I was reading the other day in the Book of Moses and I found something I thought was pretty amazing, yet at the same time so fundamental. Moses is taught a simple principle by God that applies to all of us and teaches us important truths about the nature of God and our relationship with him.
At the beginning of Chapter 1, God appears to Moses, and God spoke to Moses and introduces himself to Moses. “Behold, I am the Lord God Almighty, and Endless is my name; for I am without beginning of days or end of years; and is not this endless?” He tells Moses exactly who he is. And then the very next thing God says to Moses is “And, behold, thou art my son” and again a few verses later, in verse and 6 and verse 7, God calls him “Moses, my son.” After impressing upon Moses, in a way that he cannot misunderstand, exactly who he is as God, God then teaches Moses that he is his son.
This is consistent with basic doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In Preach My Gospel, the first principle taught in the first lesson is “God Is Our Loving Heavenly Father”. The very first thing that missionaries are instructed to teach those they come in contact with is the nature of God and our relationship with him. If God is our loving heavenly father, then that makes each of us children of God. Or as Moses was told, “thou art my son.”
I now teach the Sunbeam class in Primary, a class of 3 and 4 year-olds and the first lesson of the manual is “I Am A Child of God.” This is the first thing that we teach to our youngest children. This is the first thing we want them to understand. That they are children of God, that God is their loving heavenly father.
This is the most basic doctrine of the Church, what we teach first to our children and what we teach first to our investigators. This is what we need to know before we know or understand anything else. I am a Child of God, God is my Father. That relationship is the foundation of everything else we learn and know.
And so, it is so very interesting as we continue the story in the Book of Moses, after God leaves Moses he is visited by Satan and what is the first thing that Satan says to Moses?
“Behold Satan came tempting him, saying: Moses, son of man, worship me.”
The first thing that Satan tries to convince Moses of is that he is a son of man, that he is not a son of God. That basic truth that Moses had just learned, his wonderful relationship with his Father in heaven is the first target of Satan’s lies. Satan seeks to attack that most basic gospel truth, the foundation of our testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
When we realize that this basic gospel truth is the first thing that God taught Moses, the first thing that we teach our youngest children in the church and the first thing that we teach those seeking to learn more about the church, it becomes obvious that this is one of the most important doctrines in the Church. And it is not hard to figure out why this truth is so important. This knowledge should completely reform the way we view ourselves and the way we view all of those around us and the way we view everything else in life.
I know that I am a child of God, and because I know that I know that I have divine potential. No one can ever again convince me that I am worthless, for I know who my father is and who I can become. I also know that we are all children of God, and that I need to reconsider how I treat my brothers and sisters, everyone I come into contact with. All are children of God and share the same divine potential that I do. And because I know that I am a child of God, I know that God has a plan for me and that he loves me and that he wants me to succeed and return to live with him.
I am a child of God,
And he has sent me here,
Has given me an earthly home
With parents kind and dear.
Lead me, guide me, walk beside me,
Help me find the way.
Teach me all that I must do
To live with him someday.
I am a child of God,
And so my needs are great;
Help me to understand his words
Before it grows too late.
I am a child of God.
Rich blessings are in store;
If I but learn to do his will,
I’ll live with him once more.
I am a child of God.
His promises are sure;
Celestial glory shall be mine
If I can but endure.