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By Alan on Jul 24 in Blog tagged Christian, constitution, country, Daniel Webster, eternal justice, fear of God, Freedom, future, laughing, liberty, make you proud, media, moral sentiments, nation, never print, Obama, recklessly destroy, respect his commandments, The World, trifle, violate the rules | Comments Off
By Alan on Apr 24 in Blog tagged Alan Osmond, alone, born, bridges, church, community, connection, descendants, earth, faith, Family, Family History, forebears, future, genealogy, generations, heaven, kin, love, past, responsibility, right, self, Strengthen, Suzanne Osmond, who we are, working together, wrong | Comments Off
I was shocked, confused, bewildered
As I entered Heaven’s door,
Not by the beauty of it all,
Nor the lights or its decor.
But it was the folks in Heaven
Who made me sputter and gasp–
The thieves, the liars, the sinners,
The alcoholics and the trash.
There stood the kid from seventh grade
Who swiped my lunch money twice.
Next to him was my old neighbor
Who never said anything nice.
Bob, who I always thought
Was rotting away in hell,
Was sitting pretty on cloud nine,
Looking incredibly well.
I nudged Jesus, ‘What’s the deal?
I would love to hear Your take.
How’d all these sinners get up here?
God must’ve made a mistake.
‘And why is everyone so quiet,
So somber – give me a clue.’
‘Hush, child,’ He said,
‘they’re all in shock.
No one thought they’d be seeing you.’
JUDGE NOT, LEAST YOU BE JUDGED!!
Remember…Just going to church doesn’t make you a
Christian any more than standing in your garage makes you a car.
Every saint has a PAST…
Every sinner has a FUTURE!
Now it’s your turn… Share this poem.
By Alan on Jul 01 in Blog tagged Bible, Book of Mormon, disease, earthquakes, Elijah, famines, future, future of the holy land, gathering, hailstones, hreat storms, Jesus Christ second coming, Jewish nation, king of kings, last days, LDS, Mormon, New Jerusalem, prophecies, prophets, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, The Family, theFamily, war, we must stand with Israel, Zion | 2 Comments
At the Second Coming, Jesus will come down from heaven with great power. He will cleanse the earth of all wickedness, and Satan will no longer have power over the people. Jesus will rule for a thousand years over all the people who have been faithful to Him.
Jesus has told us many things that will happen before He comes again. These things are called the signs of His Second Coming. He has told us to look for these signs and be ready for His coming. He said that when we see these things happening, we will know He is coming soon. But we will not know the exact time of His coming.
If we study the scriptures and are faithful to Jesus, we will know what the signs of Jesus’ coming will be. Many things will happen before Jesus comes to earth again. Some have already happened, some are happening now, and the rest will happen in the future.
Before Jesus’ Second Coming, the gospel will be preached to all nations. This will make many people happy and bring them blessings. Other things that will happen will test our faith. There will be great wickedness, earthquakes, and other kinds of destruction.
There Will Be Great Trouble on the Earth
Jesus said we will know His coming is near when we see much wickedness, war, and suffering on the earth. This will be a time of great trouble. There will be earthquakes, great storms, disease, and famines. Hailstones will destroy the crops of the earth.
Many people will stop loving our Father in Heaven and will turn to Satan. They will also stop loving and serving other people and will begin to harm them. There will be many wars on the earth. Nations will fight each other. These wars will continue until a great and final war takes place, which will be the most destructive war ever fought on the earth. Then Jesus will come.
Our Father in Heaven said the descendants of the house of Israel* must hear and accept the gospel and prepare themselves to meet Jesus when He comes again. Those who accept the gospel must teach it to all people, build temples, and do the ordinances for the dead people.
Many people from the house of Israel, either by blood or by adoption, are being converted to the Church as they accept the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Holy Land has been blessed for the gathering of many of the descendants of Abraham. The descendants of Abraham include the people known as Arabs and Jews, and others. The descendants of the Book of Mormon people in America, who also are descendants of Abraham, are accepting the gospel and are becoming a strong and righteous people.
Jesus said we will know He is coming soon when His followers have preached the gospel to all the world. From the time when the Church was restored, missionaries have been sent to preach the gospel in different nations. Many missionaries are now preaching the gospel almost everywhere in the world. Every member of the Church is asked to tell his or her relatives and friends about the gospel, and many are going to other countries to preach the gospel, so that all people will have an opportunity to hear it.
The prophet Malachi in the Bible said that before Jesus would come the second time, the prophet Elijah would visit the earth. He would bring back the authority to seal families together forever. He would cause people to want to learn about their ancestors and their descendants and help them be saved.
Jesus said we will know He is coming soon when His Church has built a city called the New Jerusalem. Jesus said He will rule in that city, and righteous people will live there. He has told us where this city will be built. It will be in the state of Missouri, in the United States.
Zechariah says, quoting the Lord: “For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.” (Zech. 14:2.)
President Woodruff has also discussed this subject: “… O house of Judah, … It is true that after you return and gather your nation home, and rebuild your City and Temple, that the Gentiles will gather together their armies to go against you to battle, to take you a prey and to take you as a spoil, which they will do, for the words of your prophets must be fulfilled. …” (Matthias F. Cowley, Wilford Woodruff [Bookcraft, 1964], p. 509.)
If you wonder how this prophecy could be fulfilled, let me simply remind you that on July 4, 1967, the United Nations General Assembly voted 99 to 0 to condemn Israel because of its annexation of Jerusalem. Twenty countries abstained; 99 countries voted in favor of condemning Israel; not a single nation voted against the condemnation. And if a United Nations military force should be sent into the Middle East to take over Jerusalem again, literally all of the nations of the earth would gather together to battle against Judah.
Joseph Smith has explained the following concerning the two prophets who are mentioned in Revelation 11:2–3, 6–12 [Rev. 11:2–3, 6–12]:
“Q. What is to be understood by the two witnesses, in the eleventh chapter of Revelation? [And the Lord answered:]
“A. They are two prophets that are to be raised up to the Jewish nation in the last days, at the time of the restoration, and to prophesy to the Jews after they are gathered and have built the city of Jerusalem in the land of their fathers.” (D&C 77:15.)
Orson Pratt has said the following concerning the role of these prophets: “We might bring up, also, the declaration of John in relation to the two witnesses who are to prophecy about that period. They are to prophecy three and a half years, and their field of labor will be Jerusalem, after it shall have been rebuilt by the Jews. By means of their prophecies and the power of God attending them, the nations who are gathered together against Jerusalem will be kept at bay, these Prophets will hold them in check by their faith and power. By and by these nations overcome the two witnesses and, having finished their mission, they are slain, and their bodies will lie three days and a half in the streets of the city. Then a great earthquake will take place, and these two witnesses will be caught up to heaven.” (JD, vol. 16, p. 329. Italics added.)
For a thrilling detailed insight into what is going to take place concerning this, one should read the entire eleventh chapter of the Book of Revelation.
“… they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him. …” (Zech. 12:10.) The Doctrine and Covenants provides an even more vivid account, because the Savior, in talking about this, says:
“And then shall the Jews look upon me and say: What are these wounds in thine hands and in thy feet?
“Then shall they know that I am the Lord; for I will say unto them: These wounds are the wounds with which I was wounded in the house of my friends. I am he who was lifted up. I am Jesus that was crucified. I am the Son of God.
“And then shall they weep because of their iniquities; then shall they lament because they persecuted their king.” (D&C 45: 51–53.)
President Woodruff has referred to this great event as follows: “… the Jews have got to gather to their own land in unbelief. … and when they have done this and rebuilt their city, the Gentiles, in fulfillment of the words of Ezekiel, Jeremiah and other prophets, will go up against Jerusalem to battle and to take a spoil and a prey; and then, when they have taken one-half of Jerusalem captive and distressed the Jews for the last time on the earth, their Great Deliverer, Shiloh, will come.” (JD, vol. 15, pp. 277–78. Italics added.)
In fact, Zechariah, in talking about this, says:
“Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.
“And the Lord shall be king over all the earth; in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one.” (Zech. 14:3, 9.)
The Doctrine and Covenants also mentions this event:
“… for the presence of the Lord shall be as the melting fire that burneth, and as the fire which causeth the waters to boil.
“O Lord, thou shalt come down to make thy name known to thine adversaries, and all nations shall tremble at thy presence.” (D&C 133:41–42.)
Also, President Woodruff has said that the Savior will fight the battles of Judah: “… but when this affliction comes, the living God, that led Moses through the wilderness, will deliver you, and your Shiloh will come and stand in your midst and will fight your battles; and you will know him, and the afflictions of the Jews will be at an end, while the destruction of the Gentiles will be so great that it will take the whole house of Israel who are gathered about Jerusalem, seven months to bury the dead of their enemies, and the weapons of war will last them seven years for fuel, so that they need not go to any forest for wood. These are tremendous sayings—who can bear them? Nevertheless they are true, and will be fulfilled, according to the sayings of Ezekiel, Zechariah, and other prophets. Though the heavens and the earth pass away, not one jot or tittle will fall unfilled.” (Cowley, pp. 509–10.)
Isaiah has prophesied the following concerning this event (Latter-day prophets have also indicated this scripture pertains to this day, and the same idea is found in the Doctrine and Covenants, section 133 [D&C 133]):
“And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.
“And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” (Isa. 2:2–3.)
President Joseph F. Smith has spoken of these two gathering places as follows: “Jerusalem of old, after the Jews have been cleansed and sanctified from all their sin, shall become a holy city where the Lord shall dwell and from whence he shall send forth his word unto all people. Likewise, on this continent, the city of Zion, New Jerusalem—shall be built, and from it the law of God shall also go forth. There will be no conflict, for each city shall be headquarters for the Redeemer of the world, and from each he shall send forth his proclamations as occasion may require. Jerusalem shall be the gathering place of Judah and his fellows of the house of Israel, and Zion shall be the gathering place of Ephraim and his fellows, upon whose heads shall be conferred ‘the richer blessings.’” (Improvement Era, vol. 22 , pp. 815–16.)
As Latter-day Saints, we should know more about the prophecies pertaining to Israel than any other people on earth, including the Jewish people themselves. We have everything they have, and in addition we have the words of the prophets in the Book of Mormon, the Pearl of Great Price, and the Doctrine and Covenants. We also have living prophets who stand at the head of our church today who can tell us about these great events.
The Savior has admonished us to “search these things diligently.” One purpose of devoting this special issue of the Ensign to the Holy Land is to inspire and motivate Latter-day Saints to learn about the dealings of the Lord with his covenant people.
For The Family
By Alan on Mar 10 in Blog tagged Alan Osmond, authority, Book of Mormon, choices, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commandments, explains, future, gives thanks, glory, God, Jesus Christ, moon, Plan of Life, prophet, resurrection, shares testimony, star, sun, TheFamily.com, true church | 20 Comments
Do you know what joy and blessings you have been and have given to us Osmonds throughout all of our careers, and the impact that you have made in so many of our lives? You gave us your time, your attention, your hugs, your applause and standing ovations, your money, your respect, your letters, your laughter, your tears, your listening ears, your hearts and your prayers for so many years. I just want to take a moment to write and acknowledge each and every one of you and in behalf of all of the Osmonds, myself , and our families whose lives you have also touched, with all my heart, I want to say thank your for being such an important part of our lives!
Our Mother, Olive, and Father, George, were also called “Mother and Father” by our fans. They took time to talk to you and share stories and experiences with you to help you along with your lives to be happy. Oh how we miss them. They served two missions to share those things that are most important to us in this life.
You see, we all came to this world to get a body, to make choices and to learn, to love, to laugh and to listen, to give, to be tested and to die, and then go back to our heavenly parents and to report on the choices we made and how our time was spent here on earth and to be reunited with their families again. We can’t think of anything greater to take back to heaven than the friendships, the joys and memories that we have had by being with all of you and for having you in our lives, our prayers, our hearts and minds with blessings and great memories . For us to be able to share with you our music, our friendship, our opinions, our entertainment and humor, our songs, websites and newsletters and most importantly our testimonies of the gospel of Jesus Christ for which we know is true and which many of you have found and have accepted and joined us in knowing for yourselves.
Oh, what responsibility, what honesty, loyalty, truth, faith and courage we must continue to have for each other as we continue forward and face these hard times ahead. Yes, it’s called being honest and true! Our worries and concerns for you and ourselves as well, puts great responsibility and pressure upon all of us with an absolute need for powerful prayers in order to watch out for each other and to prepare to meet our maker above. I pray that you might listen, be inspired, be informed, with those truths and information that we have received and to share with each other that we may be blessed, be safe and protected, fed and preserved, convinced and proven, with the blessings and a guiding light from on high to guide us and direct us all to safety. Together with you and your loved ones, we can choose ‘the way ‘and the path through these last days that will lead us to that glorious day when our Savior, Jesus Christ, returns to live with us once again, and find the way through that narrow gate that takes us back to our God.
You know and we know, that we are open and not shy about sharing our testimonies with you of the truthfulness of our beliefs, the gospel of Jesus Christ, with our prophets, the Bible and the Book of Mormon, with a focus on the family, which is God’s plan of life. We constantly have done this and continue to do so. We share these things without any shame, reason, gain, or ulterior motive except to show you our love and share those truths that we cherish, and have found and hold dear. There isn’t enough money, gold records, standing ovations, number one hits or any live and world wide media events that you could give us that would keep us from warning and speaking out boldly so that all may hear. We are told that we must warn and share with our neighbors, families and friends, those things which each of us must do before we die and go to heaven; to understand these choices and to make a good choices; to have the opportunity to understand them and get them done and accomplished. What we did and chose to do in our pre-existent life before we came to this world determined where we are today. What we choose to do now will affect where we will go in the life to come. It is so important that I wish to share with those things with you those we love that really are most important!
Many of these “precious parts” and truths were in the Bible, but were taken away leaving many confused as was recorded in The Book of Mormon in 1st Nephi Chapter 13. Click these links and see for yourselves. 1 Ne. 13: 7-8, 26, 28-29, 32, 34-35, 40
Yes, we all will live again because of our Savior Jesus Christ who died for us. Me need to accept Him as our Savior. His Atoning sacrifice will help us pay our debts for our mistakes and sins. But, what we do, our actions and what we choose, how we feel and think in our hearts and who’s most important that we take with us as families, besides those great memories and experiences from this life. It is what we all need to realize, focus on, and to live those commandments that we must learn to obey. We can change and repent if it need be, in order to be successful; and to be totally converted to the way of the Lord in order to go to the highest mansion in heaven where God dwells. Once we have repented, the Lord remembers our mistakes and sins no more.
We believe that families are forever! We believe that we really are all children of God who came to earth to get a body of flesh and bones like God has, and to learn to make good choices, to control our desires and appetites and to progress as human beings by choosing to be like our heavenly parents; to overcome the natural man, to fall in love and to marry not just ’till death do you part’, but for time and for all eternity so that we may prove ourselves to God and become more like Him. If we are willing to keep all of God’s commandments and not defile those God given co-creative powers, that godly gift to create life; but to marry and keep God’s commandment to multiply and replenishing the earth and bring forth children from God’s heaven above into this world, as they are deserving of having a father and a mother, too! It is then that we will be on the right path. This is the purpose of this life. God is not the author of confusion. If we do this the way God designed, and follow His plan of life, we will continue to live in the heavens after and will continue to be blessed with these Godly given creative powers, or not.
In the heavens are many mansions. John 14: 2 There is a mansion or heaven like unto the glory of the stars, one like unto the glory of the moon, and one like unto the glory of the sun. So also is the resurrection. Which ever glory you go to by choosing to live and to obey those truths and commandments associated with that level of live of your choice, you will be happy there. We will be able to visit these various mansions and levels of light or truth but only if we are able to live and obey the laws and commandments by which they are governed. There is also a hell for those who choose everlasting darkness and the ways of Satan who by the way, has no body and no glory, but chose the way of eternal damnation. Just like water in a reservoir, his progression of life is stopped or damned.
We know that repentance and baptism and receiving the Holy Ghost is necessary for us to be washed clean and be able to hear the promptings of the Holy Spirit that will lead and guide us. The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead and is a Spirit personage so that he can dwell within us so that we will not feel left alone. We can only receive these things and be given them by those who have the priesthood and authority to do so from Jesus Christ. They are those of His church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which has been restored once again from when Jesus organized it with with the same organization that existed in the primitive church; namely prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, etc. We have a living prophet that speaks for the Lord until He returns, and he will lead and guide us in these latter days.
Yes, marriage is important between a man and a woman. If we are to become creators like our heavenly parents, which all children usually do, we must also be able to create life which takes a man and woman to accomplish. This is why we marry for time and for all eternity so that our marriage and those creative powers remain with us so we can have eternal increase. This is required in order to progress to one’s fullest capability of God’s Plan of Life. This is what makes us like God, our Father. We are able to create life! Like Father like son. Like Mother like daughter.
We can receive more and all of the sacred ordinances which are available in the House of the Lord, or the Temple. These temples will prepare us to meet God and to progress our lives throughout all eternity. Elijah came back and restored these sacred sealing ordinances and promises that are necessary “And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” Mal. 4: 6
The Temple s is where marriages and families are sealed together forever. This is also where our ancestors, and those who never knew of Jesus or died young, and where each and every person that has ever has lived, must have their temple work completed and those sacred ordinances performed by proxy or “the world will be wasted at its coming”. By accepting these ordinances, they can also receive the highest glory of the resurrection and progress on into the eternities as well. Families are sealed together through this process so that those who never had the opportunity to hear about Jesus and His gospel will not be left out.. They will hear and have the same opportunity to choose to follow Jesus, or not. These truths and blessings are taught after one has died and goes to the spirit world where he or she will hear and be taught about the Lord’s plan and His commandments and promises. Because the work was done for them by us in the Temples, they will be able to accept it or not and not be held back but or be stopped but will progress on with their everlasting progression. This is “God’s work and His Glory to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” . . . and woman!
Friends, family, fans, or who ever you are, I know these things are true! Because of Jesus’s sacrifice, WE ALL WiLL LIVE AGAIN! When the Lord comes back, if you are still around, you can still belong to whatever church you desire, but remember, that in order to get to the highest resurrection or kingdom in heaven, it is truly dependent upon you receiving these ordinances that go back to the beginning of time and that are sealed not only on earth but also in heaven and by being able to live them. You can only receive them by those who have the authority and priesthood bestowed them. They received that priesthood from the master himself, Jesus Christ. The heavens are governed by laws. Your choices and commandments that you are willing to live will decide where you will go. It is all a choice. We all will live again because of Jesus and no one is forcing anyone to get to a higher heaven. But, it’s there for those who are willing and choose to live the laws and seek it.
We know from the scriptures and from our Prophets who speak in behalf of the Lord, and who have prophesied of things that have been and of things which are yet to come. We have been told how this world will end. We know who wins this great war and battle of life. We know that it will be a “great and a dreadful day”. Yes, there will be things that we have never seen before but, for those who know of them, and who are prepared, they shall not fear and it will be much easier to accept, and to understand and the Lord and His angels will protect them. There will be wars and rumors of wars. The skies, the seas and the mountains will move out of their places. When Jesus will come no one knows. Even the angels in heaven don’t know. But, Jesus will appear in Jerusalem where the Jews father’s crucified Him, and it will be there where Jesus will appear to their children and show them his nail scarred hands and feet. They will then fall to their knees and weep and confess that Jesus is the Christ. Jesus will then live with us and rule this world in peace for a thousand years. Satan will be bound.
We need to continue to be friends and family and share those things to help us be prepared knowing that the end is near. We are all God’s children. We are all brothers and sisters. I have spoken openly and honestly trusting that these things I’ve shared will be received with understanding and openly by you. I do not judge or think we are better than anyone else. These things are open for all to chose and have for yourself.
My friends and those who know me know that I don’t lie. I share this so that my heart and conscience will always know that I opened my mouth and shared with all (D&C 60: 2) , and that my purposes in doing so was clear and pure because we have been told in the scriptures to warn our neighbors. When we die someday, and we all will, we each will live again, be judged after we report back to our lord Jesus and Heavenly Father and Mother.
As we see the weakening of Christian faith in society , our own faith must become even more firm and sure. We are the generation the Lord has saved for this day,” We were chosen to be here at this time of life when the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ is on the earth with all of it’s everlasting ordinances and blessings necessary, which are here and can be ours, to get to the highest kingdom in heaven and to receive the best resurrection we can. These ordinances and the Temple doors are open and are made available to you but not forced upon you. Yes, you must be worthy and choose to obey God’s laws and keep His commandments. It is your choice. My wife and I both work at one of these Temples and see all nationalities, colors of skin and families from all over the earth come here. We welcome you and invite you to have the “fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ” with all of the blessings of eternity. We can have it if we but serve our Lord Jesus Christ and follow HIm. He is The Way! That is the important action item here; to “choose ye this day whom ye will serve. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
I leave you this as a testimony from my heart of these truths, and I do so in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord.
For The Family
By Alan on Jan 22 in Blog, Videos tagged alan, Alex, Apostle, ask advice, barbershop, big talks, Bob Hope, careful, choices, church, David, Douglas, drinking, drugs, feelings, fishing, future, Generation, group, growing up, harmony, home, interest, Jon, judgement, leadership, life, Like Father, Like son, listen, love, manhood, mentor, Michael, missionaries, music, Nathan, normal, Osmonds, parents, pornography, pray, relationship, role model, Russell Nelson, Scott, Second, sex, share, show, stage, Suzanne, time, troubled times, trust, Tyler, video, watch, work | 3 Comments
What a responsibility it is to be a father of eights sons and growing up especially during these troubled times with them possibly wanting to pattern their lives and careers after my own, in show business. Such was the case of my sons, The Osmonds Second Generation.
Yes, we love music and our home was filled with it. Our boys actually stated singing on their own. Suzanne and I discovered one night after returning home from a night out together and found our sons watching old videos of me and my brothers singing barbershop harmony. The funny thing was they were singing right along with the video and singing in two part harmony as well! We both looked at each other and said, oh, oh!
The next day I sat my sons down and taught them a song in two part harmony. They did it! Soon, they were trying to sing in three parts and eventually, four parts! They sang at church and a few private parties and were invited to be on the Eugene Jelesnick Talent Showcase TV Show in Salt Lake City, Utah; the same show my brothers and I did when we were young! Bob Hope saw them, put them on his National TV Special and we have been chasing after them ever since!
While they were young, we gave them piano lessons and encouraged their interests in music but Suzanne and I also knew that they needed good educations and tried to keep their music as a hobby. While maintaining somewhat normal lives and going to school, they had great opportunities and success especially in England with four top twenty hit songs with videos.
Soon, it was time for Michael, the oldest, to serve as a missionary for our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which he chose to do and left the group to serve for two years in Denmark speaking Danish. When it was time, Nathan also did the same and went to Chile. Doug went to South Africa, David to Spain. Scott served in Paraguay and Jon went to to Brazil. Alex served stateside in Atlanta, Georgia and our youngest, Tyler, is yet to be seen.
When our boys returned from their mission calls they went to college and majored in various areas of business yet became very good at entertaining with a love for music. Suzanne and I had both encouraged them to get “Real Jobs” by getting a good education, and most of them did. Still, some have pursued music careers and we now see their talent and love for music showing up n their own children!
Fathers and sons can play a critical role in helping each other become the best that they can be. As we sit shoulder to shoulder in worshiping our Lord at church as priesthood holders or ‘Side by Side’ singing together on stage, we realize that we with our families can also become part of an eternal family of God.
M. Russell Nelson, a friend and an Apostle of our church reminds us that, “Father and sons need to talk together and possibly work together as there is no other relationship quite like that which can and should exist between a boy and his dad. It can be one of the most nurturing, joyful relationships in life, one that can have profound impact on who boys become and also who dads become. We are all on a journey with Dads a little further down the road, but none of us has yet arrived at our final destination. We are all in the process of becoming who we will one day be. Fathers and sons can play a critical role in helping each other become the best that they can be.
I know that father-son relationships are never perfect, but it is possible if you will put forth the effort to make it happen.
Young men, you are your father’s pride and joy. In you they see a promising future and their hope for a better, improved version of themselves. Your accomplishments are a joy to them. Your worries and problems are their worries and problems.
Fathers, you are the primary model of manhood for your sons. You are their most meaningful mentor, and believe it or not, you are their hero in countless ways. Your words and your example are a great influence on them.”
First, trust your father. He is not perfect, but he loves you and would never do anything he didn’t think was in your best interest. So talk to him. Share your thoughts and feelings, your dreams and your fears. The more he knows about your life, the better chance he has to understand your concerns and to give you good counsel. When you put your trust in your dad, he will feel the responsibility of that trust and try harder than ever to understand and to help. As your father, he is entitled to inspiration on your behalf. His advice to you will be the heartfelt expressions of someone who knows and loves you. Your dad wants more than anything for you to be happy and successful, so why would you not want to trust someone like that? Boys, trust your dad.
Second, take an interest in your father’s life. Ask about his job, his interests, his goals. How did he decide to do the work that he does? What was he like when he was your age? How did he meet your mother? And as you learn more about him, you may find that his experiences help you to better understand why he responds the way that he does. Watch your dad. Watch how he treats your mother. Watch how he performs his Church callings. Watch how he interacts with other people. You will be surprised what you learn about him just by watching him and listening to him. Think about what you don’t know about him and find out. Your love, admiration, and understanding will increase by what you learn. Boys, be interested in your dad’s life.
My Father and brother Wayne.
And third, ask your father for advice. Let’s be honest: he is probably going to give you his advice whether you ask for it or not, but it just works so much better when you ask! Ask for his advice on Church activity, on classes, on friends, on school, on dating, on sports or other hobbies. Ask for his counsel on your Church assignments, on preparing for your mission, on decisions or choices you have to make. Nothing shows respect for another person as much as asking for his advice, because what you are really saying when you ask for advice is, “I appreciate what you know and the experiences you have had, and I value your ideas and suggestions.” Those are nice things for a father to hear from his son.
In my experience, fathers who are asked for advice try harder to give good, sound, useful counsel. By asking your father for advice, you not only receive the benefit of his input, but you also provide him with a little extra motivation to strive to be a better father and a better man. He will think more carefully about whatever it is that he advises, and he will work harder to “walk the talk.” Young men, ask your dad for advice!
OK, fathers, now it’s your turn. Let’s talk about some things you can do to enhance your relationship with your sons. You will notice that there is some linkage between the three suggestions I am going to give you and the suggestions I just gave your sons. That isn’t coincidental.
First, fathers, listen to your sons—really listen to them. Ask the right kind of questions, and listen to what your sons have to say each time you have a few minutes together. You need to know—not to guess but to know—what is going on in your son’s life. Don’t assume that you know how he feels just because you were young once. Your sons live in a very different world from the one in which you grew up. As they share with you what’s going on, you will have to listen very carefully and without being judgmental in order to understand what they are thinking and experiencing.
Father often took us fishing. Alan, Merrill, Wayne.
Find your own best way to connect. Some fathers like to take their sons fishing or to a sporting event. Others like to go on a quiet drive or work side by side in the yard. Some find their sons enjoy conversations at night just before going to bed. Do whatever works best for you. A one-on-one relationship should be a routine part of your stewardship with your sons. Every father needs at least one focused, quality conversation with his sons every month during which they talk about specific things such as school, friends, feelings, video games, text messaging, worthiness, faith, and testimony. Where or when this happens isn’t nearly as important as the fact that it happens.
Father taught us to work but listened.
And oh, how fathers need to listen. Remember, conversation where you do 90 percent of the talking is not a conversation. Use the word “feel” as often as you comfortably can in your discussions with your sons. Ask: “How do you feel about what you’re learning in that class?” “How do you feel about what your friend said?” “How do you feel about your priesthood and the Church?”
Don’t think you have to try to fix everything or solve everything during these visits. Most of the time, the best thing you can do is just listen. Fathers who listen more than they talk find that their sons share more about what is really going on in their lives. Dads, listen to your sons.
Second, pray with and for your sons. Give them priesthood blessings. A son who is worried about a big exam or a special event will surely benefit from a father’s priesthood blessing. Occasions like the start of a new school year, a birthday, or as he begins to date may be opportune times to call upon the Lord to bless your son. One-on-one prayer and the sharing of testimonies can draw you closer to each other as well as closer to the Lord.
I am mindful that many of you fathers suffer heartache over sons who have strayed and are being captured by the world, just as Alma and Mosiah worried about their sons. Continue to do all you can to maintain strong family relationships. Never give up, even when fervent prayer in their behalf is all you can do. These precious sons of yours are your sons forever! Fathers, pray with and bless your sons.
Third, dare to have the “big talks” with your sons. You know what I mean: talks about drugs and drinking, about the dangers of today’s media—the Internet, cyber technologies, and pornography—and about priesthood worthiness, respect for girls, and moral cleanliness. While these should not be the only subjects you talk about with your sons, please don’t shy away from them. Your boys need your counsel, guidance, and input on these subjects. As you talk about these very important matters, you will find that the trust between you will flourish.
I am especially concerned that we communicate openly and clearly with our sons about sexual matters. Your sons are growing up in a world that openly embraces and flaunts early, casual, and thoughtless promiscuity. Your sons simply cannot avoid the blatant sexual imagery, messages, and enticements that are all around them. Fathers and Church leaders need to have open and frequent discussions that teach and clarify how young men of the priesthood handle this issue. Be positive about how wonderful and beautiful physical intimacy can be when it happens within the bounds the Lord has set, including temple covenants and commitments of eternal marriage. Studies show that the biggest deterrent to casual sexual activity is a wholesome attitude that connects such personal relationships with genuine commitment and mature love. Fathers, if you have not had this “big talk” with your sons, please do so, and do it soon.
And fathers, the three suggestions I made to you moments ago absolutely apply to your relationships with your returned missionary sons. Listen to them, and connect with them in regular, focused conversation. Talk with them in depth about their feelings and desires. Pray with them, and give them blessings as they face the important decisions in their future.
Alex at Temple Leaving on Mission.
Elder Ballard says to young men like mine who are returned missionaries to “trust your father. You can be closer to him now than ever before regardless of what your relationship was like before your mission. During the next few years, you will make the most important decisions of your life. Along with prayer to your Heavenly Father, advice from your earthly father can help you make those decisions concerning your education, career choice, and marriage. The most important decision you will make in this life is the decision to marry the right girl in the temple! While no one should rush this significant decision, all returned missionaries should be working on it. Be where you can meet the right kind of friends. And go on dates. Hanging out is not the way, nor is it enough! Courting seems to be a lost art. Rediscover it. It really works! Ask your fathers—they know! Do not drift to the ways of the world. Rather, maintain the dignity and the Spirit you enjoyed on your mission. The Church will need your leadership in the future.”
I have never been a father before. I have watched my father while growing up and how he handled problems, made decisions, and handled situations as I grew older. With my eight sons, I have often tried to remember those times and have applied it to my own sons. I remind them that this life is a time to make choices; that those choices that we made in heaven before we came here determined where we are in this life. And, the choices we make here will decide which mansion in heaven we go to after we die and return to our Heavenly parents. I cannot tell them who to love. I cannot tell them what you should do for a living. But what I can do is show continual love and support and be there to catch them should they fall.
For the Family
M. Russell Ballard
A Talk from General Conference