- In word and in deed Jesus was trying to reveal and make personal to us the true nature of His Father, our Father in Heaven. All of us need to know God more fully in order to love Him more deeply and obey Him more completely.
He shares that this responsibility was so great that only Christ could handle this responsibility. Christ literally stood in for Our Heavenly Father on earth and did so constantly reflecting the attention of Himself and onto the Father.
- To come to earth with such a responsibility, to stand in place of Elohim—speaking as He would speak, judging and serving, loving and warning, forbearing and forgiving as He would do—this is a duty of such staggering proportions that you and I cannot comprehend such a thing. But in the loyalty and determination that would be characteristic of a divine child, Jesus could comprehend it and He did it. Then, when the praise and honor began to come, He humbly directed all adulation to the Father.
Elder Holland speaks about the clarity that our modern day scriptures give us. From the unbreakable timeline that is found between the Old and New Testament times, to the understanding of Deity that the Prophet Joseph Smith give us, we are blessed to have a cleared understanding of God's role in our lives.
- In reflecting on these misconceptions we realize that one of the remarkable contributions of the Book of Mormon is its seamless, perfectly consistent view of divinity throughout that majestic book. Here there is no Malachi-to-Matthew gap, no pause while we shift theological gears, no misreading the God who is urgently, lovingly, faithfully at work on every page of that record from its Old Testament beginning to its New Testament end. Yes, in an effort to give the world back its Bible and a correct view of Deity with it, what we have in the Book of Mormon is a uniform view of God in all His glory and goodness, all His richness and complexity—including and especially as again demonstrated through a personal appearance of His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ.
He concludes by sharing with us what God wants us to understand about Him. He is loving, kind, and full of mercy towards all of His children. He wants us to be happy and has provided a Savior so we can find that happiness by coming to Him for mercy and compassion.
- Jesus did not come to improve God’s view of man nearly so much as He came to improve man’s view of God and to plead with them to love their Heavenly Father as He has always and will always love them. The plan of God, the power of God, the holiness of God, yes, even the anger and the judgment of God they had occasion to understand. But the love of God, the profound depth of His devotion to His children, they still did not fully know—until Christ came.
- So feeding the hungry, healing the sick, rebuking hypocrisy, pleading for faith—this was Christ showing us the way of the Father, He who is “merciful and gracious, slow to anger, long-suffering and full of goodness.” In His life and especially in His death, Christ was declaring, “This is God’s compassion I am showing you, as well as that of my own.” In the perfect Son’s manifestation of the perfect Father’s care, in Their mutual suffering and shared sorrow for the sins and heartaches of the rest of us, we see ultimate meaning in the declaration: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”
How grateful I am to have a better understanding of God through our modern prophets. I listened to a podcast a couple weeks ago that was trying to make sense of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost all being one person. I was left with sadness of the basic truths of God's character being misrepresented to the world. I believe I have a stronger relationship with my Father in Heaven because I understand who He is and what He wants for each of us. I believe He loves us, guides us, and wants us to be happy. He is merciful, compassionate, and wants us to succeed in returning to Him. He isn't some mystical being who has no heart. That is why of all the names he could go by, he simply asks us to call him Father. Ever since my kids went to Kindergarten and to this day, I sign all of their school forms and permission slips with my name and in the middle I sign "daddy." My kids think it's funny but I tell them there is no greater name I go by than being their "daddy." That is my favorite name and I am sure our Heavenly Father feels the same way.