Last April my brother got married. It was the weekend of General Conference so I did not have the opportunity to see all the Conference talks as they aired. I read them later and the talk by Brother Larry M. Gibson “Fatherhood — Our Eternal Destiny” stuck out to me; as I am a father of a young child and as I had the opportunity to speak to my brother concerning the responsibilities of a husband and father.
At the wedding, my son and I represented my brothers only family members by relation of blood. We both grew up in foster care and do not have relationships with our parents. At the wedding my brother told me he was disappointed in our parents and grateful to me for having filled some of role model roles in his life. He is not an active member of the church but I am grateful he has found someone special in his life.
Considering all we have been through, I will be happy for every step we take towards living normal lives and having loving relationships. I feel like I pray for my brother much as any parent should in our situation. I hope I have shown him a good example by having a family and endeavoring to be a good father. I feel like my lessons in fatherhood began with myself, then teaching my brother and now teaching my son.
When I was a young man, I decided I wanted to have a family and that I wanted to be a father. I wanted to give my son the love and opportunities that I was never given. My first goals to prepare for this was to serve a mission and to prepare to be married in the temple. If I didn’t serve a mission, how could I ever expect my son to do so? I also had seen the benefits this gave for preparing spiritually for the rest of my life. That decision did not come without sacrifice. I gave up a scholarship opportunity that I would have had to take advantage of before a mission. I believe this sacrifice was worth it, even as I am still struggling to get the education that I have always wanted.
The benefits of being married in the Temple are obvious, when I looked at them from an eternal perspective. When in High School, I made a list of characteristics that I wanted in my future wife. As I met and dated some young women, I moved on as they were lacking. When I met my future wife, she had a strong testimony and wonderful parents. Those were two qualities that I had found difficult to find in other young ladies. We later married after I served my mission. Knowing that I am sealed to my wife and that our family will be together for eternity is a huge gift. I deployed twice in the Army and I know that having a temple marriage was a strength to me during that time.
After she finished college, we had a son and he has been a wonderful blessing in our lives. I hope that I have prepared to be the type of father he deserves. I hope to have many teaching moments in the future with my son much like that which was shared in this talk. As he grows and has the opportunity to be ordained in the priesthood, I hope he will learn the lessons it teaches to later be a loving father. I believe being a father is truly one of the most important jobs a man could have.
Who is Paul Darr?
Paul Darr has lived in California, Oregon, Colorado, and currently lives in San Antonio, Texas. Paul is also an Army Veteran, who has deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. On the political spectrum Paul is a Libertarian that advocates fiscal responsibility and social tolerance. Paul is currently employed as a Systems Administrator and is a father of a handsome boy and beautiful daughter. In his free time Paul enjoys reading, using and modifying open source software, gaming, and several other geeky pursuits.