The Image of God

So God created man in his own image,

in the image of God created he him;

male and female created he them.

Genesis 1:27

How much are we like God?

We see daily evidence of how far we—and the people around us—fall short of perfection. So how can we think we have anything in common with a perfect Being? The idea seems not only presumptuous but even blasphemous. The prophet Abinadi was executed for narrowing the distance between God and humans, including testifying “that man was created after the image of God” (Mosiah 7:27).

But when the Savior appeared to the brother of Jared, He emphasized that He looks like us: “Seest thou that ye are created after mine own image? Yea, even all men were created in the beginning after mine own image” (Ether 3:15).

And when God spoke with Moses “face to face,” He emphasized the same point: “Thou art in the similitude of mine Only Begotten” (Moses 1:6). Moses subsequently resisted temptation by twice reaffirming this truth. (See Moses 1:13, 16.)

Both Ammon and Aaron taught Lamanite kings that we were created in God’s image. (See Alma 18:34, Alma 22:12.) These kings believed in a Supreme Being, but they didn’t know a lot about Him. One of the first things these missionaries wanted to emphasize is our similarity with Him.

The apostle James noted that when we see God’s image in every person, we are more likely to treat them with respect and love. (See James 3:8-9.)

The Family Proclamation testifies:

All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny.

President Russell M. Nelson taught:

We are eternal beings—spirit children of heavenly parents. The Bible records that “God created man in his own image, … male and female created he them.” Recently I heard a chorus of children sing the beloved song “I Am a Child of God.” I wondered, “Why haven’t I heard that song rendered more often by singing mothers or faithful fathers?” Are we not all children of God? In truth, not one of us can ever stop being a child of God!

As children of God, we should love Him with all our heart and soul, even more than we love our earthly parents. We should love our neighbors as brothers and sisters. No other commandments are greater than these. 

Decisions for Eternity,” General Conference, October 2013

Today I will be grateful for the knowledge that we are children of God, that He created us in His image, and that our Heavenly Parents love us. Like Moses, I will take confidence from a recognition of my similarity with God. Like James, I will strive to treat everyone around me with the respect they deserve as children of God.

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