One night while I was putting one of my sons to bed, he looked up at me after he was all tucked in and asked, “Dad, are there Legos in heaven?”
At the time, my son loved Legos. He would play with them all day long, sleep with them, and then first thing in the morning he would hop out of bed and get back to building. He asked for them for Christmas, for his birthday, and every other holiday. In his little mind, heaven would not be heaven without Legos.
I looked back down at him and said, “Of course there are, son. MILLIONS OF THEM.”
I am not sure if that is true or not, but he gave me the biggest, most satisfied grin, wiggled back and forth for a second to get a little more snug in the covers, closed his eyes, and whispered, “I knew it. Night night.”
For Jackson, the happiest kind of heaven would be a heaven made of Legos. Even though that is not scriptural, the idea of heaven being a place of happiness is (see Alma 40:12). Our Heavenly Father promises us amazing blessings to entice us to choose Him. God’s blessings are much more amazing than millions of Legos, but for a three-year-old, that was as good as it gets. It was enough for him! He wanted to go to heaven.
We have no idea how wonderful the great blessings of God truly are, but they are promised in their fullness to those who love Him.
The first and greatest commandment that the Lord gave to His children was and is to "love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all they mind" (Matthew 22:37).
At first, this might seem like a strange commandment. Why does God command us to love Him? Does He need our love? Certainly not. Does He lose power if we do not adore Him? No. Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf taught, “God the Eternal Father did not give that first great commandment because He needs us to love Him. . . . No, God does not need us to love Him. But oh, how we need to love God! For what we love determines what we seek. What we seek determines what we think and do. What we think and do determines who we are—and who we will become."1
Each of us is INVITED AND PRIVILEGED to be able to enter into an abiding, fulfilling, and authentic relationship with our Father in Heaven. We can love Him and be assured of His love for us. Throughout the scriptures, you might notice that the Lord will refer to Himself as “your God” and to us as His people (Jeremiah 30:22). This phrase describes a very close relationship. If you heard me talking and I said “my Jenny” or “my Jack,” you would assume I was talking about someone that was very close to me. This is the kind of relationship our Heavenly Father hopes we will have with Him.
Here’s the good news. Wherever you are, you can always make your relationship better. But where do you begin?
“The perfect place to begin is exactly where you are right now. It doesn’t matter how unqualified you may think you are or how far behind others you may feel. THE VERY MOMENT YOU BEGIN TO SEEK YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER, IN THAT MOMENT, THE HOPE OF HIS LIGHT WILL BEGIN TO AWAKEN, ENLIVEN, AND ENNOBLE YOUR SOUL.”2
There are many reasons a person would want to seek God. Like it was for my son Jackson, that reason might be to someday live in a Lego heaven. Others might seek God because they want the blessing of eternal families or forgiveness of their sins. There are others who seek God out of fear. They are afraid of hell or punishment if they do not seek Him and obey His commandments. Some of these motivations show a lack of understanding about who God is, and others are wonderful starting points, but the highest motivation and reason to seek God is out of love.
In a letter to the ancient Church, the Apostle John said, "We love him, because he first loved us" (1 John 4:19). . . .
Just as John said to the Church members in New Testament times, once we learn about and experience the love of God, we will want to love Him in return. But how do we show love to God?
Elder Neal A. Maxwell once taught that the only unique thing we really have to give God IS OUR WILL—OUR CHOICES AND LOYALTY. Everything else we have already came from Him, so we would just be returning a gift He already gave.3 . . .
Sacrifice is a law of love. It shows that we honor something or someone more than ourselves. GOD HAS SHOWN US LOVE THROUGH SACRIFICE, AND IT IS THE WAY WE SHOW OUR LOVE IN RETURN. Like all other relationships we have, coming to know God requires something of us. It requires time, devotion, interest, and trust. It requires us to bring our very finest. . . .
There are so many ways that we can show love to a God who has loved us first. As we show Him this love in sincere and authentic ways, it draws us closer to each other and it causes our hearts to become more like His. God has commanded us to love and serve Him with all of our “heart, might, mind and strength” (D&C 4:2). We should remember, though, that everything that He is asking for us to give, He has already given. He already gave His whole heart to us. . . .
When I was dating in college, my greatest fear was loving someone who didn’t love me back. Happily, that will never happen with God. He was the first one to promise and prove that He is fully committed to us. HE LOVED US FIRST. It is our turn to show the same love. If we have to give something up to be close to Him, no matter what it is or however great the cost, it will never come close to the cost that He paid so that He could be close with us.
Throughout our lives, we show our love, our devotion, and our sacrifice and give our finest, and it will bring us closer and closer to each other each day we do. And hopefully, one day, when we meet again (whether it is in Lego heaven or just regular heaven), our reunion will not only be sweet, but also FAMILIAR.
Lead image from Getty Images.
1. Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “The Love of God,” Ensign, November 2009.
2. Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “The Hope of God’s Light,” Ensign, May 2013.
3. See Neal A. Maxwell, “Consecrate Thy Performance,” Ensign, May 2002
Get more powerful insights from David Butler in Almighty: How the Most Powerful Being in the Universe is Also Your Heavenly Father.
The Articles of Faith, our quick go-to for what we believe, starts at number one with faith in "God the Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost." But what does that mean for us today, walking down the halls at school or out on the field? Who is God exactly? What does He look like and sound like? What does Deity mean to me? Some of our most foundational doctrines surround the character of God and our relationship with Him. But who exactly is He? Does He know me? Can I know Him?
This book is designed to help you discover the answers to those questions and more. Grab a pen or a pencil, get ready to do some creative thinking, and come closer to God the Father by learning about His identity, His character, and—most important—how He feels about you.