Monday, June 19, 2017

Learning to Become a Father

Yesterday in Sacrament meeting, our ward choir sang, "Teacher, Do You Love Me?" from the Primary Children's Songbook. We changed the word "Teacher" in the song to "Father," in honor of Father's Day. As the choir director, I had invited some children of the ward to join with us, and they along with some teen members of our choir, sang the first two verses of the song.

Father, do you love me?
Father, will you care for me?
Even if I turn away, or disobey, or go astray,
Then will you love me still?
Father, will you teach me?
Father, help me choose the right.
When I do not understand the Lord's command, please take my hand
And lead me safely with his light.

The women in our choir then joined in for the bridge.

I need your love, I need your light
To show me how to be like Jesus.
The Savior's love will light the path
To lead me safely home.

Finally, the men sang the next two verses, with the entire singing for the final bridge.

Oh yes, my child, I love you.
My child, I'll always care for you.
And with the Savior as our guide, I'll share the light I feel inside,
And you will feel his love for you.
Oh, yes, my child, I'll teach you.
My child, I'll help you choose the right.
And when you do not understand The Lord's command, I'll take your hand,
And he will lead us with his light.

I need your love, I need your light
To show me how to be like Jesus.
The Savior's love will light the path
To lead us safely home.

We hadn't had very many men attend our practices, and I was feeling a little nervous that the desired effect would be lost if we didn't get more men to sing for the musical number. We had a couple choir members do some "recruiting" and the entire Young Men's group ended up joining us for the musical number. As they hadn't practiced with us, they didn't know there were different "teen" and "men's" parts and they sang when their leader sang. But what those young men did touched a spiritual chord within me and I was tearing up all through the song.

It struck me as significant that these young men, who are not yet fathers, were filling the "father" role in our song, almost as if they are recognizing that they have a divine heritage to be fathers and that they are preparing now to fill that divine role.

As these young men learn to fulfill their various priesthood responsibilities, they are preparing to fulfill their divine mission to become fathers with nobility and righteousness. Even if they didn't mean to, I am grateful that they taught me how important it is to begin young to prepare these young men for their eternal role of fatherhood.