I heard a phrase once that I’ve really liked. It says, “I am a spiritual being having a mortal experience.”
Today I went to visit Utah’s Hogle Zoo. It was fun to see a mix of various animals, from all around the world, safely collected in one location and presented behind fences, bars, glass, or other appropriate barriers. I was glad to know that human beings are on the “top of the chain” and can master the world and tame the animals (even though that idea is not entirely accurate).
In a couple of different places, I saw zoo workers inside the cages, spreading food or repairing some of climbing tree branches. That was funny to see the rare sight of a person behind the glass. But then the thought occurred that there are some people in the world who believe that humans are only just another species of animal – highly evolved, but still just a mammal. That is the base, biological, psychological, and other -ological traits that define the species, and perhaps that is technically true. But I’m glad to know a little bit more than that.
I’m glad to have a knowledge, born of the whisperings of the Holy Ghost and sent from God, that there is much more. That my existence and being is patterned after our Eternal, Heavenly Father. I know that “God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth” (Genesis 1:26, emphasis added).
Some people may argue that we don’t really know what that phrase means, “in our image, after our likeness.” What if that is just a metaphor for some great mystery that we don’t understand? But the same phrase shows up again, five chapters later, when describing Adam’s son, Seth. “And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth” (Genesis 5:3, emphasis added). The same author wrote the same inspired language in those two instances, and I don’t think by accident. For it is clear to us how a son inherits traits from his father.
Our spirit beings, and the pattern of our bodies, come from Heavenly Parentage. That is a very comforting thought to me. It is a basic concept that the enemy of all righteousness would like to make confusing for us. For if we cannot understand our parentage, we cannot grasp our true worth and potential.
I am a spiritual being, and I am experiencing mortality. Yes, I do like that thought.