This past week I was able to visit a zoo. I just love being able to see animals that are native to other countries all over the world! We saw huge elephants, rhinos, tigers, and so many more animals. As we made our way around to each of the animals in the zoo, one in particular caught my eye. Two majestic swans were gliding along the surface of a small pond. They were beautiful! Their manner was one of confidence and poise.
Immediately my mind was taken back to the story the Ugly Duckling. President Deiter F. Uchtdorf, a member of the First Presidency, used this story in relating to each of us knowing who we really are as children of an Eternal Father, majestic and beautiful. We all come to this earth with bodies of different shapes and sizes, with unique personalities and abilities in various environment and families. At times we feel so different and out of place like we are “weird” or an ugly duckling and simply do not fit in. The truth is, you are a child of God! You have a divine nature of a worth that is infinite and unchanging! Jesus Christ came into this world and suffered for all of us, not just a select group. (Doctrine & Covenants 19:16) Knowing that I am a daughter of God has helped me so very much in facing the ups and downs of life. It has allowed me to forgive and forget when I have been hurt. It has allowed me to be patient with myself in trying to overcome my personal weaknesses and shortcomings. It is the key to finding peace in a world of shifting values. I invite all of you to look into the water and see your true reflection. Do not rely on the world to define you, but see for yourself. Immerse yourself in the pure truths found in the scriptures. As you do, you will suddenly discover as did the ugly duckling when he looked into the water that you are absolutely beautiful! Then, when you know who you really are, you too can glide poised and confident like the swans at the zoo.