Fathers are given to us, that we may have models to live our lives after. While none of our fathers are perfect, they give us a pattern of leadership, love, and righteousness (in best case scenarios).
Our Heavenly Father loves us. Sometimes it is difficult to fathom, when we
don't get what we want.
don't follow His rules.
don't understand what He is teaching us.
Doesn't this sound a lot like our relationships with our earthly fathers? How many of us realized that Dad having us do chores would be a blessing in our lives? That doing well in school, serving others, and correcting us when are wrong would be some of the best things for us?
I am not a parent. But I recognize the complexity of raising children with different personalities, strengths, weaknesses, personalities, and motivations; alongside holding a job, serving in Church, the neighborhood, and in many cases, our nation.
Fathers are also responsible for teaching. The best thing that I learned from my Dad was how to serve. Whether it was driving the Teachers in South Carolina to a stake dance that was 2 hours away, or hometeaching, whether it was setting a pattern in serving a mission, or doing the dishes on Sunday after dinner, he is always serving. In addition to teaching me to love the Lord, he taught me how to be the Lord's hands. He showed me the Lord's love, by serving the Lord that he loves.
President Uchtdorf has said:
"True love requires action. We can speak of love all day long—we can write notes or poems that proclaim it, sing songs that praise it, and preach sermons that encourage it—but until we manifest that love in action, our words are nothing but “sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.”11
Christ did not just speak about love; He showed it each day of His life. He did not remove Himself from the crowd. Being amidst the people, Jesus reached out to the one. He rescued the lost. He didn’t just teach a class about reaching out in love and then delegate the actual work to others. He not only taught but also showed us how to “succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees.”12
Christ knows how to minister to others perfectly. When the Savior stretches out His hands, those He touches are uplifted and become greater, stronger, and better people as a result.
If we are His hands, should we not do the same?"
Thanks Dad. And thanks to all you "dads" I have out there. To friends, mentors, employers, teachers, and leaders, thank you. Your service and compassion is a sermon all its own.