The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square performed “Good Fathers,” the Father’s Day Special of “Music & the Spoken Word,” on June 17, 2012. The video was published on YouTube on June 11, 2013.
The Monday after Father’s Day, I watched the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s 2012 Father’s Day special that had been published less than a week earlier on YouTube. The words and music uncovered memories and feelings I had not expressed before. I hope it’s not too late now.
The new father I wish to honor held his newborn daughter in his arms and looked into her eyes with deep love and awe. As the work began of raising her, he shouldered new responsibilities while juggling his university studies, full-time work and other family needs. He carried extra laundry to the laundromat on weekly trips he and his wife made and later used the family’s limited funds to buy a washing machine.
A couple of years later, the young father held another precious newborn daughter with loving tenderness and joy. Love doubled in their home as did demands on his time and resources. After graduation, he secured a new job and moved the family into their own home. He worked at his job then tamed the weeds at home and made the yard a lovely place. He put in clothesline poles and strung the lines. A dryer was out of the question.
After a period of time, the busy father tenderly cradled his first newborn son in his arms. Love and delight shown on his face. The girls welcomed their brother with lots of hugs and kisses. They got a dryer to go with their washer and a larger car.
A few more years passed as the experienced father juggled work, family and church responsibilities. Then, the day came when he held his second newborn son. He was overjoyed and full of love and gratitude. The two sisters and one brother took turns holding their baby brother. The clothesline was fun until they got a dryer.
Through the years, this dear father got everyone to help with chores so the family could go out to dinner on Fridays. He brought in the groceries after helping with the shopping. He read stories at bedtime, gathered the family together for family scripture study and prayer, and took his family to church with him on Sundays. He took his church responsibilities seriously and served willingly.
This father gardened, mowed the lawn, planted trees, and took care of the yard. He attended piano competitions, concerts and sports games. He put in a basketball standard and made a tetherball pole on an old tire.
He drove on family vacations and announced milestones on the way. He demonstrated his value of family by visiting parents and siblings every year, calling family members on their birthdays, and doing genealogy. Holidays were family affairs. He helped make pies the night before Thanksgiving, dressed the turkey, made the gravy and cut up vegetables on Thanksgiving. He supported family traditions on every holiday.
Sometimes, he was patient with his children to a fault. He made ice cream with them, shoveled snow, raked the lawn, and swept the sidewalks, porch and driveway. He sang with his family in a church choir. He weeded beans and onions with those old enough to help at the church farm. He introduced them to computers, watched movies with them, and took the family on a church history trip and family vacations with a 2-day’s drive.
This father fixed a bedroom door jam and helped a family member mend a wall. He rescued the family car stuck in the mud after his wife took a bad shortcut home. He drove his expectant wife to the hospital for each birth and took care of the children in her absence. He bought bikes for the family in hopes everyone would ride together. The list goes on.
This father wasn’t perfect. No father is but Heavenly Father. However, this father was and is a good father. So, now you know.