September 30th, 2010 ~ Lessons From Lucifer on Parenting

Baby Girl has some special challenges as a result of the mental health issues she suffers from.  We’ve had issues pretty much her entire life and I have often found myself frustrated beyond measure with her choices and the impact they have on my family.  As her mother, my heart absolutely breaks for her.  It’s difficult to see a child make such horrible choices that only serve to be to her own detriment.  It’s especially difficult knowing that I know she was raised better than her choices would reflect.  Her being mentally ill doesn’t ease much of my heartache either.  I am entirely clueless on how to help her most of the time.  The last time my heart was shattered by her poor decision making, I couldn’t help but think how if no one else gets it, at least my Heavenly Father does.  He knows exactly what it’s like to lose a child because he lost one of his too (more than one actually)…forever.

I believe that we are all children of God.  Even those of us that are wayward and wicked.  Even the most wicked…Lucifer.  This is why this entry has the title it does.  Lucifer is what Christians called Satan before he fell from heaven.  The name means Son of the Morning (Isaiah 14:12).  Let’s think about that for a minute…Satan was the Son of the Morning.  Think about how radiant the morning’s first light is after a long dark night.  Think about how much light is present in the morning.  Think of all the positive connotations of the words “son” and “morning”…and he fell…his pride caused him to be condemned, to fall from heaven, to permanently lose the opportunity to be in the presence of God.  Surely God must have loved him.  I don’t suspect that the love Father felt for Lucifer disappeared simply because he fell.  My Heavenly Father knows exactly what it is like to lose a child, sadly, his Son of the Morning is lost for eternity.  Fortunately there is still hope that Baby Girl won’t be.

Lucifer has taught me so much about parenting.  Despite Heavenly Father’s best efforts or heart-felt desires, Lucifer, like all of us, have our agency.  The ability to choose for ourselves.  Doctrine and Covenants 58:26 days “for behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward.”  Because we are not commanded in all things and because we have agency, we are free to make choices.  Not all the choices we make are in perfect alignment with what we’re taught in our families of origin.  Despite my best efforts, despite the righteous upbringing I am endeavoring to raise my children with, at the end of the day, Baby Girl, like Lucifer, is still free to choose for herself.

Lucifer’s bad decisions impact other children of God.  We know that 1/3 of the hosts of heaven followed him when he was kicked out.  Heavenly Father lost his Son of the Morning and 1/3 of His other spirit children.  I don’t know what that magic number is, and I don’t have to because what I know is that my Heavenly Father knows exactly what it feels like to lose a child.  He knows EXACTLY what it feels like to love a child, want more for them than they want for themselves, believe in them when few others do, and see their potential only for them to choose contrary to all that they are and all that they have the ability to be.  How much worse it must be for Heavenly Father because he sees our divine potential, he sees who we will ultimately be, not who we now are.  How He must lament when Lucifer’s choices hurt another one of His children.  Surely that must be a bitter pill to swallow…I know it is for me.  It’s difficult to be loving and nurturing to Baby Girl sometimes when her negative choices hurt my other children.  I know that it is slightly difference because Lucifer is lost for eternity and because it was part of God’s plan all along, but I find it hard to believe there isn’t a part of him that still loves Lucifer…or maybe loves who he was, not who he chose to be.  I can’t help but wonder if my Heavenly Father feels the same way when we, as His children, succumb to the adversity.  When we fail to live up to the divinity each of us have inside us and instead choose to follow the enticements of the Lucifer.

I know how much my heart aches when Baby Girl chooses poorly and yet I am always able to find comfort knowing that there is someone in this universe who knows EXACTLY what it feels like to lose a child.  I earnestly pray that Baby Girl won’t be lost to me for eternity like Lucifer is to Heavenly Father.

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