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Children of God

The Hebrew Bible compares God's love to that of a mother (Isa. 66:13) or a father (Ps. 103:13). Jesus taught that God, like a father, provides for our needs and comes running to welcome us home (Matt. 7:9-11; Luke 15:11-24). Images of God as parent take on special prominence in LDS tradition due to the teaching that all people are the spirit children of a Heavenly Mother and Father, with whom we lived before our life on earth.

Being a child of God means having unbounded potential for growth. Implanted in our human nature are the seeds of divine qualities: strength, wisdom, justice, compassion, generosity. We are not mere creatures molded by the will of a Creator whose nature is incomprehensibly different from ours. We are eternal beings in our own right: divine heirs and collaborators in training. The knowledge that all people are God's children—gods and goddesses in embryo—should inspire absolute respect for human dignity as well as a sense of universal sisterhood and brotherhood.

Understanding our relationship with God as a parent-child bond invites intimacy and familiarity. We can draw courage and comfort from knowing that our Heavenly Parents are watching us, giving us independence to make our own way yet supporting us with their love and counsel, sharing our joys and griefs, and longing for our homecoming (Moses 7:28, 63).

 O My Father  (Hymns 292)
 I Am a Child of God  (Hymns 301)

All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny.

"The Family: A Proclamation to the World," September 23, 1995

John Taylor: Man . . . is a God in embryo, and possesses within him a spark of that eternal flame which was struck from the blaze of God's eternal fire in the eternal world.
The Gospel Kingdom (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1943), 53-54

George Q. Cannon: There is not one of us but what God's love has been expended upon. There is not one of us that He has not cared for and caressed. . . . We may be insignificant and contemptible in our own eyes, and in the eyes of others, but the truth remains that we are the children of God, and that He has actually given His angels—invisible beings of power and might—charge concerning us, and they watch over us and have us in their keeping.
Gospel Truth (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1974), 1-2

Levi Edgar Young: The first thing we should teach our children is respect for all human beings. All are children of God.
Conference Report, April 1955, 60

Jeffrey R. and Patricia T. Holland: We are children of heavenly parents who have invited us on a journey to become like them.

On Earth As It Is in Heaven (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1989), 79

Chieko N. Okazaki: Each of us is on a quest in this life to purify ourselves of mists and veils so that we may see truly and clearly into each other's hearts and there perceive that each one is a sister or a brother, equally a beloved child of our loving Heavenly Parents. . . .

You are a beloved son or daughter of our Heavenly Parents. Their hearts yearn over you in joy and love. They want to give you all the treasures of eternity, and they hope steadfastly that you will be the kind of person who will want the riches of eternity—in other words, that you will follow the pathway marked out for you by the Savior and live a life that is guided by the principle of love.

Sanctuary (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1997), 57, 98

This website is an independent effort to discern the Spirit's voice in LDS teaching. The site is not sponsored by the LDS Church. Quotations from the teachings of any individual should not be taken to imply that the individual does or would endorse this website or other statements made here.