Fathers’ sacred roles and duties was the focal point of Elder D. Todd Christofferson’s address Sunday morning.
“We believe that far from being superfluous, fathers are unique and irreplaceable,” Elder Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve said during the 186th Annual General Conference.
Elder Christofferson spoke of the important roles fathers have in the lives of their children and in the work of the Lord.
“Fatherhood requires sacrifice, but it is a source of incomparable satisfaction, even joy,” Elder Christofferson said.
Elder Christofferson spoke of some of the duties fathers have. Fathers and mothers are equal partners and must teach their children of Christ.
“The Lord expects fathers to help shape their children, and children want and need a model,” Elder Christofferson said.
Elder Christofferson spoke of the importance of discipline to help loved ones grow, but warned against anything that resembles abuse.
“Discipline in the divine pattern is not so much about punishing as it is about helping a loved one along the path of self-mastery,” Elder Christofferson said.
Elder Christofferson reminded members that sometimes, due to death, divorce and other means, not all families look the same. This doesn’t make any family less important or divine in the eyes of the Lord.
“It should be noted that God himself entrusted his only begotten son to a foster family,” Elder Christofferson said.
Elder Christofferson addressed the young men of the church and asked them to prepare now to become strong and faithful fathers. Getting a quality education, improving social skills and building relations should all be priorities.
“Live your life so that as a man you will bring purity to your marriage and to your children,” Elder Christofferson said.
Elder Christofferson asked all youth to honor their fathers and mothers, and then he addressed all current fathers.
“To my brethren, the fathers in this church, I say, I know you wish you were a more perfect father. I know I wish I were. Even so, despite our limitations, let us press on,” Elder Christofferson said.
To conclude, Elder Christofferson shared a story that appeared in the “New Era.” The story recounted a young boy’s memory of his father praying for him each morning, as the boy lay in bed, before his father headed out to work. As the boy grew, he realized the importance of his father’s prayers and grew continually more grateful for the faith his father had.