In touching social media posts, leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints shared thoughts and stories of their fathers to celebrate the holiday weekend.
President Russell M. Nelson wrote:
No mortal father is perfect. I am not; neither was my father, nor his father before him. The scriptures are filled with true accounts of imperfect yet devoted and loving fathers who tried to do their very best, including Adam, Moses, Abraham, and others of the finest men who ever lived.
On this Father’s Day, I look with joy at my children, grandchildren, and ever-growing number of great-grandchildren. I am a personal witness of the multigenerational impact of a father who loves his children—and who loves the mother of his children.
There are few things more tender to children than the example of their caring father. What fathers say and do lasts forever in the hearts and minds of their children. Kindness, fidelity, honesty, patience, and devotion to God, country, and family are all defining characteristics of a righteous father.
Father’s Day is joyful for most but sorrowful for some. Gratefully, each of us can communicate with our Heavenly Father in prayer. He is never absent but is ever-welcoming. Our Heavenly Father is perfectly loving, perfectly understanding, and perfectly capable of helping us rise to meet any challenge we face. On this day, may we honor Him and strive to emulate His example, doing our very best, day after day.
President Henry B. Eyring wrote:
A father or a bishop or a senior home teaching companion who shows that he trusts a young priesthood holder can change his life. My father was once asked by a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles to write a short paper on science and religion. My father was a famous scientist and a faithful priesthood holder. But I can still remember the moment he handed me the paper he had written and said, “Here, before I send this to the Twelve, I want you to read it. You will know if it is right.” He was 32 years older than me and immeasurably more wise and intelligent.
I still am strengthened by that trust from a great father and priesthood man. I knew that his trust was not in me but that God could and would tell me what was true.
President M. Russell Ballard wrote:
On this Father’s Day, I want to take a moment to appreciate the wonderful impact that fathers have on their children and loved ones. You are heroes to them in countless ways, and your words and your example are a great influence on them. The term “father” can also apply to grandfathers, uncles, brothers, father figures, and mentors as well.
My father was a brilliant man who taught me the value of hard work. My grandfather, who was an Apostle, took time out of his busy schedule to take me to the movies on my eighth birthday. Their repeated loving actions had a lifelong impact on me.
No earthly father is perfect, but by striving to do your very best, you have earned the trust of those who look up to you. They seek your advice and provide you with a little extra motivation to strive to be a better father and a better man.
Fathers, we celebrate you today and every day for making your relationships with your children and loved ones an eternal priority in your life.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland wrote:
Today I want to recognize fathers wherever they are around the world. “Father” is a sacred word in the gospel vocabulary, repeated from childhood to our senior years in all of our prayerful pleadings.
As mortal fathers, we must try to treat our children the way our Father in Heaven treats us. When they come to us with their “pleadings” or even when they disappoint us, we must never give up on them. We must keep trying, keep reaching, keep praying, keep listening. We must keep them within the clasp of our arms.
My beloved father had a heart attack during the Christmas season of 1976 from which he never recovered. He was the ultimate gift giver, and I was heartbroken over this illness that came ironically at Christmastime. Then I realized that my other Father, our Heavenly Father, was not only figuratively but literally the greatest gift giver, offering to us the life and Atonement of His Only Begotten Son.
I cannot imagine what that pain must have been for the Father, but it was incomprehensible, to say the least. That ought to help all earthly fathers remember that there may be some pain involved in being the exemplary fathers we ought to be.
Fathers, know that you are loved and admired. Know that you are crucial in the great plan of salvation and that you are crucial to the strength and stability of your family. Your example can keep your children close to you and to the gospel. They might be inclined to stray on their own. The best thing you can do for any child in encouraging the keeping of covenants is for you to keep yours.
Sister Bonnie H. Cordon wrote:
I have the BEST dad.
He’s in heaven now, which is still almost a little surreal to say. I know he’s up there working and working away, but what is this “great work” everyone is so busy with on both sides of the veil?
Dad gently taught me of my heavenly parents, my divine worth and eternal destiny. At first I knew these truths because he knew, and then I knew because it was true.
As I’ve been wondering what “great work” I’ve witnessed, and reflecting on my father, I realized an eternal truth: it was us kids—we were his great work. He was able to see that I had a beginning and he was there to give me a middle, but my journey would carry on into forever. He saw his great work was to lead us to our great work.
Elder Neil L. Andersen recently testified “that your own personal journey as a child of God did not begin for you as the first flow of earth’s air came rushing into your lungs, and it will not end when you take your last breath of mortality” (general conference, Apr. 2021).
Dad did the greatest work by emulating exactly what the Father is doing. WE are all HIS “great work.”
Sister Cammile N. Johnson shared the above video of her son and wrote:
My daughter-in-law sent me this video of my son mowing the lawn in early spring with his daughter Goldie in tow! She insisted on helping Dad mow the lawn, so my son put her on his back in the carrier. I’m sure it was more burdensome for him to get the chore done this way, but Goldie loved it!
Fathers—and parents—have the unique opportunity to turn ordinary tasks into memorable moments which help children feel loved, valued, and included. Thank you to our dear fathers for creating these kinds of valuable memories! Happy Father’s Day!
Sister Jean B. Bingham wrote:
My father’s nickname, almost from birth, was Rowdy. Not because that was his personality, but his mother simply liked that appellation. As a father, he was not “rowdy” either. Rather, he was quiet and firm, yet he knew how to have fun. After a home evening lesson, he could be found giving us a “horseback ride,” pretending to be a ballet dancer attempting an arabesque with his long limbs, or reading a story in French with such expression that even though we didn’t understand the words, we were enthralled.
As a father, he gave his seven daughters and two sons a wide variety of experiences that gave us appreciation for the contributions and challenges of others. And he built our confidence by coupling high expectations with assurance that we could accomplish whatever we were willing to work for.
Above all, we knew without any doubt that he had a testimony of the truthfulness of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I remember hearing him pray while our family knelt together and being so sure that there was a heavenly visitor standing in the room that I sneaked a peak. When I had questions about the gospel, I could take them to him and know that not only would I be heard, but he would take the time to discuss my concerns and help me find an answer.
Studies show, and personal experience affirms, that fathers have a powerful influence on the faith of their children. One of the very best gifts a father can give his children is the knowledge that he has a firm testimony of God and His work, which has carried him through his own challenges, and that a testimony can do the same for each of them, too.
Many thanks to fathers who share their witness of eternal truths with love and surety!
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.