My daughter likes to be right and likes proof before she accepts anything. One day her and I were at the checkout counter in a store. She was fixed on a filled balloon taped to the counter. “Mom,” she said “I don’t get it. When I blow up balloons, they don’t float. Nothing is holding up this balloon, I checked. So how come this one is floating?” I told her I’d answer her in the car and I did. “Helium? I don’t get it.” So I continued to explain: “Yeah honey, it’s invisible just like the air we breath and the wind we feel, but all air isn’t the same. It’s called a gas and not all gasses are the same. The air we breath out is a heavier gas than helium. Helium is even lighter than the wind and the air all around us. That’s why when you fill a balloon with the air from your body it’s heavy and it doesn’t float, but filled with helium it’s lighter than the air around the balloon so it floats.” Was my answer absolute truth? Yes it was. Did I try to teach her? Yes, I did. Even cool youtube science videos were used to help her understand. But in the end, ‘molecules’ was too complex a subject for her 5 year old brain to wrap itself around. “OK Mom, I don’t get it still. But I believe you that it’s helium in the balloon.” Later on, I heard her say “There’s helium in those balloons! You know because they float!” to her little sister. Another situation followed not much later: “Mom, I’m not praying anymore. I don’t know if God is a person or that He can hear me.” Ack! My heart! I told her “Oh hun, I know it’s super tricky to understand. It’s a lot like the balloon thing. You can’t see helium so it’s hard to understand how it works, but it doesn’t mean it’s not there. You come to know it by seeing the result. Our family says lots of prayers right? Do you remember when we said a prayer that we got help with something we needed? I know it’s hard to understand. One day, you’ll have been saying your prayers for most of your life and you will just feel that you’ve been heard, you’ve been helped, and that you are loved by God who you can’t see. You don’t have to get it right now, it is totally normal to not understand yet, but as you keep trying and keep growing and learning, you’ll understand, I know you can. I did the same thing when I was growing up. My parents told me that God lived in Heaven and that He hears our prayers, but I didn’t know this for myself until I just kept praying and just kept learning about prayers and Heavenly Father.” I was grateful for the opportunity to testify of truths I have come to understand.
After these situations with my daugther, I couldn’t help but picture our God in Heaven, knowing infinitely more than our puny brains, patient with us while we ask questions that are above and beyond our current capabilities to understand. Are we humble enough to accept the ‘unanswered’ answer? Are we able to be satisfied with knowing that if we continue to seek God’s knowledge and learning, that He will impart as we are ready to understand?
I’m grateful for absolute truth that exists in every aspect of our lives and universe. I trust that one day, as we continue to trust in Him, we will understand all that He does. And for now, that’s a beautiful thing to continue to carry on in hopes of attaining. No coincidence I just read these eloquent words:
“Thy mind, O man! If thou wilt lead a soul unto salvation, must stretch as high as the utmost heavens, and search into and contemplate the darkest abyss, and the broad expanse of eternity. . . .
. . . Your minds will expand wider and wider, until you can circumscribe the earth and the heavens, . . . and contemplate the mighty acts of Jehovah in all their variety and glory.”