“And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.” — Luke 15:20
The scripture above comes from the parable of the Prodigal Son. That story, and this scripture in particular, exemplify the perfect love that our Heavenly Parents feel for us. Although we are “yet a great way off” from them while here on Earth, their eyes are upon us, and they always look with compassion.
I often ponder on what my relationships with Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and other beloved family and friends were like in pre-mortal life. Although I can’t remember, I believe the Spirit gives me glimpses of the grandeur I knew then. Sometimes those glimpses arrive as “heavenly hugs,” tender moments of revelation and comfort that come when I need extra strength for the challenges of this life.
It gives me comfort to know Heavenly Father educated me, and indeed all of us, before He sent us here to earth. He prepared me for all that I would encounter in this life and taught me that those trials would have a purpose. In His presence and as His daughter, I understood before birth that coming to earth would give me an opportunity to become like Him. He made that possible by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, as our Savior.
Now here on earth, I’m not in the presence of my heavenly family anymore. But I have felt their love and encouragement through the Spirit, through “heavenly hugs.” Heavenly Father makes those hugs available to all His children. But those hugs represent only a fraction of what we can enjoy if we arise and prepare to return to Him. He stands waiting, His arms open for a giant, family-reunion embrace.