Saturday, June 21, 2008

Fathers Day Talk

Hey all. I was asked to put a copy of my fathers day talk on the blog. Hopefully it will be some fun sunday reading! Enjoy.

In honor of Fathers Day I have decided to talk on how fathers bring happiness to their families. As I contemplated this topic I looked toward the example of our Heavenly Father. In every thing we are commanded to do, everything we are asked to learn, in everything we are to endure through this life we do in order to find true happiness and joy. So, how do Fathers bless their families with happiness daily?

In “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” it states:

Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.

Today I would like to share examples of fathers who lived by these principles in order to teach their children and bring happiness to their families. As I give these examples, I hope that each one of you will quietly think of the personal examples you have experienced in your lives, with your fathers and father figures, that could just as easily been used as examples in this talk

A Father brings happiness through faith. In the book of Mark we read an account of a father who, through faith, helps bring happiness not only to his child, but also his family. This mans son has had a sickness since he was very little, and so he took his son to see the apostles, asking them to take this infirmity from him. They couldn’t so he went to Jesus, explaining his problem and compelling him to have compassion and help if possible. In mark, chapter 9 verse 23 it reads…

Jesus said unto him, If though canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe: help thou my unbelief.

Through this fathers faith and the lords power his son was make whole. A father who has faith blesses his family with happiness

A father brings happiness through prayer. No one can doubt the power of the fervent prayer offered by a father for his children. In Mosiah 27 we read of the account of an angel appearing to Alma the Younger. In verse 14 the angel says”

Behold, the Lord hath heard the prayers of his people, and also the prayers of his servant, Alma, who is thy father; for he has prayed with much faith concerning thee that thou mightest be brought to the knowledge of the truth; therefore for this purpose have I come to convince thee of the power and authority of God, that the prayers of his servants might be answered according to their faith.

By communicating through prayer, Alma Sr. was able to express his needs for his family to Heavenly Father, and receive blessings, which helped his son and family have more success and happiness.

I can only imagine the countless prayers offered up by my own father for my siblings and me. Every choice we made, every night we stayed out late, every trial we experienced as well as every triumph we celebrated was likely doused with fervent prayers from a faithful loving father. A father who prays blesses his family with happiness

A father brings happiness through repentance. Early in the Book of Mormon we are shown the principle of a father repenting. We see this as Lehi begins to murmur, along with most of his family when there is not enough food, and he feels there is no way to obtain more. I think that most of us might feel like murmuring and this point. We might even feel justified in our murmuring even after food is acquired. However, this is not what happened with Lehi. After being chastised Nephi explains that his father was brought down into the depths of sorrow, only later being able pray to the Lord inquiring where to find food. This prayer was answered and the family was fed. What did his children learn from this experience? What do we learn from this experience?

A father who is able to admit fault, and ask for forgiveness or repent in front of his family can be a great teacher to his family. Not only does he teach his children humility, and what to do when mistakes are made. He also shows them that even when they make mistakes, or sins are committed, that there is a Father in Heaven who still loves them and will accept them as they come to him in their “depths of sorrow.” How much joy can this knowledge bring to every person? A father who repents blesses his family with happiness

A father brings happiness through compassion and forgiveness. Compassion and forgivness are simply taught in the parable of the prodigal son, found in Luke chapter 15. One son decided he was ready to get on with his life. He asked his father for his portion of the inheritance, which although probably very inconvenient his father did. The son then left and wasted his inheritance in unrighteous living. When his money, friends, abundance and finally food were gone he worked feeding pigs, and was still starving. At this point he thought about returning to his fathers house. He felt completely unworthy to be a son, however he thought maybe his father could accept him as a servant. This was his last resort; at least he knew that his father’s servants were always fed. In Luke chapter 15 verse20 it reads:

And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

I think that a great majority of fathers would have had a similar reaction, when seeing a son who had been away for any length of time, even if they had asked for their inheritance at an unlikely time. However it is what happens next where this father shows such great compassion and forgiveness

And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put in on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet.

And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost and is found.

Even after the son admitted unworthiness and showed the waste of everything, the father showed forgiveness, and compassion and love, willingly giving this son the best of everything his had, and celebrating his return. A father who shows compassion and forgiveness blesses his family with happiness

A father brings happiness through respect. In the book of Alma, After Ammon serves King Lamoni, King Lamoni listens to Alma’s testimony and is converted to the gospel. Because Ammon has become so close and important to the king he is invited to accompany him to a feast that is being given by Lamoni’s father. Ammon explains that he can’t. Heavenly Father has told him that the needs to go to a different part of the kingdom to help get his brothers out of prison. King Lamoni tells Ammon that he will go with him, in order to help free his brothers. As they are journeying to where Ammons brothers are held they meet King Lamoni’s father. Lamoni’s father is infuriated that Lamoni is with a nephite…the enemy. He is also very upset that Lamoni missed the feast because he was going to help release even more nephites from prison. He is so upset that he tries first to kill his own son, and then tries to kill Ammon. However, Ammon defends Lamoni, and then fights the king to the point where the King’s life is in Ammons hands. The king tells Ammon that he can have anything he wants, as long as Ammon will spare his life. And what does Ammon ask for. Only for the release of his brothers, and that Lamoni might be able to go back to his kingdom and rule as he thinks best without his fathers being displeased. The king was amazed that is all Ammon asked for. No treasures, no kingdoms, no wives. Through these events King Lamoni’s father gained a great respect for the love that Ammon showed his son. He also respected the fact that Ammon didn’t want to kill him, and that when given the chance to ask for anything, he only thing he asked for himself was the freedom of his brothers. He showed this respect by giving Ammon the things he had asked for, and later by listening to and accepting the gospel of Jesus Christ. King Lamoni’s father could have kept a hard heart, and chosen to go back on his word as soon as he was out of danger, but due to the respect he held for Ammon, he, his son and thousands of Lamanites were blessed with happiness as they accepted the teachings of Jesus. A father who shows respect blesses his family with happiness

A father brings happiness through work. Although there are many examples of a fathers work in the scriptures that I could use, I would like to share a personal story with you. My father is one of the best examples of hard work that I know. When I was (1) my dad decided that he needed to change careers. Something told him that he wouldn’t be able to raise this family of eight children on a teacher’s salary. So, with eight kids in tow, he and my mom decided he should go back to school. During this time my father worked to provide for the immediate needs of our still growing family, as well as our future needs. My dad would go to school throughout the day, and then study late into the night. In the early, early morning hours, if you could call 3 am morning, he would rouse a few of my older siblings and they would go perform janitorial work at nearby businesses.

I remember the stories of my father studying, holding a pencil over the edge of the desk, so that when he fell asleep, the pencil hitting the floor would wake him so that he could once again resume his studies. I also remember the stories of my mom tricking my dad into taking a short nap on the couch, with his head on her lap. While he was napping, she would cut his hair because he couldn’t make time for it anywhere else. My dad’s example of work has always been amazing to me. That work ethic has been helpful in the lives of me and all my siblings, helping us have better attitudes when things are difficult and enjoying work that is necessary in life. A father who works blesses his family with happiness.

A father brings happiness through wholesome recreational activity. Again for this principle I will use a personal example. My father was a great example of work, however his strength of example didn’t extend to wholesome recreational activities (sorry dadJ). I think Heavenly Father knew that I needed to see this principle applied in my life, and needed to experience the happiness it can bring, since I am a little too much like my father. So I was blessed with my father-in-law. I would call him the king of wholesome recreational activities. I have learned to golf, play in swimming pools, to make bubbles in front of fans. I have learned to play card games, board games, and an assortment of ball games. I have learned of family scriptures and singing, sharing birthday stories, embarrassing stories, and any stories that bring a laugh to others. I have learned that thanksgiving not only consists of eating dinner with one’s family, but it also includes basketball and other games at the church, endless card games, movies, a sleepover, a huge breakfast, followed by more movies, and maybe a round of golf if the weather is nice. And now, I really feel like my children are blessed to have a father, my husband who is an example of not only hard work, but who is also, just like his father, a king of wholesome recreational activities. A father who plans and participates in wholesome recreational activities blesses his family with happiness.

A father brings happiness through love. There are no better examples of love found in the scriptures than that of our Father in Heaven, and of his son, Jesus Christ. Heavenly Father has given us a plan that guides us so that we can find happiness in this world and throughout our eternal lives. He blesses us with families, friends and experiences that help us grow. He blesses us with prophets, the gospel and correct principles so that we will know where to look for support, and how to be happy. He also blessed us by sacrificing us his only begotten son, so that we could come back to him.

Jesus served all those around him continually. He was willing to show his love by suffering, and by giving his own life, submitting to the will of his Father, so that we could have eternal life which will bring us the most happiness forever. A father who loves blesses his family with happiness.

As I have studied, and shared these examples of fathers guiding their families using these principles, I know that here, in this very ward we could find countless and equally inspiring examples. Fathers who have had great faith, trusting in Heavenly Father to bless their families. Fathers who have prayed fervently for loved ones.

Fathers who have repented, teaching humility, and who have forgiven, helping children learn of Heavenly Fathers love for them. There are fathers who personify compassion and respect in their daily lives. There are those fathers who have worked hour after hour, year after year to support their families, and then come home to perform even more hours of service for their wives and children. There are those wonderfully playful fathers like my husband and father in law who bring a zest of fun to the lives of all those they interact with. Like our Heavenly Father and his son Jesus Christ all of these fathers do these things out of love. On this Fathers Day I want to say how much I admire all of the fathers and father figures here, who live by these principles so that they can bless their families with happiness.


Val, just Val said...


I'm gonna tackle that after I finish the O.T.

somestratt said...

Ha, ha, ha. Very funny val. The old testament cant even compare.

abstowe said...

Maybe you can use her talk in your new calling!

somestratt said...

new calling?

Russ said...

Now you post it. I could have used this a few hours before Sunday.

somestratt said...

Russ, it came out amazing after all the lack of ideas. I hope yours went as well. If I had known you wanted to borrow it I would have definately sent it on your way! Less than a month till the beach!