Music & the Spoken Word: A sacred, holy calling

Editor’s note: “The Spoken Word” is shared by Lloyd Newell each Sunday during the weekly Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square broadcast. This will be given Sunday, June 19, 2022.

Perhaps the best-known prayer ever uttered, the Lord’s Prayer, begins: “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name” (Matthew 6:9). To hallow is to make sacred or holy, to revere and respect, so the prayer opens in reverence for the name of God. There are many names and titles we can use to refer to God, all of them hallowed and worthy of reverence, but it’s significant that the name we’re invited to use in this prayer is “Father.”

Our kind and loving Heavenly Father is the perfect model for fathers. Just think of all the attributes and qualities of our Heavenly Father that are also ideal in earthly fathers: He never stops caring, never stops loving His children, even amid our shortcomings and weaknesses. He guides, protects and watches over us. He provides for our needs. He sees our potential and helps us grow to achieve it. And He’s always available, through prayer, whenever we need to feel His love and support.

Of course, no mortal father comes close to that ideal. But there is something sacred, something heavenly, about good fathers, kind and caring fathers, who are doing their best to bless their children with a loving example. They strive to be good, if not perfect; they strive to put family first, not second; they strive to teach their children with compassion, not criticism. There’s a hint of heaven in every honest — if imperfect — attempt.

Just as our Heavenly Father is patient with His children’s failings, we must be patient with our own — and with those of the fathers in our lives. Like all of us, they are learning and growing along the way. In the case of fathers who are absent or even abusive, we can look to our Heavenly Father for the love, guidance and example that we might have missed. We can do the same when death has, for a time, taken a father from the family circle.

Fatherhood is a sacred, holy calling — “[on] earth, as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). In every generation, good fathers are always remembered, always valued, and always needed. We love and respect the hallowed name of Father.

Tuning in …

The “Music & the Spoken Word” broadcast is available on KSL-TV, KSL Radio 1160AM/102.7FM, KSL.com, BYUtv, BYUradio, Dish and DirectTV, SiriusXM Radio (Ch. 143), the tabernaclechoir.org, youtube.com/TheTabernacleChoir and Amazon Alexa (must enable skill). The program is aired live on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. on many of these outlets. Look up broadcast information by state and city at musicandthespokenword.com/viewers-listeners/airing-schedules.

See the Church News’ archive of ‘Spoken Word’ messages