We start off the manual with a lesson on Daughters and Fathers, that is, about us as daughters to a Heavenly Father.
I have all sorts of concerns and questions. Though, of course, I love the idea of studying our God, our Father, and our relation to Him. That is eternal and wonderful and central.
But here are some of my worries, so that I get them out.
1. I don’t like – really don’t like – the practice of asking people “What is your father like? Or what should dads be like? Okay, whatever your answer just was, that is what Heavenly Father is like.” WHAT? So all of our notions from movies, books, childhood experiences (good or bad), feelings of being jealous of that other friend’s dad who did this or that, or our fears of a dad that was overbearing – do we really want to transition that over to how we picture God? Isn’t that bringing a whole lot of unwanted baggage? Of fogging up the issue?
It seems instead we should allow the scriptures to teach us what God is, not our own experiences or pictures of an “ideal dad” to affect the way we read the scriptures. Yikes.
2. What about our relationship to both Heavenly Father and a Heavenly Mother? I realize that we ought to be careful here, but at the same time the manual placed a great emphasis on using “O, My Father,” which clearly talks about a Mother in Heaven as well. I don’t think a big deal has to be made about how often we talk about her or not, etc., but if the purpose of this lesson is to discuss their roles as daughters, I don’t think it is a bad thing to bring up. It doesn’t have to be for the sake of bringing it up, but it can be a simple, straightforward part of talking about them as daughters of Heavenly Beings.
3. So far as I can tell, the point of the lesson is not to talk about how to worship God, how to pray, etc., but to realize that God is eternal and powerful and that we are His children. That seems like an important thing to remember when deciding how to approach this lesson.
4. Here are some resources that have come to mind so far:
- Pres. Uchtdorf’s talk on relationships
- The new Daughters In My Kingdom book
- D&C 25
What ideas do you have so far?