When I met with the bishop last Tuesday evening, he talked about my future in the celestial kingdom. I had been in tears almost from the moment I walked into his office, and when he said that, my first thought was that I didn’t care about the celestial kingdom. I just wanted to go back home.
At that very moment I was awestruck, realizing how the prodigal son felt. I’ve understood it with my brain, have read the story many times, but on Tuesday night I felt it. I knew what he meant when he felt to ask his father if he could be one of his hired servants. And the father loved him, and rejoiced at his homecoming, and held a feast for him.
That young man was impatient. He wanted to see the world and experience life on his own terms, not his father’s. And he had a period of fun and thrills, but then he quickly came down in the world. His pride kept him in the pig sty, where he grew so hungry he had to choose between eating the remnants of the food left by the swine, or going without. And then he thought of his father’s home, where no one went hungry, not even the servants. He recognized that he had sinned against his father, and repented.
Where it is the nature of the world to condemn people for their sins, in a day and time when people’s pecadillos are truly broadcast from the rooftops, this young man’s loving father forgave him all.
And so does He who is Father of us all.