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_"There is something we can change today to make the world a better place in which to live," writes Elder L. Tom Perry of the Council of the Twelve Apostles. Speaking to the men of the Church, he states, _"Enjoy the inspiration of God, our Eternal Father, to lead, guide, and direct your families in righteousness. You stand at the head of the only organization I know of that can be eternal. Should not that charge and responsibility receive top priority in your life?" Thus, in clear and compelling terms and in his inimitable, forthright style, Elder Perry addresses the men of the Church on their many responsibilities as husbands, fathers, Church leaders, and priesthood bearers.
This touching, thought-provoking book offers encouragement and inspired counsel on being a righteous husband and father and providing peace, security, love, and spiritual guidance to families. Elder Perry also reminds us that all members may use the strength of the priesthood to deal with the stresses of life and seek to become true disciples of Christ. He states: "We can't predict all the struggles and storms in life . . . but as persons of faith and hope, we know beyond the shadow of a doubt that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true and the best is yet to come."
In Family Ties, Elder L. Tom Perry presents wise, timely counsel to all those who strive to lead and guide their families in righteousness.
- Husbands and Fathers - Your Roles and Responsibilities
- Called of God
- The Importance of the Family
- Let Him Do It with Simplicity
- Discipleship Notes
- Pages: 80
- Size: 5x7
- Published: 04/2011
About the Author
L. Tom Perry, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was called to his present Church position April 6, 1974.
He was born August 5, 1922, in Logan, Utah, to Leslie Thomas and Nora Sonne Perry. He received his B.S. degree in finance from Utah State University in 1949. His professional career was spent in the retail business where he served as vice president and treasurer in companies located in Idaho, California, New York, and Massachusetts.
On July 18, 1947, he married Virginia Lee of Hyde Park, Utah, in the Logan Temple. She died December 14, 1974. They are the parents of two daughters and a son. He married Barbara Taylor Dayton on April 28, 1976, in the Salt Lake Temple.
Husbands and Fathers – Your Roles and Responsibilities
The Book of Mormon tells a remarkable story about a father who loved his son so much he gave him his own name. The father was chief high priest in the land and spent much of his days administering to the spiritual needs of the people. How disappointed he must have been when his son chose to turn from his teachings.
As any righteous father would, he pleaded with the Lord for a change to occur in the life of his son. In answer to his prayers, an angel stood before this young man and said, “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 a knowledge of the truth” (Mosiah 27:14).
The scriptures record how the prayers of a righteous father were answered. History attests to the power of righteous leadership in the home.
I want to focus on those who bear the great and noble titles of husband and father. I find myself greatly concerned with what I see around me. Man, woman, young adult, youth, and child—all groping to find their identity in a troubled world. Husbands and fathers, may I again remind you of your roles and your responsibilities?
First, as a husband: The first instruction given to man and woman immediately following the Creation was, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).
So God in His divine plan ordained that marriage was to bring about His basic organizational unit—the family. The roles of husband and wife were clearly defined from the very beginning. In the Lord’s plan, these roles are unchanged and eternal.
A prophet has said of womanhood, “A beautiful, modest, gracious woman is creation’s masterpiece.”1
To safeguard this masterpiece, the Lord gave to man the duty and responsibility to be the provider and protector. Husbands, if the Lord’s plan is to be accomplished, you must learn how to perform in the leadership role He has designed for you. May I remind you of some of these requirements?
First, let me share an experience related by Sister Emma Rae McKay, wife of President David O. McKay. She shared it many years ago, but it is even more relevant today:
“Last summer on reaching Los Angeles, we decided to have our car washed by one of those ‘Quickies’ on Wilshire Boulevard.
“As I was watching the last part of the operation from a bench, to my surprise a tiny voice at my elbow said, ‘I guess that man over there loves you.’
“I turned and saw a beautiful little curly-haired child with great brown eyes who looked to be about seven years of age.
“‘What did you say?’ I asked.
“‘I said, I guess that man over there loves you.’
“‘Oh, yes, he loves me; he is my husband. But why do you ask?’
“A tender smile lighted up his face and his voice softened as he said, ‘Cuz, the way he smiled at you. Do you know I’d give anything in this world if my pop would smile at my mom that way.’
“‘Oh, I’m sorry if he doesn’t.’
“‘I guess you’re not going to get a divorce,’ he [questioned me].
“‘No, of course not; we’ve been married over fifty years. Why do you ask that?’
“‘Cuz everybody gets a divorce around here. My pop is getting a divorce from my mom, and I love my pop and I love my mom. . . . ’
“His voice broke, and tears welled up in his eyes, but he was too much of a little man to let them fall.
“‘Oh, I’m sorry to hear that!’
“And then he came very close and whispered confidentially into my ear, ‘You’d better hurry out of this place or you’ll get a divorce, too!’”2
Husbands, are your actions at all times a reflection of your love for your wife? If that had been you at the carwash, would that little boy have noticed the same tender love in so much abundance?
Second, it is your responsibility to provide peace and security in your home. It is your duty to provide ade-quately for your family. You must prepare yourself for this responsibility and have the ambition to see that it is accomplished. Your wife should live her life with the comforting assurance that so long as you are healthy and well, you will take care of her first above all others.
Third, it is a 24/7 job to respect your eternal companion. There is too much unrighteous leadership being exercised in too many marriages. The Lord has warned us in the scriptures by saying:
“We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous -dominion. . . .
“No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned” (D&C 121:39, 41).
Your wife is your companion, your best friend, your full partner. The Lord has blessed her with great potential, talent, and ability. She, too, must be given the opportunity for self-expression and development. Her happiness should be your greatest concern. Learn how to magnify both your roles in order that both husband and wife can be found having fulfilling and happy lives together.
Brethren, your first and most responsible role in life and in the eternities is to be a righteous husband.
Second only to the title of husband is that of father. Next to eternal life, the greatest of all gifts that our Father in Heaven can bestow on a man is the opportunity of being blessed with sons and daughters. Every healthy and normal son of God should have the joy of bestowing the following gifts on his children:
First, an honored and respected name. I will be eternally grateful to a father who thought enough of me to give me his name. It was a name of honor and respect in the community in which I grew up. It carried before it the title of bishop from the time I was six months old until just a few months before I left to go on my mission. How proud I was of his service. I was pleased that he had the patience to involve me in his responsibilities. Working on a welfare farm, cleaning the chapel, balancing ward financial records, carrying a sack of flour to a widow, and other opportunities for service, were a part of my early life. I was with him so much I received the nickname of “Bishop.” I attempted to wear it with pride and honor. It had the effect of making me reach a little higher. I wanted to try to be on the same plane as my father. Should not every child have the same opportunity?
Fathers, it is your obligation to give your children an honored and respected name.
Second, every child needs a sense of security. I often think of the security of our old family home. It was a fortress against the adversary. Each morning and evening it was blessed by the priesthood as we would kneel in family prayer. That power was also manifest as my father blessed his family in time of need.
Fathers, is it not your obligation to give your children a home blessed with the power of the priesthood?
Third, children need their father’s time and attention. My children taught me a great lesson many years ago. Our family had moved from California to New York, where I had accepted a position with a new company. We began the process of finding a new home by looking in communities closest to the city. Gradually, however, we moved farther away from the city to find a home in a neighborhood that suited our needs. We found a beautiful home some distance from New York City. It was a one-story house nestled in the lovely deep woods of Connecticut. The final test before purchasing the home was for me to ride the commuter train into New York and check the time and see how long the commute would take. I made the trip and returned quite discouraged. The trip was one and one-half hours each way. I walked into our motel room where our family was waiting for me and presented a choice to my children.
“You can have either this house or a father,” I said. Much to my surprise they responded, “We’ll take the house. You’re never around much anyway.” I was devastated. What my children were telling me was true. I needed to repent fast. My children needed a father who was home more. Eventually we reached a compromise and bought a home closer to the city, with a much shorter commute. I changed my work habits to allow me to have more time with my family.
Fourth, give your children the opportunity of having a joyful, happy childhood. I’m reminded of a story written many years ago by Bryant S. Hinckley. It is as follows:
“Three hundred twenty-six school children of a district near Indianapolis were asked to write anonymously just what each thought of his father.
“The teacher hoped that the reading of the essays might attract the fathers to attend at least one meeting of the Parent-Teachers Association.
“They came in $400 cars and $4,000 cars. Bank president, laborer, professional man, clerk, salesman, meter reader, farmer, utility magnate, merchant, baker, tailor, manufacturer, and contractor, every man with a definite estimate of himself in terms of money, skill, and righteousness. . . .
“The president picked at random from another stack of papers. ‘I like my daddy,’ she read from each. The reasons were many: he built my doll house, took me coasting, taught me to shoot, helps with my schoolwork, takes me to the park, gave me a pig to fatten and sell. Scores of essays could be reduced to ‘I like my daddy. He plays with me.’
“Not one child mentioned his family house, car, neighborhood, food, or clothing.
“The fathers went into the meeting from many walks of life; they came out in two classes: companions to their children or strangers to their children.
“No man is too rich or too poor to play with his children.”3
I am aware how concerned we each are with the leadership we find in the world today. To change the head of a nation, state, or community toward righteous leadership may require our earnest efforts for years. But there is something we can change today to make the world a better place in which to live. Husbands and fathers, the power is within you as bearers of the priesthood. Enjoy the inspiration of God, our Eternal Father, to lead, guide, and direct your families in righteousness. You stand at the head of the only organization I know of that can be eternal. Should not that charge and responsibility receive top priority in your life?
God bless you to understand your roles and responsibilities to be righteous husbands and fathers.
Perfect for Every Dad
by Robert - reviewed on March 22, 2012
This book has so much wonderful information in it! I am so glad they have put all of this information together. It truly inspires you to be a better husband and father, and gives you ways to do so! A must read for every father!
Inspiration for Fathers
by Sierra - reviewed on September 21, 2012
I feel like it's really easy to find helps and material for mothers but not so much for fathers. This little book is so full of great council for fathers, as well as comfort and encouragement that I'm sure at times they need just as much as mothers do.
Informative, Inspiring and Inspirational
by Martin - reviewed on June 18, 2011
I find this book to be highly informative, well written and recommend it as a must read book for all fathers in Israel. In today's busy world where we are distracted on so many levels, the gentle reminders that may be found in this book are a light and compass to help father's to focus on what really is their most important responsibilities. a great father's Day Present.
Great Book for Dads!
by Customer - reviewed on June 01, 2011
The book is quick read with lots of great counsel on being a better husband and father. Very inspiring and an excellent reminder of the many blessings of being a father.
Recycled conference talks
by Stephen - reviewed on September 29, 2011
I love to listen to Elder Perry. He is great. I love him speak. He has great insight into the gospel and a fun sense of humor. This book, though is really just a collection of his conference talks lifted almost verbatim from the Conference Report without any new thought or material. I recognized most of them right off. They are some of his best and most memorable, but just go to lds.org and do an author search to find the same. Save your money here maybe and look for another book.
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