When I was pregnant, a good friend told me about her recent experience in becoming a mom. In addition to the typical ups and downs, she mentioned an interesting thought: Being a parent helps you learn even more about who Heavenly Father is.
Now that I’ve been a mom for 7 whole months (pretty much expert status 😉 ), I’ve come to appreciate family even more. While there are many reasons God has put us in families (to gain a physical body, learn the gospel, prepare for eternal life), being a mother really has helped me learn more about my Father in Heaven than anything else I’ve experienced so far.
Here are just a couple of the lessons I’ve learned about who God really is.
1. He never forgets us.
When my baby realizes she is hungry, it’s as if she forgot I ever fed her. The way she cries when she’s hungry, it’s as if she’s saying, “Please! Don’t forget to feed me!” (Her little baby memory doesn’t remember that I’ve never let her cry in hunger for very long.)
Sometimes we cry to God in the same way: “Please! Don’t forget to feed me!” All we remember is that right now, we’re really hungry. And what if we don’t get fed? But what we forget is that He always feeds us. He always gives us what we need. He never forgets us.
In our moment of need, we may worry. We may think we’ve been abandoned. We may feel we’ve been forgotten. But as Isaiah reminds us, a mother can forget her sucking child, but He will not forget us (1 Nephi 21:14-16).
2. He loves us more than we know.
I’m definitely still working on developing charity, but if I’ve learned anything from being a mother, it’s love. Whether my baby is smiling or crying, I feel an immense love for her. (And because I’m just an Earthly parent instead of a Heavenly one, I sometimes feel a tinge of annoyance with the latter, especially if it’s in the middle of the night. 😉 )
Our Father feels that parental love in an infinitely more perfect way. President Thomas S. Monson beautifully explained the magnitude of that love for us:
“Your Heavenly Father loves you—each of you. That love never changes. . . . It is simply there. It is there for you when you are sad or happy, discouraged or hopeful. God’s love is there for you whether or not you feel you deserve love. It is simply always there.”
He loves us through the good and the bad, the happy and sad. Even on days when we’re being little stinkers, He still somehow loves us! He loves us even more than we know.
Earthly Parents, Heavenly Parents
In being Earthly parents, we get the chance to learn more about our Heavenly parents. As you try to raise your children in righteousness, take the time to think about the way your Heavenly Father is raising you. The Lord has said, “I will raise up unto myself a pure people, that will serve me in righteousness” (D&C 100:16).
How exactly is He raising you? Hopefully the way you are raising your child: never forgetting, always loving.