Surely one of the things most poignant on the mind of an ‘empty nester’ parent is simply, ‘when will I see my children’s faces again?’ If today is that day, then sweet is this day.
Fear not to “lose” a child upon their aging and moving out. This fallen world has many difficulties which will not be present for long, and all the delightful charms, the beauty, the pleasantness will only increase as they age, until they reach the statues of Christ, fully charming, delightful, endlessly kind, and forever near you.
You’ll spend what time you can with them as you develop love for them, but this life was never meant to be enough time together. This life was designed to be but a moment in the span of eternity, the never-ending legacy.
And your memories will be, as Alma teaches, fully restored in the resurrection when we stand before God. Oh how the associations with loved ones will be stronger when we can remember all our interactions! Any sad times will pass, and the repentant souls will be purified of all sin, and stand together in the kingdom of God forever, will a fullness of joy which can only be found in continued association.
Further, the parenting business is the stuff of divinity. It’s the day to day of the Gods. Doesn’t God ask us to address him by his familial relation to us, namely that of Father? The lifestyle of the exalted is centered on upbringing more generations of lovely intelligent beings, and rejoicing with them in the increasing opportunities and glory that become theirs!
When it comes to parenting, eternally speaking, and that’s what kind of speaking is important, there are only positives, no negatives. Being a righteous parent (meaning you keep repenting when you detect flaws in your methods) brings eternal joy. Don’t shy away from parenting because of potential difficulties.
Even if your children stray, wait, and see, in the next life, even if they have chosen a lower kingdom, they will still ever revere you as their parent who gave their life for them. Much of the nonsense we deal with in this life will dissipate in that to come. Further, there remain many trying times ahead to push us all toward the kingdom of God, which is a truth to shower God with thanks for.
Remember: there is no such thing as an empty nester in the highest celestial kingdom of God! This alone inspires us to set aside every sin, and come unto Christ rejoicing! To forever look into these lovely little faces! To stand by them as they mature to become like unto yourself! This is life eternal, this is to know God and Christ whom he hath sent.