Saving Hands…

“I find it wondrous and marvelous that the Great God of heaven and earth, in all His infinite power, majesty and glory, chose for us to call Him Father. It is beyond humbling to share such a title, such a blessing, with He who created all things. It is not by accident that we, simple mortals, yet sons and daughters of the Most High God, pass through mortality experiencing things that make us to be more like our Heavenly Parents. It is the divine plan of the Greatest of All that this life experience emulate the work and efforts of the Almighty. His abundant love for all His children is what we must learn for our own, that we may understand from personal experience of helping our little ones, to reach for His divine hand unto saving love, as to our children we so freely give.”

Daniel Joseph Malcolm, 2 March 2024

I am a big fan of great films, typically classic films, as really well made movies these days are few and far between. Nevertheless, there are films that tell great stories that are worthy of our time and ripe for our enjoyment. I like films of various genres and themes. A cinematographic recipe for filmmaking that I almost always appreciate is when there is a worthy but hopeless cause or good but floundering individual rescued by pure and noble acts of heroism. With selfless love the hero rescues the cause, delivers the people, to survive and achieve another day. Such moviemaking is so dear to my heart because this is how I see the journey of our mortal lives, and the hope for life eternal.

Julie Andrews as Maria von Trapp, Alan Ladd as Shane, and Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch in great films.

There are heroic figures all around in mortality, as day-saving, noble and courageous as film heroes Superman, Shane, Luke Skywalker, Mulan, Moses, Rooster Cogburn, Wonder Woman, Virgil Tibbs, Spartacus, Maria von Trapp, George Bailey and Atticus Finch. Just think about the vulnerability and innocence of a newborn baby. Is it not the essence of loving heroism to welcome into our hearts and homes a helpless child that would absolutely have no chance of survival without the loving hand of mother and father, caring for their every need, almost into adulthood? Parenthood is the very hand of grace, giving all that is needed for the well-being and survival of someone most vulnerable, and all for love.

Monica Malcolm with Baby William at swimming lessons in 1995.

As all mothers and fathers painstakingly learn, caring for and raising children is not easy. There are sleep-deprived nights of infant years, and sleep-deprived nights of teenage years. For that matter, sleep deprivation often goes right into our continued love and concern for adult children. Sometimes our children misbehave and even make us angry, invoking the need for punishment, but our love for them is unconditional, unwavering, and even in the action of discipline is love still. In spite of any action that our children can commit to bring us sorrow and even anger, our arms are always open to help them come home and recover from physical, emotional and spiritual injury.

Monica and Danny Malcolm with Baby Laura in 2007.

Parenthood is heroic, life-saving, and a measure of unselfish love unequaled by other mortal efforts. In mortal terms, the selfless efforts of mothers and fathers are much like the work of our Heavenly Father’s plan to preserve and rescue His great family for eternal living. The immortal heroism of our elder brother Jesus Christ, of His atoning sacrifice under Heavenly Father’s guiding hand to rescue and deliver us all from certain loss and failure is parenthood at its very finest.

Danny Malcolm with Baby Jodie in 2010.

The words of the Prophet Isaiah illustrate well the similarity between the relationship of heavenly parenthood to children and those of earthly parents. Amidst warnings to God’s children to follow faithfully or face the Lord’s wrath in consequence of disobedience His hand of grace and forgiveness is extended still. We read, “… the anger of the Lord kindled against His people, and He hath stretched forth His hand against them,…. For all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand is stretched out still” (2 Nephi 15:25).

“His hand is stretched out still,” is stated in similar fashion six more times in succeeding chapters, as taught by the prophet Jacob. In truth we have earned the Lord’s wrath in so much that we do, yet His forgiving, His healing hand is stretched out, extended to us, for us to take hold of for rescue, that we might have the joy of salvation, which is His loving desire for us. What sweet words are these, “…this is the hand that is stretched out upon all nations” (2 Nephi 15:25). What salve this is to my soul knowing that despite His righteous indignation His hand is stretched out still for our redemption unto deliverance from all that would bring us low.

Monica Malcolm with Baby Danica in 2008.

I am so grateful for my Father in Heaven, His divine plan to rescue the family of man, and our brother and Savior Jesus Christ for providing our deliverance, even in all our weakness. Oh, the patient grace of our Lord, His loving hand outstretched to ours, even as loving parents to the children of our bodies. May we act as benevolently toward our children as the hand of God has been extended to us, that our little ones, even into adulthood, will ever have place to reach and find safe deliverance. Let us see the hand of the Lord outreached to us always, take His loving hand and be lifted together to His kingdom. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Daniel Malcolm is an entrepreneur, journalist, photographer, husband to Monica and father of twelve. He is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is a witness of the gospel of Jesus Christ and His Atonement.