Heavenly Father is my Dad

All images in this post are from the LDS Media Library

“Revelation is not an explanation; it’s a conclusion.”

– – Elder David A. Bednar, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

A returned missionary shared the above quote from words shared by Elder Bednar when he visited her mission.

Kind of stops you in your tracks as you try to wrap your head around it.

So many of us acknowledge and even testify that we know that God is our Father.

And He is.

But there are many views on just what that means in the type of relationship we seek to build with Him.

To begin, we always approach the throne of God humbly, on bended knee, only speaking softly and respectfully, in awe of the Heavenly King before us. His word is our command.

fatherhood5In a way, it mirrors our relationship with our earthly father. We are completely dependent, we are completely unaware of what lies ahead, we are completely under his loving control.

A young child needs but to hear a few words in their father’s deep timbre for him to have their full attention and usually they are quick to obey.

At least it works for a time.

But the relationship changes as we grow. The entire goal of our parents is to help us become self-reliant, fully conscious of what our journey ahead may or may not bring, and most importantly to choose to control ourselves – not relinquishing that control to anyone or anything else.

Finding freedom.

Sounds a lot like what our Father in Heaven wants for us too, doesn’t it?

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I enjoy the LDS Living magazine that comes out bimonthly. There is a great article in the current issue about Teens, Identity, and Intimacy.    If you are trying to plow through the teenage years, I think you’d appreciate the counsel.

The author, Kyle Weir, gives what I think is a great definition of intimacy: The sharing of self that is received with kindness and often returned.

Vulnerable. Naked honesty. Brutal self-examination.

Most of all: Trust.

Trust that no matter what, we won’t be laughed at, or ridiculed, or dismissed.

I gratefully can unequivocally testify to such intimacy with my wife and with our children. I only hope they feel the same about me.

But these are not my only relationships that I feel are truly intimate.

fatherhood8I feel that same ability to be vulnerable, and honest, and unwilling to hide things we both know I have done with Another.

And I trust that I will always be received with kindness, followed by a clearer focus of where I need to go.

As this relationship with deity grew and morphed from the innocence of childhood and the need to be shown what to do, into one where we talk and share and discuss, there were certainly times that I needed an explanation in the answers received.

I simply didn’t understand enough to see that far ahead.

But that was just my learning curve.

There is no parent who truly loves their child who wants to remain in the position of always explaining, always helping to decide, always leading.

They want this child to become an adult and think things through, study things out, apply past explanations and take a risk in choosing what they feel is best.

Finding freedom.

But no matter how old I get, there is a part of me that still relies on counseling with my Dad. Rather than asking him what I should do, I let him know what I am aiming at, and I carefully watch his expression. It’s usually the eyes that let me know immediately if he feels I am on the right track.fatherhood6

Or not.

But I will always stop and look for that slight expression he gives on all the things that really matter.

Kind of being a grownup while always secure that I am loved as a child.

It can be the same for each of us with our most critical of all relationships. After we have spent countless hours on bended knee in reverence and respect for our own Heavenly Father who teaches and guides and loves and is, yes, even intimately involved in our personal but insignificant existence, we are told to stand up.

And square our shoulders.

And look out, and tell Him what we see.

When we have figured it out the best we can, He is always there, watching.

I have grown confident that there will always be a quiet nod, or a slow shake of the head, or just a smile letting me know that any of the choices before me have the ability to bring happiness and growth.

Because as I come to know His words better and better, I choose them for myself to be the commands I follow.

Without Him needing to keep telling me.

He will always be my eternal Father in Heaven, receiving all the honor and respect and reverence that my being can give.

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But He will also be my Dad.

 

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