buildings,  you must download the video to your own device from home in order to play the video at church.  You can download here: https://www.lds.org/youth/video/significant-in-every-way?lang=eng 

What makes the poet feel significant? What makes you feel significant? What do we mean when we talk about our divine nature?  How can we be a light unto the world?

Learn Together

Print copies of the following excerpts from Discovering the Divinity Within by former General Primary President Rosemary M. Wixom for each student or project the excerpts one at a time onto a large screen where all the students can see them.  Before inviting the students to silently read each excerpt, provide them with questions to consider as they read the text.  After reading, discuss the students’ answers before moving on to the next excerpt.

Discussion Questions: How did we come to have a divine nature? Why don’t our accomplishments affect our divine nature?

Our divine nature has nothing to do with our personal accomplishments, the status we achieve, the number of marathons we run, or our popularity and self-esteem. Our divine nature comes from God. It was established in an existence that preceded our birth and will continue on into eternity.

Discussion Questions: What does it mean to look “out through a window” instead of “into a mirror”? To take validation “vertically” instead of “horizontally”? How can we apply this counsel in our lives?

Looking out through a window, not just into a mirror, allows us to see ourselves as His. We naturally turn to Him in prayer, and we are eager to read His words and to do His will. We are able to take our validation vertically from Him, not horizontally from the world around us or from those on Facebook or Instagram.

Discussion Question: How does it change your outlook when you ask, “I am a child of God, therefore, what?”

Paul said, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” Often the first Primary song we learn is “I Am a Child of God.” Now it is time to take that beloved phrase “I am a child of God” and add the words “Therefore, what?” We might even ask questions such as these: “What will I do to live my life as a child of God?” “How can I develop the divine nature that is within me?”

Discussion Questions: Why would God need us?  How is “relishing” your potential different than simply “knowing” your potential?

Because you are His child, He knows who you can become. He knows your fears and your dreams. He relishes your potential. He waits for you to come to Him in prayer. Because you are His child, you not only need Him, but He also needs you. Those sitting around you right now in this meeting need you. The world needs you, and your divine nature allows you to be His trusted disciple to all His children. Once we begin to see the divinity in ourselves, we can see it in others.

Discussion Question: How does knowing our divine nature change our perspective about those around us?

The divine nature within us ignites our desire to reach out to others and prompts us to act. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ can help us find the strength to do so. Could the Lord be asking us, “What can be done for this daughter, this brother, this father, or this friend?”

Live what we are learning

Ask the young women to each choose one of the following Personal Progress value experiences to begin working on for the duration of class time and to complete at home over the course of the week: Divine Nature 1, 2, or 6.

April Young-Bennett

April Young Bennett is the author of the Ask a Suffragist book series and host of the Religious Feminism Podcast. Learn more about April at aprilyoungb.com.

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2 Responses

  1. MrShorty says:

    I don’t know if I would bring it up as part of a YM/YW lesson (I don’t know if I would bring it up anywhere where I couldn’t hide behind some anonymity). One of the most interesting statements on divine nature that I have recently read comes from Elder Bednar’s Apr 2013 GC talk “We Believe in Being Chaste”: “Rather, they [intimate relations meaning sexual relations] are in mortality one of the ultimate expressions of our divine nature and potential…” It struck me at the time that our sexuality would even make the list of things that are part of our divine nature, and, since, it has impacted how I see these kinds of discussions about divine nature. For example, if sexuality is part of my divine nature, how do my thoughts/responses change to the question, “How can I develop the divine nature that is within me?”

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