As a Mormon feminist, I often here comments like, “The church loves women and we think they are equal. Why do you feel different or unequal?”
To answer this question, I submit my own short Father’s Day talk. (And it is June and time to celebrate Fathers.)
A note: I love my earthly father; I honor him. I love many fathers I know, including the father of my ward, my bishop; I celebrate them. I love my Heavenly Father. My short talk is not meant to be disrespectful, but just a little look into “how it feels”.
Fathers and all men, I start my talk by reminding you how special you are to our Heavenly Parents. You are so important. The work you do with the Priesthood is so important. You are sons of God – and God loves His sons just as much as His daughters.
Fatherhood is essential part of the plan; it is NOT what is left over after the woman’s role or motherhood. We honor your work and the part you play in the overall building of Zion. We women learn so much from you and your experiences. We stand in awe of your service to your families and to the ward.
Men, you are the head of the home, which is just as important as the heart of the home; in fact, you’re probably more important. We would benefit if we listened to your counsel more often. I know that my mother got the better deal when she married my father, who is always such a strong head in our home. He is her better half. We all (his children) benefit so much from his wisdom and love. And I think my mother has learned so much over the years from his example.
The influence of a righteous man goes beyond the home. It is felt in the community and in the work place. I hope each of you men realize the power you have on others when you live in righteous ways and stand up for family, for God, and for the Gospel of Christ. You should be proud to be a man.
As I conclude, I remind all of you men that God is mindful of you. He knows the challenges your face in juggling your work, church, and priesthood responsibilities. He loves you and will hear and answer your prayers. And, we, the mothers (and women) in your life, are always here to support you too. You are never alone. Never doubt your divine potential; it is great. We love you. And today, on Father’s Day, we honor you and your contributions. We celebrate the important role you play.