by Elder Brian K. Taylor
In the Disney cartoon Sleeping Beauty, three fairies bestow gifts upon a newborn child to help and benefit her during her life. I have thought about the three gifts that the fairies chose to give the child deeming them as blessings. In the end, I have to disagree with the three gifts the fairies share. The only useful one is the last one to counteract the spell the child was placed under. If I were to have a child, what gifts or talents would I want that child to possess?
I have changed my mind many times about the answer to this question. But in my opinion the most important things any person can possess is a sense of self and belonging. The sense of self is powerful when one comes to know he or she is a child of God. The sense of belonging somewhere fits in with a basic human need that we are social beings. Even those of us who retreat into self-made cells of isolation, we are made to need other people and to have other people need us. Like it or not.
A couple weeks ago I attended a gathering that was designed to build each member up. To encourage and uplift the attendees. We were asked to write our names on the bottom of a piece of paper and then give the paper to the person on our right. That person would write a nice quality about us and then pass the paper to the person on their right. The process would continue until each piece of paper made its way around the table being filled up with nice things about us. When it returned to us we had a paper (or two) filled with encouragement and edification. It was a nice activity. But those kind of activities are drops in the self-esteem bucket. Nice and flattering words tend to hit our hearts like rain on the desert soil. It’s nice. It’s needed. But it’s fleeting.
I say the only way we can fill our bucket of self-worth is to listen to God tell us these things. We have to really listen though and that is the kicker. If I had a child, my wish would be that my child could see themselves as God sees them. To be confident in the love our Heavenly Father wants them to feel.
My second wish would be they would feel confident that they belong. They have purpose. They are needed.
But the gift of song and beauty are nice gifts, too. I guess.