The Worth Of A Righteous Father…Priceless!


Recently my wife visited an elderly man who related to her the story of his one and only grandson. He was born to his daughter but the father was unknown or never revealed to the child. Fortunately he was financially cared for by his mother. He attended good schools and became educated at a fine university. Yet, barely out of college he fell in with the wrong crowd and ended up on the pathway to criminal behavior. His grandfather lamented, “He was always mad about not having a father. For some reason he never could accept it. He was always bitter about it till it poisoned his soul.” It is a story I have oft heard repeated. It is a sad story of how one sinful man can have such tremendous power in destroying the lives of his innocent children. Fatherless homes has now become a plague across our great nation. With it comes the destruction of countless lives of children who yearn for a father, but who must look outside the walls of their home to find it. Often they find comfort in the wrong places and with the wrong people. Many years ago an L. Tom Perry gave some strong words to the Fathers of this land. He said:

“I stand before you today to accuse many of the husbands and fathers who are within the sound of my voice and throughout the world of failing in your two major God-given responsibilities. The reason for most of the problems we find in the world today must be laid at your door. Divorce, infidelity, dishonesty, the use of drugs, deterioration of family life, loss of identity, instability and unhappiness have resulted from the lack of your leadership in the home” (“Father-Your Role, Your Responsibility”, L. Tom Perry, GC, Oct. 1977)

Now some forty years later the tide has not been turned. The cries of the innocent ascend to the heavens at a greater level than before. The world has need of willing men, who will take upon them the role and responsibilities that God intended for them. So much good can come from a righteous father. I recall the story that Thomas Monson told. He related this story.

“A few years ago I read an article written by Jack McConnell, MD. He grew up in the hills of southwest Virginia in the United States as one of seven children of a Methodist minister and a stay-at-home mother. Their circumstances were very humble. He recounted that during his childhood, every day as the family sat around the dinner table, his father would ask each one in turn, “And what did you do for someone today?” The children were determined to do a good turn every day so they could report to their father that they had helped someone. Dr. McConnell calls this exercise his father’s most valuable legacy, for that expectation and those words inspired him and his siblings to help others throughout their lives. As they grew and matured, their motivation for providing service changed to an inner desire to help others” (“What Have I Done For Someone Today”, GC, Oct. 2009)

How blessed the children were to have such a father! “A valuable legacy”! I too had such a father. The imprint of my father is felt in all aspects of my life. It is quite a remarkable feeling to grow up being proud of a man you call Father. The admiration I had for my Dad was mostly based on the character I saw demonstrated on a daily basis. His occupation and standing in the community and church were nice, but more importantly was the standing he had in the home. My mother clearly held him in high regard, a testimony to his duty as a husband. I never recall an exchange with my siblings of being embarrassed by something my father had done, in or out of the home. In short, his example of manhood left a giant imprint of who I have become. My Father is still influencing my life for the good even though he left this world a few years ago! He has been a polar star for my life!

What is the worth of a righteous father? It’s priceless!

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