Sermoncitos, a family tradition
God the Father
Before we came to earth we lived with our Father in Heaven. The trials and temptations we suffer on earth are provided for our benefit that we might remember that we need God, and learn to turn to Him. “Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord” (James 1:3-7).
Heavenly Father does not force us to come to him, but invites us: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11: 28). We have earthly parents whose example can teach us how to put trust in God, but we must be willing. “Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?”(Heb. 12: 9). The importance of knowing God is clear from Jesus’s’ prayer: “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17: 3).
When we choose to become parents, we take upon ourselves a sacred role, a role we learned in our life with Heavenly Father. We fulfill that role well when we strive to be like our Heavenly Father and teach our children about Him. Jesus often compared earthly parents with heavenly parents. “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” (Matthew 7:11). One of our most important roles as parents is to teach our children in a way that they might gain faith in their Heavenly Father. The most sure way to teach is by example. Joseph Smith said that he was prepared to ask of God because his parents read the scriptures and prayed together as a family every day.
Jesus often prayed to his Father alone or with his friends. His example led many to seek the Father. We should also be good examples to our children and friends. “Jesus said unto the children of men: Follow thou me. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, can we follow Jesus save we shall be willing to keep the commandments of the Father? And also, the voice of the Son came unto me, saying: He that is baptized in my name, to him will the Father give the Holy Ghost, like unto me; wherefore, follow me, and do the things which ye have seen me do. Wherefore, do the things which I have told you I have seen that your Lord and your Redeemer should do; for, for this cause have they been shown unto me, that ye might know the gate by which ye should enter. For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost” (2 Nephi 31: 10,12,17).
Jesus taught us our relationship to God by praying to the Father. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14: 6). “And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen” (2 Nephi 31: 21).