"FAMILY TIES: A MESSAGE FOR FATHERS," Elder L. Tom Perry, Deseret Book, $16.99, 80 pages
In "Family Ties," five talks by Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve are adapted into a tidy package of counsel to fathers.
Elder Perry cuts right to the chase in outlining a man's responsibilities. His questions are pointed, yet come across as kind advice to those of us who may need to redirect our efforts on the home front.
"Husbands, are your actions at all times a reflection of your love for your wife?" he asks. "Brethren, your first and most responsible role in life and in the eternities is to be a righteous husband."
A man's second most important job, Elder Perry says, is that of father. Give your children a respected name and provide a sense of security in the home.
Part of being a good husband and father is using the Priesthood to bless family members' lives. That includes teaching children truth and righteousness. "We encourage you to gather your families around you for family prayer, gospel study, family work, and family activities," Elder Perry says.
He also hits heavily on the strength to be gained from family-oriented media provided by the LDS church on its website, LDS.org, as well as church publications. He points out the importance of family home evening on Mondays. "This designated time is to be with our families."
Elder Perry talks about the need for fathers to simplify their lives by pursuing what's important and avoiding stress and anxiety. "One of the challenges of this mortal experience is to not allow the stresses and strains of life to get the better of us — to endure the varied seasons of life while remaining positive, even optimistic."
The fifth chapter is devoted to discipleship and a man's need to reflect Christ's example and learn to sacrifice and serve.
"Family Ties" is almost like an audio book. While going through it, a reader can almost hear Elder Perry's voice delivering the words.
LDS fathers would do well to refer back to "Family Ties" again and again. It's a small book, but it contains big lessons.