Successful Fathers - Sunday, June 21, 2015
As inevitable aging began to take its toll, one good man questioned whether he had been the kind of father he had hoped to be. Mustering his courage, he called his three children together and, with his wife at his side, made this poignant request: “Tell me how you feel about me as your father. What did I do right, and what did I do wrong?” One by one, the children shared their very personal thoughts and feelings.
The oldest started out by thanking her father for providing for the material needs of the family. “We were never wealthy,” she said, “but you worked hard to see that we always had what we really needed.”
The middle child, a son, expressed appreciation for his father’s efforts to teach him the value of education and hard work. “Dad,” he said, “because of you, I have always tried to do my best and put in an honest day’s work.”
The youngest child then took her turn. With a tear in her eye, she said, “Dear Dad, even when we made mistakes, we always knew you loved us, and that has never changed.”
More thoughts and memories were shared, along with some laughter and a few more tears. It seemed no one could remember much that this father had done wrong, but they had lasting recollections of plenty he had done right.
What makes a father successful? According to these adult children, it wasn’t money or expensive vacations or social prominence. What they appreciated about their father was his hard work to provide for their family. They remembered with gratitude the life lessons he taught and exemplified. Perhaps most of all they were thankful that their father loved them and treated them kindly, even when their behavior wasn’t all it might have been.
This is how success is measured in fathers. The best of fathers don’t do everything right—and neither do their children—but they never quit trying. Even after their children are grown, they continue to provide love, security, a good example, and a little advice when needed.
Every father who does this is a successful father. And the reward for such success comes when his children, both in words and in actions, express a simple “Thanks” and a heartfelt “I love you, Dad.”
-Don H. Staheli
June 21, 2015
Broadcast Number 4,475
Mormon Tabernacle Choir
Orchestra at Temple Square
A Successful Dad
Morning Has Broken
Gaelic melody; arr. Mack Wilberg
Cum Sancto Spiritu, from Petite messe solennelle
Sing Praise to Him
Traditional hymn tune; arr. Richard Elliott
Sunrise, Sunset, from Fiddler on the Roof
Jerry Bock; arr. Arthur Harris
Love Is Spoken Here
Janice Kapp Perry; arr. Sam Cardon
Hymn of Praise