Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

Men Have Four Great Loves

March 19th, 2015 by G.

Men Have Four Great Loves

Men have four great loves.

The love of a man for a woman;

Of a boy for his mother;

Of brother for brother,

                Of comrades together;

And the love of father and son.


A close relative of mine just adopted a daughter. She told me that it was like the line from Romeo and Juliet. Baby was the sun rising in the East. Another relative was there in the conversation. She has never showed a great deal of lovy-doviness for her young son to my knowledge, but she said she felt exactly the same about him. She was visibly moved.

Fathers have the possibility of feeling that way about their sons, perhaps especially their first son. It is a natural love. It is the kind of love that can force itself on you when you weren’t out looking for it.

The same is probably true of daughters. I certainly have experienced a strong, even an overwhelming, natural love for all my children as a parent. I am only unsure whether I experienced that love just as a parent or specifically as a father. There is certainly some distinctively masculine quality about the love between father and son. It takes the natural parental love and turns it up to 11.

Much could be said about the love for fathers and sons. For sons, there is the imitative quality it has. For fathers, there is the strong element of hopes and aspirations and wanting to be imitated. There are expectations, perhaps more so (?) than with daughters. If so, it fits the love and glory theme where unconditional and conditional love have some resonance with the sexes.

But it’s not analysis I want to talk about. It’s the thing itself I want to talk about. In C. S. Lewis’ terms, enjoyment, not contemplation.

This Sunday my little boy came to sit on my lap during the sacrament and he hugged me and looked at me with love. In that moment, what I think I have to call a revelation from a few weeks prior came flooding back to me. The revelation was that Jesus was God’s boy, that the same overwhelming love I felt to and from my son was my own experience of the fundamental relationship between Elohim and Jehovah. Jesus said in the scriptures that when a sin comes back to you, it comes back stronger than ever. Mercifully, the same is true of revelation. When the Holy Ghost brings it back to you again, it brings it back double. I was overwhelmed with God’s love for his son and my love for my son, and all their love for me. My sacrament that day was sweet happiness.

Even in Mormonism, where we are the same order of beings as the Godhead, there is a gulf between mortal experience and divine experience. It would be a mistake to think that being humans means that we understand God. But understanding Elohim and Jehovah as Father and Son isn’t our idea. The scriptures insist on it. Practically the only thing that the Father has told us directly is “Jesus is my son whom I love. I am very proud of him.”



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March 19th, 2015 12:10:37
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