News Release

Fathers Reflect on Fatherhood

“Two of the most important roles fathers have in the lives of their children are those of being a good example and a mentor,” states President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counsellor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (“Our Father, Our Mentor,” Ensign, June 2016).

At Mormon Newsroom, we asked two Canadian fathers to share their thoughts on fatherhood.

Calvin Anderson of Millet, Alberta, fell in love with a single mom named Christina. When they married in 2013, Anderson wanted to be more than a stepfather to Christina’s six-year-old son, Kael. Anderson legally adopted Kael and loves to hear him call him “Dad.”

“Becoming a father has helped me to understand the blessings and challenges of raising a child,” shares Anderson. “It has helped me to develop a closer relationship with my own father and Heavenly Father, because now I understand the unconditional love and joy you feel for your children even in times of frustration and disappointment. My desire for my son is to eliminate his worries physically and emotionally, that I may be able to support and love him enough to ease his burdens, just as our Father in heaven does for all of His children.”

Jonathan Walker of Cambridge, Ontario, is father to five children between the ages of two and 11. He has a demanding job and is currently serving as a bishop of his local congregation. “Fatherhood is full of joy, happiness, worry and love,” he says. “Fathers have been blessed with the responsibility and experience of nurturing and preparing children to return back to the God who gave them life. What a wonderful opportunity we have as fathers to develop Christlike love so we can nurture these precious children and make our families, homes and our world a better place.”

Leaders of the Church stress the importance of fathers in the family and in society: “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. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners” (“The Family: A Proclamation to the World”). The proclamation further teaches, “Parents have a sacred duty to ... teach [their children] to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live.”

Good fathers affect the lives of their children in many positive ways. “Fathers mentor their precious children,” describes President Uchtdorf. “[They] show by their good example the way an honest life is lived. Fathers do not leave their children alone but rush to their aid, helping them to their feet whenever they stumble. And sometimes when wisdom suggests, fathers allow their children to struggle, realizing that this may be the best way for them to learn” (“Our Father, Our Mentor,” Ensign, June 2016).

May we all remember how valuable and necessary fathers are in families, in society and in God’s eternal plan for His children.

Contributed by Mary Chapman

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