You’re walking through the checkout line and there she is, just like always. Her royal highness Princess Kate, gracing yet another magazine cover. Of course, she’s dressed head to toe just like a fashion icon. (Where does she even get all those hats?)
One glance at her and the thought slips unbidden through your mind: your life is nothing like the one she lives. She’s got vaults overflowing with riches and a palace teeming with servants. She faces the paparazzi every time she steps out the door. And suddenly you wonder, What would it be like to have a life like that? To be part of the inner circle? To enjoy all the magnificent privileges of royalty? It seems so out of reach, you dismiss your musings without a second thought.
But what if I told you that you have access to greater riches than Princess Kate has ever even dreamt of? What if I said that you are also a member of royalty, only you’re part of a clan whose legacy reaches back even before the dawning of time? It’s true, you know. As President Dieter F. Uchtdorf reminded the Young Women of the church,
You are truly royal spirit daughters of Almighty God. You are princesses, destined to become queens. Your own wondrous story has already begun. Your “once upon a time” is now (“Your Happily Ever After,” April 2010).
I know, I know, it’s that same old song we’ve heard a zillion times. I Am a Child of God. Most of us learned to sing it about the same time we learned to talk. The question is, why don’t we get more excited about that particular reality? Really—why don’t we revel in our status as members of the illustrious house of Israel and as literal “offspring of God” (Acts 17:29)?
Perhaps it’s because all that royalty talk seems too far removed from the drudgery of everyday life. I mean, Kate’s walking around in $1000 shoes and we’re stuck fighting traffic and scrubbing toilets and pushing our squeaky cart through the crowded aisles of Walmart. Say all you want about being a child of royalty—life here on earth feels a lot less like luxury and a lot more like blood, sweat, and tears.
And yet, isn’t that same storyline found in some of the most popular princess movies ever written? Take Cinderella, for instance. Or Rapunzel’s tale. These young women had no pomp and circumstance in their early lives either. Just drab routine. Same old, same old. Nothing new under the sun. But when the time was right, each princess’ life turned completely upside down and she found herself thrust headfirst into the adventure of a lifetime.
Believe it or not, the same thing holds true for you, royal princess.
“An adventure?” you ask, rolling your eyes just a bit. “Sure, if you call trying to pay the bills an adventure.” I get it—I’ve been in the same place too. But for just a moment, I want you to think a little bigger than that. What if, for once, you could see your life through a whole new pair of eyes? What if, for once, you finally let it sink in that—just like all those other princess stories—your story is also laden with heart-stopping drama, spine-tingling adventure, and a daring rescue mission that tops anything Tom Cruise ever put up on the movie screen?
If that seems a little too far-fetched for you to swallow, let me break it down for you piece by piece. A good place to start is with the evil villain in your story. Princess stories always have a villain lurking somewhere in the shadows, don’t they? Belle had Gaston, Ariel had Ursula, and Snow White had the wicked queen. Well, your story also has a bad guy, only he’s more cunning and devious than any animated villain you’ve ever seen. Here’s how Elder Jeffrey R. Holland describes him:
Satan, or Lucifer, or the father of lies—call him what you will—is real, the very personification of evil. His motives are in every case malicious, and he convulses at the appearance of redeeming light. . . . He knows he will be defeated and cast out in the end, but he is determined to take down with him as many others as he possibly can. (“We Are All Enlisted,” October 2011).
But that’s not all. The scriptures also tell us about Lucifer’s “angels” (D&C 29:37), or the spirits who followed him in premortal life and were cast down to the earth with their evil master. Whether you call them accomplices, henchmen, or even his posse, their objective is to do all they can to support the cause of their commander-in-chief.
While the antics of the villain and his cronies may seem like more than enough for a princess to contend with, the truth is that you also face an even more daunting and dangerous challenge. Really, you shouldn’t be surprised. Princess movies always involve some sort of perilous circumstances where the princess’ life is threatened and she finds herself in desperate need of rescue.
So why, exactly, do you need rescuing? Listen to the haunting words of Jacob from the pages of the Book of Mormon:
O how great the goodness of our God, who prepareth a way for our escape from the grasp of this awful monster; yea, that monster, death and hell, which I call the death of the body, and also the death of the spirit (2 Nephi 9:10).
How in the world did you end up in the “grasp of this awful monster”? That’s a part of your story that goes back thousands of years to the Garden of Eden. Just like Snow White ate the poisonous apple, Adam and Eve partook of forbidden fruit and thrust all of us into the perilous consequences of the Fall, which unfortunately includes our being trapped by the monster of physical and spiritual death.
But don’t despair, because it’s time for the entrance of the most important character in any princess story—the handsome Prince. And oh, what a hero He is! When our knight in shining armor saw us writhing in the monster’s grasp, He did more to save us than any Prince Charming has ever been willing to do . . . He actually died in our place so we could be set free from bondage. In the words of Matthew, Jesus Christ “came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28). Tell me, has there ever been a more heroic moment in all of history? Our Savior’s beautiful, sacrificial love for us truly eclipses any other love story that’s ever been told.
I want you to imagine your bold and mighty Prince wrenching the monster’s claws from around your middle and wiping out the villain and his sidekicks with just a word from His lips. Then, picture Him scooping you up and whisking you away to His magnificent kingdom of freedom and joy. As your breath catches in your throat, you hear Him gently remind you, “I told you I wouldn’t forget you, for ‘I have graven [you] upon the palms of my hands’” (2 Nephi 21:15-16).
Now take a minute to remind yourself that this isn’t an imaginary scene at all—it’s the story of your life. You really do have a Hero who loves you enough that He gave Himself to save you. And all He wants is for you to offer Him everything you have in return.
So if you’ve temporarily forgotten who you are and where you came from . . . if you’re feeling lost and discouraged and like you just can’t go on, let your mind drift to the Prince who gave His life so He could rescue you. If you’ll just love Him “with all [your] heart, and with all [your] soul” (Mark 12:30), He’s promised you that “the kingdom is yours and the blessings thereof are yours, and the riches of eternity are yours” now and forevermore (D&C 78:18). I don’t think there’s ever been a princess anywhere in the world who was more loved or cherished than that.
Jaci Wightman, a wife and mother of 7 children, graduated in 2012 from BYU-Idaho with a degree in University Studies. She is the author of A Princess Story: The Real-Life Fairy Tale Found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ (2016) and Body Image Breakthrough: Learning to See Your Body and Your Beauty in a Whole New Light
(2014). To learn more, visit her website at jaciwightman.com.