Last week we
celebrated Father’s Day. We paused to remember what our mortal fathers have
done for us in giving us life, supporting us, and teaching us to love our
Heavenly Father. We remembered that we would not be who we are today without
the influence of our fathers in our lives. Studies have show that families with
both fathers and mothers provide the best environment for children.
In recent decades, high rates
of divorce and out-of-wedlock births have resulted in an exceptionally large
number of single parents. Many of these single parents have raised exemplary
children. Extensive studies have shown, however, that a husband and wife who
are united in a loving, committed marriage generally provide the ideal
environment for protecting, nurturing, and raising children (“The
Divine Institution of Marriage”)
This past Friday
(June 26th, 2015) the US Supreme Court ruled that all 50 State must
allow same-sex marriages and recognize the same marriages from other states. With
this decision the U.S. joins 20 other countries around the world that have legalized
same-sex marriages (U.S.
News & World Report).
always been sacred and ordained by God. It is part of His plan of happiness for
all his children and without it God’s work to bring us back into his presence would
not be possible. Christ reminded us that marriage was to be between a man and a
women when he taught during his mortal ministry (Matthew 19:4-5).
What happens when men turn against God’s laws? Mosiah, an ancient American Prophet,
taught his people that as long as the people who were brought to this land
obeyed the commandments they would be protected, but if the time would come
when they chose wickedness they would be destroyed.
Now it is not common that thevoiceof
the people desireth anythingcontraryto
that which is right; but it is common for the lesser part of thepeopleto
desire that which is not right; therefore this shall ye observe and make it
your law—to do your business by the voice of the people.
time comes that the voice of the people doth choose iniquity, then is the time
that the judgments of God will come upon you; yea, then is the time he will
visit you with great destruction even as he has hitherto visited this land. (Mosiah 29:26-27)
This land, North
and South America, was to be a choice land, a land of freedom and liberty as
long as the people here kept God’s commandments but if the time came that they rejected
God they would be scattered and smitten by other nations (2 Nephi
1:9-11). The Book of Mormon tells of two nations that were completely destroyed
after rejecting God’s commandments and when they were ripe with iniquity.
Two cities in the
Old Testament (Sodom and Gomorrah) were destroyed because of homosexual behavior
(see footnote b of Genesis 18:20).
The Apostle Paul condemned these practices (Romans 1:26-32).
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has reminded us of the importance
of the family and that failure to sustain laws supporting traditional marriage
and families would bring the calamities foretold in the scriptures (The
Family: A Proclamation to the World).
You will not see
me out on the streets with a sing warning of the end of the world, in fact I still
believe that the majority of the people still choose to keep the commandments
of God. I believe as Mosiah said that it is the “lesser part of the people”
that are causing these laws to be passed. As in Book of Mormon times, it is our
judges and rulers that are brining us under this condemnation. We have been
warned that changing the laws to support same-sex marriage does not change the
standards and laws set by God.
advocates of same-sex marriage argue that traditional standards of sexual
morality have changed and that “tolerance” requires that these new standards be
recognized and codified in law. If tolerance is defined as showing kindness for
others and respect for differing viewpoints, it is an important value in all
democratic societies. But as Elder Dallin H. Oaks has observed, “Tolerance does
not require abandoning one’s standards or one’s opinions on political or public
policy choices. Tolerance is a way of reacting to diversity, not a command to
insulate it from examination.”
addition to using the argument of tolerance to advocate redefining marriage,
proponents have advanced the argument of “equality before the law.” No mortal
law, however, can override or nullify the moral standards established by God.
Nor can the laws of men change the natural, innate differences between the
genders or deny the close biological and social link between procreation and
Divine Institution of Marriage”)
While we should
not compromise our commitment to God’s commandments, we must remember to follow
the Savior’s example to love one another. When he was confronted with the women
caught in adultery, he did not condemn her, but he also did not excuse her sin
Dallin Oaks in the October 2014 General Conference warned members to avoid
On the subject of public
discourse, we should all follow the gospel teaching s to love our neighbor and
avoid contention. Followers of Christ should be examples of civility. We should
love all people, be good listeners, and show concern for their sincere beliefs.
Though we may disagree, we should not be disagreeable. Our stands and
communications on controversial topics should not be contentious. We should be
wise in explaining and pursuing our positions and in exercising our influence. In
doing so, we ask that others not be offended by our sincere religious beliefs
and the free exercise of our religion. We encourage all of us to practice the
Savior’s Golden Rule: “Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye
even so to them” (Matthew 7:12).
When our positions to
not prevail, we should accept unfavorable results graciously and practice
civility with our adversaries. In any event, we should be person of goodwill
toward all, rejecting persecution of any kind, including persecution based on
race, ethnicity, religious belief or non belief, and differences in sexual
Others and Living with Differences”)
I am saddened by
the decision of the Supreme Court but I know that it does not change the commandments
of God, I know that those who support the decision and those who choose to live
in opposition the what God has said are still his children. None of us are
without sin and should not be casting stones at those who disagree with us. The
fact also remains that when we choose wickedness and rebel against God there
are consequences. We will all stand before Him when we die to be judged of our
works whether they are good or evil and will receive the rewards for the lives
that we live here.
and questions are welcome. To leave a comment, click on the no comments link below.
Father’s Day and I would like to share some of my feelings on being a father
and about my father. When I first became a father 38 years ago, I had no idea
of the joy and sorrow that I would experience as I learned how to be a good
father to my children. I have found joy in every new step, every new experience
and every new success that my children experienced. I sorrowed with them and
for them as they made mistakes, broke bones, failed a test, skinned their knees
and wandered from the gospel path.
Now that I have
experienced the blessing of being a father, I wish that I had been a better son
and not caused so much grief for my father. I don’t think that I was willfully
rebellious or disobedient but like most children I did not appreciate what my
parents were going through and I did not always show them the respect that they
deserved. Like all parents they were trying to learn how to do the best that
they could. They had that same manual for raising children, that I had – the
example of their parents. Elder M. Russell Ballard spoke of the special
relationship between a father and his son:
“You see, we’re all on a journey. Dads are a
little further down the road, but none of us has yet arrived at our final
destination. We are all in the process of becoming who we will one day be.
Fathers and sons can play a critical role in helping each other become the best
that they can be.
“I know that father-son relationships are
never perfect, but everything I am going to suggest to you tonight is possible
if you will put in the effort to make it happen.
“Young men, you are your father’s pride and
joy. In you they see a promising future and their hope for a better, improved
version of themselves. Your accomplishments are a joy to them. Your worries and
problems are their worries and problems.
“Fathers, you are the primary model of manhood
for your sons. You are their most meaningful mentor, and believe it or not, you
are their hero in countless ways. Your words and your example are a great
influence on them. (“Fathers and Sons: A Remarkable Relationship”, M. Russell
Ballard, General Conference, October 2009)
My father has
been gone for almost eight years. He tried the best that he knew how to raise
his sons. All of us have grown up to be fathers to our own children and now our
sons are fathers and the cycle of life continues. What a wonderful experience
it is to see your sons grow up to be wonderful, loving fathers. All of this
happens in spite of the inadequacies and mistakes we made along the way.
The best place
we can look for good examples of fathers is in the scriptures. In the very
first verse of the Book of Mormon, Nephi tells us that he was born of goodly
parents and that they taught him many things including the goodness and
mysteries of God. Nephi and his brothers were taught to keep the commandments
and to enquire of the Lord when they needed answers to their prayers. Some of
Lehi’s children followed those teachings and some did not.
of a father’s love for his children is found in Mosiah 27. Alma the Younger and
the Son’s of Mosiah are among those who are not keeping the commandments and
they caused many members to fall away. Because of the prayers of the Prophet
Alma an angle appeared to Alma the Younger and the Son’s of Mosiah and called
them to repentance. Alma continually prayed for his wayward son and never gave
up on him and his friends. We should never stop praying for our children,
especially those who have wandered from the gospel.
The best example
we have of a father and son relationship is that of our Father in Heaven and
His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ. When Jesus was baptized and came up out of
the water The Father said: “This is my
beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). Also after Christ
was resurrected and appeared to the people here in America, The Father
announced him by saying: “Behold
my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have
glorified my name—hear ye him”. (3
Moses was taught about the plan of salvation and how Christ
was chosen to be the Savior of mankind and how Satan rebelled and tried to take
the glory away from The Father.
1 And I, the Lord God, spake unto Moses,
saying: That Satan, whom thou hast commanded in the name of mine Only
Begotten, is the same which was from the beginning, and he came before me,
saying—Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I
will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and
surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor.
2 But, behold, my Beloved Son, which was my
Beloved and Chosen from the beginning, said unto me—Father, thy will
be done, and the glory be thine forever.
3 Wherefore, because that Satan rebelled against
me, and sought to destroy the agency of man, which I, the Lord God,
had given him, and also, that I should give unto him mine own power; by the
power of mine Only Begotten, I caused that he should be cast down;
4 And he became Satan, yea, even
the devil, the father of all lies, to deceive and to blind
men, and to lead them captive at his will, even as many as would
not hearken unto my voice.
Christ’s whole purpose was to do the Father’s will and not
take any glory to himself. Lucifer on the other hand rebelled against The
Father and also wanted all the glory for himself. What are our motives, do we
bring honor to our fathers or are we trying to bring ourselves the glory of the
world. While teaching the people in Jerusalem Christ taught about how he always
does The Father’s will:
19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them,
Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what
he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these
also doeth the Son likewise.
20 For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him
all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these,
that ye may marvel.
23 That all men should honour the
Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son
honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.
30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear,
I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will,
but the will of the Father which hath sent me. (Matthew 5)
What a great example
for us to follow and to teach our sons to do the same. If we want our sons to
do our will, we need to have our lives in harmony with the gospel principles.
In They Family: A Proclamation to the World it says: “By divine design, fathers are to preside over
their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the
necessities of life and protection for their families.”
I am grateful for my earthly
father as well as my Heavenly Father. I am grateful to be a father and as I
strive to do my father’s will I hope my sons will do the same. I am grateful
that my sons have grown up and are now great fathers even though I made many
mistakes. I invite you to click on the video clip below to watch a father’s day
message from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.