|8 years ago :: Jun 16, 2009 - 2:35PM #1|
This is posted with the permission of the author: Don Conkey
Fathers bless children by teaching correct principles
Sunday is father's day - a day designated for children to honor their fathers. Is there anything more special or needed for a child than a good father or grandfather, except perhaps a good mother or grandmother?
As a father, grandfather, and great grandfather I can now look back over the years and remember learning first-hand the "duties and responsibilities" of parenting. You watch your parents, but not until your own children come along does a father really learn those sacred duties and responsibilities of parenting.
Any father with two or more children quickly learns each child is unique. They may have the same physical characteristics of the family, but each child's God's provided spirit and talents are different - often very different. It requires patience for fathers to learn to deal with these challenging spirits on loan from God, but which can and do bring great happiness to parents - and grandparents.
My father lived a long and fruitful life and I learned much from him during his 98 years. My father, with great help from mother, taught me the foundational principles of life so that I could learn to govern myself once I left home. The home is the foundational training school where self discipline should be taught. It is where a child should learn: 1. to share with siblings; 2.the necessity of hard work, often repetitive work; 3. to observe lasting and eternal love between father and mother; and 4. where the basic questions of life are answered: what is the purpose of life? Why am I here? Where am I going? And is there life after death? And equally important they should learn that the family government is the foundational unit for all government and that the home is where respect for all humanity should to be learned.
I was fortunate. My father saw to it that I had the opportunity to understand these basic questions and to learn their answers in his home. He taught me it was my responsibility to use my own God given agency to develop my own testimony of God; to work hard, to get a good education, to never give up, and to have pride in my family and in my family heritage. He taught me Jesus Christ was a great teacher and that I would do well to follow in His footsteps and to emulate His life. Those were powerful lessons to learn in his home.
He taught me I had not only rights but that I would have responsibilities, responsibilities to my parents, to myself, my future wife and children and to their children, my grandchildren, to God and to my neighbors (community). And he taught me in word and deed that by accepting these responsibilities I would be blessed. And I have been. And he taught me blessings are earned by obedience to the laws governing such blessing. Dad's grandchildren brought him great joy. He created an environment of love for his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. They loved him and still love his memory.
As I grow older I find myself following in my father's footsteps. Father learned to paint at age 70, with oils, and then painted over 100 beautiful paintings and gave one to each of his children and grandchildren. At age 70 I began writing. I have written well over 500 Observation columns and several books since turning 70. And I followed both dad and mom into the political arena becoming a part of the community wherever I lived.
My father grew old with grace. He counseled his children and grandchildren when asked. Today when my grandchildren ask for counsel I give it, cautiously. And, having the authority to perform marriages, they often ask me to perform their marriages. There is nothing that brings greater joy to a grandfather than to stand before a grandchild and perform their sacred and holy rites of marriage in a House of the Lord.
Our grandchildren come to visit Joan and me after they return from serving their church service missions to share with us the lessons of life, and joy they have learned and felt while in the service of others. I marvel at the foundation for life they created for themselves while serving their missions. Later, after marriage, they bring their children, our great grandchildren, to visit. These joyful visits are the fruits of our labor for being parents and grandparents. And I continue to teach the same principles of life my father taught me hoping they learn to govern themselves by using those same correct principles that are mankind's very foundation of life.
The Lord teaches it is the responsibility of a father to lead his family, to provide for their needs, both temporally and spiritually, and to be the example of righteousness to all his posterity.
Blessed are the children of those fathers (and mothers) who teach by example the true foundational principles of life. Fathers, enjoy Father's Day.
It is impossible to stand upright when one plants his roots in the shifting sands of popular opinion and approval.
Thomas S. Monson