What do you think of when you think of father?
I am sure for each of us it is individual pertaining to our own experiences. But I also believe that for everyone of us there is a connected, universal meaning that comes with the word father. Whether it is what we have experienced or just what we long for, the heart of each of us knows what a father should, could be; it is most important and basic to all of mankind.
I believe the The Family: A Proclamation to the World, written by the first presidency and 12 apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, catches that meaning and puts it perfectly into words, words that call us all to action:
“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.”
(“Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children.” The proclamation goes on to say how mothers and fathers ‘are obligated to help one another as equal partners).
At their very young age my teenage daughters already rejoice in this! They LOVE the role of a magnificent father providing and protecting the way for his beloved wife to be a magnificent mother! They (& I, I do admit) thrill at how BEAUTIFUL it is!!! Today I want to thank with all my heart my father, Dad, for the way he fulfilled his role as father for me. I knew my Dad (still do) for being stoic and calm, for being ever watchful and very encouraging of me. He invigorated my mind from the very beginning by having me join him in listening to his favorite music with big headphones on when I was still a baby, sitting out at nights to watch the stars and dream with me when I was a child, stretching my awareness and my imagination. He believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself as a teenager and encouraged me to develop my talents (how many band concerts was that Dad?) and mind (Sunday dinners were my favorite when Dad asked me and encouraged me to ask countless questions about the gospel of Jesus Christ.) My Dad stood up for my Mom and taught me to respect her (one of the only times he got angry at me was when I was sassing her-just think all that taught me as a girl). He taught me to respect myself, that I was of great worth and could expect good things out of life. I know my faithful, awesome Dad is the reason I was attracted to and married my great husband (who I will get to in a minute). My Dad has continued to be there for me even through the growing, challenging, changing years of motherhood. Last night my husband, son and I arrived home late and stood in wonder under the stars. As I looked at them, once again I thought of my Dad, of those first impressions I felt under the stars with him. Looking at the stars as a little girl, I knew then like nothing else could tell me that I also had a Heavenly Father, a great Creator who had made those stars and also had made me. My Dad reminded me of everything good at a time that was so bad that from my depleted perspective it seemed most often black as night, during the post partum period after my sixth baby. That Christmas my Dad gave me a star. Dad, I love you. You are the star of my life. My hero forever. Thank you immensely and forever for acting well your part as father to me.
And yes, I have to thank my husband, here on Father’s Day weekend, for being that same hero and light to my children. I met my husband on Halloween and he was dressed as a ‘knight in shining armor’. A good omen I suppose for how he has been that to me!! And even more important to my heart, he has been that for our children. He has won their hearts and saved their souls as much as any providing, protecting, watchful, caring Dad could do!!! With nine daughters I feel to echo Elaine S Dalton’s question to the world, “How can a father raise a happy, well-adjusted daughter in today’s increasingly toxic world?” She answers with this quote, “The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother!” I am so immensely, incredibly, forever grateful for my husband doing just, loving me, loving our children. He is our HERO!!!
Today we hope you will all celebrate, REJOICE in the strong, powerful, steadfast role of father that strengthens every mother, every child, every family!!!
Thank you immensely to every father, my own, my husband’s, our grandfathers, and their fathers!! Thank you to every man who takes his role of father to the limit and lives it so well!!!!!! You are our HEROES!!! Father, the calling in life that lasts forever. Celebrate Fathers in your family today!!!
Enjoy this Father’s Day video, a quick – fun reminder of how invaluable kind, but persistent father’s are in our life! 🙂