By Sheena Perron
Father's Day is a day to honor fathers and the role they play in their families as well as their influence in society. On this day we also reflect on the many father figures that have influenced us and have shaped us into who we are today.
I invite you to take a moment and reflect on the men who have influenced you for good. Some of the men on your list may include earthly fathers, family members, teachers, neighbors, bishops, and so on. Think of your relationship with each of these men. How was this relationship formed? What did you do to build and strengthen that relationship? How did this person impact your life?
There are so many incredible men we could include that have influenced us for good, but there is one in particular that I would like to focus on for the remainder of this article, our Heavenly Father.
Once again, I invite you to take a moment and reflect on your relationship with Heavenly Father. Would you say you have a strong relationship with Him? What have you done to build your relationship with Him? What could you do better?
Some of the ways we strengthen our earthly relationships can be applied to strengthening our relationship with our Heavenly Father. The ideas may sound easy, but just like earthly relationships, strengthening our relationship with God requires time, effort, and sacrifice.
Strengthening my Relationship with Heavenly Father
Communication is an important part of building and strengthening any relationship. When you pray you are speaking to Heavenly Father. He wants to hear from you. He wants to hear what you are grateful for, how your day was, and what you are struggling or need help with. He is always there ready to listen.
PONDER: How is your communication with Heavenly Father? Do I pray often? Do I believe/have faith that my prayers will be answered? Are my prayers sincere? Do my prayers often sound or feel the same? Do I prepare for prayer? Do I rush through my prayers? Do I share my thoughts and feelings? Do I take time to listen?
“When we offer a mighty prayer, we have the attention of the most powerful, merciful, and loving being in the universe. We spend a moment in the heavens. And we all need a moment in the heavens, especially when we are going through difficult times” (“A Personal Relationship with Our Heavenly Father through Prayer,” Juan A. Uceda, Feb. 2019).
As you feast upon the words of God you will come to know Him. You will learn and read about His dealings with His children. You will learn about His perfect love for His children. You will learn what He asks of you and what you must do to live with Him again.
President Kimball has said: “I find that when I get casual in my relationships with divinity and when it seems that no divine ear is listening and no divine voice is speaking, that I am far, far away. If I immerse myself in the scriptures, the distance narrows and the spirituality returns.” (“What I Hope You Will Teach My Grandchildren …, ” address to seminary and institute personnel, July 11, 1966.)
PONDER: Do you take time to learn of Him? Do you feast upon His words to get to know Him better? Do you spend more time with things of the world? Do you pray to understand more fully what He would have you learn as you study?
One of the greatest ways you can express your love for Heavenly Father is by serving His children.
President Spencer W. Kimball said, “God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs. Therefore, it is vital that we serve each other” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball , 82).
PONDER: How do you express your love and appreciation for your Heavenly Father? Do you strive to see others as God sees them? Do you look for opportunities to serve His children? What can you do to better serve?
Elder Ballard suggested this, “In your morning prayer each new day, ask Heavenly Father to guide you to recognize an opportunity to serve one of His precious children. Then go throughout the day with your heart full of faith and love, looking for someone to help” (“Be Anxiously Engaged,” October 2012).
As you look for opportunities to serve and act on promptings you receive, you will not only bring love and light into your life, but into the lives of those around you.
Heavenly Father loves you. As you make your relationship with Him a priority in your life He will “draw near unto you” (see D&C 88:63-65).
Sheena Perron is the founder of Little LDS Ideas and Seek Christ Daily. Her mission is to help others become seekers of Christ through uplifting online content and events. She has been featured in the Ensign, Deseret News, and KSL Radio. Follow Sheena Perron on Instagram and Facebook