With the obligation to beget goes the responsibility to nurture, to protect, to teach, to guide in righteousness and truth. Yours is the power and the responsibility to preside in a home where there is peace and security, love and harmony. — President Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, November 1993, p. 60
God established that fathers are to preside in the home. Fathers are to provide, love, teach, and direct. — President Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, August 1993, p. 2
Many in the world are alarmed, and with some justification, at the plight and deteriorating condition of families. The most powerful thrust toward a resolution of this significant problem would be an honorable father, full of integrity and fidelity, giving righteous leadership to his family. That joyful work and calling is to do whatever is necessary to chart a course for you and your family to unitedly return and live with Heavenly Father. . . .
Dad, you need to be a hero in your family. They need a hero. They will have strong peer pressure and temptation to adopt the so-called heroes of today who are not worthy of their attention and most certainly not their emulation. . . .
You must become the family hero, worthy of not only their attention, but their emulation. This will require your constant investment of sufficient time, complete emotional and physical fidelity, with unity of purpose between you and your eternal companion. This will require your constant dependency upon the Lord, demonstrated through scripture study and prayer.
This will require that you follow the Brethren in every sense of the word – hearing, understanding, and doing. This simple formula will unite and strengthen your beloved family and bring countless blessings from our Father. — Elder Durrel A. Woolsey, General Conference, October 1990
You who hold the priesthood have the responsibility, unless disabled, to provide temporal support for your wife and children. No man can shift the burden of responsibility to another, not even to his wife. The Lord has commanded that women and children have claim on their husbands and fathers for their maintenance (see D&C 83; 1 Tim. 5:8). President Ezra Taft Benson has stated that when a husband encourages or insists that his wife work out of the home for their convenience, not only will the family suffer in such instances, . . . but [his] own spiritual growth and progression will be hampered” (Ensign, Nov. 1987, p. 49).
We urge you to do all in your power to allow your wife to remain in the home, caring for the children while you provide for the family the best you can. — President Howard W. Hunter, Ensign, November 1994, p. 51
I repeat that plea to all fathers. Yours is the basic and inescapable responsibility to stand as the head of the family. That does not carry with it any implication of dictatorship or unrighteous dominion. It carries with it a mandate that fathers provide for the needs of their families. Those needs are more than food, clothing, and shelter. Those needs include righteous direction and the teaching, by example as well as precept, of basic principles of honesty, integrity, service, respect for the rights of others, and an understanding that we are accountable for that which we do in this life, not only to one another but also to the God of heaven, who is our Eternal Father. . . . With the obligation to beget goes the responsibility to nurture, to protect, to teach, to guide in righteousness and truth. Yours is the power and the responsibility to preside in a home where there is peace and security, love and harmony. — President Gordon B. Hinckley, “Bring Up a Child in the Way He Should Go,” Ensign November 1993, p. 60
I confess that I have reflected at length upon that moment and the resurrection which was shortly to follow it. I have wondered what that reunion must have been like: the Father that loved this Son so much, the Son that honored and revered His Father in every word and deed. For two who were one as these two were one, what must that embrace have been like? What must that divine companionship be yet? We can only wonder and admire. And we can, on an Easter weekend, yearn to live worthily of some portion of that relationship ourselves. As a father, I wonder if I and all other fathers could do more to build a sweeter, stronger relationship with our sons and daughters here on earth. Dads, is it too bold to hope that our children might have some small portion of the feeling for us that the Divine Son felt for His Father? Might we earn more of that love by trying to be more of what God was to His child? In any case, we do know that a young person’s developing concept of God centers on characteristics observed in that child’s earthly parents. — Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “The Hands of the Fathers,” Ensign May 1999
These times require great things from fathers, and so does the Lord. . . . Fatherhood is not a matter of station or wealth; it is a matter of desire, diligence, and determination to see one’s family exalted in the celestial kingdom. If that prize is lost, nothing else really matters. — President Ezra Taft Benson, General Conference, May 1981
(Story told by Matthew Cowley) Because of certain conditions which arose . . . my father was released from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. He was not disfellowshipped; he was not excommunicated, but he had to hold his priesthood in abeyance for a number of years, until the First Presidency again gave him the green light to go ahead. I suppose he was officially inactive for some 27 or 28 years. I was just seven or eight years of age. He couldn’t officiate in the priesthood. . . .
But in his prayers he always poured out his heart to God and always pleaded with Him, not necessarily for himself, but for his children – his family. And I don’t think he ever offered up a prayer but what in that prayer there was this petition, “Holy Father, if there ever comes a time when my children have to choose between following me, their father, or being loyal and devoted to thy holy priesthood, please give them the courage to forsake their own father and be loyal to the priesthood thou hast restored to earth.” No sermon has ever impressed me more than those words in his prayer.
My, how fathers can save their families by remaining true and loyal regardless of circumstances and disappointments. . . .
I was struggling to earn my way in Washington to get an education, and I didn’t have enough money to come and get married in the Temple, so we made plans to get married in New York . . . and then when I finished school we were to come home and be sealed in the Temple. We even had our announcements printed, and then all of a sudden my father heard about it. Now I know what he did. He wasn’t a man of means. . . . I received money from him, and he said you have to come home and get married right in the first instance. I came home and we went to the Temple. I will never forget that morning. . . . We met at that little gate at . . . the Temple . . . and went in, all but father. He couldn’t go beyond that little gate, and yet I was going in there because of him; because of his faith, devotion, his integrity, because he had as the greatest obsession of his life, the salvation of his children. (Matthew Cowley, “Put Your Hand in the Hand of God,” BYU Assembly Speech, October 20, 1953) — Harold Glen Clark, “Priesthood in the Home,” BYU, June 25, 1964, pp. 30-31
Fatherhood is leadership, the most important kind of leadership. It has always been so: it always will be so. Father, with the assistance and counsel and encouragement of your eternal companion, you preside in the home. It is not a matter of whether you are most worthy or best qualified, but it is a matter of law and appointment. You preside at the meal table, at family prayer. You preside at family home evening; and as guided by the Spirit of the Lord, you see that your children are taught correct principles. It is your place to give direction relating to all of family life. You give father’s blessings. You take an active part in establishing family rules and discipline. As a leader in your home you plan and sacrifice to achieve the blessing of a unified and happy family. To do all of this requires that you live a family-centered life. — President Spencer W. Kimball, “The Example of Abraham,” Ensign, June 1975, p. 3
God has revealed through his prophets that men are to receive the priesthood, become fathers, and with gentleness and pure, unfeigned love they are to lead and nurture their families in righteousness as the Savior leads the Church (see Eph. 5:23). — Elder M. Russell Ballard, “Equality through Diversity,” Ensign, November 1993, p. 90
I am a father, inadequate to be sure, but I cannot comprehend the burden it must have been for God in His heaven to witness the deep suffering and Crucifixion of His Beloved Son in such a manner. His every impulse and instinct must have been to stop it, to send angels to intervene – but He did not intervene. He endured what He saw because it was the only way that a saving, vicarious payment could be made for the sins of all His other children from Adam and Eve to the end of the world. I am eternally grateful for a perfect Father and His perfect Son, neither of whom shrank from the bitter cup nor forsook the rest of us who are imperfect, who fall short and stumble, who too often miss the mark. — Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “The Hands of the Fathers,” Ensign, May 1999
Brethren, noble fatherhood gives us a glimpse of the divine attributes of our Father in Heaven. A father should be many things. He should magnify his priesthood and be an example of righteousness. In companionship with his wife, he should be the source of stability and strength for the whole family. He should be the protector and the provider and the champion of the members of his family. Much of his love for his children should flow from his example of love, concern, and fidelity for their mother. By his uncompromising example, he should instill character into his children. — President James E. Faust, “Them That Honour Me I Will Honour,” Liahona, July 2001, pp. 53-56
The father should be full of kindness, and endeavor to happify and cheer the mother, that her heart may be comforted and her affections unimpaired in her earthly protector, that her love for God and righteousness may vibrate throughout her whole being. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 8:62
It is for the husband to learn how to gather around his family the comforts of life, how to control his passions and temper, and how to command the respect, not only of his family, but of all his brethren, sisters, and friends. — Discourses of Brigham Young, 198
Let the father be the head of the family, the master of his own household; and let him treat them as an angel would treat them. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 4:55