When my girls were young, we would hike around a beautiful reservoir, surrounded by tall grass and towering pine trees. As we made our way around this man-made lake, we took notice of the many streams that fed into it. We walked among the wildflowers in the path of the stream and we spotted all of the deer and moose who grazed on the grassy marsh. It was glorious and inspiring, even to my youngest child.
Our hike always ended on the dam that contained the reservoir. On one side was the beautiful lake with the wildflowers, green grass, and animals surrounding it. On the other side, there was a small, trickle of water that escaped the man-made dam. The trickle wandered it’s way through a dry landscape of sage and yellow grass. It was at this viewpoint that my children and I would discuss the cause and effect of having our progression stopped…. or dammed. We pondered on what we do in our lives that would cause our progression to stop. The girls would then imagine the power that comes when our personal progression joins the personal progression of others…. in the same pattern of the many streams join forces to create this small lake.
As Children of God, we have endless abilities and potential. We become even more powerful when we join with others.
The Lord knew that His children would be at their greatest when they become of “one heart, and one mind”. But how does He teach us this pattern? In God’s infinite wisdom, He sent His children to this earth by way of the most fundamental unit… The Family!
A family grows much the same way that a large body of water is formed. It just takes one drop of rain to join with other drops to form streams, then multiple streams form rivers, rivers combine to create lakes, seas and oceans…. This pattern of combining forces will continue in this same manner throughout the eternities before us, just as they have in the eternities that preceded us.
Isn’t that beautiful? Isn’t that glorious?
Now, if I wanted to destroy Heavenly Father’s plan, I would do everything in my power to dam this everlasting progression and create stagnant ponds instead of flowing streams. In order to do this, I would tell children that their happiness was dependent upon staying an independent drop of rain. That they deserved to only connect with others if and when it pleased them, and that they were free to disconnect themselves just as easily. The Adversary is hard at work to tell all of God’s children that they are more powerful, more important and more free when they are alone. But the Adversary doesn’t just stop there. He works hard to build his own units of society: Governments and principalities that create laws and mandates that take the place of family. These effectually require allegiance to programs and systems have been at odds with the family of God for millennia.
That’s not all the Adversary has up his sleeves. He uses the exact same pattern of growth that we find in this world’s water-ways to enlists each “drop of rain” to join with other drops to redefine “right” to mean, “wrong”. And “wrong” to mean “right”. This sly imitation has successfully grown to convince the world that not only is the damming effects of abortion, sexual immorality, and self-seeking lifestyles good, but that anyone who disagrees is a bigot, old-fashioned, and just plain mean.
Between the time that the Savior suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane and the time He was hung on the cross, He could’ve chosen any number of sins to specifically warn His followers about. It is very telling that He only warned of one sin…. it must have caused the most terrible sufferings of all that He had endured….
“And there followed him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him. But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children. For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck. Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us. For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?” (Luke 23:27-31)
Please notice the word, “blessed”. The Lord isn’t talking about those who are mourning over the inability to have children. His warning was specifically for those who say, “Blessed are the barren”. We hear this kind of language now, don’t we? So many of God’s children are purposefully missing out on the deep feelings of love, fear, joy, sorrow and gratitude that a mother and father experience when they invite children into their lives. Shallow emotions of selfishness now takes precedence. The endless learning opportunities and growth that come through familial relationships and responsibilities are considered of little worth. Now, it is temporary pursuits such as formal education, travel, career and recreation that gains the respect of the world.
The Adversary has truly convinced many that damming their progression is the only way to have happiness.
Gratefully, we know that our loving, Heavenly Father has a greater plan for His children. Elder Robert D. Hales taught: “The family is not an accident of mortality. It existed as an organizational unit in the heavens before the world was formed; historically, it started on earth with Adam and Eve, as recorded in Genesis. Adam and Eve were married and sealed for time and all eternity by the Lord, and as a result their family will exist eternally.”
From the time of Genesis, both genders, men and women, were combined in marriage in order to pass on the genes they have received from those in their genealogy. These eternal genes would be passed on to all future generations. Just as the little stream in our primary song kept “giving”, this beautiful pattern of combining each individual into a great generation, and eventually into one, eternal family is our most important work here on this earth…..
“And as one earth shall pass away, and the heavens thereof even so shall another come; and there is no end to my works, neither to my words. For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” (Moses 1:38-39)