What is a Child of God?
Of course the idea that LDS doctrine teaches we are equal to God is incorrect, and what I’ve found is that rather than filling us with blasphemous pride, the awareness that our ultimate goal is perfection much more often fills us with angst. On my lowest days, when I answer my children with an exasperated Because I said so! And complimentary glare in the bargain rather than a firm but compassion-filled adult response, or when I fudge on scripture-reading, opting instead for the spiritual stimulation of the TV, or do any number of little-ish things I’ll soon be ashamed of, the gap between where I am and where He is seems far wider than the span of the universe. Really? As I am He once was; as He is I may become?
But the truth, the glorious, saving truth, is that our Heavenly Parents and older brother Jesus Christ are not fundamentally alien to us. The truth is, we are the imperfect versions of them, and they the ultimate, perfected version of us. We were formed in Father’s image and likeness the way our biological children are created in ours. (Genesis 1:27) We are the same species! We are His children, not in the same way our dogs are our “children,” but in the same way our children are our children. We are not only His main concern, but His only concern. The earth, its flora and fauna, herbs, trees and animals--all of which He loves perfectly--were created for our benefit. (Genesis 1:26; Doctrine and Covenants 49:19) His work and His glory is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of….us. (Moses 1:39)
It is for this reason that we have legitimate claim on His time, attention and resources, as our children have claim on us for their maintenance. (Doctrine and Covenants 83:4) It is for this reason He is concerned with our little lives and the teapot-tempests that sometimes feel like they’ll consume us, though they don’t make a blip in the universe’s screen. It is comforting to remember, however we mess up, however far from perfection we currently are, that we have--not just a terrifying and mysterious force at work above our heads--but a Father watching over us, rooting for us and waiting for us.
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