Men’s Divine Roles and Responsibilities

“Men’s Divine Roles and Responsibilities,” Building An Eternal Marriage Teacher Manual (2003), 45–46

Doctrinal Overview

“Our Heavenly Father endowed His sons and daughters with unique traits especially fitted for their individual responsibilities as they fulfill His plan. To follow His plan requires that you do those things He expects of you as a son or daughter, husband or wife” (Richard G. Scott; in Conference Report, Oct. 1996, 101; or Ensign, Nov. 1996, 73; student manual, 361).


Husbands who fulfill their divine family responsibilities contribute to the happiness of their marriage.

Student Manual Readings

“The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (83–84)

“Our Solemn Responsibilities,” President Gordon B. Hinckley (22–26)

“To the Fathers in Israel,” President Ezra Taft Benson (203–6)

“Being a Righteous Husband and Father,” President Howard W. Hunter (206–9)

Teacher Enrichment

“Living Worthy of the Girl You Will Someday Marry,” President Gordon B. Hinckley (in Conference Report, Apr. 1998, 66–69; or Ensign, May 1998, 49–51; student manual, 209–12)

Suggestions for How to Teach

Discussion. Read together paragraph 7 of “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” (student manual, 83–84). Ask students to identify three primary duties of fathers from this reading. Write Preside, Provide, Protect on the board. Ask students to define each duty as best they can. Ask if paragraph 7 of the proclamation allows a mother to perform these duties. Briefly discuss situations that might make it necessary for a mother to assume responsibilities that are normally the father’s.

Suggestions for How to Teach

Group Work. Divide the class into three groups and assign one of the talks in the student manual readings listed below to each of the groups. Invite each group to read their talk and list the responsibilities of husbands and fathers it contains. Also, have each groups discuss the question below that goes with their talk. When they finish, invite them to share their lists and report the results of their discussion.

  • “Our Solemn Responsibilities” (22–26). President Hinckley mentions sorrows that families experience because of the actions of husbands and fathers. What can men do to ensure they are not the causes of these sorrows?

  • “To the Fathers in Israel” (203–6). How can fathers and prospective fathers prepare to fulfill the responsibilities listed by President Benson?

  • “Being a Righteous Husband and Father” (206–9). What pressures and trends could keep husbands and fathers from fulfilling the responsibilities listed by President Hunter? How can we overcome these obstacles?


The plan of salvation helps husbands understand what is expected of them in marriage and family relationships. “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” explains that husbands and fathers are responsible to preside over their families in love and righteousness, provide the necessities of life, and protect their families. Prophets of God continue to clarify the responsibilities of husbands and fathers.