“3 Ways to Be a Father Figure,” Liahona, June 2018
Some men will have the privilege of being a father, while others may not experience fatherhood until after the Resurrection. Whatever your situation may be, here are three ways you can be an influential father figure to the those around you:
Magnify your Calling
Whether you are a member of the bishopric or a nursery teacher, your calling gives you many opportunities to reach out with diligence and enthusiasm to those around you who are in need of guidance and love. A deacons quorum adviser can encourage young men who are struggling with spiritual or temporal problems. A home teacher can enrich the lives of the family he visits. As you magnify your calling, you will have more opportunities to fully realize the power of God’s priesthood and bless the lives around you (see D&C 84:32–33).
Become familiar with the talents and interests of the youth you interact with. Write emails and letters to missionaries. Build relationships with your siblings, nieces, nephews, cousins, and other family members. An opportunity to act as a father figure may not immediately present itself, but as you build relationships and are especially attentive to those who may be struggling, you can be in a position to help a young person make important life decisions.
Show Love Unfeigned
Some young men and women you interact with may have behavioral issues or bad habits that can be frustrating. It can be tempting at times to discipline or set boundaries for those youth or children. Although this may be necessary in some cases, it may not be the most effective way to correct them, particularly if they are not your own children. Strive to follow the example of our Heavenly Father, who is “full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy” (Psalm 86:15).