I’m 16 years old and wondering how to figure out who I am and what I want to do with my life. Can you give me some suggestions as to how I go about figuring this out?
That’s a very good question. There are some general answers that would fit every person, and there may be some very specific answers that would fit only you.
Concerning the general answers– You see, we humans are of the race of the Gods. You are a literal child of the Great Creator of all the universe. That Great Creator has all knowledge–
O how great the holiness of our God! For he knoweth all things, and there is not anything save he knows it.(2 Nephi 9:20).
Further, He has infinite love for all his children, to the extent that
he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
There is no doubt that you were chosen, called and sent to live out your mortal life in the most wicked of all the worlds in the universe–
Wherefore, I can stretch forth mine hands and hold all the creations which I have made; and mine eye can pierce them also, and among all the workmanship of mine hands there has not been so great wickedness as among thy brethren (Moses 7:36).
There is also no doubt that you were present in the spirit world in that great convocation of which Abraham spoke when he said,
Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones;
And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born. (Abraham 3:22-23).
So you are among the noble and great of the universe, and have been sent to live in mortality on the very same world to which the Savior came to work out the great atoning sacrifice–the greatest, most significant act for the salvation of all mankind in all the history of all the universe!
And, if you live for it, will be called to be one of the rulers in eternity. As such, you will become an heir to all the things of God–
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together (Rom 8:16-17).
So that’s who you are!! Now you may or may not achieve what our Heavenly Father has called you to be, depending on what you do while you are here in mortality. Your assignment here is to obey all of the instructions that God has given to those He has called to be rulers in eternity–you must obey all the laws and ordinances of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Now to the particular part–the part that you, Lisa, must do with your own life– .Here’s the way to find out what the Lord would have you do in the particular aspects of your own life. You are sixteen years old, probably a junior or senior in high school. Much is before you. There will be many voices calling you in many directions, but your task is to find out which direction our Father in Heaven would have you take, and then to faithfully follow it.
In order to find that out there are a couple of things that you must do. In the first place you must comply with all that you know that the Father has asked you to do–i.e., be obedient to His word–in other words, obey all the principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and devote yourself to furthering the cause of the Kingdom. That means that you would be responsive to all the calls for service that are given to you in the Savior’s organization–the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Secondly, and here comes the very specific part–there are decisions that you alone must make that will affect the direction of your life. For instance, what elective courses you should take in school; when you go to college, what school you should go to, and what courses you should take; who you should date, and who you should marry; list goes on…
In each of these decisions there is a specific procedure that you might follow–present the options to the Lord and ask him to tell you which of the options you should select to be better prepared to serve him and to do his will.
Let’s take an example. Say you are preparing to go to college. You kneel down and ask the Lord which university you should attend TO BE WHERE HE WANTS YOU TO BE. Then you examine the possibilities, considering the different schools in which you might be interested. You will end up liking one school more than all the others. The next thing to do is to kneel down again and thank the Lord for telling you what school to attend. If you fulfill all the above conditions, believe it or not, you will have received a revelation from the Lord telling you what school to attend in answer to your prayer.
Yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart.
Now, behold, this is the spirit of revelation; behold, this is the spirit by which Moses brought the children of Israel through the Red Sea on dry ground.
..So when the Lord tells us in our mind, that is an idea that comes into our head as we pray asking for information, and when he tells us in our heart that is the emotion that we feel really good about the idea we are thinking about. At this point we must accept that as a revelation from God and act on it with faith. To act with faith is to act as if we had knowledge.
Now there are some conditions to the above that you must always remember. The Lord will never inspire you to do anything that is in any way contrary to the principles of the gospel or to the instructions of your righteous parents or to any of your priesthood leaders. Those are filters through which your ideas must pass if they come from your Father in Heaven.