Many books have been written and movies made about seeing or traveling into the future. It’s a concept that fascinates. What would I do if I knew what’s coming? What would I change?
Of course, the Lord knows what lies ahead for all of us, and He has instructed His prophets throughout time. The prophet Alma asked some of his people, “Do you look forward with an eye of faith, and view this mortal body raised in immortality, and this corruption raised in incorruption, to stand before God to be judged according to the deeds which have been done in the mortal body?” (Alma 5:15).
If we look with an eye of faith as Alma taught, we too can see ahead enough to inform our most important choices.
One of those ways is to consider our future in the light of our potential. It’s so easy to dwell on our deficiencies and resign ourselves to never measuring up, to allow our faults to become obstacles to growth.
As I see it, as long as we are not actively choosing to rebel against God or not using our weaknesses as an excuse for sin, our deficiencies are a sign of our potential to become like our Father in Heaven. He possesses every attribute in its perfection. Any one of us possesses His attributes in varying degrees; an attribute I have a mere smidgen of may be one that you excel at, and one that you struggle with may be one that I exercise regularly.
But eventually, maturity in all of God’s attributes is possible.
If I were to think of all of these attributes as they exist in me as bars on a chart, with the top line being 100%, the bars would be at possibly widely varying heights. The challenge is to not focus on the gap between the top of each bar and the 100% line. That leads to discouragement. Instead, I must focus on nudging each bar upward, even if I can do it to only one bar at a time.
In the Parable of Dad’s Reflection, Logan realizes that many things about him are like his dad, someone he looks up to. He starts to realize that the things he was despising about himself were signals that one day he would become a man who resembled his father in many positive ways.
I find this teaching of Paul to be an apt description of what the parable represents: “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known” (1 Corinthians 13:12). In other words, I can’t see clearly now who I am because of my mortal limitations, but someday I’ll see myself as I really am. I will see my divine value and potential.
While I can’t see into the future, I know there’s a Father in Heaven who does. Because He has sent prophets and apostles to teach His truth, I can look with an eye of faith ahead through the dark glass to what really matters. I believe our Father is both a realist (He sees me clearly as I am) and an optimist (He desires for me to fulfill the divine potential He has given me). He sent His Only Begotten Son to help me reach that potential, to help me grow past the stumbling child or awkward teenager I am into a fully developed man of God.
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