My Secret Identity

In the classic Superman movie series (Superman 3), starring Christopher Reeve, we find that Superman is contaminated by some Kryptonite.  In an interesting scene, the evil Superman lands in an auto junkyard, screams, and then has his alter-ego, Clark Kent, emerge.  The two duke it out, until the real Man of Steel, his true identity, wins.

Today, we find people struggling with their true identities.  Bruce Jenner is now Caitlyn.  Rachel Dolezal insists she is African American, though her white parents dispute it. Some have green hair, multiple piercings and tattooes. Others may find their identity in their sexuality, drug use, religion, education, wealth, possessions, ethnicity, etc.  Many are coming forth to distinguish themselves from everyone else Facebook, Twitter and other online services help people come forth to say, “Here I am! Look at ME!”

Sadly, such focus on certain temporal particulars of ourselves actually cause us to lose our fully authentic selves.  The Book of Mormon actually talks of a time when the people knew their true selves:

 And it came to pass that there was no contention in the land, because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people. And there were no envyings, nor strifes, nor tumults, nor whoredoms, nor lyings, nor murders, nor any manner of lasciviousness; and surely there could not be a happierpeople among all the people who had been created by the hand of God.. There were no robbers, nor murderers, neither were there Lamanites, nor any manner of -ites; but they were inone, the children of Christ, and heirs to the kingdom of God. (4 Nephi 1:15-17)

We see that the people did not distinguish themselves. They were not Nephites nor Lamanites, but found their true, secret identity: “children of Christ and heirs to the kingdom of God”

Satan wins when he divides us.  The divisions come when he confuses us over what our true identity is.  The Book of Mormon continually notes fine clothing as a sign of division, as we later see in 4 Nephi:

And now, in this two hundred and first year there began to be among them those who were lifted up in pride, such as the wearing of costly apparel, and all manner of fine pearls, and of the fine things of the world.  And from that time forth they did have their goods and their substance no more common among them.  And they began to be divided into classes; and they began to build up churches unto themselves to get gain, and began to deny the true church of Christ. (4 Nephi 1:24-26).

No longer equals as children of God, they sought out their own ways.  As Elder L. Tom Perry noted in General Conference,

We want our voice to be heard against all of the counterfeit and alternative lifestyles that try to replace the family organization that God Himself established.

Elder Perry explained that the family organization is an eternal and important component of who we really are.  To look at just one small part of who we possibly may be and to make it the center of our devotion to self, is to listen to the soothing lies of Satan, who is glad to give us the philosophies of men with some scripture mingled in.

Because of our culture of wrong identity, we see an America that is shrinking in its belief in Christ and goodness.  Even as with the apostate Nephites in 4 Nephi, many of the sins of their day are now becoming commonplace and accepted, even preferred.

 And it came to pass that they who rejected the gospel were called Lamanites, and Lemuelites, and Ishmaelites; and they did not dwindle in unbelief, but they did wilfully rebel against the gospel of Christ; and they did teach their children that they should not believe, even as their fathers, from the beginning, did dwindle….And it came to pass that two hundred and forty and four years had passed away, and thus were the affairs of the people. And the more wicked part of the people did wax strong, and became exceedingly more numerous than were the people of God….And it came to pass that the robbers of Gadianton did spread over all the face of the land; and there were none that were righteous save it were the disciples of Jesus. And gold and silver did they lay up in store in abundance, and did traffic in all manner of traffic. (4 Nephi 1:38-46)

Suddenly, we see that big business and wealth replaced charity and oneness. As they grew wicked, the law of God and the knowledge of being God’s children were replaced once again by envyings, strifes, tumults, whoredoms, lyings, murders, and any manner of lasciviousness (sexuality).

Marriage is diminished as people use no-fault divorce, live together, or change God’s pattern for something else. God’s plan of consecration and providing for the poor is offended by those who enrich themselves in false government programs that maintain a war on poverty that only grows the numbers of poor.  God’s love for his children and His desire for them to be like him are twisted by Satan’s counterfeit claims of radical freedom: justifying alternative lifestyles, dishonesty, and contention.

It isn’t something new.  Satan confused Cain into declaring himself unique:

 And Cain said: Truly I am Mahan, the master of this great secret, that I may murder and get gain. Wherefore Cain was called Master Mahan, and he gloried in his wickedness.  And Cain went into the field, and Cain talked with Abel, his brother. And it came to pass that while they were in the field, Cain rose up against Abel, his brother, and slew him. And Cain gloried in that which he had done, saying: I am free; surely the flocks of my brother falleth into my hands. (Moses 5:31-33)

How many of us proclaim ourselves free of God, by taking up our own counterfeit identity?  And we see if increasing in America.  Satan is currently winning the battle of the hearts of men, so that “even the elect are deceived” in some cases.

Rather than encouraging alternative lifestyles, we should be encouraging all to reveal their true secret identity: children of God and heirs of his kingdom.

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About rameumptom

Gerald (Rameumptom) Smith is a student of the gospel. Joining the Church of Jesus Christ when he was 16, he served a mission in Santa Cruz Bolivia (1978=1980). He is married to Ramona, has 3 stepchildren and 7 grandchildren. Retired Air Force (Aim High!). He has been on the Internet since 1986 when only colleges and military were online. Gerald has defended the gospel since the 1980s, and was on the first Latter-Day Saint email lists, including the late Bill Hamblin's Morm-Ant. Gerald has worked with FairMormon, More Good Foundation, LDS.Net and other pro-LDS online groups. He has blogged on the scriptures for over a decade at his site: Joel's Monastery ( He has the following degrees: AAS Computer Management, BS Resource Mgmt, MA Teaching/History. Gerald was the leader for the Tuskegee Alabama group, prior to it becoming a branch. He opened the door for missionary work to African Americans in Montgomery Alabama in the 1980s. He's served in two bishoprics, stake clerk, high council, HP group leader and several other callings over the years. While on his mission, he served as a counselor in a branch Relief Society presidency.

8 thoughts on “My Secret Identity

  1. “Suddenly, we see that big business and wealth replaced charity and oneness.”

    Sorry, I don’t see anything in the scripture cited talking about “big business.” Is this a particular pet peeve of yours? While I am the first to admit that there are many involved in “big business” who are less than charitable, I think it is hard to imagine our lives today without it. Missionaries and church leaders fly around the world to minister to the saints and preach the gospel on giant aircraft – that we would not have without “big business.” Mass media, computers and the internet make it possible to share the gospel with all the world and have greatly enhance our ability to do genealogy but we would not have them without “big business.” I could really go on and on with this. Think for a moment about all that you would have to give up in a world without “big business.”

    Again, I acknowledge that there are evils associated with “big business” but they are the evils of men that we will find in any and all endeavors in which the “natural man” participates.

  2. Well, I think that big business in 4 Nephi may have been somewhat different than big business today in scope and reach. Perhaps he may have been better served by saying “love of money and pride” rather than “big business and wealth”. While not synonymous, there are some situations where they may correlate. And I think that it would be fair to say that the 4 Nephi shows that love of money and pride can destroy a Zion society, especially in versus 23-29.

  3. Trade and big businesses can be beneficial. However, we see frequently in the BoM that a sign of the deterioration of society includes trade, traffic, and much business – to the extent where it replaces belief. Big business and wealth are not evil of themselves. However, there is a tendency for the wealthy to forget God and faith, and create religion out of wealth and trade.

    Being libertarian-minded, I am all for free trade and business. That said, we see large corporations today bribing politicians in order to get gain, and vice versa. Corporate welfare is on the rise, regardless of how many Democrats attack the 1 percent,with many of them complicit along with Republicans.

    However, the point of the OP is not an attack on big business, LGBT, or any other group. It is to show that when we over identify with such a group, Satan tends to corrupt that relationship and identity, until we no longer see ourselves or others as children of God.

    Only when we can get past the Telestial labels and begin to see all as God’s children, will we be able to create Zion.

  4. I understand that the point of the OP is not an attack on big business and I apologize for the diversion. However, you bear a part of the responsibility by throwing in the gratuitous attack where it was not called for.

    I agree with the basic premise that transcending the telestial is the goal and object for us all. I particularly liked the concept of people setting up their own counterfeit identity; a concept that I had not considered but which makes a great deal of sense to me now that I do. As time goes by the “me” centered nature of our culture becomes more and more obvious and troubling. Thank you for the insight.

  5. Questions of identity are at the forefront of modern culture and I think members of the church growing up in this culture will inevitably run into conflicts between “finding oneself” and what is admittedly a “strait and narrow” way of living in the church.

    We have a twofold identity: our collective identity as members of a larger body, and the individual ego, the feeling of separateness we feel as individuals. The church invites us to be part of a collective identity which transcends the ego. Our collective identity makes more of us than we could make of ourselves. Scientists say that individual ants mindlessly push sticks and leaves back and forth for months on end. It is only in concert with other ants that they make impressive structures.

    But in this struggle between the ego and the collective consciousness, I think the church can help by emphasising Paul’s metaphor that the body of Christ is composed of many different kinds of members: “the eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of thee.” Even some members, like myself, compulsively driven to more liberal outlooks, have a certain place in the kingdom, a certain perspective, which while incomplete, can be beneficial to the whole. We are all one body, but individually have vastly different roles and perspectives.

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