Perhaps the most beloved, most Iconic song in all of Mormondom is I am a Child of God. It contains the heart and essence of Mormonism distilled. It affirms the plan of salvation, God and our relationship to him simply and beautifully.

Here are the lyrics.

1. I am a child of God,
And he has sent me here,
Has given me an earthly home
With parents kind and dear.

2. I am a child of God,
And so my needs are great;
Help me to understand his words
Before it grows too late.

3. I am a child of God.
Rich blessings are in store;
If I but learn to do his will,
I’ll live with him once more.

4. I am a child of God.
His promises are sure;
Celestial glory shall be mine
If I can but endure.

Chorus
Lead me, guide me, walk beside me,
Help me find the way.
Teach me all that I must *do*
To live with him someday.

Words: Naomi Ward Randall, 1908–2001. © 1957 IRI. Fourth verse © 1978 IRI

The highlighted word do was not found in the original. This was changed from the word “know” by President Spencer W. Kimball. It is a change that fit with the emphasis of his presidency. For him, the gospel was all about action. “Do it” and “Lengthen you Stride” were his mottos. Certainly he led by example, traveling the world many times over as the Church expanded globally.   He was remembered to have said, “My life is like my shoes, to be worn out in service to others.”

This fits in perfectly with what Christ taught as found in Matthew 7:21,

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

I understand and appreciate the emphasis of this change. There is more to the Gospel than just learning about it. It must be lived to do us any good. It is not enough to believe, in the words of James:

Thou believest there is one God. Thou doest well. The devils believe also and tremble.

I think this can all be taken one step further and then key to returning is complete. I believe that as faith without works is dead, certainly also is works without faith. Doing alone is not enough, as it is possible to simply go through the motions without having your heart in it.  There is such a thing as keeping up appearances.  We are not born perfect and will not develop this ability in this life. But we are here to learn, to grow, and to become something greater. The true miracle of the gospel of Jesus Christ is becoming something greater than we were before. In short, I would change a singe word once more.

Lead me, guide me, walk beside me,
Help me find the way.
Teach me all that I must *be*
To live with him someday.

Christ has the power to transform us into Celestial and perfect beings. Recieving the Celestial Kingdom and all that the father hath is a process of becoming. “Do” reminds me too much of duty, a lower motivation that will forever leave us short. While superior to fear, eventually we are doomed with duty to hit the wall, consumed by guilt. In the spirit of higher more powerful motivation moving

Fear–> Duty –> Love so also I propose Know–> Do –> Be

This is the real power of the atonement. It is not enough to know what is right. It is not enough to do it simply because we should. We must become Christlike, to know him, and to see him as he is. This is the miracle of Jesus Christ in the lives of a true disciple. This is how I sing it to my children. What do you think? Are you with me? Anyone reading in Salt Lake? 😉

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