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What General Authorities Say About Fatherhood


Dallin H. Oaks

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Oaks family photo. Photo from LDS.org.

During my first five years as a Brigham Young University president I was one of about five leaders who had weekly coordination meetings with Neal A. Maxwell, then commissioner of the Church Educational System. One day, he began our meeting by asking, "What would you like to be remembered for after you are released from your present positions?" He asked each of us to write our answer on a piece of paper and consider it privately. 

Pondering this inspired question taught me an important lesson. I applied it not only to my employment but also to my position as a father. I asked myself, "When your children are grown up and leave home, or when you die, what do you want them to remember about you as a father?" This question caused me ot see that I was in danger of being remembered for always being critical and nagging about trivial behaviors that irritated me, such as the practice of a teenage daughter who continually scattered her clothes and other possessions all around the house. I wanted to be remembered for fatherly communications of praise and love and other matters of eternal importance. Those are the communications whose memories have persuasive power. 

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Read more about Elder Oaks's family, faith, and journey in Life's Lessons Learned: Personal Reflections.

More about the book:

“I have learned things that have shaped my life and teachings, including some things of the heart not previously shared,” writes Elder Dallin H. Oaks in the introduction to this unique book. “This is an autobiography of learning and application rather than a compendium of doctrine.”

Masterfully blending personal experiences with the doctrines of the gospel, Elder Oaks invites us to join him on a journey through some of the turning points in his life and the lessons he has learned through a lifetime of devotion to the Savior.

Elder Oaks also relates the very personal lessons he learned from the death of his wife, June, and from his subsequent marriage to Kristen McMain.

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