Of all the gifts our loving Heavenly Father has provided to His children, the greatest is eternal life (see D&C 14:7). That gift is to live in the presence of God the Father and His Beloved Son forever in families. Only in the highest of the kingdoms of God, the celestial, will the loving bonds of family life continue.
All of us hope for the joy of living in loving families. For some of us, it is a feeling we have not experienced—a feeling we know is possible but have not yet realized. We may have seen it in the lives of others. For others of us, family love has seemed more real and precious when death has separated us from a child, a mother, a father, a brother, a sister, or a loving and beloved grandparent.
We have all felt the hope that someday we could feel again the warm affection of that family member we loved so much and now ache to embrace again.
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Supplemental Reading: In his April 2002 general conference talk "Eternal Life through Jesus Christ," Elder John M. Madsen of the First Quorum of the Seventy talks about how we can gain eternal life through Jesus Christ:
Almost 2,000 years ago, a rich young man asked an extremely important question of the Savior: “Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?” (Matt. 19:16).
Having “heard” the Savior’s instructions and His gentle invitation to “come and follow me” (Matt. 19:21), the rich young man “went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions” (Matt. 19:22).
Tragically, millions in the world today still prize and choose “the riches of the earth” over the “riches of eternity” (D&C 38:39), not knowing or fully understanding that “he that hath eternal life is rich” (D&C 6:7; emphasis added), and that eternal life is God’s greatest gift to man (see D&C 14:7). Simply stated, eternal life is to live forever as families in the presence of God (see D&C 132:19–20, 24, 55).
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