Moroni saw me daily
In 2015, Herman Johnson passed away, my father. I never truly knew him because he and my mother did not remain together following the births of their children. I met him as an 16-year-0ld, never having heard from Mother why they split until after I experienced him. Mother let the floodgates open about what she experienced with him, why she left him, after several doses of him took their toll on me emotionally.
Papa was a rolling stone. He laid his hat many places always leaving a couple of kids in his wake, it seemed. The greatest thing Dad ever did for me was introducing me to my other brothers and sisters. We share the same biological father who gave every child he could his last name. He did not set an example of family the way God describes it in the The Family: A Proclamation to the World.
"THE FAMILY is ordained of God," declare the prophets. "Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity." (TF:APTTW)
Dad did not give us that, unfortunately. He did give me his last name and both my given names. My father, who was not married to my mother, claimed me. The act of claiming me as his own created in me a sense of belonging that I yearned for up until that point in my life. I had a daddy! I had siblings by this daddy and we all look alike, like him. It broke my heart that I did not have that feeling of completeness for the 17 years before meeting my father, but I have ever since.
Dad created in me a desire to make sure I produced children, in the bonds of matrimony and offer them the presence physically, emotionally, and spiritually that I lacked in my youth. My desire to give my kids all that I did not have growing up comes with a price that I wish at times I did not have to pay, but like Jesus, I drink the bitter cup offered me because it is God's will that fathers, both "Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live." (TF:APTTW)
My dad making the simple act of claiming me in name, while Mother did all the rest was enough to give me a history, to hold up my head. How much more can a father who is present and actively loving and supporting his kids can empower a soul.
Moroni loved and respected his father so much that he recorded his words and put them in a sacred book that became scripture, the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. "And now I, Moroni," etched he, "write a few of the words of my father Mormon, which he spake concerning faith, hope, and charity. ...if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail--But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever." (Moroni 7:1, 47-47)
The words of a father have the potential to inspire good beyond measure in the hearts of his children whether he is a prophet of God or a man of the world recognizing his child's existence. Moroni immortalized his father's words and I internalized my father's words of acceptance. When he passed to the other side, I went to the Phoenix Temple and returned his temporal favor to me by doing work for him that will propel him into the eternities with potential to live with our Heavenly Father.Thanks Moroni for remembering the words of your father and sharing them. Happy Father's Day Mormon. Happy Father's Day Dad. Happy Father's Day Heavenly Father. Thanks for willing doing what you do. What has Moroni seen of you?