A Wonderful Power That Binds Fathers To Their Children


Many years ago my son and his wife arrived at our home for Sunday dinner. As they entered the front door, their two-year-old daughter, my granddaughter, dropped from her Mom’s arms and came running to me with her blond hair flying back, blue eyes ablaze, and a smile on her face. “It doesn’t get any better than this”, I thought. So I bent down on my knees, extended my arms, and gave the best Grandpa smile I could give. Just as she reached my outstretched arms, she abruptly stopped and said, “Where’s Grandma?” I pointed to my wife on the computer,  and she continued on and raced into her arms. I knew then where I stood in the pecking order! But the marvelous thing about witnessing that scene was that I didn’t feel jealousy towards my wife. Instead, it drove home to my heart, once again, of the unique role that women play in the lives of children. They have a gift from God. An ability to bond with children as they bear and nurture them throughout their lives. However, God did not give all of his unique gifts of bonding just to women. One thing that I love about the church I belong to is that all worthy men are allowed to bond with their sons and daughters through participation in the ordinances of the priesthood.

A few years ago, another son had the names of his newly born twins recorded in the books of the church by giving them a name and a blessing.  It is a moving spiritual experience to hold your infant in your arms and give them a name and a blessing. I know because I had the same experience with my own children shortly after they were born.  This experience, while paling compared to the bonds that bind a child to his mother, nevertheless provides opportunities for fathers to bond with their children. These “bonding” opportunities for fathers come throughout their children’s lifetimes. For me, it came not only when I blessed them at birth;  but when I baptized them at the age of eight. It came when the boys reached the age of twelve and I ordained them to the Aaronic Priesthood. Then at age 14 and 16 as they advanced in the priesthood.  The “bonding” opportunities from priesthood ordinances came when my sons and daughter were sick, or if they needed blessings of comfort for school.  And because of the office I held at the time when they received mission calls, I had the privilege of bonding with two of my sons when I set them apart for full-time missionary service, as well as releasing three from the mission field upon their return. The bonds of the priesthood strengthened me with my own father as I witnessed him sealing my three married children in the house of the Lord. I recall thinking at each sealing how wonderful it was to see my father perform the ordinance that could eternally bind my children. It drew me closer to him!

The priesthood is a blessing in providing “ties that bind” fathers to their posterity. They are emotionally and spiritually moving experiences whose impact carries on in the heart long after the performance of the ordinance. As I wrote in my journal following the blessing of one of my sons, “…I will never forget the spirit that I felt while giving that blessing”. It is not unusual to feel such emotion or power of the spirit when performing such sacred duties. All men should take the opportunity to receive the blessings that come from being a holder of the priesthood. It is the power delegated to man to act in the name of God, and more importantly, it is the gift that touches the heart of both the giver and the receiver.

I will never come close to bonding to my children as my wife has done through childbearing,  but being able to spiritually bond with your child is a true blessing from on high for a father!

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