5 Fathers I am Grateful for this Father’s Day

There are many men in our lives who can play the role of father at different times. This brotherhood of fatherhood is something that helps feed my spirit and that I can draw strength from. Here are just a few of the father figures I’ve had in my life and why I am grateful for them.

  1. Earthly Father

I always knew that my dad loved me. No-matter-what. Even though there was a great age difference between the two of us (54 years) I felt like we had one of those special father-son connections. I loved learning about his life, hearing him reminisce and tell old stories of him growing up. He took interest in my interests not necessarily because they were his, but because he loved me. One of the things I love most about my father is how loved and respected he was by his friends and peers. That is something I will always strive to obtain in my life. He gave me a great name, showed me the way to live, and taught me to love the gospel.

Since my father’s passing five years ago, I often wonder what he would do in various situations and wish I had someone to talk to. Luckily, I’ve been blessed with a great father-in-law who holds many of the same great qualities my dad had. Having him as a confidant and current father figure in my life is something I am so very grateful for.

Me and my dad, Dick Devey, March 2005 
  1. Mission Father

While serving in Montana, one Sunday my mission president surprised me and showed up to our ward’s Gospel Principles class, which we were teaching. We introduced him to the class and explained to those unfamiliar with the Church that he is like our dad and watches out for us while we are serving. After the prayer, my companion and I remained seated as we began to teach the lesson. Our president politely interrupted and instructed us to stand when teaching. We quickly obeyed and hopped to our feet. A brother who was a recent convert smiled and said “That’s what they mean: he’s like their father.”

I learned so many things from my mission president and watching how he taught, counseled, and interacted with others. He showed how love can cause great changes in the lives of people and how to persevere through trials. He is a man I love and am so thankful for.

Additionally, in my mission, like most, your first companion was designated your trainer and thus nicknamed your “dad.” Despite appearing to be my opposite (tall, skinny, and blond) my trainer was the perfect fit for me. He showed me how to work hard, have fun, and be strictly obedient. He set me on the right path and helped define my service as a missionary. I will always be grateful to him for that.
  1. Father of the Ward

The bishop is sometimes described as the father of the ward. The bishop in my last ward took this responsibility to a new level. In addition to his day job and bishop duties, he was the home teacher to more than 10 families in our ward, one of them being mine. He never missed a month, bringing Oreos every time (much to the delight of my children), and was always very mindful of my family. Additionally, I got to see first-hand how he served and was so loving toward the people of the ward. I am forever changed and grateful to have been in his ward.
  1. My Little Future Father

When my son was born, I got to spend the first couple of hours of his life alone with him while his mother was recovering. My eyes welled with tears as I looked at his perfect face and pondered the world he had just come from. I could feel the presence of my father, grandfathers, and others as I held him and dreamed of the life he will have. I am grateful for this moment I had with my son and the encouragement it gives me to be a better man and father. Additionally, I am grateful and excited for him to become a father and experience the same joys I have with him.  

John "Johnny" Richard Devey
  1. Heavenly Father

I have always felt a special connection knowing that God is my loving Heavenly Father. It feels so natural and right that we are His children. Every day that I am a father, I learn more about how He feels and my relationship with Him grows. I want to give my children everything I have and more, and I know He wants them same for us. The blessings He gives us and the amount of love He shows us are hard to grasp, but I know that I am grateful to be one of His children, and He, my father.

Andrew Devey is currently a marketing and social media specialist at Rev 650. He graduated from BYU with a degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations. He is also a sports junkie and dessert connoisseur. He is part Texan thru by marriage, but still longs for Big Sky Country, where he served his mission. He is married to Lisa, and what he loves most is being the father to his son and twin girls.

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