Sunday, June 20, 2021

President Gordon B. Hinckley on the responsibility of fathers

President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910-2008) was called to the Quorum of Twelve in 1961. He served as a counselor in the First Presidency from 1981-1995, then as Church President until his death in 2008.
"Many years ago President Stephen L. Richards, then a Counselor in the First Presidency, speaking from this pulpit made an eloquent plea to put father back at the head of the family. I repeat that plea to all fathers. Yours is the basic and inescapable responsibility to stand as the head of the family. That does not carry with it any implication of dictatorship or unrighteous dominion. It carries with it a mandate that fathers provide for the needs of their families. Those needs are more than food, clothing, and shelter. Those needs include righteous direction and the teaching, by example as well as precept, of basic principles of honesty, integrity, service, respect for the rights of others, and an understanding that we are accountable for that which we do in this life, not only to one another but also to the God of heaven, who is our Eternal Father....
"With the obligation to beget goes the responsibility to nurture, to protect, to teach, to guide in righteousness and truth. Yours is the power and the responsibility to preside in a home where there is peace and security, love and harmony."
- Gordon B. Hinckley, "Bring Up a Child in the Way He Should Go," General Conference October 1993
Click here to read the full talk
President Hinckley re-issues a "plea" shared by one of his predecessors "to put father back at the head of the family." His plea is to the fathers themselves, not to any others who might have displaced them, saying they have a "basic and inescapable responsibility" to lead, and to provide for needs:

That's quite a list of responsibilities! President Hinckley shares the wonderful vision of "the responsibility to nurture, to protect, to teach, to guide in righteousness and truth." What a great need that is, today more than ever, as so many forces assail home and family. But the reminder of how is also critical: not as a dictator, not expressing inappropriate dominion. The leadership of a true father is based on love and righteous understanding.
(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2021)
June 16, 2015

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