When (the collective) we think of eternal families, and we tend to envision the perfect ideal of our imagination. In practical terms, that means we have adopted, in our own uniquely Mormon way, the Protestant idea of rest and peace and grapes and harps – only with our children gathered around us in an ideal Family Home Evening that lasts forever.
The problem is, that’s not life – either in the here and now or how
we read of God’s life. Jacob 5 tells of the Lord of the vineyard
getting into the muck and the dung in order to try to save the trees –
and not succeeding a lot of the time. Moses 6-7 shows a God who weeps
for the iniquity he sees among his children – and eternity shakes while
the devil laughs. That image can be shattering emotionally, without a
belief that charity really is LONG-suffering and God really does have
“all eternity” at their disposal to accomplish their work and glory –
but it is the most complete picture we have of what it will be like to
be Heavenly Parents. It won’t be rosy in the short term; in fact, it will
be painful – but it will be worth it in the end.
In our vision of eternity, my mortal children won’t be sitting around
me listening to a lesson; they will be somewhere overseeing, in some way, the growth and development
of other spirit children engaged in their own eternal progression. I am
a bit heterodox in the sense that I believe in a Council of the Gods
arrangement that models how I read the first chapters of Genesis and the
PofGP (and that, as part of that creative council, I will work with my
mortal children, their spouses and other gods in the eternal Plan of
Salvation), but, with or without that paradigm, I will NOT live with my
mortal children forever as their actively involved parent, but it is the most
common view in the LDS Church, I think. At least, that is the way it is presented most often.
This is deep stuff, but the key for me is quite simple:
Families are important and, in some vital way, eternal.
I believe that with all my heart.
3 hours ago