Christ came to live on the earth to show us how to live. His life and teachings are recorded in the New Testament of the Holy Bible. The Old Testament records God’s dealings with the people long ago. Have you ever wondered if He didn’t teach others also? Could He be God and have only given us that much information to go on?
These are great questions! And, as you may now realize, God is our loving Father in Heaven. In fact, that is the name He asks us to call Him by – Father.
Imagine for a moment that a family is getting ready to send their child off to college. What happens? They prepare their child for the journey, ensuring accommodations are acquired, necessities packed, directions given, and big hugs exchanged before he leaves. Is that all?
Would the family simply wait for their child to return, feeling they had done everything necessary to assure his success? Would they simply “hope for the best” for him, never reaching out to him to see how he is doing?
Not likely! And, as Christ says in Matthew 7:9-11: “Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? 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?”
What does this tell you about your Father in Heaven? Obviously He carefully prepared us, His children, for our journey into mortality. He planned it so that every child is given a father and a mother, a family. He sent us with His Godly characteristics and attributes. He provided scriptures to give us rules and direction in our lives. Is that all He did? Did He then sit back and “hope for the best”?
No. From the beginning Father in Heaven set up a plan to bless every one of His children. He taught the gospel, including His Plan of Happiness, to them from the beginning. “And Adam and Eve, his wife, called upon the name of the Lord, and they heard the voice of the Lord from the way toward the Garden of Eden, speaking unto them, and they saw him not; for they were shut out from his presence. And he gave unto them commandments, that they should worship the Lord their God, and should offer the firstlings of their flocks, for an offering unto the Lord. And Adam was obedient unto the commandments of the Lord.” Moses 5:4-5.
Heavenly Father knew that we would not always obey the rules, that we would be selfish, make poor choices and suffer the consequences, that we would even stop believing in Him. So His plan included sending prophets to His children, prophets who would follow Christ, receive His teachings, and share them with the people. The prophets wrote the words they received, such as what is in the Bible.
Heavenly Father also sent His only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to live on the earth and give His children the perfect example of how to live. But Christ was not just sent to the Jews. “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” John 10:16. Who were these other sheep?
In the Book of Mormon we read the beautiful story of Christ visiting the people on the American Continent after His resurrection. 3 Nephi 15:21 records His words to them, “And verily I say unto you, that ye are they of whom I said: Other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.”
And in 3 Nephi 16:1 He further explains, “And verily, verily, I say unto you that I have other sheep, which are not of this land, neither of the land of Jerusalem, neither in any parts of that land round about whither I have been to minister.” Heavenly Father does not forget about His children! He seeks to bless every one of them. He sent His Son to visit many of them. And He does not stop speaking to man.
Today He continues to guide His children through a prophet. We also have Christ’s teachings in modern-day in the Doctrine and Covenants. And we hear from the prophet and the 12 apostles regularly as they lead and guide Christ’s church on the earth today, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Our loving Father continues to care about and bless His children, seeking to help us as we journey through life and work our way back home to Him. 🙂