It has been incredible to have the experience of being a father and watching my son change as he has made it through the last 18 months. It has been so fun to see his personality develop and to watch him change from completely helpless to extremely mobile. Although he is on the very beginning parts of his life experience it is interesting to watch him begin seeking for independence and to learn how to make choices. I am thrilled to be there for him in his life as he continues to grow up and to become the person he is meant to be.
We often talk about how we are all children of God, but in watching my son grow I recognize that he will not be a baby forever and he will grow and develop and change. I wonder whether it is our goal to always be simply children in the gospel, or should we be seeking to become adults of God? Are we seeking that better understanding, and more mature approach, even though growing up comes with consequences? I think it is important to recognize that the gospel teaches us to seek out that growth and independence, especially at those moments where differing questions are particularly influential.
Sister Chieko Okazaki has taught us the value of this growing up and provides some excellent advise of ways to move forward, or even to make our religion and spirituality our own. She said “Be spiritually independent enough that your relationship with the Savior doesn’t depend on your circumstances or on what other people say and do. Have the spiritual independence to be a Mormon–the best Mormon you can–in your own way. Not the bishop’s way. Not the Relief Society president’s way. Your way.”
― Chieko Okazaki, Lighten Up, p. 98-99