Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

Here's a recap of the history of Father’s Day (from MormonMedia):

Every year certain holidays come around. Most of us know where the big ones came from such as Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day, etc. But some of the less commercialized holidays have more humble beginnings. Father’s Day came about because of the efforts of a daughter who wanted to honor her dad.

Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington was inspired to create the holiday after hearing a sermon at church about the newly instituted Mother’s Day. Her father had raised his family alone after his wife died giving birth to his 6th child. In 1909 Sonora enlisted the help of the Spokane Ministerial Association and arranged for a celebration of fatherhood in her hometown. On June 19, 1910, young members of the YMCA went to church wearing roses: a red rose to honor a living father, and a white rose to honor a deceased one. Sonora rode through town in a horse-drawn carriage, carrying gifts to shut-in fathers.

It took several years to make the holiday official. While Mother’s Day was lauded with praise, Father’s Day was often met with laughter. After several attempts through Congress, it was President Lyndon Johnson who issued the first proclamation honoring fathers. And in 1972 President Richard Nixon signed a bill finally making Father’s Day an official holiday. Father’s Day is celebrated in 55 countries and in many different ways in those countries.

In the United States we honor our fathers on the third Sunday in June. But we should honor them everyday. The love and care of parents is special. And there is another father we should remember on this special day as well, our Heavenly Father. He is there to listen to our joys and our grief. He is infinitely patient with our mortal stumbles. He loves us with out qualification. So this year in addition to celebrating your earthly father, take a moment to honor your Heavenly Father and thank Him for all your blessings. Give Him the gift of recommitting yourself to doing all you can to come back to Him.

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