Fathers, We NEED You!

Forty years ago, when I was only 10-years-old, my parents announced to me and my two sisters, that they were getting a divorce. After that night, my father and mother never lived under the same roof, again.

I can't really say for sure, how my life would have been different now, IF I had had both my mother and father to raise me through the remainder of my childhood.

However, I do know - that the vacancies were felt at such deep levels of emotion, that even today, at almost 50 years of age - I feel the effects; and have operated from this place - throughout my entire life.

Because of the effects of not having my own father around, during the most critical times of my childhood, I am certain that I am more committed to my own immediate family, now. The fallout of divorce is tragic.

Children are entitled to both a mother and a father.
Both parents are needed, to ensure healthy and happy children; and ultimately well adjusted adults. Adults who themselves, then become parents. Children deserve two committed parents, who understand the importance of THE FAMILY.

As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we are blessed to understand the eternal significance of the family unit. We support, defend and educate others on the importance of traditional marriage, for all of these reasons. Traditional marriage, is what creates, supports and sustains the ability of the Plan of Salvation to fulfill its great work.

Currently, the importance and understanding of the "traditional family" in society, is at risk of becoming extinct. Proponents of same-gender marriage refuse to acknowledge the natural laws that create families. In so doing, they devalue both mothers and fathers, in the raising of healthy individuals.

Church leaders have taught clearly, that the FAMILY is the adversaries main target for thwarting the individual progress of God's children. When traditional marriage is threatened, it really comes down to our birth-RIGHT!

It is the NATURAL birthright of every individual born, to have both a FATHER and a MOTHER. There is NO other way to enter into this LIFE! Through eternal covenants, it is the ONLY way, that we can enjoy the full blessings that Heavenly Father, through His Son, Jesus Christ - has ensured, for those who are true and faithful to Him.


I am so grateful to have a husband, who honors his priesthood covenants, through his commitment to me, and our children. I couldn't ask for anything more, throughout all ETERNITY!

Kathryn Skaggs

Note: Thank you to PearlDiver, for this beautiful video.


  1. So sorry to read that.

    My parents were never really together. It's a completely different fallout. My faith in marriage was actually never really shaken because they were never married. Some people struggle to feel secure in marriage because of divorce in their childhood. Very sad.

    Great post.

  2. Natasha -

    Very interesting perspective. I've often felt, that if parents are going to divorce, do it before the children will remember them as a "family". If not, stick together and figure things out, if at all possible.

    My point in this post, is that a relationship with both a father and a mother is important to the emotional development of a child. That relationship normally begin through a marriage.

    My experience of not having my father around, confirms to me the importance of marriage, and these critical relationships.

    I have become an advocate for children's rights, and in particular - all our birthright, which is Eternal Life!


  3. I was in the same position as a child. My Father and my mother were married, had four children, separated and were each subsequently married three additional times (with no additional children).

    As a child, it puts a void in the center of your heart that is difficult to fill.

    I've been married to the same woman for twenty-eight years, the last seventeen for the sake of the kids. By all accounts, a model father and husband. But for the sake of the children all the same.

    At what point am I vindicated to live my life for me? It's a serious question. When does the needs of the one (being me) enter the equation?

  4. It hit me hard to read you post regarding divorce. I married a wonderful man in 2000 who at the time was divorced and had a sweet 2 1/1 yr old daughter. My husband and I vowed to work hard to help her know she was loved at both homes both our and her mothers. The first few month of our marriage were hard and my husbands ex wife made life anything but happy or peaceful for any of us, despite our efforts :(

    The years have quickly gone by and despite our atempts to be neutral with the mother its not happened on her doing not ours, My husband simply wants his right to love and grow up with his now 11 year old daughter, her mother has always done her danrdest to move, change phone numbers,emails and always leave us wondering were and how she is, its been an emotinal journey and we ache to have her in our lives and just have learned to trust that some day the lord will let that happen in his time.

    Having gone through all of this and now having my own children I see how precious the family unit is and how fragile these sweet spirits are to all the trama and heart ache divorce brings, I often wish parents could step back and see the harm , trauma, and emotinal stress it puts on kids before they ever finalized a divorce, maybe they would value there kids more and think twice about divorce. I some times think people see divorce as the easy out and its very upsetting to me. Thank you for adressing the importance of parents and fathers as fathers day approches its always a hard at our home as we feel like we have lost a peace of our hearts with our daughter and step daughter not with us and not having any way of contacting her or knowing how she is.Thank you, very well wrote post
    :)Please tell your girls hello for me!!!!

    Kelly sims- Max

  5. Thanks for this post. As a member of the LDS church and a divorced parent, I know I have struggled with my own feelings around divorce.

    Having gone through a divorce once, I know that it is not the easy answer it is touted to be. Children suffer with divorce. No matter how much they suffered when the marriage was bad, they suffer from the divorce as well.

    There are times when I wonder if I could have made my marriage work had I done more or worked harder. I don't know if I could have made it work. But, I know that Heavenly Father has given us guidelines to have happiness and having eternal families are part of that plan.

    It's worth the work to stay together if possible. Any marriage is hard. Fairy tale relationships just don't happen in real life. If you ask anyone who's been married for a long time, they will tell you that it wasn't easy and there were times they wondered if they would make it through.

    And on the other side, ask anyone who is divorced if it has been easy or if they think their kids have suffered from the divorce. It's a hard road and it's good that you've opened this topic to talk about it.

    Thanks for your leadership and your example.

  6. LL -

    That's a very tough question... and likely only you can ultimately answer that question, for yourself. But I will say this, I know that marriage is not easy, even under the best of circumstances. I admire your commitment to your family. I honestly believe, that those who will apply the principles of the gospel, in their marriage and family life - will be greatly rewarded; here and eternally.

    Often times, what we believe will make our lives easier, is a lie. The other day, I turned to my husband and thanked him, for working together with me - through our own "family" challenges. This came, as a result of watching one of our daughters, who husband's parents recently divorced. Seeing the pain that this divorce is causing his entire family, made me even more determined to endure to the end!

    I've come to love my husband, even more, because of the commitment we have to each other, and our now adult children, to become an eternal family. I can tell you this, if we make it -- we will deserve every blessing available! LOL

    Once we have children, we are no longer ONE. You can never allow yourself to think ME again. Everything and choice you make, will affect your family. Consequences of such actions, will affect generations to come.

    I trust, that you will gain a greater testimony of these truths, as your family progresses and you see the blessings of your commitment. It is the greatest gift that you can give to your children.


  7. Hi Kelly -

    One thing I know for sure, is that children of divorce grow up and eventually come to know the truth, for themselves. Children of divorce, are often forced to choose a parent. The parent with custody, often has the power to create loyalties to them, over the other parent. Most kids don't handle this situation, too well.

    I am a strong believer in allowing courts to enforce parental relationships. When I was a child, the courts were focused on the mother. Today, fathers have rights and should claim them. Believe me, I know this is no picnic for dads. It can be hard on the current marriage and family. Right?

    In divorce, fathers in particular, must and should FIGHT for a relationship with their children. Relationships are developed with your children, when they are children. Thinking that things will resolve when the child is an adult, rarely happens. Thus, the reason so many children of divorce, have that "whole" in their souls. If at all possible, I would strongly encourage your husband to do all that he can, to be there for his daughter, regardless of his ex-wife's agenda.

    I wish you the best. I know how challenging this is, as the "step" mother. It is so much easier to act like the whole thing doesn't exist. But your husband needs to know, that you feel as strongly about these things, as he does. My best to you. Thanks for sharing:-)


    p.s. Teenage girls desperately need their fathers. But don't be surprised if she is angry with him and tends to push him away. If this happens, I would get them into counseling. Healing oftentimes, requires professional help.

  8. Hi Amy -

    Even with the best of intentions to keep a family together, divorce happens. You seem to really be conscientious of the affects of your divorce, on your children. You know, whether it's a divorce or something else in life, it is very difficult to spare our children emotional pain.

    For most children, the "pain" of divorce emanates from their parents inability to allow each other, to both continue to nurture their children. It is an odd, but common phenomenon, that divorced parents each have the need to not be seen as a bad guy to their children, in the ending of the family.

    Most divorced parents fall into this trap, often without even realizing the turmoil they cause within their children.

    Is there such a thing as a "healthy" divorce? Nope! However, even when a divorce happens, healthy relationships for children with both of their parents are possible. Making sure that we understand that our children deserve and need both relationships for their well-being, is the key to their long-term happiness and success in life.

    Hanging on to the guilt of a divorce, can never be a positive thing. Moving forward with love, forgiveness and encouraging positive parental relationships for your children -- is your best redemption, for now:-)

    The atonement is all of our hope, that these telestial experiences - will ultimately be made whole.


  9. This was a great blog to read. Thanks to LDS Nana for starting the dialogue and to those that commented. I am grateful that my parents stayed married. My mother's parents divorced and I know that if affected her tremendously. As Kathryn's sister in law for nearly 30 years, I appreciate the example she is to her family.

  10. Thank you for sharing your a bit of yourself in this. Beautiful post. :)

  11. There is a wonderful book out there (it may no longer be in print, not sure, but if isn't, try half.com) called "Healing Hearts: Helping Children and Adults Recover from Divorce". Granted, both parents need to work at the principles in this book to make things better for the children, but it can make a huge difference for those children.

    Sadly, in some divorces it isn't healthy for children to be in contact with both parents. After my children's father abducted and abused them we had to switch the visitation to supervised only and he didn't bother to see them again until my daughter went to visit him when she was 17 1/2. Apparently it didn't go well. (This was after she had run away to live with a boyfriend...yes, the study is correct about daughters who grow up without dads...and about sons...my youngest is in drug/alcohol treatment right now as a requirement of his probation.)

    It's definitely ideal if both parents can work out the issues they have and get the help that they need to do so.

    Teresa Marie

    PS I asked my son (the youngest, now 16 1/2, his dad left when he was 3 1/2 and the last time he saw him he was 5) if he would've liked having a dad around for a dad/son relationship and he told me that he didn't know because he didn't know what that would've been like.


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