News Story

The Many Facets of a Father’s Love

President Rulon Stacey has a lot of love in his life. As mission leaders for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he and his wife, Sister Linda Stacey, have spent the past year loving the people of Ontario and the 193 missionaries of the Canada Toronto Mission. The couple also share their hearts with their four daughters and six grandchildren.

The Staceys moved from Colorado to Canada in 2022 to support missionaries from all over the world. These missionaries have left their homes and come to Ontario for 18 months or two years to love and serve others and share messages of Jesus Christ. (President Stacey previously worked in hospital administration, where he won national and international awards for his achievements.)

Originally from Utah, the Staceys became friends while in junior high in Orem, Utah, and started dating after President Stacey finished his own missionary service in Raleigh, North Carolina. With love as their foundation, the Staceys married in 1982.

Speaking about becoming a dad for the first time, President Stacey said, “In truth, fatherhood is what exposed me to a new aspect of love. I remember it like it was yesterday when I held my baby for the first time. I didn’t know her, had never met her before. But I was so instantly full of total and complete love that I could not fully express my feelings. I know that I had never felt that feeling before, and I know that I could not stop looking into her eyes and asking her questions.”

“Interestingly enough, a few days after she was born, I received her baby photos that were taken in the hospital,” continued President Stacey. “I was so certain that our baby was the cutest baby ever that I raced to the BYU Police Department, where I was working at the time, and showed them all the photo of the most precious baby every. Little did I know that I was fulfilling a stereotype. And you can imagine all the things the seasoned police officers were thinking as I ran around showing them the most beautiful baby in the world. Still, embarrassment and all, I’d do it again if I could.”

President Stacey has felt his love magnify as his grandchildren joined the family. He said, “Even with the extraordinary love I feel for my children, I feel an even more deep and abiding love and patience and understanding for my grandchildren. I am told that [feeling] even increases with [having] great-grandchildren.”

In their role as mission leaders, President and Sister Stacey feel their love has compounded again. President Stacey said, “After being set apart by President Russell M. Nelson as the Canada Toronto Mission leaders, my wife and I talked about how instantly our feelings toward the missionaries (whom we had never met) was so similar to the instant love we had for our newly born children.” Arrival in Canada only enhanced that feeling. He said, “We instantly loved [the missionaries] as though they were our own.”

President Stacey gives this advice to those who want to develop love in their lives: “I believe that [the prophet] Mormon taught us how to develop perfect love for everyone with whom we interact. [He] taught that when we follow Jesus Christ, it can change our hearts. A changed heart can be filled with hope and perfect love (see Moroni 7–8). ... Following the teachings of Christ found in the Book of Mormon will bring each of us the ‘perfect love’ that we desire for all others, including loved ones, neighbours and enemies alike.”

Read the story in French.

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