Editor's note: "The Spoken Word" is shared by Lloyd Newell each Sunday during the weekly Mormon Tabernacle Choir broadcast.
For nearly 40 years, a father worked hard in a steel mill to provide for his family. The work was difficult, hot and gritty, with changing shifts and long hours. He may have wished he had pursued a different line of work or that he had better options. But he also felt a deep sense of duty and responsibility. So every morning he got up and went to work — and somehow managed to do it with a good attitude.
This father represents countless others who work hard to provide for their families; they labor day in and day out to give their loved ones a good life.
While there's certainly a lot of joy in fatherhood, being a father also means doing things you'd really rather not do. Fathers make sacrifices. From home repairs to car repairs, from doing yardwork to helping with homework — in a hundred different ways, they simply do what needs to be done. They set aside selfish desires and instead find joy in blessing their family. So instead of enjoying a quiet night at home, they support their children at recitals and concerts, sporting and school events. Instead of watching a favorite television program, they go outside and play catch or work on a science project with their son. Instead of reading the newspaper, they puzzle over math homework or read a book with their daughter.
In a day when people are encouraged to "find your passion" and "do your own thing," it might be worth remembering those fathers who roll up their sleeves, go to work, and do things they may not particularly like — because they love their family and because they are responsible and dependable.
All this is not easy, but it has never been easy to be a good father. Most do their very best, even as they make mistakes along the way. But they give and keep giving. They care and keep caring. They build strong bonds of love. And in the process, they do find their passion after all — but it isn't in doing their own thing. They become passionate about serving the loved ones who depend on them. And this becomes their greatest legacy.