Sunday, June 19, 2016

Neal A. Maxwell on the example of a righteous father

Elder Neal A. Maxwell (1926-2004) served as a Seventy from 1976-1981, then as a member of the Quorum of Twelve until his death from cancer in 2004.
"A father who truly loves his children, and who is truly striving, for instance, to become a better man, sends off to his children all kinds of messages, in a variety of ways, that lets them know he loves them and that he is a serious disciple of Jesus Christ. Then his children can more easily forgive him the tactical errors, because his basic message is intact: he believes in God and he cares for his family.
"On the other hand, for the father who is not truly serious in his discipleship, no number of compensatory techniques or humanistic sentiments can ever compensate for the failure of that father to teach the truth by precept and by example."
- Neal A. Maxwell, "That My Family Should Partake," p. 108

A father who "truly loves his children" will show them two critical things: he loves them, and he loves God. But often he shows his family he loves them by the way he loves God; by his expression of how he is "a serious disciple of Jesus Christ." That aspect of fatherhood, sadly, seems to be more rare in the world today. This is a powerful reminder for those of us given the privilege to be a father.

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