I’ve been thinking an awful lot about my own dad and some of the things he’s taught me. In particular, a phrase he mentioned just this past week (and many times before) has struck me again and again and again. He said something to the effect of, “Our earthly lives and structures are patterned after heavenly structures.” He was speaking, specifically, about the family and the way our homes should be set up.
Over the last few months, I’ve felt an honest, sincere yearning to be near my father. It is a yearning that is physical, but also spiritual, emotional, and mental. This morning, I woke up with an almost overwhelming want to sit at his feet, listen to him speak, and learn from him. He’s always been such an enormous man to me, and I admire him so deeply for his life, his sacrifices, and his work.
I think he is correct that our lives here are temporal patterns based on divine order and organization. As such, it is very easy for me to see why Christ always expressed such an open fondness for His own Father, and why His Father always expressed such immediate support for His Son. In the same ways that Christ longed to please, support, honor, and sustain His Heavenly Father, I want to please, support, honor, and sustain my earthly father.
The relationship of Christ and His Father as a familial relationship helps us understand the workings of the Atonement and the Plan of Salvation. As I said in an early post, I have difficulty believing that the Celestial Kingdom will not be the largest of all of God’s Kingdoms of Glory based simply on the idea of the family. If God were merely just a God, I could understand and accept a plan where many failed and few succeeded, but understanding that God is not just a God but rather a divine Father first, utterly rejects the notion that any creation, thought, ideology, or plan from Him would do anything but return the majority of His children home.
I thought about calling home this morning to my earthly father. It was very early, but I knew that he would be awake and ready for my call. And even if he wasn’t, I knew that he would still take it eagerly. I knew that I wouldn’t have anything really important to say, but I knew that he’d fill the time with words of encouragement, love, appreciation, humor, and hope even if nothing was ever really said. I knew that I’d come away from the experience better, stronger, and more prepared for whatever might come my way.
And of course, the thought hit me that our world and families are patterned after the richness of Christ’s own relationship with His Father. Knowing that and knowing my own feelings for the man I call Dad bears strong testimony to me of the richness of the plan, the completeness of the way, and the ability that I and all others have to reach out and find peace in the Arms of Safety.