“The patriarchal order is of divine origin and will continue throughout time and eternity. There is, then, a particular reason why men, women, and children should understand this order and authority in the households of the people of God, and seek to make it what God intended it to be, a qualification and preparation for the highest exaltation of his children.”
– Joseph F. Smith, President of the Church (1902).
“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.”
– The Family: A Proclamation to the World, signed by 15 prophets, seers and revelators, with Gordon B Hinckley being the President of the Church. This was stated in 1995.
We live in an interesting time both as members of the Church and as members of a global community. The patriarchal order that God himself set up in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve has never faced as much deterioration as we currently see, both inside and outside of the Church. There are dozens of issues both in and out of the Church that can be examined. I wish to touch on a few.
A Focus on Things of the World:
Upon returning home from my mission, I took inventory of what lay before me over the next five years. Number one on that list was far and away courting an eternal companion and marrying in God’s temple for time and all eternity. We were wed in the Boise Temple at ages 22 and 19, ready to start our life together. Gentlemen, if you place ANYTHING above eternal marriage after your mission, you have fashioned a false God for yourself. I’m not saying that a successful career or education or cultivating friendships aren’t important – they are. However, they pale in importance compared to eternal marriage. As President Dallin H. Oaks stated, “Some things are better than good, and these are the things that should command priority attention in our lives.“
Summer Cottages in Babylon:
Elder Neal A Maxwell once stated, “let us once and for all establish our residence in Zion and give up the summer cottage in Babylon” We ALL have summer cottages in Babylon. There are cottages of bad language, cottages of pornography, cottages of inappropriate movies and television programming, cottages of sloth, cottages of gambling, cottages of casualness in Sabbath Day observance; the list goes on and on and on. Determine what cottages you frequent as a man and put the biggest padlock on them that you can find and turn away from them completely. Pro Tip: If you are having a hard time determining what cottages you frequent, humbly ask your wife and/or mother for help in identifying them and gratefully accept the answer.
Acting the Part:
Patriarchs are expected to lead. Good leadership is oftentimes difficult to describe but easy to see. Be a man that others want to follow. Be confident, resolute, steadfast, strong-willed, meek, humble, just, merciful, and fair. Emulate the patriarchs in your life that you admire in word and deed. There are numerous examples in every Latter-day Saint man’s life including fathers, Priesthood leaders, General Authorities, and men from the scriptures.
Elder D. Todd Christofferson observed, “Over the years, I have visited members of the Church in many countries, and despite differences in circumstances and cultures, everywhere I have been impressed with the faith and capacity of our women, including some of the very young. So many of them possess a remarkable faith and goodness. They know the scriptures. They are poised and confident. I ask myself, Do we have men to match these women? Are our young men developing into worthy companions that such women can look up to and respect?” Are YOU a worthy companion that women (and children) can look up to and respect?”
“Patriarch” comes from the Greek “pater” or father. It is a title of great honor for a man. President Boyd K. Packer once observed, “of all the other titles that He could have used, He chose to be called ‘Father.’ The Savior commanded, ‘After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father who art in heaven.’ His use of the name ‘Father’ is a lesson for all as we come to understand what it is that matters most in this life.”
A popular battle cry among those who wish to see the family crumble is that we need to “Smash the Patriarchy”. The people (men and women) who espouse this belief are advocating for the destruction of a system that God himself put into place. God expects his Priesthood Holders to be Patriarchs. It is a heavy burden, men, but the reward is great.
- “The Witness” -President Boyd K. Packer, April 2014
- “Fatherhood, an Eternal Calling” -Elder L. Tom Perry, April 2004
- “The Hands of the Fathers” -Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, April 1999
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