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Sunday, May 19, 2013

God is our Loving Heavenly Father

Have you ever wondered about the nature of God? People talk about Him as if He is an obscure, all-encompassing blob of something that cannot be defined. However, God is our Heavenly Father. We are His spiritual children, and Jesus Christ is our elder brother. Heavenly Father loves and knows each of us personally and individually, and wants us to be able to live with Him again. He has a body of flesh and bone, just as we do. In Genesis 1:26, we read of how God created man in His own image and after His own likeness. This means that our appearance and form is modeled after that of God and that He is a distinct physical being. We lived with our Heavenly Father before we came to Earth. He has provided a plan for us in which we can grow, progress, and learn. This plan involves us coming to Earth, receiving a body, and living a mortal life. We have the opportunity to follow God's commandments and make righteous decisions, showing that we love Him and want to obey Him. As we obey Heavenly Father's commandments, we grow a closer relationship with Him and get to know Him better. We learn of our individual and important purpose of living and what we need to do to help others live righteously. Heavenly Father gave us our free will to make decisions. He does not force us to do what is right; we have the power to choose. This life is a time of testing to see if we will come back to Him and serve Him. He sacrificed His Son, Jesus Christ, to come to the Earth and atone for our sins. Jesus Christ died so that we may repent and be forgiven of our wrongdoings and become purified, better people. In this Atonement, Jesus also suffered all the pains of the world. We can look to Jesus Christ for support and compassion because He has literally felt all of the pains, sorrows, discomforts, and anxieties of our lives. He is the only person that has a perfect understanding of what we are personally going through, and this knowledge gives us faith, hope, and strength to press on when the going gets tough. I know that Heavenly Father cares about all of us deeply, in a fatherly loving way, and He pays attention to our lives. He mourns with us as we suffer, celebrates as we do what is right and are prosperous, and encourages us to persist. Heavenly Father is always there for us, and any feelings of distance from Him are a result of us walking away, not from Him leaving us behind. I invite you to develop a relationship with your Heavenly Father, just as you would with an earthly father. Get to know Him by talking to Him through sincere prayer, reading His word in the scriptures, and doing His will by following the commandments He has given us. As you make an effort to come to God and to follow Jesus Christ, you will be blessed and inspired.

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