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Being a Righteous Husband and Father: A Divine Responsibility

Today’s inspiration is drawn from “Being a Righteous Husband and Father” by President Howard W. Hunter, President of the Church, during October 1994.

Drawing from President Hunter's Wisdom

In the pages of the Church’s rich history, we find countless teachings that resonate with timeless wisdom. One such profound discourse is President Howard W. Hunter’s address from October 1994, titled “Being a Righteous Husband and Father.” Today, we draw inspiration from his words, delivered during a general priesthood meeting. These words of counsel remain as relevant today as they were nearly three decades ago.

Scriptural Inspiration: God's Plan for the Family

The foundational teachings of President Hunter’s message are deeply rooted in the scriptures, where we find guidance on the divine plan for the family. One key scripture he refers to is found in 1 Corinthians 11:11, “Neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.” This scripture underscores the sacred partnership between husband and wife in God’s design.

The Sacred Privilege of Marriage

President Hunter reminds us that marriage is a sacred privilege and obligation, especially for those who hold the priesthood. In the plan of salvation, marriage is a fundamental component. It is through the covenant of marriage that we can attain the fullness of eternal blessings. President Hunter emphasizes the importance of heeding the Lord’s counsel not to unduly postpone marriage.

Perfect Moral Fidelity and Love

A man who holds the priesthood is called to exhibit perfect moral fidelity to his wife, nurturing a relationship built on trust and faithfulness. President Hunter quotes President Spencer W. Kimball, highlighting the paramount importance of putting one’s spouse before all other interests. This principle reinforces the significance of cherishing and prioritizing the marriage relationship.

Reverence for Motherhood

President Hunter extends his teachings to encompass a man’s reverence for motherhood. Mothers play a divinely appointed role in bearing and nurturing children, and their contribution is pivotal to God’s plan. He shares the First Presidency’s declaration that “Motherhood is near to divinity” and encourages all men to recognize and honor the unique role of mothers in Israel.

Leadership and Responsibility in the Home

President Hunter underscores that effective family leadership is the most important and sacred responsibility of a priesthood holder. The family unit is paramount both in time and eternity. He quotes President David O. McKay and President Harold B. Lee, emphasizing that no other success can compensate for failure in the home, and the most crucial work we will ever do is within our own homes.

Shared Leadership and Righteous Dominion

President Hunter imparts a crucial message about shared leadership in the home. He clarifies that, while there is a presiding officer in the home, both spouses should participate equally in decision-making. A husband should never exercise unrighteous dominion, and the relationship between husband and wife should be characterized by tenderness and respect.

Love and Respect in Intimate Relationships

President Hunter addresses the intimate relationship between spouses. He quotes Ephesians 5:25–31, emphasizing the importance of husbands loving their wives as Christ loved the Church. He advises tenderness, respect, and mutual consideration in this sacred aspect of marriage.

Protecting and Nurturing Children

President Hunter highlights the responsibility of fathers in protecting and nurturing their children. He condemns any form of abuse, physical or spiritual, within the family. He stresses the importance of providing love and affection and of being actively engaged in the spiritual and temporal welfare of children.

Providing Temporal Support

President Hunter emphasizes that priesthood holders must provide temporal support for their families. He mentions the divine commandment that women and children have claim on their husbands and fathers for their maintenance. He discourages practices that compel wives to work outside the home for convenience, quoting President Ezra Taft Benson.

Leading in Church and Home

The final teaching focuses on a man’s responsibility to lead his family in Church participation. President Hunter stresses that men should set the spiritual tone in their homes, engaging in regular family activities such as family home evening, scripture study, and prayer. He highlights that fathers play a pivotal role in teaching and preparing their families for missionary service and temple marriage.

Strengthening Families

In conclusion, we are reminded of our divine responsibilities as husbands and fathers. President Hunter’s teachings emphasize love, respect, and equal partnership in marriage, the nurturing and protection of our children, and the spiritual leadership of our families.  President Hunter’s address, titled ‘Being a Righteous Husband and Father,’ emphasizes the importance of discipleship and the journey of transformation within families.

Strengthen Your Family

As we reflect on these teachings, let us take action to strengthen our families. Let us prioritize our relationships with our spouses, nurture our children with love and guidance, and actively engage in the spiritual growth of our families. By doing so, we can help create a world where strong, loving families are the foundation of a brighter future. Link to the original: Being a Righteous Husband and Father

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The content discusses the divine responsibilities of being a righteous husband and father, drawing inspiration from President Howard W. Hunter’s teachings. It emphasizes the importance of love, respect, and shared leadership in marriage, the nurturing and protection of children, and spiritual leadership within families.

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