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I have thought a lot over the years about labels that we as people give ourselves. I have talked extensively to my kids about not labeling themselves, or at least keeping the most important label, the most important one. Recently I was listening to a young adult broadcast that my Church did in which the prophet for my Church talked about labeling as well. This brought to mind all the years of pondering on this subject that I have done, so I thought I would share my thought about it here. You can also watch or listen to the broadcast here.

We put labels on so many things, just as the quote above – we label jars. We also label streets, businesses, schools, countries, etc. All of these labels are necessary and help us find locations or things we are looking for. Can you imagine buying cans of food with no labels on them! That would be an interesting treasure hunt at dinner time. You would either end up with a really great meal, or a complete disaster.

As humans however, we tend to also label ourselves and others. I am not saying that we shouldn’t, I believe there is one label that we all should maintain as our first and most important label. But other labels don’t really describe any one person fully. However, there are labels that are necessary. Doctor for instance is a label that helps describe a person who we can go to when we are ailing. Those labels even have sub labels. We wouldn’t go see a foot doctor to help relieve ear pain. But the person who is labeled doctor isn’t just a doctor. I know several doctors who are spouses, parents, grandparents, runners, hikers, members of the military, Church goers, service oriented, and participates in community activities and support events and activities in a variety of fields.

In this broadcast (link above), I gained a new about labels. President Nelson commented on how restrictive labels are. That was a new angle of perspective for me. I have always told my kids don’t label yourself with one exception, but I never really discussed why. When we label ourselves or are labeled by others a certain perception is automatically formed. Each one of us has a personal perception of various words used as labels. If I were to say Democrat or Republican, classifying an individual, each one of us would immediately classify that person in our mind, without ever even getting to know that person. In some instances, we would be drawn to that person, wanting to get to know them better. In other instances, we would be instantly on guard, watching that person’s every move, looking for some justification for our feelings toward them, for our judgement.

This world likes to place labels on everything, especially people. We judge people based on those labels, and we have become a nation, a world, divided based upon labels. Because with those labels comes animosity toward others, it doesn’t have to create animosity, but that seems to be the direction a lot of labels end up taking us. The judgements we make create emotions that may or may not be valid. And those emotions, often anger or hate with many of the more common labels today, tend to propel us forward to do things we might not otherwise do. But there is a solution!

The only label, and the most universal label that exists is Child of God. What if we saw others as children of God, just like ourselves? What would change about our behavior towards them? What if we saw every person we met as someone important to God, including ourselves? Would that change how we treat them? Would we be more inclined to listen first rather than judge? What if every human life held the same value and had the same opportunity to contribute? I am not saying that you shouldn’t listen to your gut in sketchy situations. Everyone is a child of God, but some people are not out to talk and be kind. But the vast majority of people out there just want to be seen, listened to, and valued. Whether we agree on every subject or not we can always find common ground if we look for it. That common ground starts with the biggest label we should all carry – Child of God.

I have thought a long time about labeling, and I try hard not to label, but I know that as I hear certain words or phrases associated with people I tend to judge based upon that label. So, this week I will be paying attention to the emotions that certain labeling words creates in me. I want to stop judging people based upon labels and try harder to listen and get to know the real person rather than the label.


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I was pondering today about the different callings that I have had in my Church. I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In our Church we receive callings from our Bishop, who is the head of our ward, and who also was called to do his job. We serve for a time, no specific time per se, although some callings have a general timeframe that you can kind of count on. We believe that the callings come from our Heavenly Father, and I know that as I have faithfully served in my callings, I have been blessed with inspiration not only to do my job, but in my own personal life as I have served others in the capacity that I have been asked to serve. It’s amazing how the Lord is mindful of us as a whole as well as individuals and blesses us in any and all efforts that we put forth to follow Him and help in any capacity whether it be our calling or not.

I have had many callings in different areas of my Church, working with the adult sisters in Relief Society, working with the youth through the Young Women’s program as well as through the Sunday School and Seminary programs, working with the Primary children in many capacities. All of these callings have stretched me, taught me, and helped me in so many other aspects of my life. From organizing large events, to confidence in helping in the school system through volunteering and substitute teaching, to playing the piano for school concerts, and so much more.

But there has been one calling that I have had more regularly throughout my time as an adult than any other calling. Primary Pianist. Even when I have other callings, I still have had the opportunity to play the piano for the primary children. There have been times when I have loved this calling, and times when I have really wished I could do something different. We are not required to stay in any specific calling, if we need to be released, we can ask to be, but I know how hard it is to find people to help, and primary pianist is especially difficult as not too many people play the piano to begin with, so I try to be willing to serve wherever I am needed.

Today as I thought about this opportunity over the years, I am grateful. I have grown to love the songs the Primary children sing, and the lessons they teach these kids in a fun way. They learn about who they are – Children of God, where they lived before they came here, where they are going when their time here is finished, and how to live a good life. They also learn about the beauty of this earth, and why it was created, that God loves them and is waiting to help them through good times and hard times, and that families are not only important, but central to God’s plan for us, not only in this life, but in all of eternity. Music is an interesting thing, it can bring the Spirit when it is good uplifting music, or it can drive the Spirit away leaving us feeling dark and unsettled depending on the type of music we listen to.

Today is no exception. I have the opportunity to play the piano and listen to these kids sing. I am grateful today as well, that the opportunity to play so frequently reminds me on a regular basis the importance of practicing! I love music, I love playing, but sometimes life gets busy, and I forget to practice. So, to conclude today’s blog, I will share with you several of my favorite primary songs.

I Am a Child of God

My Heavenly Father Loves Me

Families Can Be Together Forever


OK, I am going to get on my soapbox today, or at least express my opinion. It probably won’t be popular with about half of the people in America, but I have every right to my opinion as they do to theirs. So, I am going to express it.

I have been watching on the news, well, reading a lot of headlines, and then reading the articles associated, about the question of how to define a woman. This has become frustrating to me, as I didn’t realize we had slipped so far from reality as to not be able to define a simple term like woman. But I have also read a number of articles recently, that have laid out before audiences what a woman is, and so I thought I would throw out my thoughts as well.

First, there is the genetics of it all. We each were born with either male anatomy or female anatomy. Now, I realize that 0.05% of the population are born with both, or neither being dominant, and I know that can create confusion and frustration in their lives and the lives of their families. We need to give assistance, aide and compassion to those who fall into this 0.05% as well as their family members. But the other 95.95% of the population was born with distinct, physical attributes of either male or female, consequently, there isn’t any reason to be confused physically. Physically speaking, on the most basic of levels, women have the capacity to carry and bear children, men do not. Women’s bodies are physically different than men’s in that they perform differently in physical competitions as well, as we have seen recently on the news in the sports world. The dictionary, which is also not confused, defines a woman as an adult female being. Not confusing.

Now, on to my beliefs. I believe that God created us in our specific genders for a reason, in His image as human beings (eyes, ears, hands, legs, etc.), and that He loves each one of us individually, as all good parents do. We were created spiritually first, as we now physically appear. We weren’t created as either/or and became male or female during the conception process. As a woman, I am a daughter of God. I have a Heavenly Father who created me as female, who created my husband as a male, and who created each one of my children, His children as the genders that they are, before any one of us came to earth. As a woman, I have been given the opportunity to bear and rear children, my husband has been given the opportunity to provide for and rear children. We work hand in hand, as equal partners, in our efforts to raise our children to be good, productive, hardworking citizens in their families, their communities, and our country.

Families are an essential part of our growth and development and having a mother and a father both in the home is the most ideal circumstance for raising children. Women and Men have different attributes, different views, and different abilities and capabilities, and that combination is ideal for raising children. Having two parents also alleviates some of the burden so that not one person has to bear the whole load of providing, rearing, teaching, etc. This is the ideal. I have also noticed that the tradition family, which is the core of a good society has been under attack for the last several years, government officials in many countries claiming that they could do a better job raising children than parents could. This has been proven wrong by science on a number of different occasions. Children need parents who are wholly invested, which the government could never do. Obviously, not every family who has a father and mother are in ideal circumstances, and because of abuse, death, and other circumstances, sometimes the safest place to be is in a one parent family but having even one parent is better than none at all.

I believe that I was divinely created as a woman, and that all people on this earth were created by a loving Heavenly Father, as the gender they are, and that He is acutely aware of each one of us, our struggles, our desires, our hopes and dreams, and that He wants to be involved in our lives every day. I do not believe that you can alter your physical appearance here on earth enough to change it in eternity, and that someday we will stand before God, as His child, just as He created us.