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`Remember, priesthood is righteous authority only'

At the October 1994 general conference, President Howard W. Hunter reminded male members of the Church "to remember that priesthood is a righteous authority only."

He said further: "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."You who hold the priesthood have the responsibility, unless disabled, to provide temporal support for your wife and children. No man can shift the burden of responsibility to another, not even to his wife. The Lord has commanded that women and children have claim on their husbands and fathers for their maintenance. (See D&C 83; 1 Tim. 5:8.) President Ezra Taft Benson has stated that when a husband encourages or insists that his wife work out of the home for their convenience, `not only will the family suffer in such instances, . . . but (his) own spiritual growth and progression will be hampered.'

"We urge you to do all in your power to allow your wife to remain in the home, caring for the children while you provide for the family the best you can. We further emphasize that men who abandon their family and fail to meet their responsibility to care for those they have fathered may find their eligibility for a temple recommend and their standing in the Church in jeopardy. In cases of divorce or separation, men must demonstrate that they are meeting family support payments mandated by law and obligated by the principles of the Church in order to qualify for the blessings of the Lord."

President Hunter said that a man who holds the priesthood leads his family in Church participation so they will know the gospel and be under the protection of the covenants and ordinances. "If you are to enjoy the blessings of the Lord, you must set your own homes in order. Together with your wife, you determine the spiritual climate of your home. Your first obligation is to get your own spiritual life in order through regular scriptural study and daily prayer. Secure and honor your priesthood and temple covenants; encourage your family to do the same.

"Take seriously your responsibility to teach the gospel to your family through regular family home evening, family prayer, devotional and scripture reading time, and other teaching moments. Give special emphasis to preparation for missionary service and temple marriage. As patriarch in the home, exercise your priesthood through performing the appropriate ordinances for your family and by giving blessings to your wife and children. Next to your own salvation, brethren, there is nothing so important to you as the salvation of your wife and children."

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