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Sunday, April 24, 2016

Gender and Indentity Confusion--One of Satan's Sneaky Snares

The most important knowledge we need to understand about ourselves is that we are beloved sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father, and that our gender is an essential characteristic in God’s plan for us. It is no wonder that one of Satan’s great sneaky snares is to confuse us about both our spiritual identity as well as our gender. 

I am a child of God
The first principle missionaries teach is that God is our Heavenly Father and we are His children.  He has a body of flesh and bones and we are created in His image.  In “The Family—A Proclamation to the World” we are additionally taught that as beloved sons and daughters of God, we each have “ . . . a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual pre-mortal, mortal and eternal identify and purpose. “

The Bible begins with the story of the creation of man and woman, children of God, created in His image.

Each Sunday all over the world, young women stand together and recite, “We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us and we love Him.” In primary the children frequently sing, “I Am A Child of God”.

It is no coincidence that this doctrine is emphasized over and over again.

The most important knowledge we need to understand about ourselves is that we are beloved sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father and as such we can become like Him, and that our gender is essential to fulfilling our divine destiny and purpose.

God is my Heavenly Father and He knows my name
I remember well the first time I began to understand my relationship with my Heavenly Father.  I grew up singing “I Am A Child of God’ and always felt comforted by the words of the song. But it was at the beginning of 9th grade, when I came to know for a surety that God was my Heavenly Father and as such, he knew me!!

Brother Robert Wells (not the general authority) was my ninth grade seminary teacher at Lincoln Junior High in Orem, Utah. At the beginning of the year he informed us that after prayerful consideration he would be extending callings to class officers the following day. That night, while saying my prayers, I had the impression that I would be called to serve in our seminary class and that Leon Berrett would be called as the class president.

The next day when I arrived at seminary, Brother Wells was handing out appointment slips to those who were being called as class officers. Without thinking about what I was doing, I stood by him and waited for him to hand me my slip. He looked at me a little quizzically at first, then sorted through the slips until he found mine.  That afternoon he called me to be a zone leader.

Being a zone leader in a ninth grade seminary class was certainly not a position of power or much authority but for me it was life changing. For the first time in my life, I knew God knew me and He knew my name! For how could he tell Brother Wells to call me to a position if he didn’t know who I was?  And for a second witness that my revelation was correct, Leon Berrett was called to be the class president.

God loves us and wants to communicate with us
I few years later I had another memorable experience that strengthened my testimony of God as our Father and His love for us.  I was just beginning my mission in Ecuador and assigned to the small, poverty stricken coastal town of Esmeraldas. With very little Spanish, I struggled to teach the people the gospel in their native language.

One afternoon my companion and I met with a young man at the pre-fabricated church building. It was hot, as always, and without any air conditioning, we were drenched in sweat. But felt the Spirit as we taught about God, our Father in Heaven, who loves us.

The young man was a bit incredulous that God was actually his spirit father and so we taught him to pray and invited him to ask God Himself.  The young man bowed his head and in very simple words offered his first prayer. The Spirit filled the room as a clear and profound answer was given. Each of us could testify that a response was received, but what struck me the most about the experience was that I could literally feel God smiling! I could sense His joy at being able to talk once again to one of His beloved sons! I could feel His happiness at being able to let this young man know that yes, He was his father, He was aware of him and He loved him!

If having a clear understanding of who we are and what we can become is the most essential knowledge we can have in this life, it only makes sense that one of Satan’s most sneaky snares would be to attempt to distort and diminish our true identify.

Gender and identity confusion is a tactic of Satan to cause us to forget who we are and our purpose on earth
I recently watched a video published by The Family Policy Institute of Washington.  College students were interviewed regarding their feelings on people being able to use any bathroom based on the gender they identified with. All the students were in favor of the policy, feeling that everyone should be supported in their feelings.

Then the interviewer began to change the questions and asked if it were okay for him to believe he was an Asian woman, a seven year old and six-foot five (8 inches taller than his actual height) Having once taken the position that you can believe whatever you want to believe and should be supported in your belief, the students stuck with that position, but with less and less conviction.

The truth is that a five-foot nine-inch adult white man, is just that—a five-foot nine-inch adult white man. And no matter what he wants to believe, he will never be a seven-year-old, six-foot-five inch Asian woman. Never.

And although there are many dangers the "be whatever you want to be" environment creates for our society, I think the greatest tragedy of all is that it prevents people from learning who they truly are and therefore also prevents them from understanding their divine purpose and potential.

I know who I am, I know God's Plan, I'll follow Him in faith
Each of us is a beloved son or daughter of the Most High God. And no amount of personal desire, laws or public persuasion can change that. We are created in God's image and our divine destiny is to become like Him. Gender is an essential characteristic in achieving our eternal purpose as not only sons and daughters of God, but also future fathers and mothers with our own eternal families.

May we always remember that.

Lori Wagner,
One Mormon Voice


  1. So proud to call you my friend! Well done. In RS today we reviewed the talk by Elder Holland, "Behold they Mother". It was a great reminder of what we as women/mothers can accomplish. It goes right along with what you are doing with your blog. Keep me posted!

  2. I love this! It is so simple, yet profound!

  3. Well said!! I'm sharing this clarity with someone confused. Thank you for voicing the truth so eloquently.

  4. Thanks! Very well put and timely. I was just thinking about you the other day and wondering what you were up to. Now I know, at least a little bit!

    1. Shannon, good to hear from you! I have been pretty much off the grid with our three year mission and then trying to get back into life at home. Things are finally starting to settle down though. Thankfully!

  5. This is disgusting to me. Don't tell people how to live their lives. It's none of your business. To see people with an outside perspective making claims 'in the name of God' like this when they have no idea what it's like to be the person that they are talking about makes me sick. Comparing gender identity to height is ridiculous.
    Acting like you're coming from a place of love when your primary motivation seems to be motivated by hate and judgement is manipulative by the way.

  6. I find that this article is rather misleading. It is titled as "Gender and Identity Confusion--One of Satan's Sneaky Snares" yet never really tells us how. You shared a lovely testimony but I worry that many will misuse your testimony to strike out at you because they do not have the same religious background or ideals as you. Satan uses the debate of gender identity and sexual orientation to mislead people, it is true. He does this by convincing people that they do not need their families nor do they need the community of faith found at church. He uses the age old cry of "Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die; and it shall be well with us." (2 Nephi 28:7). Satan tells us that what feels good is good and what feels bad is bad when the reality is a bit more complicated for the wicked take the truth to be hard. Truth can hurt but it can also liberate us as we honestly seek it out and apply it in our lives. Satan is also using the debate surrounding the LGTB community to stir up the hearts of men unto contention. By stirring up hearts of men unto anger the Spirit is hard pressed to be heard and minds lose their capacity to reason. As I said at the beginning, this article is a beautiful testimony but never really explained how gender and identity confusion are snares that Satan uses to deceive the children of God. I hope this will help clarify the issue.

    1. I agree I could have done more to explain how Satan is doing what he is doing. And I appreciate your insights. I really didn't want to focus on that, however. My real intent was to teach the truth of who we are, so hopefully, by understanding that, we won't be so deceived by Satan's attempt to confuse us.