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The above is a funny video about dads.

As we take a long, hard look at the world today, it is becoming increasingly evident that the fundamental unit of society—the family—is under attack.

During the past few decades, the family has been belittled and demeaned. The grim facts are seen, reported, and heard about daily and involve the collapse of many family units.

With the decay of the family, we see the terrible effects on our society—increased crime, behavior disorders, poverty, drug abuse, and the list continues to grow and grow. It appears to me, that the crosshairs of the attack are centered on husbands and fathers.

Today’s media, for example, have been relentless in their attacks—ridiculing and demeaning husbands and fathers in their traditional roles.

The Diminishing Role of Fathers

In the attack on the family, the role of fathers has been diminished. Increased youth violence, youth crime, greater poverty and economic insecurity, and the failure of increasing numbers of children in our schools offer clear evidence of lack of a positive influence of fathers in the homes. 1

A family needs a father to anchor it.

Surely we have learned by now, from the experience over centuries, that the basic family provides the most stable and secure foundation for society and is fundamental to the preparation of children and youth for their future responsibilities.

We should have learned by now that alternate styles of family formations have not worked and never will work.

Father’s Roles

Fathers and mothers must search their character to be certain they are following the most correct direction in building up their families.

Focusing on fathers: what is necessary in order to have success?

Once a family has been established, the father’s roles include the following:

1. The father is the head in his family.

“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 [divine] appointment.” 2

A Father’s leadership in the home must include leading in family worship.

Fathers preside at the meal table, at family prayer. They preside at family meetings and councils; and ensure that their children are taught correct principles.

It is the Father’s place to give direction relating to all of family life. Fathers take an active part in establishing family rules and discipline.

As a leader in the home, fathers plan and sacrifice to achieve the blessing of a unified and happy family. To do all of this requires that fathers live a family-centered life. 3

Smith observed: “There is too little religious devotion, love, and fear of God, in the home; too much worldliness, selfishness, indifference, and lack of reverence in the family, or it never would exist so abundantly on the outside.

Therefore, the home is what needs reforming. Try today, and tomorrow, to make a change in your home.” 4

Remember, that in your role as leader in the family, your wife is your companion. There is not a president or a vice president in a family. The couple works together ceaselessly for the good of the family.

They are united together in word, in deed, and in action as they lead, guide, and direct their family unit. They are on equal footing. They plan and organize the affairs of the family jointly and unanimously as they move forward.

2. The father is a teacher.

You must plan your day, earnestly seeking your own welfare and the welfare of your family before other cares blind you to these first responsibilities.

When you recognize the importance of teaching your children, you become humble, because at once you realize that this is accomplished by precept and example.

You cannot be one thing and effectively teach another. You must purify and organize your life so that your example and leadership reflect the goodness you want your children to have.

'No other success

in life can compensate for failure in the home.'

3. The father is the temporal provider.

This is a sobering responsibility and one of the most important one’s that a Father will ever assume, for it is an unending responsibility.

The father places the family in its proper priority. The position which men occupy in the family should be clearly recognized and maintained in placing him at the head of his household.

May we come to understand the importance of fathers in the home.

May we determine more fully to fulfill our duties and responsibilities as families and couples.  

See David Blankenhorn, Fatherless America: Confronting Our Most Urgent Social Problem (1995), introduction, 25–48; David Popenoe, Life without Father (1996), 52–78.The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Father, Consider Your Ways: A Message from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (pamphlet, 1973); reprinted in Ensign, June 2002, 16.Ensign, June 2002, 16.“Worship in the Home,” Improvement Era, Dec. 1903, 138.Ensign, June 2002, 14.

The above is from a talk given by L. Tom Perry at the April 2004, General Conference entitled

Fatherhood, an Eternal Calling.

It can be found at: Official Web site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

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