Children of the Light, Please Come Home

This post is part of the General Conference Odyssey. This is the 249th week, and we’re covering the General Women’s session of the October 1989 General Conference

Several of my favorite songs have a common theme. They proclaim the worth of us all as children of God and heirs with Christ.

Lecrae, in Children of the Light, sings:

We are children of the light
Royal rulers of the day
Saints, no prisoners of the night
Trust and love will lead the way
We are free

Dustin Kensure, as lead singer and songwriter for post-hardcore punk band Thrice, has a harder edge but similar sentiment in Image of the Invisible:

We’re more than carbon and chemicals
We are the image of the invisible
Free will is ours and we can’t let go
We are the image of the invisible
We can’t allow this, the quiet cull
We are the image of the invisible

So we sing out this, our canticle
We are the image of the invisible
We all were lost now we are found
No one can stop us or slow us down
We are all named and we are all known
We know that we’ll never walk alone

Josh Garrels, who I’m pretty sure doesn’t literally believe in Heavenly Mother, still sings about her as the personification of innocence alongside Heavenly Father in At the Table:

Wondering where I might begin
I hear a voice upon the wind
She’s singing faint but singing true
“Son, there ain’t nothing you can do
But listen close and follow me
I’ll take you where you’re meant to be
Just don’t lose faith.”

So I put my hand upon the plow
Wipe the sweat up from my brow
Plant the good seed along the way
As I look forward to the day
When at last I’ll see
My father run to me
singing, “Oh, my child.”

Come on home
Home to me
And I will hold you in my arms
And joyful be

There will always, always be
A place for you
At my table
Return to me

But my favorite of these songs is from Dustin Kensure, this time his acoustic solo album “Please, Come Home,” where he also dramatizes the story of the prodigal son.

And now you’ve hit bottom, all those open doors have shut
And you’re hungry stomach’s tied in knots
But I know what you’re thinking, that you troubled me enough
Nothing could ever separate you from my love
I still stand here waiting, with my eyes fixed on the road
And I fight back tears and I wonder if you’re ever coming home

Don’t you know son that I love you
And I don’t care where you’ve been
Yes and I’ll be right here waiting, ’til you come around the bend
And I’ll run to you and hold you close, won’t let go again
So please come home, please come home

I wish I knew a way to tell everyone, to convince everyone, that these songs are about something true and real. That we are children of God. Of a Heavenly Father and a Heavenly Mother who want us to come home. 

That’s what Sister Elaine L. Jack said with her talk, Identity of a Young Woman. First, she said something that I’ve really been thinking about a lot: “Even though I’m a grandmother, I need assurance that I am somebody. We all need to be reminded that we are daughters of a Heavenly Father.” I’m older than I used to be. Approaching middle age. In some ways I’m starting to feel that age, but the need to have guidance and an example and someone who says I am somebody: that hasn’t gone away. I suppose it never will.

Speaking of our divine identity, she said: 

Have you ever been told you are just like your mother, or you have your father’s smile, or all of your family have the same color of eyes? The physical characteristics that we inherit from our parents are obvious. The spiritual characteristics we inherit from our heavenly parents have to be developed. You have been born with all the godlike gifts that Christ has. They are within you, but you have to choose to cultivate and develop them. Spiritual growth doesn’t just happen without our best efforts.

And when it comes to that most important message of all, perhaps, she reminds us: “God will never stop being our Father, but sometimes we turn away from being his children by not obeying his commandments or by showing disrespect for him.”

He doesn’t leave us. But, like the prodigal son and daughter, sometimes we leave him.

Happiness is found in finding our way back home again.

Other posts from this week:

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