Close the door, please!

front doorWith four busy boys with lots of neighborhood friends, I find myself restating the plea “Close the door, please!” all summer long. I’m sure my own parents laugh at me now because it’s the same thing I remember THEM saying to ME as a child. I just wasn’t paying the A/C bill back then.

Seeing my sons enjoying time outside makes me happy, whether they’re learning tricks on the trampoline or digging holes in the lawn. I’m humbled that God has given me the responsibility as a father to teach them to work, to play, and to love life. More importantly, He entrusts parents with divine responsibilities to learn to obey commandments, make and keep sacred covenants, and to lead Christ-like lives. As a modern-day prophet said “No other success can compensate for failure in the home. –David O. McKay

Another prophet taught three great things required of fathers (you can read the entire article here):  1. provide a home where love and the Spirit of the Lord may abide, 2. teach your children to understand principles of truth, and 3. set in order your own household.

I am more thankful each day for the things my faith teaches me about being a father. Raising children has brought me closer to my Heavenly Father because I know, on a smaller scale, what it’s like to see your children experience life’s trials and opportunities. I imagine He must feel frustrated with me sometimes when I do the same dumb thing over and over (like leaving the door open) but He loves me all the same, and wants me to be happy.

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2 thoughts on “Close the door, please!

  1. Totally relate to your comments. I think “no” and “don’t” seem to be my most common words, but I consider myself a nice person and want to be a good father. I have 6 kids whom I love. I am so grateful for the guidance the gospel brings—I depend on it!

    I also enjoyed Elder Kopischke’s talk from April Conference, describing the patience his father had with him.

    “My father would teach me how to do things with patience and acceptance. One day he invited me to tighten a screw and warned, “Remember, if you put it in too tight, it will break.” Proudly, I wanted to show him what I could do. I tightened with all my might, and, of course, I broke the screw. He made a funny comment, and we started over. Even when I “messed up,” I always felt his love and confidence in me. He passed away more than 10 years ago, but I can still hear his voice, sense his love, enjoy his encouragement, and feel his acceptance.”

    Makes me want to strive to be more patient. Thanks for your post, Bishop Staggs!

    • Thanks, Brent. That’s a great story from Elder Kopischke. I think all parents have those “moments.” I, too, need to be more patient. Thankfully I have pretty forgiving kids; they know I’m still learning.

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