Ever since I was a very young man, I have been impressed with the idea that when God came to visit Joseph Smith in 1820, He didn’t call him “Case #5663243” or “Hey You” or some other less personable name. He called him “Joseph” because this was no random moment in the history of the world:
When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him! (JS-H 1:17)
God was coming to one of His sons, and He knew it. And Joseph knew it. And I know it.
But there is more to our relationship with Heavenly Father than name recognition. God knows so much more about us than our names. Neal A. Maxwell taught:
I testify to you that God has known you individually … for a long, long time. He has loved you for a long, long time. He not only knows the names of all the stars; He knows your names and all your heartaches and your joys! (“Remember How Merciful the Lord Hath Been,” Liahona and Ensign, May 2004, 46.)
Our Heavenly Father knows what you are worrying about right now. He knows not only that your heart aches; He knows why. He knows what makes you happy and what is a relief to you right now. He more than hears your prayers, He knows your mind and heart.
He knows your history. He knows your baggage. He knows your family relationships and the influence they have had on you, good and bad.
He knows who has hurt you. He knows who hasn’t been fair as they’ve dealt with you.
He knows who you’ve lost. He knows your heart still quietly weeps for children that never quite made it into the busy part of mortality. He knows about the spouse that left. He knows about the spouse that never materialized, the children that were hoped for but not seen.
He also knows of your intentions. He knows your desires. He knows what you would have done.
He knows more than your name. He knows you and your family. And because he knows you better than even you know yourself, no one can answer prayers more perfectly than Him. No one…