Monday, February 22, 2010

Who I Know I Am

There's a new show coming on in a few weeks called "Who Do You Think You Are?". It's an American take on a British program that examines different celebrities' ancestral heritage. Included on the list of celebrities are Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew Broderick, Brooke Shields and Spike Lee.

Spike Lee learns that he has Caucasian members of his family and the trailer shows him, flabbergasted, meeting with a white cousin.

Brooke Shields finds out she has nobility in her blood and she is taken to France where the records show her lineage.

I love genealogy and am inspired by my heritage. It's wonderful to know the family from which I am descended.

As I watched this ad though, I couldn't help but think about the one thing the essence of the show was missing: our divine heritage.

Oh I know that national television is not going to be the place where we hear that we are all sons and daughters of a loving Heavenly Father, that we are his children, that Jesus is literally our spiritual older brother (and with that, so is Lucifer). I know that.

But, what if one of these celebrities learns they are descended from someone like Hitler or Stalin or Genghis Khan? So much of the show focuses on what it means to have the family that you have, and I had to wonder ~ does it really matter, if instead we know who we really are?

I love knowing that I have a bit of a pioneer heritage. But I also know that cousins to those family members who joined the church in the early days were some who were bitterly opposed to it. Where does my value lie? Is it that I know I'm related to Brigham Young or Abraham Lincoln or Tom Hanks? Or am I less because I know there were others who were scoundrels, adulterers, and the like?

More than knowing the history of who I am, I love knowing that, no matter what that history says, I have divine lineage. There are no generation gaps between me and my heavenly parents. I am first-generation child of God.

And that, to me, speaks volumes about my worth, how I can and should conduct myself, and who I can look to to pattern my life after.

What an amazing thing to have such a simple answer to the often complex question of: Who am I?

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