Sunday, June 20, 2010

father's day

My brother got asked to speak in church with someone from the stake. The topic he was assigned was "the righteous influence of fathers" and he prepared a lovely talk (I know because he practiced it on me!). It got me thinking about what I would speak on if it were me...

I thought of my own father and how much of ME has come from him. I have read that the attributes of righteous parents are magnified in their children...I dunno if I'm quite near "magnified" but I will agree with the scripture in John 8:28 that "...I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me..." 

I've always felt that anything I ever knew I learned first from my father. So much of how I view the world, the gospel, and myself springs out of my father's view of those things. My dad isn't perfect, but for good and for bad, the things he has taught me have made me who I am and I wouldn't change that. That is one of the largest of the MANY righteous influences my father has had on me.

How blessed I am to have had a father who is good!

I remember reading in Mosiah about Alma the younger and how much of his eventual conversion was a result of his righteous father. When he was in the depths of sorrow and bitterness it was his father's words, of Christ, that he remembered (Alma 36:17) and it was his father's prayers that brought the angel to him in the first place (Mosiah 27:14).

Boyd K. Packer emphasized this important effect in a conference report (April 1992) when we quote Orsen F. Whitney as saying:

 "The Prophet Joseph Smith  declared--and he never taught a more comforting doctrine--that the eternal sealing of faithful parents and the divine promises made to them for valiant service in the Cause of Truth, would save not only themselves, but likewise their posterity. Though some of the sheep may wander, the eye of the Shepherd is upon them, and sooner or later they will feel the tentacles of Divine Providence reaching out after them and drawing them back to the fold. Either in this life or the life to come, they will return. They will have to pay their debt to justice; they will suffer for their sins; and may tread a thorny path; but if it leads them at last, like the penitent Prodigal, to a loving and forgiving father's heart and home, the painful experience will not have been in vain. Pray for your careless and disobedient children; hold on to them with your faith. Hope on, trust on, till you see the salvation of God." (Conference Report April 1929)

What a blessing and a comfort to have a righteous parent -- and motivation to be one!

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