Remember who you are.”

My siblings and I did not leave the house for a date or social activity without hearing those words from my father. I believe it was a tradition handed down from his parents and was just as much a reminder to honor the family name as to be mindful of the name we take upon ourselves every Sunday. Being teenagers, we were likely oblivious to the full significance of both meanings. But there was still a power in those words and in the love we felt behind them.

Now, some thirty years later, I often find myself surrounded by even louder voices trying to make me forget who I am. Not so much in such a way as to tempt me to misbehave. But rather to cause me to forget or deny who I am: a daughter of a loving God, blessed with divine and eternal gifts with which to serve. The voices are everywhere. Not just an invasive and pervasive media and society that continually tell me that in every single way I am “not enough.” But also people in my life for whom, for whatever reason, I will never be enough.

As ingrained as my father’s words are, sometimes I listen to the world. I forget who I am.

A couple of Sundays ago I was standing outside the Primary room, waiting to greet the Primary children as they arrived from Sacrament Meeting. I was tired and also a bit beat up after that weekend’s encounters with the usual naysayers, which had been especially intense and hurtful. A friend passed me in the hall. We said hello to one another, I gave her a quick hug, and she walked on down the hall.

Suddenly, she turned around and came back.

The details of what she said to me, almost in passing, are not important. She simply mentioned something she loves about me and told me how she has known since the day we first met that this particular trait embodies the very essence of my heart. Those were her words, but her message was this:

I know who you really are.

As soon as she said them aloud, her words rang true in my heart. I recognized that the words were not just hers. I knew she was heaven-sent from my Father, with a gentle but sure reminder expressly for me, in that moment:

Remember who you are.

I am profoundly grateful for the people in my life who care enough about me to look upon my heart. To see me for who I really am and to remind when I forget. Or when God sends them on an errand to tell me so. I want with all my heart to be that kind of friend and messenger for the Lord.

And so, this morning, I’m telling you,

Remember who you are.

Seek out the people in your life who will truly know you and who will, when you forget, remind you of who you are.

Who are the messengers in your life?

What can we do to remember who we are, especially as the cacophony of naysayers becomes deafening?

How can we, as women, do better to look upon the heart?


  1. Kerri

    February 29, 2012

    Oh, I love this. I have needed those people so much in the last couple of years, and whenever they are kind and show love, it IS like Heavenly Father telling me that he knows and loves me.

    I’m going to work on more often being this voice for others. Thanks for the reminder!

  2. Robin

    February 29, 2012

    This is a great post, and so needed. Bishop Burton talked to our stake conference (in a broadcast) last Sunday and he talked about the Mary Poppins song “Feed the Birds” and how it only took tuppence to show that you care and buy a bag of bread crumbs to feed the birds. He suggested that sometimes we feel discouraged because we cannot do the grand service projects that we may want to do, but we can do tuppence service that makes a difference in people’s lives. Sometimes that comes in a kind word, and following the prompting to circle back as your friend did, to deliver that kindness.

  3. Lee Ann

    February 29, 2012

    Loved this.

    I never thought I’d love teaching Primary, but my Primary class are the messengers–you want to hug ME? You’re excited to see ME at the grocery store? You drew ME a picture? You feel anxious and sad if _I_ don’t show up? Love, love, love those little people!

  4. Andrea R.

    February 29, 2012

    I know who you really are too, Dalene, and my life is better for it. Thank you for this beautiful reminder! I’m lucky to have so many people in my life who know who I really am and still love me.

  5. Sharon

    February 29, 2012

    I remember hearing once, that besides remembering WHO WE ARE, its even more important to remember WHOSE WE ARE – our Father in Heaven’s. Kind of the same thing, but after always telling my children to remember who they were each time they left for activities and dates, I almost wish I had expressed the second phrase instead. More pesonal and intimate, I think.

  6. she-bop

    February 29, 2012

    Wow. I don’t know how you did it, but you wrote just what I needed to read today. I am trying to put together my RS lesson for Sunday and the pieces have just not come together. This is what I needed. Can I use your idea?

    Remember who you are.
    Remember whose you are.

    I know you. I love you. You are one of those precious people in my life. Thank you for being you. Everyone needs a Dalene in their life!

  7. KDA

    February 29, 2012

    Hooray for people who take the time — no it’s not the time. It’s the perspective. Hooray for the people who take the perspective to call us out for our goodness, our virtue, our divine spark. Blessed are those treasure seekers who discern our best self, which is all too often hidden under some dross. And may I work more often as a treasure seeker — a messenger — for others’ benefit.

  8. Kellie aka Selwyn

    February 29, 2012

    You nailed the ‘cacophany’ part of the voices hitting us Dalene! So many noises, pitches, shrieks – makes that tiny voice hard to identify, let alone listen.

    Answers to prayers are my messengers. Same with priesthood blessings, cards and emails from friends, memories of things people have said to me.

    The best way I have of remembering who I am is looking inside the familiar curves of my own skull. What and who I am inside my own head, inside my own ‘self’ helps me tune out both the roar of the world and the snide little whispers that are sent to pull me down.

    And for the times I forget, or get ambushed – my friends. Good music. My writing. They remind me who and whose I am.

  9. Melissa M.

    March 2, 2012

    I loved this, Dalene. Going to the temple helps remind me of who I really am. I always leave feeling empowered, loved, and comforted, more like my true self. Reading my patriarchal blessing also helps remind me who I am.

    Thank you for this lovely post!

  10. Michelle

    March 3, 2012

    You are my messenger today with this post. (Even down to using the word cacophony to describe the voices, which is one I have used many times.)

    Thank you, thank you.

Comments are closed.