Sometimes the challenges that we face in life are the very things that will open up new insights. Herein is the joy in life, even in its most difficult times.

I have learned that no matter what kind of oppression one faces or when they may face it, say as a child or an adult, there are three things that cannot be taken from you. The adversary and the world, as well as the circumstances themselves, will cause you to feel as if these things have been taken from you, but it is not so.

They are #1 your value, #2 your power, and #3 your voice.

The first is your value, worth, and importance before God (who is truly the only being whose opinion really counts). Your value is an intrinsic part of you that no one can truly remove. Even if you personally deny it, but you cannot remove it. When one denies his being it seems as if he may as well not be, but even this denial does not take it away. I would propose that this eternal fact may shed some light on why suicide or the taking of one’s own life is not acceptable by any means. Deeper contemplation suggests that this phenomenon may give us some insight to just whose we are at this moment or level of existence. Because the only one who has the authority to say your life is to end is God. God is, in a real sense, the creator and he has the final say in what becomes of you.

So #2 is your power, your essence, your strength, or your being. The mere fact that you sit, stand, or lie on the face of the earth in a human form magnifies your power and no oppression can remove that reality. Your power gives you an influence on humanity. I believe that this power is given as a gift from God. For the time being, while on this earth, your very essence or being is your power, given by God and no oppression may take that away. If we hold on to this recognition and do not give that up on your own, I believe, we may be thought of as “containing self-love” and this, Christ taught, was important to keeping the second commandment of “loving our neighbor as ourselves”.

The final component that was revealed to me was #3 your voice, your witness, your testimony. This may appear at first to be the same thing as power but I do not see it that way. It is distinct in that it includes your will or conscious choice and decision to come to earth and be here because I do not believe that God would force you to accept life or its responsibilities.

I believe that sin itself may not take away these three things: our value, our power, our voice. We may deny them, dispute them, seek to destroy or malign them but even we may not take them away. We fought for and “earned” the right to them in the pre-existence. We showed ourselves worthy and capable of upholding them into this realm and each of us by virtue of being here has been honored by God to be protected in that witness.

I shared the core of this writing with a friend. Having a daughter who is autistic she said this principle applies to her as well. This little 5-year-old has value, power, and a voice. She influences others that come into her sphere and perhaps many that she will never meet through the paper trail of her issues and perhaps in other ways only God is aware of. She has a purpose and she is a significant part of Heavenly Father’s plan. I totally agree and echo her thoughts that those who would consider abortion for a child who will face obvious challenges in life as if it were the merciful thing to do, might reflect on this a bit more.

Again, no outside influence, force, or circumstances may dispute your value, your power, or your voice, not even yourself. We are limited in our understandings of things for a purpose and perhaps many purposes known only to God. One of those purposes is known to man and it is to allow us the opportunity to choose to follow him of our own accord and in so doing we integrate the psyche, body, and spirit together and connect ourselves, by choice, to the power of God’s love for his children. We are also greater witnesses of that love and of his great mercy and long-suffering, and of his covenant in the pre-existence to allow us to have the opportunity to fulfill our mission on earth. Through sin we can turn our backs on him but he does not turn his back on us.

I believe that it is God’s love that is the power by which all things exist. I also believe that the closer we live to the commandments the greater degree that his love will be able to flow through us. Nothing, however, from outside or from inside us will destroy our value, power, or voice before God.

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