Happy Fathers’ Day! One reason I love Fathers’ Day is the opportunity it gives me to think about my Heavenly Father. Here are 10 ways that my earthly father reminds me of my Heavenly Father.
He is the leader of my home
My father is the leader of my home, he is the one that guides my family to righteousness. Elder L. Tom Perry said, “Fatherhood is leadership, the most important kind of leadership. It has always been so; it always will be so.”
Growing up, right before every new school year, my father would give each of us children a father’s blessing. I’m so grateful he was willing to lead through the Spirit.
Heavenly Father is constantly guiding us through our own individual journey. As we choose to turn to Him, He guides us through the choices and decisions we need to make on a daily basis. He knows what will bring us ultimate happiness in the end, guiding us to return to living with Him forever.
He is giving
President Monson said, “Father, like mother, is ever willing to sacrifice his own comfort for that of his children. Daily he toils to provide the necessities of life, never complaining, ever concerned for the well-being of his family.”
I didn’t ever see my father purchase new clothing or shoes for himself until after I graduated high school. He wasn’t selfish in the least, and he sacrificed constantly. I have countless memories of him serving me. From the unannounced ride home from school, staying up to help with homework, and making all my favorite meals, my father is a very giving man.
Heavenly Father desires to bless us constantly. He desires to show His love for us on a daily if not moment basis. His love is never ceasing. It’s there when we realize it, and it’s there when we don’t. He wants to give us His entire inheritance. He is merciful, and He will do anything and everything it takes to show us His love is real.
He is full of knowledge
I remember ever since I was a child, my dad was always my go-to for everything. He had all knowledge, seeming to know a little of just about everything. His knowledge has come in handy more times than I can count, and I am forever blessed by his ability to teach me what I need to know when I need to know it.
Elder Marion D. Hanks has taught “The understanding gained from father’s counsel sinks deep in the soul.” I can attest that it has to mine.
Heavenly Father’s knowledge is perfect, He holds all the answers! He has all the answers to our personal life when we are found wondering which direction to take. He can see the beginning to the end perfectly and He has all the knowledge we have ever searched for and every mastery we will ever need to develop.
He allowed me to learn through sacrifice and hard work
I remember all too clearly the hot summer days of mowing lawns and pulling weeds, feeling like the work I was asked to do would never end, or missing out on parties and trips, being so angry, thinking that he wasn’t being fair.
I look back now and see he taught me the valuable principle of sacrifice. Not always getting my way has carried me well throughout the course of my life. Elder M. Russell Ballard said, “Sacrifice is a demonstration of pure love.” I sacrificed for my father to better understand my love for him, and he sacrificed for me out of love.
Heavenly Father shows His love for us by asking us to make sacrifices, so He can offer us better promises in return. He rejoices in our willingness to give up treasures, all while recognizing our pain and catching our tears. He wants us to become like Him, so we must sacrifice as He has for us.
He has a sense of humor
My dad loves to throw in a little pun here and a humorous comment there, especially on my hard days filled with tears and sorrow. He still loves to see if he can make me laugh, simply to put a smile on my face.
Elder Boyd K. Packer has asked us to “Find happiness in ordinary things, and keep your sense of humor.” For just a moment, my dad can make me forget about the bad day I am having through his wit and sense of humor.
It is often said that Heavenly Father has a sense of humor. He loves to see us smiling and happy, and He will do anything it takes to help us see the bright side through our darkest moments. He knows our individual sense of humor and how to make each one of us laugh and smile in a personal way.
He teaches in chastisement
I think I was a pretty well-behaved child, and yet I still remember all the moments of going to timeout and counting to 100 until being able to leave my room.
I can recall all the lectures that brought me to tears and the times I was chastised for a bit of back talking. It’s in the 21 questions I was asked after school every day and in the teaching moments that I can now look back and see just how pure his love was.
Even Marvin J. Ashton himself said, “Sometimes there is a great need for us to be chastised, disciplined, and corrected in a spirit of love, help, and hope.”
Heavenly Father chastises us when we need it most. I’m going to assume that it is not His favorite thing to do, because I know it wasn’t my father’s, and yet He takes the time to do it so we can learn, so we can grow, and so we can become a bit more disciplined in the days to follow. Why does He do this? You guessed it–because He loves us!
He is the example of service and love
I love reflecting on the countless times I have seen my father put down everything to attend church meetings and give all he could in order to magnify his callings. All the moments he volunteered for elementary bank day or went over to someone’s home to offer a blessing.
He is an example of what true Christ-like love and service looks like. He loves to give, to serve, and in his many unspoken ways he taught me how to emulate his example in service.
President Ezra Taft Benson said, “Teaching is done by precept and example, and by word and deed. A good model is the best teacher. Therefore, a father’s first responsibility is to set the proper example.”
Heavenly Father serves us and loves us time and time again. No matter how inconvenient it may be, He leads by example in true mercy. Perhaps love and compassion is His love language. The more we learn to forgive others more easily and humbly serve everyone we can, just maybe that’s when Heavenly Father knows without a doubt that we too love Him perfectly.
He allowed me to decide
In Helaman 14:30, we read “Ye are permitted to act for yourselves; for behold, God hath given unto you a knowledge and he hath made you free.” My father allowed me to make many decisions on my own, some that were against what he would have chosen for me.
Oh, no doubt he knew that some of these choices would bring me heartache and pain, and that too would be hard for him to watch. He knew though that for me to reach my full potential, I would need to learn and grow through choices of my own.
Isn’t it so wonderful Heavenly Father loved us enough to let us have agency? He sent His beloved Son to be our Redeemer as He knew we would make mistakes along the way.
I can’t imagine how hard it must be for Heavenly Father to watch us when we make a mistake that causes us sorrow. I can’t imagine how difficult it was for Him to watch us leave His presence, knowing we would face pain and trials with a chance we may not return home, but He did it out of love.
He tested my patience
Admittedly I remember times I was so frustrated with my dad. I thought I knew everything and was sure he just couldn’t see my side. Tears streaming down my face, words of anger and screaming “This isn’t fair.” As hard as those moments were, I have to assume they were harder for him.
A loving father never wants to see a child in emotional pain or distress, but he knows best and he suffered long out of love, helping me understand the virtue of patience. President Spencer W. Kimball said “Suffering can make saints of people as they learn patience, long-suffering, and self-mastery.”
The love our Father in Heaven has for us is perfect. It is so perfect that sometimes He allows our hearts to break by making us wait. His heart aches with every “This isn’t fair” statement we mutter, and yet He allows us to go through these incredibly painful moments so we can understand patience and be the best queen or king we could possibly become.
He loves hearing the words “I love you”
My father never gets a break from being a dad. President Ezra Taft Benson said “A father’s calling is eternal, and its importance transcends time. It is a calling for both time and eternity.”
How often I forget that I am on his mind unceasingly. How often I forget how many moment by moment sacrifices he makes on my behalf. I don’t say the words nearly enough, the simple three words of “I love you.”
Heavenly Father wants us to ask for blessings, but He also loves to know how much we value His hand in our life. How often are we pouring our hearts out in gratitude and love towards Him?
We can do this through serving others, by kneeling in prayer symbolizing pure humility, or even by simply writing down promptings and tender mercies to show Him how much we value His love and words.
May we all find time this Father’s Day and everyday hereafter to show our love and respect for both our earthly father and our Heavenly Father in a constant, unceasing manner.
What qualities have you observed in your earthly Fathers that remind you of the love Heavenly Father has for His children?