Sunday, June 17, 2012

Born of Goodly Fathers

By Jennifer Bailey Debenham

Like Nephi of old, I was born of goodly parents. My mother and father are truly some of the choicest people to grace the planet. But since today is Father's Day, I'd like to take a moment to pay tribute to my own father as well as to some of the men who have played a big part in my life.

My dad didn't have the best role model for his own father, but it didn't stop him from becoming one of the best men I have ever known, and the best father I could imagine. The fact that I was blessed enough to deserve him for my earthly father is beyond my understanding, but I am eternally grateful. My dad is the kind of man who lives his testimony every day of his life, and that simple fact enables all of his posterity--eight children and eighteen (so far) grandchildren--to benefit from daily examples of how to treat others, what really matters in life, and how to put the Savior first. Often my dad reminds me of Nephi, because, although none of his family members can compare to Lamen or Lemuel, my dad is the spiritual leader among his siblings, even though he is one of the youngest. As a child growing up under his patriarchal influence, I gained a strong testimony at an early age, much because of the way he taught and loved me. I've heard it said that a girl especially needs a good father so that she can develop a strong self-esteem and have the courage to seek a good man as her husband; in my father, I could not have been more privileged. Thank you Dad.

My father-in-law is nearly twenty years older than my own father, and his life has led him through many interesting trials and experiences. Currently he is fighting a debilitating disease--Parkinsons. But true to his strong personality and ever-present courage, he has not let Parkinsons determine his fate. He fights the illness with extreme persistence and dilligence by researching the best treatments and making certain he eats perfectly and exercises every day. His example in this one trial has been a perfect display of how he has endeavored to live his entire life--full of faith and dilligence. I am fortunate to have him in my life, and even more fortunate that he passed on some of his excellent traits to his son--my husband. Thank you "Dad D."

Jim and I recently celebrated nineteen years of marriage. That means--since I was married at nineteen--that I have officially been married as many years as I have not. I couldn't ask for a better husband for myself or a better father for my three children. I am privileged to say that, though I have been blessed with tremendous men in my life, none can compare to him. To me, he is truly the best man I know. In a day when so many things seem uncertain, I'm so grateful to have him as my constant. Thank you Jim.

I'd love to hear about the men who have made a difference in your life . . .



5 comments:

  1. Sorry all.
    I wrote this Saturday night and did the tricky little thing where you set it to post on Sunday morning, but for some reason it didn't take, hence the Monday post. I guess better late than never...
    Maybe Marsha will wave her magic wand again...

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  2. Great post! I wrote about my dads in this post http://bit.ly/M0DgKj, but I didn't talk about my father-in-law, my mother's current husband, my own husband, my three terrific sons who are fathers themselves, and the fathers of my three daughters-in-law who have been critical to their all-around wonderfulness. Then, if I got talking about my brothers and my sisters husbands . . . You get the idea. Strong, positive, loving men are so very important in the lives of not only children but women, it's amazing so many people have forgotten it.

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  3. Love you post! I too have been blessed beyond measure to have amazing men in my life. both of my Dad's - biological and the one I'm sealed to - my husband, sons, son's-in-law, uncles, grandfathers, etc. I am very grateful. hugs~

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  4. Thank you for sharing your tribute to the fathers in your life.

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