The True Nature of Heavenly Father

What I’m sharing today is simple. It’s the essence of religion but it ain’t deep doctrine that’ll get your head spinning. The two greatest commandments have to do with love- loving our God and loving our neighbor. We struggle with the second one day in and day out but I think that we all pretty much get the first one. We could talk about loving ourselves but that’s a different hill to climb. When it comes right down to it, I think that we all love God, or at least acknowledge that He’s there doing His thing.

While Christians around the world spend this Sabbath remembering the sacrificial Atonement and Mission of Jesus Christ, many do not realize that the whole point of His ministry was to show mankind the true nature of the Father. A merciful son is sometimes more readily worshiped than a stern and judging father. Elder Holland recently explained that actually, God is a “true Father, in the most loving sense of that word. He certainly would not have been a cold, arbitrary autocrat who predestined a select few for salvation and then consigned the rest of the human family to damnation. No, He would be one whose every action, by divine declaration, would be “for the benefit of the world” and every inhabitant in it. That love would be His ultimate reason for sending Jesus Christ, His Only Begotten Son, to the earth.”

My testimony is this. I’ve been raised up in the Church with a great foundation. I’ve sat through countless primary, sunday school, and quorum meetings. I’ve gone to scouting events and youth activities, temple trips and EFY. While I’ve learned a lot through all of this, I simply don’t feel a life changing connection with Heaven 100% of the time. And that is okay. There are, however, several other experiences in my life where I felt God’s love for His children. They were personally tailored to me. Just yesterday, I witnessed what we chalked up to be a miracle. My friend was in a freak dirt bike accident, and somehow came limping out of it without a scratch. Now I may not read the scriptures as much as I ought to, I may not be as smooth around the edges as I should be, and my hair might be too long. I ain’t the cookie-cutter full ride to BYU or perfect weekly temple attendance kind of guy. But I do know this- that the good Lord above loves me anyways. He loves a couple of good ol’ boys like me and my few teenage friends enough to keep us alive and out of trouble as much as He has even though we’re far from perfect. It just testifies to me that He needs me for something on this earth, or maybe He’s just giving me chance upon chance to figure it out and go do something amazing with my life. Undoubtedly, He loves all His children unconditionally.

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