When you think of the characteristics that describe our Heavenly Father, what comes to mind? Probably loving. Gentle. An omnipotent, all-knowing celestial being. What about how he looks? We know that our Heavenly Father has a body of flesh and bones, so maybe you imagine him with straight teeth, long hair and a beard – all a heavenly white color. He’s probably handsome and well-groomed.
The way we imagine our Divine Creator is influenced by many things, including ancient scripture, modern-day revelation, and how He is portrayed in videos and artwork. For the most part, members of the Church have a similar idea of who He is and what He is like. There is, however, one other characteristic that I imagine in my Heavenly Father – he loves basketball.
I grew up loving basketball. I would play basketball rain or shine. I collected basketball cards. I loved watching Michael Jordan take on the Utah Jazz. I was certain from a very young age that I was going to live out my dreams and one day play professionally. My earthly father supported me every day, year after year in my lofty basketball aspirations.
My dad and I would go to the sports card shop where I would spend my hard earned allowance. He would rebound for hours as I practiced my shot. He would sit with me and watch basketball on TV and cheer on whatever team I was cheering for. He would take me to local high school basketball games where we would cheer on the local athletes. It was through basketball that my dad and I formed a deep relationship. The time we spent together doing something I enjoyed helped me understand just how much he loved me.
My dad would often use basketball to teach me valuable life principles. It was through basketball my dad taught me hard work, sportsmanship, discipline, and countless other attributes that became priceless in my adult years. To this day, I am grateful for all that I learned through basketball with my father.
I was happiest as a youngster and felt the most love from my father when I was doing basketball things with my dad.
Knowing that God is our Heavenly Father and wants us to be happy, I believe He would do the same things with us in the next life that bring us happiness in this life. For me that is basketball. When I get to heaven, I imagine playing a great game of HORSE with my Heavenly Father because it would allow us to spend time doing something I enjoy. We would improve our relationship and talk together just like any father and son would as they shot hoops in the backyard.
Think of something you love. Maybe you enjoy dancing, or traveling, or playing the violin, or boating, or singing, or baking, or fixing cars. I think our Father in Heaven would love to do any of these things with you. Even though we might not have scriptures that tell us Heavenly Father’s favorite basketball team, or favorite song to play on the cello, I believe these activities are part of His eternal plan. He gave us these activities on this earth so that we can have joy and develop our talents.
My relationship with my father and my love for basketball taught me a lot about God’s love. I hope that our relationship with our Heavenly Father will be similar to our relationship with our earthly fathers, or father figures. I believe that Heavenly Father would love nothing more than to bond with his son or daughter through uplifting hobbies and activities. It is through these hobbies and activities that He would show His love, improve our relationship, and teach us valuable eternal principles. He is the perfect father.