Latter-day Prophets Speak: The Sacred Role of Fathers


Be Kind

“Let us deal in kindness and with appreciation with those for whom the Lord will hold us accountable. I never get over the depth of meaning of the words President McKay often quoted: ‘The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother’” [see Richard Evans’ Quote Book (1971), 11] (“Reach Out in Love and Kindness,” Ensign, Nov. 1982, 77). Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–), Fifteenth President of the Church

Express Your Love

“We encourage you, brethren, to remember that priesthood is a righteous authority only. Earn the respect and confidence of your children through your loving relationship with them. A righteous father protects his children with his time and presence in their social, educational, and spiritual activities and responsibilities. Tender expressions of love and affection toward children are as much the responsibility of the father as the mother. Tell your children you love them” (“Being a Righteous Husband and Father,” Ensign, Nov. 1994, 51). Howard W. Hunter (1907–95), Fourteenth President of the Church

Teach for Understanding

“Brethren, we are to teach the fundamental doctrines of the Church in such a way that our children may understand. Some fathers teach, but their children do not understand. This places responsibility on fathers to study and learn the gospel.

“With few exceptions, righteous sons and daughters who have attained eternal blessings are not just physically begotten by their fathers. They are spiritually regenerated by the examples and teachings of their fathers.

“Great fathers lead their children to Christ” (“Great Things Required of Their Fathers,” Ensign, May 1981, 36). Ezra Taft Benson (1899–1994), Thirteenth President of the Church

Avoid Anger

“A father may have to discipline his child, but he should never do it in anger. He must show forth an increase of love thereafter, lest that one so reproved were to esteem him to be an enemy (see D&C 121:43). The Lord forbid the feeling of a child that his father or mother is an enemy” (The Teachings of Harold B. Lee, ed. Clyde J. Williams [1996], 279). Harold B. Lee (1899–1973), Eleventh President of the Church

Put First Things First

“When one puts business or pleasure above his home, he that moment starts on the downgrade to soul-weakness. When the club becomes more attractive to any man than his home, it is time for him to confess in bitter shame that he has failed to measure up to the supreme opportunity of his life and flunked in the final test of true manhood. No other success can compensate for failure in the home. The poorest shack in which love prevails over a united family is of greater value to God and future humanity than any other riches. In such a home God can work miracles and will work miracles” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1964, 5). David O. McKay (1873–1970), Ninth President of the Church

[photo] Background photograph by Robert Casey