One of the most important things we can do in this life is to come to know who we are (see Romans 8:17) and act accordingly. This doesn’t mean that if asked the question we can answer, "I am a child of God." It means that you feel like a child of God. You feel like an heir! In other words, somehow the information has moved from being an idea in your head to a feeling in your heart. You KNOW you are God’s child and identify yourself as such. One thing that has helped me understand this is prayer. When I consciously think about my Father in Heaven and talk with Him rather than at Him, I feel more connected to Him. In addition, when I have finished pouring out my heart to Him, instead of jumping up and running on to the next task I pause and give Him time to speak to me. In this way I sense a very real connection.
I taught my children to do this when they were younger and one night as I was saying prayers with five year old Anissa, I began to review this principle with her. "Remember," I said, "to wait a few minutes after you. . ." At that point, Anissa put her little hand in my face to stop me from speaking. "No, Mom!" she said. "You don’t have to tell me that because once when I listened Heavenly Father said, ‘I love you."
As we learn who we are, the next step is the exemplify. Simply put, we act like a child of God at all times. We are princes and princess of the God of the universe! As we dress, speak, and act like children of deity, we are examples to those around us.
Ministering this knowledge grows out of exemplifying it. In any interaction with another of God’s children we should treat them as the royal beings they are. Sometimes this is difficult because they aren’t acting like God’s children. But the amazing thing I’ve discovered is that when I treat people as special, they soften and act differently. It has become a delightful endeavor for me to find something to complement sales people, telephone solicitors, servers in restaurants, or other service people for. I’m sure they take a lot of abuse from people and it has been so fun to watch them "brighten" when I complement them or simply treat them with the respect a child of God deserves.
It is a mind set and at first it is difficult to constantly remind ourselves of who we are and who others are. But as it becomes habit, amazing things happen. This is especially true when we remember that the people in our families are not "ours." They are God’s and he has entrusted them to our care.