To all media outlets across the United States and the world:
You should be aware that during the Sunday morning session of the General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you were called out by Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles. Here is what he said…
“We call on media and entertainment outlets to portray devoted and capable fathers who truly love their wives and intelligently guide their children, instead of the bumblers and buffoons or “the guys who cause problems,” as fathers are all too frequently depicted.”
I’m writing to you as a new father. I have a beautiful, happy, 17-month-old boy. I am a television watcher. I’ve grown up watching sitcoms of the likes of Leave it to Beaver, The Andy Griffith Show, Boy Meets World, and more recently, Everybody Loves Raymond, Last Man Standing, and Modern Family. These, and other family sitcoms, though entertaining, severely diminish the role of the father in the home for the expense of a laugh and an increase in ratings. The fathers portrayed in these shows are in no way seen as leaders, but as Elder Christofferson says, “bumblers and buffoons.”
As a father, I dare not look to fathers portrayed on television as an example. Thankfully, I’ve been raised by honorable parents, including a father who works hard, loves and honors his wife, and other father figures who provide similar examples. The future fathers of this generation and future generations may not have proper examples in their lives, and consequently only grow to know what fathers are based on what they see on television every day.
“By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families.” –The Family: A Proclamation to the World
We need to restore the father as the head of the household, not the butt of the joke. The Fathers of this generation need an Andy Griffith, a Ward Cleaver, and a Alan Matthews, not a Ray Barone or a Phil Dunphy.
Restoring honorable families, beginning with the father, will play a major role in restoring families in America. If our sons hope to grow up to be good fathers, they deserve as many as examples as possible. Likewise, if our daughters continue to dream of marrying an honorable man, we owe it to them to prepare our sons to be such men.
Entertainment and humor are still available without sacrificing the divinely appointed role of the father as a leader and exemplar.