Jun 19 2017
Elder Bailey and I gave talks on Sunday on fathers. Super fun. We were speaking companions with a future missionary giving his farewell!! So neat. Throw back... haha. Anyway. This Monday I have zero time. So here's my talk. Much love.
Howdy!! What a wonderful opportunity it is to be here, especially to be soon to be Elder Bowen’s speaking companion! I’ve been here in the Wonderful Glen Loch Ward for a good minute now, and this fine young man has impressed me from the moment I met him as a valiant Son of God who is ready to take upon himself the name of the savior for the next 2 years!
Today i’ve been asked to continue speaking on Fathers. It’s funny, i don’t think there is a young man, adult man, or old man alive who would feel qualified to give such a talk. We can talk all day about how incredible mothers are, but somehow, i don’t think there is a father alive who feels qualified to be a Dad. May i start this talk right of the bat by saying that in the time i’ve been here, which isn’t much, i’ve been so very impressed with all of the fathers and father figures in this ward. This fact is especially notable in a world like today, where the way people view fathers has become increasingly more comical, and extremely less vital.
The Family: A Proclamation to the World clearly states that
“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.”
So shock you as it may, fathers are expected to be good for a little bit more than a good punch line now and again. King Benjamin does a fantastic job at describing this role as well in Mosiah 4:14-15.
14 And ye will not suffer your children that they go hungry, or naked; neither will ye suffer that they transgress the laws of God, and fight and quarrel one with another, and serve the devil, who is the master of sin, or who is the evil spirit which hath been spoken of by our fathers, he being an enemy to all righteousness.
15 But ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another.
And i’ve seen each of you rise to the occasion, to become the Priesthood Leader and Father that our Heavenly Father would want you to become.
And, if i may, I want to let everyone in on a secret. Had it not been for righteous fathers and father figures in my life, i would not be standing before you as a representative of Jesus Christ today. It’s actually a little spooky to try and imagine where/what i would be doing. From what i’ve seen, there is really just one trick to being a dad, and it’s to be a father, whether or not you have children. This sounds weird, i know. I came from a family of 8 children. I sometimes try to imagine what this must have been like for my poor parents, especially knowing what a rebel rouser i was. But honestly, with 7 other siblings competing for time, it wasn’t nearly as frequent as i would have liked that i got the good ol’ father son one on one time. But, because of the goodness of God, he provided me, and provides all of us, with countless others to fill this role that is honestly impossible for one man to do perfectly. So when i say be a father, this means that every male who is foreordained to hold the priesthood, which means all of us, has a responsibility to be a father figure to everyone, i like to think of this as a not so typical application of President Uchtdorf’s famous “lift where you stand.”
A few examples come to my mind of people who did just this, and maybe a couple key characteristics that stand out to me from them of good father figures.
As i said, i come from a family of 8. I was astounded to hear the first time my mom told me about all the things my dad gave up to have a family. Things i always took for granted. I can remember growing up, my dad would purposefully leave change in his pockets for us to find while he slept, sacrificing his own lunch money. Of course, i never realized that that’s what he was doing. When I think about my father, I remember the countless times he humbly, quietly put my needs first, and his needs 10th. Compare to what King Benjamin said.
Winning Hearts Brother Brown; staying up late at high adventure, long car rides, stories about mission, goofy stuff about girls, and after released, inviting us over on sundays to eat pretzels and jell-o.
Taking an Interest Hoody; being the supportive and listening, really listening, footlocker story, as well as mission help.
High Expectations Sam Wood; expecting the best, and holding me to it. Beauty doesn’t happen naturally.
Charity Brother Twitchell: loving, caring. Always watching out for us, and sacrificing so much. Cooking at all camps, providing a place for us to bring a date.
When people say it takes a village to raise a child, they mean it. I stand as a witness that despite the inadequacy we all feel to bear the title the Most Powerful Being in the universe chooses to be called, that he has chosen you. Despite your weaknesses and shortcomings, the Atonement of the Savior Jesus Christ will enable you, and i know that each of you have had experiences when his matchless sacrifice has already carried you past where you thought you could go. I’m grateful to be counted among those that our Heavenly Father has given this sacred mantle, and know that serving a mission and representing the Lord himself is the single best training anyone can go through to become a righteous father, and know that Jackson will be a great example to everyone in Los Angeles!
|This is Elder Lopp. He's the man.|
|Anthony Brown and I!:)|