In a message to fathers, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in 1973 stated: “It is significant that of all the titles of respect and honor and admiration that are given to Deity, He has asked us to address Him as Father.”
As Father’s Day 2020 approaches, the Church News has gathered messages from several leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints expressing their gratitude to fathers and men everywhere.
Example of prayer
“Once, as I sat by my father’s bedside through the night, he talked about his childhood,” wrote President Henry B. Eyring, second counselor in the First Presidency, in a 2016 Facebook post. “I knew he was dying of cancer. … He often said that when he prayed, he thought he could see in his mind the smile of Heavenly Father.”
God notices every effort
“Heavenly Father notices every effort we make. … Please, please feel His love and gratitude.”
The ‘best of men’
“Only a dad, with a tired face,
Coming home from the daily race,
Bringing little of gold or fame,
To show how well he has played the game,
But glad in his heart that his own rejoice
To see him come, and to hear his voice.
Only a dad, but he gives his all
To smooth the way for his children small,
Doing, with courage stern and grim,
The deeds that his father did for him.
This is the line that for him I pen,
Only a dad, but the best of men.”
‘You are not overlooked’
“Perhaps you might think that you are not needed, that you are overlooked or unwanted, that you are nobody,” said Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles through tears in April 2013 general conference.
“I am sincerely sorry if any priesthood holder feels this way. Certainly you are not overlooked or unwanted by your Heavenly Father. He loves you. And I tell you with certainty that you are needed by your Church.”
Sister Sharon Eubank, first counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency, said her father, a television meteorologist, enjoyed nature. He loved watching the storms roll in from the Great Salt Lake.
“He used to wake us up sometimes to come watch a big lightning show. My dad always talked weather with us,” Sister Eubank said.
The ‘greatest possible happiness’
“I assure you that the joy, love and fulfillment experienced in loving, righteous families produce the greatest possible happiness we can achieve, both now and in the eternities,” Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles wrote in a Facebook post on Father’s Day in 2018.
Sacrifice, service and support
To single fathers, foster fathers and stepfathers, Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles noted that God Himself entrusted His Only Begotten Son to a foster father — Joseph, Mary’s husband.
“We believe in fathers,” Elder Christofferson continued in his April 2016 general conference address, calling dads “unique and irreplaceable.”
“Jesus said, ‘Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’ Fathers manifest that love as they lay down their lives day by day, laboring in the service and support of their families.”
Honor fathers as He honors His Father
“I would like to honor all the men and boys, of all ages, who are fathers, who are preparing to be fathers, and who strive to ‘father’ everyone around them,” Sister Reyna Isabel Aburto, second counselor in the Relief Society general presidency, wrote in a 2019 Facebook post.
“Let us follow the example of Jesus Christ in the way He honors His Father and always does His will.”
A lesson from his father
In a Father’s Day Facebook post in 2016, Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles shared a lesson he learned from his father when he was 11 years old: “He and I were hiking, and I was jumping from rock to rock in front of him.”
As Elder Stevenson climbed toward the top of one rock, his father grabbed him by the belt and pulled him off the rock. They later saw a rattlesnake on the top of the rock.
When they discussed it on the drive home, his father said, “The Holy Ghost was protecting you through me. He warned me to pull you away.”
Said Elder Stevenson, “I am thankful my father was worthy to receive and act upon a prompting of the Holy Ghost that day.”