- Fathers are fundamental in the divine plan of happiness, and I want to raise a voice of encouragement for those who are striving to fill well that calling. To praise and encourage fatherhood and fathers is not to shame or discount anyone. I simply focus today on the good that men can do in the highest of masculine roles—husband and father.
The perfect example for us is our Heavenly Father. He is full of love and gives us guidance on how we should treat others. We can also look to Father Adam and how he blessed his posterity.
- Fatherhood is much more than a social construct or the product of evolution. The role of father is of divine origin, beginning with a Father in Heaven and, in this mortal sphere, with Father Adam.
Christ spoke of love and laying down our lives for our friends. This example of pure love is demonstrated in the way a father sacrifices for the betterment of his wife and family.
- Jesus said, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” Fathers manifest that love as they lay down their lives day by day, laboring in the service and support of their families.
The role of father is to lead his family to God. No other responsibility is more important.
- Perhaps the most essential of a father’s work is to turn the hearts of his children to their Heavenly Father. If by his example as well as his words a father can demonstrate what fidelity to God looks like in day-to-day living, that father will have given his children the key to peace in this life and eternal life in the world to come. A father who reads scripture to and with his children acquaints them with the voice of the Lord.
Occasionally, a father has to provide disciple. It is vital that any disciple be motivated by love and guided by the Spirit.
- When a father provides correction, his motivation must be love and his guide the Holy Spirit. Discipline in the divine pattern is not so much about punishing as it is about helping a loved one along the path of self-mastery.
Fathers are to love their wives as Christ loved the church. Loving and respecting the mother of his children will teach volumes to children.
- Loving the mother of his children—and showing that love—are two of the best things a father can do for his children. This reaffirms and strengthens the marriage that is the foundation of their family life and security.
Elder Christofferson calls on all men everywhere to do a better job and to commit their lives to be better fathers.
- We call on all fathers to do better and to be better.
As a father, I love this guidance. I am inspired by the divine role that we are called upon to fill. Recently, I posted a picture on Twitter with a caption that read, "Ask God how to be a better parent. He has a lot of experience at being a Father." You can link to it here. When we seek to ask for our Heavenly Fathers help to be a better parent, we will receive inspiration and direction from above. God wants us to have eternal life and following the direction of a loving parent will help His children along the way. I hope we can all live up to the divine role we have as husbands, fathers, and sons of a loving Heavenly Father.