'What-e'er thou art, act well thy part.' Knowing who you are and acting on it

Adherence to the message, "What-e'er though art, act well thy part" brings a sense of purpose and satisfaction. Take a moment to identify who you are and make a plan to ensure that your daily activities reflect who you are striving to become.

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  • It is so easy to get caught up in the humdrum of everyday life. I have often felt discouraged and sought some piece of inspiration that would help bring things into focus, again. I know I have a stash of many wonderful lessons I have learned in my life that shouldn’t be filed too far back in my memory, but sometimes it’s hard to remember. Sometimes I need a reminder. A simple line written on a stone in a well-kept garden in Scotland found its way to me at my home in Idaho through Elaine Dalton. In a worldwide conference, she shared how she came across this garden while touring with the BYU International Folk Dancers. Her father had recently and unexpectedly passed away. She was feeling alone and discouraged when the statement “What-e’er thou art, act well thy part” restored her faith that she was a daughter of God and that he had a plan for her.

  • The story of those words written in stone goes back to 1898 when a former religious leader, David O. McKay shared how he’d also read those words when he found himself discouraged as a missionary in Scotland. He read those same words, then said to himself, “You are here as a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ.” Then shared that, in that moment, “I accepted the message given to me on that stone, and from that moment we tried to do our part as missionaries in Scotland." What-e’er thou art, act well thy part.

  • There is power in knowing who you are. There is satisfaction in fulfilling your purpose. But how can I better remember exactly who I am as well as ensure that my actions are in harmony with who I am? One of my college professors gave some advice about setting priorities by first determining who you are and who you are striving to be, identifying the duties those roles might require, and then scheduling them into your calendar. This is one way in which you can actively work to identify just who you are and work to “act well” in each area.

  • Identify who you are

  • The first thing to do is answer the question, who are you? I don’t mean to make you feel like you have multiple personalities, but there are many different roles that you fill. Look at each aspect of your life. You are an individual. You are a child of God. You may be a spouse, a parent, a son or daughter, brother or sister, neighbor, employee, citizen or member of a church, club or organization. Make a list of the roles that apply to you. Most of what you do each day will fit into one of these roles.

  • Make a plan

  • It might be for the day, the week, or the month, but make a plan of how you can “act well” in each area of your life. With so many things demanding your attention, start small. If you are a father who would like to make an extra effort to be there to read his children a bedtime story, schedule it in. If you want to be a more loving wife, find a way to especially show your husband you love him by making it a priority each day. If you feel you could be a better daughter or son by giving your parents a phone call, find a time to make that call and follow through. If you have other responsibilities in other roles, also consider how you can best fulfill those responsibilities. Evaluate those other things on your calendar. If they are not in harmony with who you are or who you are striving to be, they may not be activities you’ll want to spend your time on.

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  • The identity that is most significant to me is that I am a daughter of God. Knowing and remembering that gives me strength. Acting accordingly gives me courage. In considering who you are, I especially encourage you to be sure that you consider your relationship with God. At a women’s conference in Salmon, Idaho, Krista Nebeker shared some of the hardships of her life and then concluded, in essence, “Do I know what the future holds? No. But do I worry about it? No. Because knowing that I am a daughter of a Heavenly Father who is watching over me assures me that my future is in his hands.” Knowing who you are will bring purpose to what you do. On those days that you find yourself frustrated or without direction, return to the question of who you are. Make sure that your actions are leading you to what you want to become. What-e’er thou art, act well thy part.

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Natalie Porter is a rancher's wife, mother of two boys and a stay-at-home mom. She is always trying to understand how to be a better wife, mother and homemaker. She loves to cook good food, experiment with quilting, and is currently learning more about natural home remedies to take care of her family.


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