A few years ago I went to a women's conference given by Seagull Books. There were several amazing speakers. There was a wealth of information and inspiration from each of them. I feel impressed to share one comment in particular with you today. The speaker was Dr. John Lund. He said, "God loves us like we are an only child." I have to say that I had never thought of it this way before, but the moment he said it, it just clicked for me. It made since to me because I am an only child and I know what it feels like to be a parent to more than one child. It is very different.
Growing up I remember hearing comments about, how could God know us as individuals when there are so many people who live now and who once lived. The numbers don't seem to make sense to them. However, I feel that it can't help but make sense. In just the simple concept of God explains it perfectly. When we speak of God or divinity, we are talking of someone who is omnipotent: having unlimited power; able to do anything, omnipresent: present everywhere at the same time, omniscient: knowing everything; having infinite knowledge. In just these few definitions we are able to see that God can do all things, be in all places, and know all things and all of this at the same time. This confirms to me that He can be with each of us individually as well as with the masses.
I remember growing up and having my mother to myself. I remember all of the wonderful, amazing and fun things she used to do for me. She used to make my favorite meal (bacon cheeseburgers at the time) and serve it by candle light with Kool-aid in wine glasses. She went on school field trips. She saved money and sent me to Disneyland and on school sponsored trips. My mother went without many times so that she could provide whatever she thought would bring me happiness. She sacrificed much for me to give me the best that she was able to. This is only an example of all the things my mother did for me and she did all this because she loved me.
Christ said, "If you, who are imperfect, would provide food and clothes for your children, how much more will your Father in Heaven who is perfect provide for you." Now of course I am paraphrasing here, but you get the idea. If my mother who is imperfect would love and give me so much and was capable of doing as much as she did for me, how much more so will a perfect loving Heavenly Father do. I do not just believe, but I know that God does love us and He works on our behalf, giving us all the love and attention as though we are the only child He has. He does this because He loves us and is able to do it. He does this because He desires us to know Him as you would know any person in your life. He does this because He desires our true joy and happiness.
A teacher in my church Pres. Dieter F. Uchtdorf said, "Compared to God, man is nothing; but to God man is everything." It is because we are everything to Him that He seeks to love and do everything He can for us as though we were His only child. The catch to this is that we have to choose to accept what He offers us. Unlike the most well intentioned parent who tries to force their child to accept or do something (I know I am sometimes guilty of this) God never forces us to accept Him or what He offers. He will ask, He will guide, He will teach, and He will offer us, but He will never force us to believe in Him, love Him, or accept Him. He has given us our free will to choose, our agency, and He will never force us even if it is for our good. And also like the most patient parent, He still loves us and offers us His hand for the time we choose to take it.
I can promise you that we, the people in your life, will fall short and fail you. We will make mistakes and we will disappoint you. We will cause you heartache and pain. And there will be times that we will make you feel lonely and alone. We will do all this even though we love you. These things will happen all while we are doing the best that we are able. But there is one that you can always rely on. There is one who will love you perfectly, one who will always be there for you, and give you exactly what you desire. There is one who will love you as though you are the only one. That one is your Heavenly Father.
When your loved ones fall short, when life disappoints, and when the world appears to be against you, turn to Him; seek Him out. For it is only within His loving embrace that you will find the love, peace, and healing you desire. It is only He who knows you perfectly and therefor only He who can minister to your needs perfectly. If you find yourself friendless, turn to Him who will befriend you. If you find yourself hopeless, turn to Him who gives all hope. If you find yourself tired, turn to Him who will give you rest. Whatever it is you stand in need of, turn to Him and He will provide exactly as you need it. Turn to Him and ask, for He stands diligently and loyally by your side waiting for you so that He can bestow all that He has upon you whom He loves.
He does all of this that you may come to know and love Him as He knows and loves you. Another teacher in my church Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley said, "God was the first parent and He has not relinquished His parental rights." So whether you are 1 or 1,000,001, God is your father and loves you as such always. In His eyes you are and always will be His child; to love, guide, nurture, and to protect in as much as you will accept and believe Him.