The Hebrew Bible compares God's love to that of a mother (Isa.
66:13) or a father (Ps. 103:13). Jesus
taught that God, like a father, provides for our needs and comes running
to welcome us home (Matt. 7:9-11; Luke 15:11-24).
Images of God as parent take on special prominence in LDS tradition due
to the teaching that all people are the spirit children of a Heavenly
Mother and Father, with whom we lived before our life on earth.
Being a child of God means having unbounded potential for growth. Implanted
in our human nature are the seeds of divine qualities: strength, wisdom,
justice, compassion, generosity. We are not mere creatures molded by the
will of a Creator whose nature is incomprehensibly different from ours.
We are eternal beings in our own right: divine heirs and collaborators
in training. The knowledge that all people are God's children—gods
and goddesses in embryo—should inspire absolute respect for human
dignity as well as a sense of universal sisterhood and brotherhood.
Understanding our relationship with God as a parent-child bond invites
intimacy and familiarity. We can draw courage and comfort from knowing
that our Heavenly Parents are watching us, giving us independence to make
our own way yet supporting us with their love and counsel, sharing our
joys and griefs, and longing for our homecoming (Moses
| O My Father (Hymns
| I Am a Child of God (Hymns
All human beings—male and female—are
created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter
of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and
|"The Family: A Proclamation
to the World," September 23, 1995
|John Taylor: Man . .
. is a God in embryo, and possesses within him a spark of that eternal
flame which was struck from the blaze of God's eternal fire in the
|The Gospel Kingdom
(Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1943), 53-54
|George Q. Cannon: There
is not one of us but what God's love has been expended upon. There
is not one of us that He has not cared for and caressed. . . . We
may be insignificant and contemptible in our own eyes, and in the
eyes of others, but the truth remains that we are the children of
God, and that He has actually given His angels—invisible beings
of power and might—charge concerning us, and they watch over
us and have us in their keeping.
|Gospel Truth (Salt
Lake City: Deseret Book, 1974), 1-2
|Levi Edgar Young: The
first thing we should teach our children is respect for all human
beings. All are children of God.
April 1955, 60
Jeffrey R. and Patricia T.
Holland: We are children of heavenly parents who have invited
us on a journey to become like them.
|On Earth As It Is in
Heaven (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1989), 79
Chieko N. Okazaki:
Each of us is on a quest in this life to purify ourselves of mists
and veils so that we may see truly and clearly into each other's
hearts and there perceive that each one is a sister or a brother,
equally a beloved child of our loving Heavenly Parents. . . .
You are a beloved son or daughter of our Heavenly Parents. Their
hearts yearn over you in joy and love. They want to give you all
the treasures of eternity, and they hope steadfastly that you will
be the kind of person who will want the riches of eternity—in
other words, that you will follow the pathway marked out for you
by the Savior and live a life that is guided by the principle of
|Sanctuary (Salt Lake City:
Deseret Book, 1997), 57, 98