He was the best of fathers and I miss him so much. But for me, great peace comes in the knowledge of the Plan of Salvation as Jesus Christ taught to His prophets and apostles, as well as Himself as He lived at the meridian of time.
All these thoughts precipitated this blog I wrote for LDSBlogs.com today.
One of the most precious things given to us, I believe, is the knowledge of who we were before we came to this earth.
Elder Bruce R. McConkie, an apostle of our Lord Jesus Christ, tell us:
"Being subject to law, and having their agency, all the spirits of men, while yet in the Eternal Presence, developed aptitudes, talents, capacities, and abilities of every sort, kind and degree . . . As the ages rolled, no two spirits remained alike. Mozart became a musician; Einstein centered his interest in mathematics; Michelangelo turned his attention to painting. Cain was a liar, a schemer, a rebel who maintained a close affinity to Lucifer. Abraham and Moses and all of the prophets sought and obtained the talent for spirituality. Mary and Eve were two of the greatest of all the spirit daughters of the Father . . . and so it went through all the hosts of heaven, each individual developing talents and abilities as his soul desired." (Bruce R. McConkie, The Mortal Messiah, Salt Lake City, Deseret Book 1979 1:23 497)
"Eternal Presence" is the presence of our Heavenly Father. We are His spirit sons and daughters, which gives me such a sense of completeness. I know who I am:
I know that I am a child of God.
I know that I lived before. And my personality now, was my personality then. It is clear that I loved knowledge, of all types. It is clear I had a gift and talent for the written word and that I probably spent a good portion of my heavenly time curled up in a comfy chair in the library to end all libraries, the library of God. It is clear I loved music, art, life, mountains, rivers and lakes. It is clear I loved sunrises and sunsets, flowers, animals and I clearly craved wide open spaces similar to the western part of the United States of America.
There is no question in my heart that I knew and associated with my friends and family in my heavenly home. The moment of instant recognition and "Where have you been?" when meeting these people in mortality assures me of this. My family here on earth is my strength, my joy and my testimony of a loving Heavenly Father. Is my family perfect? No, definitely not. We have our skeletons, our failures, our black sheep . . . but we also have our successes, our support, our strength.
Without question I adored and worshiped my Heavenly Father and my Savior, Jesus Christ.
Without hesitation I defended Jesus Christ, along with the other hosts of heaven (and yes, that would be you too) against the uprising of Lucifer and the one third of the hosts of heaven who followed him.
And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. (Revelations 12:7-10)
My love and fierce defense of Jesus Christ here on earth, confirms to my heart that I did indeed stand for Him there too.
So let's step away from me and look at you. According to Elder McConkie, who we are here is who we were there. But the point of mortality is to take what we accomplished in our heavenly home and to continue to grow here.
If you have an affinity for light . . . you know Jesus Christ.
If you have an affinity for love . . . you know Jesus Christ.
If you have an affinity for hope . . . you know Jesus Christ.
If you have an affinity for joy . . . you know Jesus Christ.
If you have an affinity for life . . . you know Jesus Christ.
If you are enveloped in sorrow . . . you have forgotten Jesus Christ, remember Him.
If you are enveloped in hate . . . you have forgotten Jesus Christ and our heavenly home.
If you are enveloped in sin and degradation . . . you have forgotten who you are, remember.
Awake, my brothers and sisters. Stand and shake off all that keeps you from Him. Remember that He paid the ransom for your soul. You are free to walk the path you choose, although you cannot choose the consequences.
Your Father in Heaven did not abandon you to this world to struggle through on your own. He provided a Savior to show you the way and pay for your sins. He cast a veil over your mind so you would not remember your heavenly home, but you kept your personality, your hopes and dreams, and you kept your accomplishments.
You are not judged just on this mortal span alone. When we stand before God on Judgment Day He will take into account all that you have been, before your birth and after. All that you accomplished in heaven. All that you did to defend Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father's plan against Satan and his minions. All your growth, accomplishments, as well as your friendships and familial ties, were honored here on earth. And they will tip the good side of the heavenly scale of justice.
So you see, you've already triumphed in the first phase of your life, premortality. Now you are in the second phase, mortality.
There is hope, Jesus Christ. There is light, Jesus Christ. There is joy, Jesus Christ. It all stems from He who walked the dusty roads of the Middle East spreading His father's word. He descended to earth from His heavenly throne and gave His heart and soul to the redemption of mankind. He made sure there was a written record of His gospel from Adam and Eve forward, a map, as it were, which would lead us home. He lived His mortal life in such a way that we could follow Him, becoming more like Him and therefore, more like our Father.
I testify at this time that we did not begin with our mortal birth, nor will we end with our mortal death. We are eternal beings caught in a physical experience, which we begged our Father in Heaven for . . . the chance to be more like Him.
This is truth. This is hope. This is life. Please turn to Jesus Christ and know that in following His path the windows of heaven will open and blessings will pour out upon you. Your burdens will be lighter. Your accomplishments will be brighter. Your love will deeper and more abiding . . . the world has only cheap, shiny things to offer . . . Jesus Christ has your eternity.
To read more of my religious writings you can click Mormon Beliefs or Prophets & Leaders.
I wish for each of you today a day filled with hope, peace and light . . . a day reflecting on our eternal ties, our Savior Jesus Christ and our loving, and most patient, Heavenly Father. Happy Sabbath everyone.