Thinking about my Heavenly Father on this Father's Day. I read this quote by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland and my heart breaks when I hear people say bad things about God, our Heavenly Father.
"One of the most important verses I know of in all of scripture is the
supplication Jesus gave in the great intercessory prayer prior to His suffering in
Gethsemane and crucifixion on Golgotha. In that prayer, which President David O.
McKay once called the greatest prayer ever uttered, the Savior said, “And this is life
eternal, that they [that is, we] might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom
thou has sent” (John 17:3; emphasis added). I stress that phrase, “the only true God.”
May I declare to you and all others who will hear me that one of the tragedies of our day
is that the true God is not known. Tragically, contemporary Christianity has inherited the
view of a capricious, imperious, and especially angry God whose primary duty is to
frighten little children and add suffering to the lives of already staggering adults. May I
unequivocally and unilaterally cry out against that sacrilegious and demeaning view of a
loving and compassionate Father in Heaven. I wonder if the Savior may not have known,
even in His mortal years, that this would happen, thus His plea for the world to know the
true God, the fatherly God, the forgiving and redeeming and benevolent God. To bring
that understanding was one of the reasons Christ came to the earth.
So feeding the hungry, healing the sick, rebuking cruelty, pleading for faith—and hope
and charity—this was Christ showing us the way of the Father, He who is “merciful and
gracious, slow to anger, long-suffering and full of goodness”4 In His life and especially in
His death, Christ was declaring, “This is God’s compassion I am showing you, as well as
my own.” It is the perfect Son’s manifestation of the perfect Father’s care."
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
From a talk given on May 4, 2007, at the BYU Women’s Conference.