For many years now, Father's Day has not been a day of relaxation and indulgence for me. On the contrary, I usually find myself analyzing my past performances as a father and then considering the kind of father I desire to be. This year, so far, I have started down this same path again.
My considerations of valuable performances of fatherhood lead me to the following thoughts:
I think of Alma the Elder praying earnestly for his wayward son, Alma the Younger, and then rejoicing in the blessings of a kind Heavenly Father when his paralyzed and blind and mute son is brought before him after meeting an angel of God.
I think of Mosiah finally agreeing to allow his sons to proceed on a dangerous mission to teach the gospel to the lamanites. Mosiah must have had incredible faith in Heavenly Father to have such confidence that the well being of his sons was in good hands.
I think of Nephi, who in response to the starvation of his family and the murmering of even his father Lehi, makes a bow and then goes to Lehi for direction and counsel on where to go to obtain food.
I think of the letters from Mormon to his son Moroni as they approach the entire annihilation of their people. What beautiful and tender concern and hopes Mormon has for his son. I remember a painting I once saw of Moroni finding his dead father which brings powerful emotions to me.
I remember my own dad, Roger Connors, who converted to the church as a 20 year old young man, served a mission for the church, married in the temple and then raised a large family in righteousness.
Most of all, I remember the many lessons from my Heavenly Father on forgiveness, unconditional love, support, tender instruction and direction, fair consideration and love. I think Heavenly Father is our greatest example of fatherhood.
I love my six children, three daughters-in-law and five grandchildren (soon to be six - tomorrow hopefully) more than I can express. And I love and am so thankful to my beautiful wife Lori for giving me the privilege and honor of being a father.
Perhaps the best thing a father can do for his children is to love Heavenly Father, and to show that love by living and loving and serving righteously.