Yesterday, I was struggling with how to help me and my son Brand get thru a blue day. At the tail-end of a great deal prayer, I flipped open my laptop, and opened my documents folder without really having any idea what I’d find. Almost instantly, my eyes landed on a letter I wrote to my future sons many years ago but had long since forgotten. There was such a powerful uplifting feeling while I read it out loud to the two of us- It’s funny how the lord prepares things for us before we even know we need it. Today I am doing much better- in fact I have been feeling well enough to ponder the next installment of my Eagle parable. So here we go…..
Not long after his visit with the Eaglet in his nest- the Lord went out across the mountain ridges to find the young bird’s mother.
He found her at the edge of a cold, clear mountain lake. “I was just visiting with your young one, ” he said after greeting her.
She fluttered her feathers a bit to still them, and then looked at him squarely with her piercing eye. “I hope he is o.k.” she replied.
The Lord smiled and sat comfortably next to her. “Yes.” he answered. “He is very o.k. and in fact progressing quite well, which is why he is so restless. I came here to tell you that your son has a magnificent heart. He has within him the seeds of greatness; and for these seeds to grow well, the next principles he must gain are courage and faith. So I must ask a favor of you. I need you to carry on, and it will appear to be without me to your son. For he cannot learn faith, until he learns to choose to have hope in something he cannot yet see, but only sees the effects of- like the growth of the trees brought by the light of the sun and the rain, and the good in you that he can emulate. As he learns faith, and begins to trust you, then he will begin the road to courage. Can you help me?”
The great mother’s heart moved a bit faster. “I can only try my best” she said with more humility than her form would suggest.
“That will be enough.” The Lord answered “I will make up the difference. Call on me when you have need, I will be near.”
Then he was gone. The mother Eagle sighed, and remembered the fish under her feet, picking it up to carry back to the nest.
It’s short; but in my pondering today- I felt like the letter I read yesterday might somehow be a letter this Mother Eagle might want to send to her sons in some way, (in fact, I have several that would fit in that category) so I am including it in this parable. (and if you want to see the first parts, here is chapter 1 and chapter 2)
A Letter to My boys
As you grow and hear what people want to believe in school and on the media, you may find at some point that I don’t always teach the same things. This is not surprising. Trying to reconcile the philosophies of men with the truths of God is not possible- they are not compatible.
Men like the idea of no higher authority, and also of predestination because both ideas let them off the hook… they can say for instance, “Our lives are set down before us- so there is no need to try or care.”
But the truth of free agency says that we are held accountable for our choices, and must answer for them to a supreme being.
You ask how can there be freedom of choice if God knows all we will do– the answer comes in 3 parts…
1–It is easiest to understand by remembering that Heavenly Father is our FATHER. Just like, as a parent, I try hard to know what my kids like to eat, and have those things on hand; it doesn’t stop you from having the responsibility to eat right and not complain- nor does it stop you from needing to have the courtesy to ask please for it. Heavenly Father knows our needs, but waits for us to ask. Just like he will not let his grand plans be messed up, but does not force our actions. His mind is so great, that he can set things into motion to handle much more than one choice from us, not just one possible pathway.
2–two, comes the truth that this life is just a tiny, tho important, piece of our lives. Like a bridge between our spiritual youth and the mighty eternity of our adulthood. This bridge of Earth-life must be crossed. HOW we cross it is what defines us as great men and women, or just normal. We cannot become great tho, just by wishing for it, or dwelling on the world’s distractions. All the great men of this world prepared long before anyone had ever heard of them. George Washington was one of the greatest men in history- but most of what made him great was learned in his youth and as young-man. Courage-under-fire, care for his fellow men, wisdom, strength of heart to stand on his beliefs when no-one around him wants to have the courage to agree, handling trials with faith, and looking for other ways around obstacles instead of quitting. It was not until after he stood his ground thru the tests and pain, that all could see how great a man he was.
(just a note- there are two things greater than fear= love, and faith… leaning on these two things is how we manage to have courage, which is not the absence of fear, but going on, thru the fear, because we make the choice that the action is more important than the fear.)
3- and finally– when we get to the other end of the bridge called this lifetime (also called probation in the scriptures) there is a toll booth we have to go thru. This toll booth is the judgement bar of Christ. The toll is to sit with him and make an accounting of our life and choices. The answers will determine how cool the rest of our life will be forever… but though, I suppose, Heavenly Father knows us well enough to say before we get there what kingdom we are meant for– he does not, because loves us, and know we would feel cheated of the chance to try/ and because there is no learning, no happiness, and no growing up, without choices and consequences, and yes- even pain….
And in the end, THAT is what Heavenly Father is really interested in– the Growth and Maturing of His children- us.