Fathers: A God-Given Role
Fathers, grandfathers, uncles, brothers, friends—our lives are blessed with men who have cared for us throughout our lives.
Fatherhood, a divine role
The role of father originated with God himself, our Heavenly Father, and is a divine role and calling. Becoming a father, stepfather, grandfather, or foster father is an opportunity to become like God, to love and care for children as God loves and cares for us. God loves and supports all fathers as they try their best to raise and care for those in their care.
Fathers teach us how
Nephi was “born of goodly parents” and was “taught somewhat in all the learning of [his] father” (1 Nephi 1:1). There are fathers—a noun and those who father—a verb. To father is to teach children in many ways—through example, direct counsel, and everything in-between. Our fathers, stepfathers, grandfathers, and uncles may teach us to ride a bike, tie our shoes, or cook a meal, but more importantly, they can be righteous influences who teach us how to follow God. Enos gave thanks for his father for the things he knew, saying, “Knowing my father that he was a just man—for he taught me in his language, and also in the nurture and admonition of the Lord—and blessed be the name of my God for it” (Enos 1:1).
Father figures are crucial
Your relationship with your father may be strong and loving or far from ideal, but we believe in encouraging the men in our lives to be the best fathers they can be. Elder D. Todd Christofferson said, “As a Church, we believe in fathers. We believe in ‘the ideal of the man who puts his family first’ [Elder D. Todd Christofferson, “Fathers,” Liahona, Apr. 2016, 93]. We believe that ‘by divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families’ [“The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” ChurchofJesusChrist.org]. … We believe that far from being superfluous, fathers are unique and irreplaceable” (“Fathers,” general conference, Apr. 2016).
Heavenly Father loves us all
God, our Heavenly Father, is the ultimate example of a righteous father. Even amid our shortcomings, His love is complete and endless. He invites us to talk with Him in prayer. He wants us to be happy. No matter who you are or what your relationship with your earthly father is, you can know God’s love for you and find joy in a relationship with your Heavenly Father.