Ever since we are old enough to know there is somebody out there besides ourselves, we all want to grow up to be like someone else. These are the people we look up to, both fictional and real. Typically when we are very young, we faithfully express inner desires to serve and help others, so we might yearn to be a policeman, a fireman, or one of many superheroes. If we are lucky parents, we have children who want to grow up and be like us. What our kids fail to realize, however, is that as parents, even parents whose children have left the homestead to find their own pastures to graze on, we are still growing up.
My wife was heartbroken when Sister Julie B. Beck was released as the General Relief Society President in General Conference last weekend. She appreciated Sis. Beck's dedication to the gospel of Jesus Christ, her bold, direct messages to the sisters of the church on faith, family, and relief, and her boundless compassion for all sisters in all situations of life. More than once she exclaimed that she wanted to be like her when she grew up. It was a frank confession that Sis. Beck possessed personality traits and personal beliefs worth emulating.
Easter is the season where we are reminded that we all have a lot of growing up to do. The scriptures teach us to emulate the perfect compassion and love that the Savior held for all mankind. It is also an opportunity to stretch the limits of our gratitude as we strive to thank him in our own puny mortal ways for the atonement he wrought on our behalf. We may never be able to fully comprehend the depth of his sacrifice and the debt we owe him, but I suspect he understands that. He accepts us as we are, and finds joy in knowing that we are at least on the path to growing up to be like him someday.
Easter is a time to show our gratitude to the Savior by recommitting ourselves to grow up to be more like him. Just as earthly parents find great joy in watching their children mature into responsible adults, we have a Heavenly Father who watches over us as we strive to become more Christ-like.
I'm ready to grow up. Are you?