The following are from a talk by President Faust, Happiness is Having a Father who Cares, from the Friday morning session of the October 1973 general conference:
Recently a father of a family of six children, who has had the sole responsibility for raising the family, beginning when the youngest was in diapers, told of the struggles in raising the family alone. One night he came home from work, faced with the problems of being both father and mother and felt unusually burdened with his responsibilities. One of his appreciative little girls, age 12 years, approached him eagerly, after having laid a rock on his dresser, which she had painted at school. On the flat portion of the rock she had written, “Happiness is having a dad who cares.”
President Stephen L Richards quoted Judge Samuel S. Liebowitz, to both of whom I give full acknowledgement, in an article appearing in the Reader’s Digest entitled “Nine Words That Can Stop Juvenile Delinquency.” The nine words suggested by the judge were, “Put father back at the head of the family.” President Richards concluded from the article “that the primary reasons for reduced percentages of juvenile delinquency in certain European countries, was a respect for authority in the home, which normally reposes in the father as head of the family.” President Richards continued: “For generations in the Church, we have been endeavoring to do just what the judge advocates, to put and keep the father at the head of the family, and with all our might, we have been trying to make him fit for that high and heavy responsibility.” Since the primary purpose of the Church is to help the family and its members, how well the father functions in his responsibility is of utmost importance.
In order to strengthen the father in his position, I make two simple suggestions: first, sustain and respect the father in his position; second, give him love, understanding, and some appreciation for his efforts.
There are some voices in our society who would demean some of the attributes of masculinity. A few of these are women who mistakenly believe that they build their own feminine causes by tearing down the image of manhood. This has serious social overtones, because a primary problem in the insecurity of both sons and daughters can be the diminution of the role of the father image.
Let every mother understand that if she does anything to diminish her children’s father or the father’s image in the eyes of the children, it may injure and do irreparable damage to the self-esteem and personal security of the children themselves.
What the world needs now is fathers who are present and who preside. But the first only gets lip service–the whole trend of the world is against it–while the other is anathema. Indeed, the first can only get lip service because the second is anathema.
Hey, no worries. Zero out of two ain’t bad.
Other Posts from the Friday morning session of the October 1973 General Conference
- The Importance of Righteous Influence by Jan Tolman