Quotes on Fathers by Church leaders

Quotes on Fathers

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“Fatherhood is not a matter of station or wealth,” said President Ezra Taft Benson. “It is a matter of desire, diligence, and determination to see one’s family exalted in the celestial kingdom. If that prize is lost, nothing else really matters” (Ensign, May 1981, p. 36).


Strengthen Fathers

“In order to strengthen the father in the home, I make two simple suggestions: first, sustain and respect the father in his position; second, give him love, understanding, and some appreciation for his efforts. . . .

“In terms of giving fathers love and understanding, it should be remembered that fathers also have times of insecurity and doubt. Everyone knows fathers make mistakes–especially they themselves. Fathers need all the help they can get; mostly they need love, support, and understanding from their own.”

James E. Faust, “The Father Who Cares,” Ensign, Sept. 2006, 4


A Father’s Role in the Family

“Fathers perform priesthood ordinances and give priesthood blessings, including father’s blessings to their children. They pray for and with family members, collectively and individually. They set an example of respect and love for their eternal companion and mother of their children. In all things they follow the example of the Savior and strive to be worthy of His name and His blessing. Fathers should seek constantly for guidance from the Holy Ghost so they will know what to do, what to say, and also know what not to do and what not to say. They serve the family and the Church in the spirit of love and enthusiasm, by example preparing family members to serve—especially preparing sons to serve as worthy missionaries.”

M. Russell Ballard, “The Sacred Responsibilities of Parenthood,” Ensign, Mar. 2006, 30


“Fathers, by divine decree, you are to preside over your family units. This is a sobering responsibility and the most important one you will ever assume, for it is an eternal responsibility. You place the family in its proper priority. It’s the part of your life that will endure beyond the grave” Elder L. Tom Perry (“Fatherhood, an Eternal Calling,” Ensign, May 2004, 69.)


“God bless you, dear fathers. May He bless you with wisdom and judgment, with understanding, with self-discipline and self-control, with faith and kindness and love. And may He bless the sons and daughters who have come into your homes, that yours may be a fortifying, strengthening, guiding hand as they walk the treacherous path of life. As the years pass—and they will pass ever so quickly—may you know that “peace… which passeth all understanding” (Philip. 4:7) as you look upon your sons and daughters, who likewise have known that sacred and wonderful peace. Such is my humble prayer, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, amen” President Gordon B. Hinckley (“‘Great Shall Be the Peace of Thy Children’,” Ensign, Nov 2000, 50.)


Gratitude for Fathers

“Let us reflect gratitude for our fathers.

“Father . . . is ever willing to sacrifice his own comfort for that of his children. Daily he toils to provide the necessities of life, never complaining, ever concerned for the well-being of his family. This love for children, this desire to see them well and happy, is a constant in a time of change.”

Thomas S. Monson, “An Attitude of Gratitude,” Ensign, Feb. 2000, 4


“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”President Howard W. Hunter (“Being a Righteous Husband and Father,Ensign, Nov 1994, 49.)


Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “The Lord’s plan of salvation requires that you pass through trials in this mortal life. Those trials seem to be greatest when you reach fatherhood, but be assured—fatherhood, in a sense, is an apprenticeship to godhood” (“Father, Consider Your Ways,” Ensign, Jun 2002, 12.)


“Fathers, yours is an eternal calling from which you are never released. Callings in the Church, as important as they are, by their very nature are only for a period of time, and then an appropriate release takes place. But a father’s calling is eternal, and its importance transcends time. It is a calling for both time and eternity” President Ezra Taft Benson (“To the Fathers in Israel,” Ensign, Nov 1987, 48.)


“It is useless to debate which parent is most important. No one would doubt that a mother’s influence is paramount with newborns and in the first years of a child’s life. The father’s influence increases as the child grows older. However, each parent is necessary at various times in a child’s development. Both fathers and mothers do many intrinsically different things for their children. Both are equipped to nurture children, but their approaches are different. Mothers seem to take a dominant role in preparing children to live within their families, present and future. Fathers seem best equipped to prepare children to function in the environment outside the family” President James E. Faust (“Fathers, Mothers, Marriage,” Ensign, Aug 2004, 2–7.)


“The sacred title of ‘father’ is shared with the Almighty. In the Church men are called and released. Did you ever hear of a mortal father being released?
“…Fatherhood is not a matter of station or wealth; it is a matter of desire, diligence, and determination to see one’s family exalted in the celestial kingdom. If that prize is lost, nothing else really matters” President Ezra Taft Benson (“Great Things Required of Their Fathers,” Ensign, May 1981, 36)


Parental Responsibility

“Fathers, not only do you have the right to know the worthiness of your children, you have the responsibility. It is your duty to know how your children are doing with regards to their spiritual well-being and progression. . . . Ask specific questions regarding their worthiness, and refuse to settle for anything less than specific answers.”

M. Russell Ballard, “The Greatest Generation of Missionaries,” Ensign, Nov. 2002, 48


“We live in a day when many fathers are working at a fevered pace to build material legacies of homes, boats, and bank accounts for their children. Exemplary Book of Mormon fathers, on the other hand, show us the importance of leaving legacies that cannot be cankered by rust.

“What more could we hope for than to leave our children the spiritual tools, the self-control, and the faith to become witnesses and disciples of Jesus Christ? Lehi and his sons Nephi and Jacob, Jacob and his son Enos, King Benjamin and his three sons, Mosiah and his four sons, Alma and his sons, Helaman and his sons Lehi and Nephi, and Mormon and his son Moroni all came to know the joys of discipleship and discipline.

“The sons of righteous Book of Mormon fathers were grateful they had been taught in the “nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Enos 1:1), which led them to Jesus Christ” Kim Crenshaw Sorensen (“A Latter-day Father’s Guidebook,” Ensign, Feb 1995, 15.)


The Role of Fathers

“Fathers are expected by God and His prophets not only to provide for their families but also to protect them. . . .

“. . . On a day-to-day basis, fathers can and should help with the essential nurturing and bonding associated with feeding, playing, storytelling, loving, and all the rest of the activities that make up family life.”

M. Russell Ballard, “The Sacred Responsibilities of Parenthood,” Ensign, Mar. 2006, 30


Priesthood Power as a Shield

“Now, fathers, I would remind you of the sacred nature of your calling. You have the power of the priesthood directly from the Lord to protect your home. There will be times when all that stands as a shield between your family and the adversary’s mischief will be that power. You will receive direction from the Lord by way of the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

Boyd K. Packer, “The Power of the Priesthood,” Ensign, May 2010, 9


Listening to and Connecting with Returned Missionary Sons

“And fathers, . . . listen to [your returned missionary sons], and connect with them in regular, focused conversation. Talk with them in depth about their feelings and desires. Pray with them and give them blessings as they face the important decisions in their future.”

M. Russell Ballard, “Fathers and Sons: A Remarkable Relationship,” Ensign, Nov. 2009, 50


Importance of the Father-Son Relationship

“There is no other relationship quite like that which can and should exist between a boy and his dad. It can be one of the most nurturing, joyful relationships in life, one that can have a profound impact on who boys become and also on who dads become. Now, I understand that some of you young men do not have fathers with whom you can have these kinds of conversations. And some of you men do not have sons or have lost your sons to accident or illness. But . . . uncles and grandfathers and priesthood leaders and other mentors . . . sometimes fill the gaps for these significant father-son relationships.”

M. Russell Ballard, Fathers and Sons: A Remarkable Relationship, Ensign, Nov. 2009, 47


Parents Are to Prepare the Rising Generation

“As we meet our obligations as fathers and leaders, we will help the next generation rise to their glorious future. They will be better than we are, just as you have tried to be even better parents than your parents and better leaders than the great ones who helped you.”

“It is my prayer that we will be determined to do better every day to prepare the rising generation.”

Henry B. Eyring, “Be Ready,” Ensign, Nov. 2009, 62


Advice for Fathers

“First, fathers, listen to your sons—really listen to them. . . . A one-on-one relationship should be a routine part of your stewardship with your sons. . . .

“Second, pray with and for your sons. Give them priesthood blessings. . . . One-on-one prayer and the sharing of testimonies can draw you closer to each other as well as closer to the Lord. . . .

“Third, dare to have the ‘big talks’ with your sons. . . . Your boys need your counsel, guidance, and input on these subjects. As you talk about these very important matters, you will find that the trust between you will flourish.”

M. Russell Ballard, “Fathers and Sons: A Remarkable Relationship,” Ensign, Nov. 2009, 48-49


The Joyful Relationships of Fathers and Sons

“There is no other relationship quite like that which can and should exist between a boy and his dad. It can be one of the most nurturing, joyful relationships in life, one that can have a profound impact on who boys become and also on who dads become.”

M. Russell Ballard, “Fathers and Sons: A Remarkable Relationship,” Ensign, Nov. 2009, 47


Parents Should Cultivate a Spirit of Love in the Home

“Have we cultivated a spirit of love in our homes? Observed President David O. McKay, ‘A true Mormon home is one in which if Christ should chance to enter, he would be pleased to linger and to rest’ (in Conference Report, Oct. 1947, 120).

“What are we doing to ensure that our homes meet this description? Do we ourselves meet it?”

Thomas S. Monson, “Dedication Day,” Liahona, Jan. 2001, 79


Our Family Is the Focus of Our Greatest Work and Joy

“Brethren and sisters, material possessions and honors of the world do not endure. But your union as wife, husband, and family can. The only duration of family life that satisfies the loftiest longings of the human soul is forever. No sacrifice is too great to have the blessings of an eternal marriage. To qualify, one needs only to deny oneself of ungodliness and honor the ordinances of the temple. By making and keeping sacred temple covenants, we evidence our love for God, for our companion, and our real regard for our posterity—even those yet unborn. Our family is the focus of our greatest work and joy in this life; so will it be throughout all eternity, when we can ‘inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities … powers, dominions … exaltation and glory’ (D&C 132:19).”

Russell M. Nelson, “Set in Order Thy House,” Liahona, Jan. 2002, 82

 


Using the Priesthood to Bless Others

“Consider how consistently you use your priesthood to bless others. . . .

“If you are divorced, do you provide for the real financial need of the children you have fathered, not just the minimum legal requirement?

“If you are married, are you faithful to your wife mentally as well as physically? Are you loyal to your marriage covenants by never engaging in conversation with another woman that you wouldn’t want your wife to overhear? Are you kind and supportive of your own wife and children? Do you assist your wife by doing some of the household chores? Do you lead out in family activities such as scripture study, family prayer, and family home evening, or does your wife fill in the gap your lack of attention leaves in the home? Do you tell her you love her?”

Richard G. Scott, “Honor the Priesthood and Use It Well,” Ensign, Nov. 2008, 45


Brethren Should Maintain Priorities

“As I meet with priesthood leaders, I often ask about the priorities of their various responsibilities. Usually they mention their important Church duties to which they have been called. Too few remember their responsibilities at home. Yet priesthood offices, keys, callings, and quorums are meant to exalt families. (See D&C 23:3.) Priesthood authority has been restored so that families can be sealed eternally. So brethren, your foremost priesthood duty is to nurture your marriage–to care for, respect, honor, and love your wife. Be a blessing to her and your children.”

Russell M. Nelson, “Nurturing Marriage,” Ensign, May 2006, 37


Fathers Have a Divine Role in Families

“Satan, in his carefully devised plan to destroy the family, seeks to diminish the role of fathers. Increased youth violence, youth crime, greater poverty and economic insecurity, and the failure of increasing numbers of children in our schools offer clear evidence of lack of a positive influence of fathers in the homes (see David Blankenhorn, Fatherless America: Confronting Our Most Urgent Social Problem [1995], introduction, 25–48; David Popenoe, Life without Father [1996], 52–78). A family needs a father to anchor it.”

L. Tom Perry, “Fatherhood, an Eternal Calling,” Liahona, May 2004, 70


Noble Fatherhood Consists of Divine Attributes

“Brethren, noble fatherhood gives us a glimpse of the divine attributes of our Father in Heaven. A father should be many things. He should magnify his priesthood and be an example of righteousness. In companionship with his wife, he should be the source of stability and strength for the whole family. He should be the protector and the provider and the champion of the members of his family. Much of his love for his children should flow from his example of love, concern, and fidelity for their mother. By his uncompromising example he should instill character into his children.”

James E. Faust, “Them That Honour Me I Will Honour,” Liahona, July 2001, 53–56


Husbands and Wives Lead Families as Coequals

“Remember, brethren, that in your role as leader in the family, your wife is your companion. As President Gordon B. Hinckley has taught: ‘In this Church the man neither walks ahead of his wife nor behind his wife but at her side. They are coequals’ (in Conference Report, Oct. 1996, 68; or Ensign, Nov. 1996, 49). Since the beginning, God has instructed mankind that marriage should unite husband and wife together in unity (see Gen. 2:24). Therefore, there is not a president or a vice president in a family. The couple works together eternally for the good of the family. They are united together in word, in deed, and in action as they lead, guide, and direct their family unit. They are on equal footing. They plan and organize the affairs of the family jointly and unanimously as they move forward.”

L. Tom Perry, “Fatherhood, an Eternal Calling,” Ensign, May 2004, 71


Formative Time of a Child’s Life

“I am impressed by countless mothers who have learned how important it is to focus on the things that can only be done in a particular season of life. If a child lives with parents for 18 or 19 years, that span is only one-fourth of a parent’s life. And the most formative time of all, the early years in a child’s life, represents less than one-tenth of a parent’s normal life. It is crucial to focus on our children for the short time we have them with us and to seek, with the help of the Lord, to teach them all we can before they leave our homes. This eternally important work falls to mothers and fathers as equal partners. I am grateful that today many fathers are more involved in the lives of their children. But I believe that the instincts and the intense nurturing involvement of mothers with their children will always be a major key to their well-being. In the words of the proclamation on the family, ‘Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children’ (The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102).”

M. Russell Ballard, “Daughters of God,” Ensign, May 2008, 108-109


Role of Husbands in Child Rearing

“What more can a husband do to support his wife, the mother of their children? First, show extra appreciation and give more validation for what your wife does every day. Notice things and say thank you—often. Schedule some evenings together, just the two of you.

“Second, have a regular time to talk with your wife about each child’s needs and what you can do to help.

“Third, give your wife a ‘day away’ now and then. Just take over the household and give your wife a break from her daily responsibilities. Taking over for a while will greatly enhance your appreciation of what your wife does. . . .

“Fourth, come home from work and take an active role with your family. Don’t put work, friends, or sports ahead of listening to, playing with, and teaching your children.”

M. Russell Ballard, “Daughters of God,” Ensign, May 2008, 110


Fathers and Sons

“We are all in the process of becoming who we will one day be. Fathers and sons can play a critical role in helping each other become the best that they can be.”

M. Russell Ballard, “Fathers and Sons: A Remarkable Relationship,” Ensign, Nov. 2009, 47


Fathers Need to Be Strengthened

“In order to strengthen the father in the home, I make two simple suggestions: first, sustain and respect the father in his position; second, give him love, understanding, and some appreciation for his efforts. . . .

“In terms of giving fathers love and understanding, it should be remembered that fathers also have times of insecurity and doubt. Everyone knows fathers make mistakes—especially they themselves. Fathers need all the help they can get; mostly they need love, support, and understanding from their own.”

James E. Faust, “The Father Who Cares,” Liahona, Sept. 2006, 4


Sacred Responsibility to Families

“As fathers, we . . . have the sacred responsibility to set a worthy example for our children to help them to become better parents and leaders in their own homes. Quoting Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve: ‘May we ask all priesthood leaders, especially you fathers, to help prepare your sons. Prepare them both spiritually and temporally, to look and to act as servants of the Lord’ (“Prepare to Serve,” Ensign, May 1985, 43).”

Claudio R. M. Costa, “Priesthood Responsibilities,” Ensign, May 2009, 57


Share Thoughts with Your Father

“Trust your father. He is not perfect, but he loves you and would never do anything he didn’t think was in your best interest. So talk to him. Share your thoughts and feelings, your dreams and your fears. The more he knows about your life, the better chance he has to understand your concerns and to give you good counsel.”

M. Russell Ballard, “Fathers and Sons: A Remarkable Relationship,” Ensign, Nov. 2009, 47


Parents Must Be Attentive in Teaching the Rising Generation

“We hold in our arms the rising generation. They come to this earth with important responsibilities and great spiritual capacities. We cannot be casual in how we prepare them. Our challenge as parents and teachers is not to create a spiritual core in their souls but rather to fan the flame of their spiritual core already aglow with the fire of their premortal faith.”

Neil L. Andersen, “Tell Me the Stories of Jesus,” Ensign, May 2010, 10


Fathers Have a Sacred Calling to Protect Their Homes

“Fathers, I would remind you of the sacred nature of your calling. You have the power of the priesthood directly from the Lord to protect your home. There will be times when all that stands as a shield between your family and the adversary’s mischief will be that power. You will receive direction from the Lord by way of the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

Boyd K. Packer, “The Power of the Priesthood,” Ensign, May 2010, 9


Husbands, Honor Your Wives

“Most men worry about succeeding in their life’s work and spend much time and effort at their profession. But I’ve learned that the way to put one’s professional life in order is to put one’s personal life in order. How can we be adequate at anything professionally without being adequate as men, husbands, and fathers first?”

James E. Faust, “Brethren, Love Your Wives,” Ensign, July 1981,


Knowing What Is Going On in Your Son’s Life

“Fathers, listen to your sons—really listen to them. Ask the right kind of questions, and listen to what your sons have to say each time you have a few minutes together. You need to know—not to guess but to know—what is going on in your son’s life.”

M. Russell Ballard, “Fathers and Sons: A Remarkable Relationship,” Ensign, Nov. 2009, 48


Husbands Should Honor Their Wives

“As fathers we should have love unbounded for the mothers of our children. We should accord to them the gratitude, respect, and praise that they deserve. Husbands, to keep alive the spirit of romance in your marriage, be considerate and kind in the tender intimacies of your married life. Let your thoughts and actions inspire confidence and trust. Let your words be wholesome and your time together be uplifting. Let nothing in life take priority over your wife—neither work, recreation, nor hobby.”

Russell M. Nelson, “Our Sacred Duty to Honor Women,” Ensign, May 1999, 3


Brethren Should Maintain Priorities

“As I meet with priesthood leaders, I often ask about the priorities of their various responsibilities. Usually they mention their important Church duties to which they have been called. Too few remember their responsibilities at home. Yet priesthood offices, keys, callings, and quorums are meant to exalt families (see D&C 23:3). Priesthood authority has been restored so that families can be sealed eternally. So brethren, your foremost priesthood duty is to nurture your marriage—to care for, respect, honor, and love your wife. Be a blessing to her and your children.”

Russell M. Nelson, “Nurturing Marriage,” Ensign, May 2006, 37


A Father Is Many Things

“Brethren, noble fatherhood gives us a glimpse of the divine attributes of our Father in Heaven. A father should be many things. He should magnify his priesthood and be an example of righteousness. In companionship with his wife, he should be the source of stability and strength for the whole family. He should be the protector and the provider and the champion of the members of his family. Much of his love for his children should flow from his example of love, concern, and fidelity for their mother. By his uncompromising example he should instill character into his children.”

James E. Faust, “ ‘Them That Honour Me I Will Honour,’ ” Ensign, May 2001, 46


Husbands Direct Righteous Living in the Home

“ ‘Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it’ (Eph. 5:25). With that kind of love, brethren, we will be better husbands and fathers, more loving and spiritual leaders. Happiness at home is most likely to be achieved when practices there are founded upon the teachings of Jesus Christ (see Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102). Ours is the responsibility to ensure that we have family prayer, scripture study, and family home evening. Ours is the responsibility to prepare our children to receive the ordinances of salvation and exaltation and the blessings promised to tithe payers. Ours is the privilege to bestow priesthood blessings of healing, comfort, and direction.”

Russell M. Nelson, “Our Sacred Duty to Honor Women,” Ensign, May 1999, 39-40