News Story

Earthly Father, Heavenly Father

Father’s Day will be celebrated this Sunday, June 18, 2017, in Canada and other countries. It is a day lauded by many as an opportunity to give thanks and celebrate the gifts and time that their fathers have given them, as well as to spend time with men that we love and appreciate. For some, it may also be a time to mourn the loss of loved ones or a lack of a father figure.

“The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” by the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, contains specific guidance to fathers: “By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families.”

In a society where the roles of fathers are sometimes denigrated and maligned as superfluous or removed, the statistics paint an opposite picture of increased criminality, poverty and limited education when fathers are not present. The role of father is essential and noble. This role can also be found in grandfathers, caring uncles, foster fathers, stepfathers and adoptive fathers.

Of his role as father, Jeremy Orrego of Courtenay, British Columbia, says, “It’s very fulfilling. It gives me purpose. I want to provide for my family, and nothing gives me more satisfaction or recognition than providing for them and seeing them benefit from the fruits of my labor. It, along with being a husband to my wife, defines me. Being a father is who I am.”

Paul Bird, a father, stepfather, and grandfather from Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, says that “being a father means joy at seeing your kids succeed and sadness when they don’t. I love watching all of my kids grow, and I love watching them turn into such neat people. I feel like I get a glimpse of what Heavenly Father must feel like. Life would feel very empty without my kids and grandkids.”

Elder Loren Morse, a missionary for the Church serving in Toronto, stated, “I treasure the happy memories when I am with my children and grandchildren — riding bikes, camping, gathering together for family home evening, holding them in my arms or just being together. The smile on their faces and the joy in their eyes lights up my life. The love I have for them is immeasurable“.

The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has said 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” (“Father, Consider Your Ways,” Ensign, June 2002).

Contributed by Samantha Smith-Bird

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