Happy Father’s Day!
Last year I shared three principles my father taught me (the importance of unconditional love, spirituality and family history). As you can imagine, he taught me way more than just three lessons, so here are three more. I loved discovering that they can be summarized by three simple words: God, family and country.
#1 – The Importance of Patriotism
My dad loves our country. He appreciates the freedoms that we enjoy. He expects us to be good citizens, and he leads by example. When I was a young girl, he ran for the school board, and won (even though he was plenty busy serving as bishop at the same time). I knew he felt it was important to give back to the community.
He taught us about our founding fathers, Washington and Jefferson and Lincoln, and encourages us to be familiar with current events. He votes. He obeys the laws of the land.
He was also heavily involved in Scouting and other civic organizations. He encouraged us to be involved as well, and proved it by supporting and encouraging our sons in their Scouting efforts. He came to each of their Eagle Courts of Honor, and, due to the fact we don’t live close to each other, that’s a big deal. Because I’m his daughter, and this is Father’s Day, I can brag a bit and point out that he’s wearing a Silver Beaver Award around his neck. I’m pretty proud of my dad!
#2 – The Importance of Hard Work
My father has always lived the principles taught in The Family: A Proclamation to the World, particularly these lines – “By divine design, 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.” He worked as an attorney for long hours during the week, and then he worked hard at home and at church on the weekend. Cleaning out the garage, picking up walnuts, painting our grandparents’ house and building a barn, digging post holes, and moving pipe are all legendary stories now.
Notice a difference? Before and after the barn and fences – all because my parents heeded the prophet’s call to be more self-reliant. (Take the few minutes to read President Kimball’s talk. The principles are still very much relevant.)
#3 – The Importance of Temples
Did you wonder what the wheat had to do with the flag and the temple? The symbol of wheat reminds me of my father’s example in providing for his family, but it also reminds me of gathering. We gather our families around to eat, to be nourished both temporally and spiritually. That’s an important part of daily family life. However, my dad also taught us the importance of gathering our eternal family together, of sharing the Savior’s gospel with loved ones on both sides of the veil and working together to return to our Heavenly Father.
Dad loves the idea of the law of the harvest, and so do I. As we work hard to be obedient to eternal principles and commandments, we reap incredible blessings. The most important of these center around covenants and temples. (Notice my father’s “harvest” tie, the one he wore to Jeff’s wedding; it epitomizes his values. Although due to health issues, he and Mom weren’t physically with us at our three other weddings, we know they were with us in spirit.)
So, there you have it, three more principles my father taught by example. (You find additional memories in this post from ten years ago.) Next time you see a flag, wheat, or a temple, I hope you remember the good and enduring lessons your father taught you!