This Sunday we will honor Fathers. That is a good and noble thing to do. Most fathers appreciate expressions of gratitude for all they do and any human kindness extended to them by way of word or deed. Fatherhood is a noble and sacred calling and one that we ought to understand better.
In "The Family, A Proclamation to the World" we read:
"All human beings -- male and female -- are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.
...The First Commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife.
...Husband and Wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children.
...Children are entitled to.....be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity.
...By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families......Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation......"
These holy words are comforting, strengthening and empowering. When we know our roles and what is expected of us we are able to choose those paths.
In our day there are many good fathers; many good men who strive to do all that is required of them. We are grateful for their strength and examples. There are many others who forsake family and children -- who leave trails of heartache and grief behind them.
We live in a day where many people don't have ideal situations. The Father of us all knows the longings of our heart and the areas in which we lack. He is full of mercy and truth and will someday bless us with all the righteous longings of our heart if we remain faithful to what he has asked us to do in the meantime.
For those of you who have blessed with good fathers in your homes -- in the past or currently -- I hope that you will take this time this weekend to thank them. You are truly blessed.
For those of you who don't, I hope that you will turn to the Greatest Father of all who knows all, understands every feeling of your soul, and is the most Merciful Being we can comprehend. He epitomizes love, charity, tenderness, compassion, kindness and mercy. He is there for us when no one else may be. He is the One who has given all the other fathers the correct example to follow. He is One who loves our children --- and us --- more than we do. He is the One who can comfort us when there is not a father in the home to do so.
From personal experience I know that He is there. I know that He knows all the longings of my heart and soul. I know that He knows all the longings of my children as well and their desire to have an intact family like 'everyone' else. Someday that desire will come true as they remain close to Him and obey His commandments and hearken to His will. There is no doubt of that.
Fatherhood is a noble and beautiful calling. As I have been taught, we are responsible for these things and in this order:
1. Our own spiritual well-being
2. Well-being of spouse
5. Profession or School
As we maintain these in their proper order there is much more of peace and harmony in the home. Children feel safe and secure and spousal support is mutual. When we rearrange the order of this -- there is dis-order, dis-harmony and .....dis-content.
I have learned much from my own father and grandfather. Besides example, teachings, patience and fortitude is a favorite hymn that has been passed down from both of them. It is called "Love At Home". It states "There is beauty all around when there's love at home; there is joy in every sound when there's love at home."
If you've experienced that --- you know it is true. And, if you long for it, you long for something worthy and good.
In our quest to have more of that in our home, I have found that some things contribute to it and others take away. Wholesome music, wholesome recreation, family prayer and family home evening, all make home a better place. Repentance and Forgiveness heal wounds and soften hearts.
Where there is a righteous father in the home -- there is more security and stability, love and laughter, peace and contentment. There is an example to the children of how to treat mother and how to deal with 'grown-up' issues as they come along. There is an example of work and testimony, education and humility. All the things that a father is --- are examples to the rising generation and all with whom he comes in contact.
We are all threads of a tapestry being woven. The place of a father is vital to it's construction, beauty and long-lastingness!
As we recognize fathers for all they do, may we continue to learn from the Father of us all. He will help and guide us as we raise His spiritual offspring. We are not asked to do so alone. (John 14:18 ..."I will come to you")
"O My Father"
1. O my Father, thou that dwellest
In the high and glorious place,
When shall I regain thy presence
And again behold thy face?
In thy holy habitation,
Did my spirit once reside?
In my first primeval childhood
Was I nurtured near thy side?
2. For a wise and glorious purpose
Thou hast placed me here on earth
And withheld the recollection
Of my former friends and birth;
Yet ofttimes a secret something
Whispered, “You’re a stranger here,”
And I felt that I had wandered
From a more exalted sphere.
3. I had learned to call thee Father,
Thru thy Spirit from on high,
But, until the key of knowledge
Was restored, I knew not why.
In the heav’ns are parents single?
No, the thought makes reason stare!
Truth is reason; truth eternal
Tells me I’ve a mother there.
4. When I leave this frail existence,
When I lay this mortal by,
Father, Mother, may I meet you
In your royal courts on high?
Then, at length, when I’ve completed
All you sent me forth to do,
With your mutual approbation
Let me come and dwell with you.
Text: Eliza R. Snow, 1804–1887
Music: James McGranahan, 1840–1907
Acts 17:28–29 (22–31)