Saturday, January 26, 2008

Fatherhood

I was a fearful child. You name it, I was afraid of it: Elevators. Earthquakes. Going blind from a fleck of toothpaste froth hitting me in the eye. For no rational reason, I had a lot of fears.

The person most able to calm those fears was my Mormon dad. My Mormon mom was exceptional and loved me just as much as dad did, but she had worries of her own demanding her attention, not least of which were eight other kids and how to stretch her husband's teacher's salary around all our needs. Consequently, Dad was the one who would sit and talk with me about my fears.

Dad was not a perfect man (he over-ate); he was not without his own mortal lapses (he was absent-minded in the extreme). And, as I realized as I matured, he battled his own fears. Maybe that's one reason why he so patiently listened to and counseled me.

My father passed away 7 years ago. I think the thing I most miss is his wise counsel. Even though hundreds of miles separated us once I left the nest, when fear festered I could always pick up the phone and call Dad. He had a way of calming my fears, helping me see truth and how I fit into the big scheme of things. In times of my childhood crises as well as more mature misgivings, he was warm and encouraging and full of faith--in me, in God, and in God's plan of happiness for His children.

Thank Heaven for good fathers.

I have always believed in a Heavenly Father. Even as a young child, I had no problem accepting the Eternal Father of us all as someone who knew me and loved me personally. Maybe it was because I had such a warm relationship with my earthly father. But even more importantly, maybe it was because my good Mormon dad knew by personal experience the truth of what the Mormon Prophet Joseph Smith taught about God, our Heavenly Father:

"The Great Parent of the universe looks upon the whole of the human family with a fatherly care and paternal regard; He views them as His offspring . . . . Having a knowledge of God, we begin to know how to approach Him, and how to ask so as to receive an answer. When we understand the character of God, and know how to come to Him, He begins to unfold the heavens to us, and to tell us all about it. When we are ready to come to Him, He is ready to come to us."

Even though my mortal Mormon father is currently unavailable to take my calls, my Eternal Father has always been, and will always be, accessible. He is accessible because of what my religion reveals regarding the nature of God. Hence, as Joseph said, I know how to come to Him, and when I earnestly and reverently approach him, He is there to calm my fears, help me see truth and how I fit into the big scheme of things--His scheme of things. And, being the Perfect Parent, He does it all perfectly.

Whatever you have been taught, or have always felt, about God, I invite you to investigate what the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches about your Heavenly Father. I guarantee that as you ponder these teachings, you will feel their truth. And that is because your Heavenly Father Father--and mine--wants to come to you, when you are ready to come to Him.

5 comments:

Mormon Mama said...

Wow. A mama (my mama) that knows. A remarkable woman who knows!

Loren, Nina and Ethan Mortensen said...

I'm so grateful you are doing this. I really miss your lessons in Seminary and YW's. Thank you for being such an amazing example to me!

Ms. Roberts said...

Good one, mom. Made me cry.

Kathleen said...

Made me cry too. You write so beautifully! Thanks for doing this.

Lindsay said...

I love this blog! You are an inspiration to me. I look forward to the next one :)