What the Prophet and Apostles Have Said About Fatherhood

Russell M. Nelson


Nelson family laughing together. Photo from LDS.org.

One evening, Russell came home from work to find Dantzel weary from the day’s activities, so he offered to help get the children ready for bed. He also had had a rather demanding day, so, hearkening back to his days in the military, he began to give orders: “Take your clothes off and hang them up. Brush your teeth. Put on your pajamas. Say your prayers”--all befitting the demeanor of a drill sergeant. 

Marjorie interrupted her father’s commands by asking, “Daddy, do you own me?” Her wistful eyes and poignant question caused Russell to realize that he was exercising unrighteous dominion rather than following the Savior’s example of leading with love. This penitent father gained an important insight: “We don’t own our children; we have them for a short season. As parents, we have the privilege to love them, to lead them, and then to let them go.” Marjorie recently remarked, “My parents are pretty much perfect models in my life. Most importantly, I never doubted that I was loved.”

[. . .]

In anticipation of Father’s Day in June 1969, a reporter interviewed the Nelson children for an article titled “Dad Is an Extra-Special Person.” The collective summary assessment of their dad was, “He takes time to do things with us...he has a good sense of humor...he’s so nice and kind...he’s lots of fun to be with...he really understands…he listens.’ The interviewer concluded, ‘And what finer compliments could any father receive!” 

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15665Read more about Elder Nelson's family, faith, and journey in Russell M. Nelson: Father, Surgeon, Apostle.

More about the book:

As a latter-day apostle, Elder Russell M. Nelson is known worldwide for his tireless service in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Many people, however, are not familiar with his pioneering work in the field of open-heart surgery, the life-prolonging operation he performed on President Spencer W. Kimball, his role in helping open Eastern Bloc countries to the preaching of the gospel, and his loving efforts to build relations with the people of China.

In Russell M. Nelson: Father, Surgeon, Apostle, readers are treated to an intimate portrayal that will help us come to know Elder Nelson as a man of testimony, a dedicated husband and father of ten, and a servant whose principal desire since his youth has been to serve God's children.

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