Dear Editor – The Book of Mormon tells a remarkable story about a father who loved his son so much he gave him his own name.
The father was a chief high Priest in the land, and spent much of his days administering the spiritual needs of the people. How disappointed he must have been when his son chose to turn from his teachings.
As any righteous father, he pleaded with the Lord for a change to occur in the life of his son. In answer to his prayers, an Angel stood before this young man and said,” Behold, the Lord hath heard the prayers of his people and also the prayers of his servant, Alma who is thy father; for he has prayed with much faith concerning thee that thou mightest be brought to a knowledge of truth” (Mosiah 27: 14).
The Book of Mormon record how the prayer of a righteous father had been answered. History attest to the power of righteous leadership in the home.
I want to direct this article to fathers as we will be celebrating the father’s day this coming weekend. I want to write to you who bear the great and noble titles of husband and father.
I find myself great concerned with what I see around me. Man, woman, young adult, youth and child – all groping to find their identity in a troubled world.
I write to encourage many of the husbands and fathers who see and read this article throughout this nation of failing in your two major God-given responsibilities. The reason for most of the problems we find in the world today must be laid at your door.
Divorce,infidelity,dishonesty,the use of drugs, deterioration of family life, loss of identity, instability and unhappiness have resulted for the lack of your leadership in the home.
Husbands and fathers, could I again remind you of your role and your responsibility?
First, as a husband: The first instruction given to man and woman immediately following the creation was, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife and they shall be one flesh” (Genesis 2: 24).
So God in his divine plan ordained that marriage was to bring about his basic organizational unit, the family. The role of husband and wife was clearly defined from the beginning. In the Lord’s plan, these roles are unchanged and eternal.
A church leader has said of womanhood, “Beautiful, modest, gracious woman is creation’s masterpiece. To safeguard this masterpiece, the Lord gave to man the duty and responsibility to be the provider and protector.Husbands, if the Lord’s plan is to work, you must learn how to perform in the leadership role He has designed for you.
Could I remind you of some of these requirements? First, Husbands and fathers, are your actions at all times a reflection of your love for your wife?
Secondly is your responsibility to provide peace and security in your home. It is your duty to provide adequately for your family. You must prepare yourself for this responsibility and have the ambition to see that it is accomplished. Your wife and children should live a life with comforting assurance that so long as you are healthy and well you will take care of them first above all others. They should not be forced into labour market unless you become incapacitated. They must be allowed to fulfill their roles as the Lord intended it for them.
Third, it is a twenty-four-hour-a –day job to show appreciation and consideration for them. The Lord has warned you in the scripture by saying: “We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men as soon as they get little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion……
“No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the Priesthood, only by persuasion, by longsuffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned” (Doctrine &Covenant 121:39, 41).
Wives and children are not your chattels. They do not have to follow you in unrighteousness. Your wife is your campanion, your best friend, your full partner. The Lord has blessed her with great potential, talent, and ability. She too must be given the opportunity for self- expression and development. Her happiness should be your greatest concern.
Learn how to magnify both your roles in order that the husband and wife can be found having fulfilling and happy lives together.Bretheren you’re first and most responsible role in life and in the eternities is to be a righteous husband. Second only to the title of husband is that of father.
to eternal life, the greatest of all gifts that our father in heaven can bestow a man is the opportunity of being blessed with sons and daughters. Every healthy and normal son of God should have the joy of bestowing the following gift on his children.
First an honored and respected name. Fathers, is it not your obligation to give your children an honored and respected name?
Second, every child needs a sense of security. I often think of the security of our old family leave house family home at Ro’one village on Small Malaita.
It was a fortress against the adversary. Each morning and evening we would sit together with our uneducated father and mother and say our prayers together. That love from our father was also manifest as he blessed his family in time of need.
Fathers, is it not your obligation to give your children a home blessed with the power of righteousness, love and kindness?
Third, an opportunity for development. One man shared his story on how his children taught him a great lesson one day. They had moved from California to New York where he had accepted an employment opportunity and they were in the process of finding a new home.
They started close to the city, but each day that passed they would move further out to find a home more suited to their needs. In Connecticut they found just the one. It was a beautiful home nestled in New England’s radiant forests. They were all pleased with the selection.
The final test before making an offer for purchase was to ride the train into New York to check the traveling time. He made the trip and returned very discouraged.
The trip required an hour and a half each way. He returned to the motel where his family was waiting for him and gave them the choice of having a father or this new home. Much to his surprise, they said, “We will take the home. You are not around much anyway”
The shock of that statement was overwhelming to me, he exclaimed. If that statement was true, I needed to repent fast, he said. My children deserved a father. Is it not our obligation as fathers to spend as much time as possible with our children, to teach them honesty, industry, and morality?
Fourth, give your children the opportunity of having a joyful, happy childhood.”No man is too rich or too poor to play with his children.
To change the head of a nation, state, or community towards righteous leadership may require our earnest efforts for years. But there is something we can change today to make the world a better place in which to live. Husbands and fathers, the power is within you as the patriarch in the home.
Enjoy the inspiration of God, our eternal Father, to lead, guide, and direct your families in righteousness. You stand at the head of the only organization (The family) I know of that can be eternal. Should not that charge and responsibility receive top priority in your life?
God bless you to understand your duties and responsibilities to be righteous husbands and fathers, I humbly pray in the name of Jesus the Christ. Amen.