We live in a society that seems to discount the father’s role every day more. My own father passed away when I was 10 years old, and my mother never remarried. My mother did her best to compensate for the loss, and so did other members of the extended family, but it wasn’t the same.
Losing my father perhaps was one of the factors that pushed me to search for God, the Father of all of us, when I was still a teenager, and the results of that search was one of the greatest blessings of my life.
I so learned that fathers are important, mortal ones and the Eternal One, and the two roles are strongly connected.
According to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Fatherhood is a divine role and calling.
Becoming a father, stepfather, grandfather, or foster father is an opportunity to become like God, to love and care for children as God loves and cares for us. God loves and supports all fathers as they try their best to raise and care for those in their care.
There are fathers—a noun and those who father—a verb. To father is to teach children in many ways—through example, direct counsel, and everything in-between. Our fathers, stepfathers, grandfathers, and uncles may teach us to ride a bike, tie our shoes, or cook a meal, but more importantly, they can be righteous influences who teach us how to follow God.
Enos gave thanks for his father for the things he knew, saying, “Knowing my father that he was a just man—for he taught me in his language, and also in the nurture and admonition of the Lord—and blessed be the name of my God for it” (Enos 1:1).
“As a Church, we believe in fathers. We believe in ‘the ideal of the man who puts his family first’ [Elder D. Todd Christofferson, “Fathers,” Liahona, Apr. 2016, 93].
We believe that ‘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’ [“The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” ChurchofJesusChrist.org]. … We believe that far from being superfluous, fathers are unique and irreplaceable” (“Fathers,” general conference, Apr. 2016).
I want to add my own belief and learning from experience, repeating what Elder Christofferson said:
I believe that far from being superfluous, fathers are unique and irreplaceable … even if they aren’t perfect.
Happy Father’s day!