I was watching Kung Fu Panda today. One of my favorite things in the whole world is finding metaphors for truth in everyday life. Joseph Smith once said that "we accept truth wherever it is found, no matter the source. For this is a gospel of truth." I didn't quote that completely, but you get the gist (jiste, jist, giste?).
What does this have to do with Kung Fu Panda? Well.
Po is a panda who finds out that he is the Dragon warrior, a hero of legend destined to save the world. But no one believes in him, not even himself. Just like us, he puts words like fat, dumb, ugly, short, tall, skinny, unskilled, untalented, and clumsy in front of his true name. In reality, our Heavenly Father sees us as beautiful, graceful, learning, growing, honorable, and of great worth.
But he still doesn't believe it. Even when we know all those things, we love to say "there's nothing special here. Move on to what others can offer." With a sigh, we leave it at that.
Another thing the tortoise said was even if we want apples or oranges, we will still get peaches. There are incredible things, incredible potential within each of us, and it is never the same for anyone. That is the beauty of it. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, and we all have our own path to discovering them. I think that must be one of our Heavenly Father's favorite things, helping us discover our true worth and potential. Can you imagine what amazing things he has in store for us when we take our place at his side?
You can't force yourself to be something you are not, and you cannot force the timing of your destiny. The secret ingredient is yourself, and believing in who you can become. Christ has promised that we can become as he is!
So this new year I hope we all try a little harder, reach a little higher, and do the things that it will take to get closer to that fruit. Have a little more faith, love a little harder, and always remember that you are worth so much to your Father in heaven. My favorite quote from general conference was the one by President Thomas S. Monson. He truly is a prophet of God: