Monday, May 9, 2016

On Motherhood and Fatherhood

[Discussion from elsewhere about Mother's Day and whether it is offensive to be referred to as a "second mother" to a child not your own]

Eve was called "the mother of all living" long before she ever gave birth to anyone.

I'm perfectly fine with perceiving "Fatherhood" as something other than biological. Ultimately all fathering is adoptive anyway. I existed (in some form) long before I had any father at all, but I'm grateful to Heavenly Father for deciding that I was worth spending effort on, for giving me a spirit and instruction and a chance to become more.

The first principles of man are self-existent with God. God himself, finding he was in the midst of spirits and glory, because he was more intelligent, saw proper to institute laws whereby the rest could have a privilege to advance like himself. The relationship we have with God places us in a situation to advance in knowledge. He has power to institute laws to instruct the weaker intelligences, that they may be exalted with Himself, so that they might have one glory upon another, and all that knowledge, power, glory, and intelligence, which is requisite in order to save them in the world of spirits. -Joseph Smith

Fatherhood is the essence of the priesthood, and parenting is the essence of divinity. There's a sign at work that says "Live as though you will die today. Learn as though you will live forever." And learning is great. But learning without teaching ultimately starts feeling empty, at least to me. Passing on knowledge, empowering and strengthening others, is the essence of a happy life. And that is fatherhood and motherhood: "to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of [your children]."

"Love is one of the chief characteristics of Deity, and ought to be manifested by those who aspire to be the sons of God. A man filled with the love of God, is not content with blessing his family alone, but ranges through the whole world, anxious to bless the whole human race." Joseph Smith said that, and I'm persuaded that this is what is meant by the scripture which says, "In the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees; And in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this order of the priesthood [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage]; And if he does not, he cannot obtain it." That order of the priesthood is the desire to bless the whole human race.


If I esteem mankind to be in error, shall I bear them down? No. I will lift them up, and in their own way too, if I cannot persuade them my way is better; and I will not seek to compel any man to believe as I do, only by the force of reasoning, for truth will cut its own way.

I could not love thee, dear, so much,
Loved I not Honor more.

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