Lehi taught all his sons (surely not just Nephi) somewhat in all his learning--in the learning of the Jews and the language of the Egyptians. He shared his dream about the tree of life because he was concerned about the spiritual status and future of his sons Laman and Lemuel. He also gave blessings to all his sons before he died.
King Benjamin taught his sons in all the language of his fathers to help them become men of understanding so that they could appreciate the scriptures and understand the mysteries of God.
Alma the Elder prayed with much faith for his rebellious son Alma to be brought to a knowledge of the truth. (This must have been after all he could do to teach him the truth.)
King Mosiah allowed his sons to go on a dangerous mission to preach to the Lamanites. He taught his sons to work so they did not burden the people. This gave Ammon valuable shepherding skills that he used to serve others in his missionary work.
Alma the Younger took his sons with him in his ministry and gave them responsibilities to teach the gospel. He gave all his sons charges according to their spiritual needs, each of which were quite different. He shared his conversion story and bore testimony that he had been supported by trusting in God. He shared words of wisdom. He reprimanded his son Corianton for sin, explained why it was wrong, and admonished him to repent. He also answered Corianton’s questions about the gospel to make sure he understood.
Helaman gave his sons Nephi and Lehi names to try to inspire them to do as their righteous ancestors had done. Undoubtedly he also rehearsed to them the stories of Lehi and Nephi and their lives of faith.
Mormon wrote letters to his son Moroni to share revelation he had received about issues Moroni was dealing with.
When you look at what things these fathers did, they were pretty simple:
- Gave their children good names to remind them to do good.
- Teaching language, understanding, the gospel of Christ, mysteries of godliness.
- Telling stories of ancestors, telling their conversion stories.
- Answering questions, reprimanding, writing letters of instruction.
- Teaching their children to work.
- Teaching their children skills.
- Giving their children teaching responsibilities.
- Allowing their children to do difficult things.
- Praying for their children.
- Blessing their children.
What effect did these fathers have?
Nephi prayed and pondered on the words Lehi spoke about his dream and obtained a personal witness and angelic visitation and vision about that dream.
Enos’s soul hungered and he sought forgiveness for his sins because he remembered the words his father Jacob had often spoken about the plan of salvation and the joy of the saints.
King Mosiah recognized the mysteries of godliness he read from the account of Ether which he translated and he began to understand the dangers of kingship, so he worked to set up a system of judges instead.
Alma the Younger was able to ask for forgiveness of his many sins because he remembered the words his father had taught about Jesus Christ and His redeeming power.
Mosiah’s four sons gave up any claim to the kingdom and preached to the Lamanites, converting many to the gospel.
The stripling warriors cared so much about the freedom of their fathers that they were willing to take an oath to fight in all cases to protect them.
Moroni worked hard to engrave into the Book of Mormon several letters his father Mormon had sent him, which he evidently treasured. He also continued his father’s work on the Book of Mormon by abridging the Book of Ether, which Mormon hadn’t been able to complete before he was killed.
One of the effects my father has had one me is to build my appreciation of the scriptures. Because he was willing to share his thoughts about the scriptures, I have followed his example, and this blog is a product of that. Happy Father’s Day!