One of my children asked Diane the question "Who is your favorite child?"
Diane responded, "I really don't feel more love for one of you than another, but I am closer to the ones that spend more time with me."
Diane explained further that, at that time, she felt particularly close to Ruth because Ruth would seek out opportunities to talk to her. Ruth would go with Diane to pick up the kids from school just so Ruth could tell Diane about her day. And Diane said that because Ruth was doing that, she felt particularly close to Ruth at that time.
Now this is definitely not the expected answer, especially because it wasn't Ruth that was asking. The expected answer is "I love all of you the same." But Diane's answer is probably a more complete, and more true answer than that. When I spend time with Ruth on a contest, I feel closer to Ruth. When I spend consistent time on family history with Kate, I feel closer to Kate. When I play games frequently with Johnny, I feel closer to Johnny. When I get home and Adam, or Rachel, or Anya, or Joseph, is waiting at the door saying "What are we going to do together today?", especially when they do it for a few days in a row, I feel all glowy inside about that little one who wants to do something with their dad. When Joshua snuggles up next to me, or builds Legos with me, I am closer to Joshua. When Arwen comes up to me to tell me she loves me, or climbs silently onto my shoulders and just stays for a long time, I feel a particular closeness to that little girl. Particular if she does it over a few days. When Susan is just excited to see me and look at me, my heart is all aglow over Susan. I don't suddenly love other children less, but there is a closeness that comes from their love and desires as well as from consistent time spent doing something together.
Nephi was "highly favored of the Lord". Right there at the beginning of the Book of Mormon we learn that Nephi was "favored", and not just a little bit, he was "highly favored". Why? Because he wanted to be a good son. Because he wanted to listen to the Lord and follow his directions. I really think that my wife said something more true and profound than what society dictates parents should say to their children, because it is closer to what the scriptures teach about the Father and his children.