I would always be right next to him with my little plastic tools, because I wanted to help, and I wanted to be near my father. It was always a great experience and we grew together. I remember doing things with my dad and having a pretty good relationship with him. But, when I was a teenager, things began to change. In my eyes the words to one of my favorite songs at the time fit me perfectly. It was "Perfect" by Simple Plan:
"Hey dad look at me
Think back and talk to me
Did I grow up according to plan?
And do you think I'm wasting my time doing things I wanna do?
But it hurts when you disapprove all along
And now I try hard to make it
I just want to make you proud
I'm never gonna be good enough for you
I can't be perfect"
That was how I felt, like no matter what I did it wasn't good enough for my father. It seemed as though we disagreed on almost everything!
Looking back, it wasn't as bad as I imagined it to be, but it wasn't the best it could be. After high school I went to School in Utah at BYU, 700 miles away from my father. I attended Priesthood Session of General Conference and listened to the talk "Father's and Sons: A Remarkable Relationship" by Elder M. Russell Ballard. As he talked, the guilt and remorse came into my heart. I knew that I had not been the son I should have been, and this whole time I had blamed it on my dad! As soon as I got back to my apartment I called my dad. Come to find out we both had thought the same things during that talk. We talked and cried on the phone that night and I committed myself to improve my relationship with my father. It is true "I can't be perfect," I messed up and still do, but our relationship grew. I love my dad so much, and still think about the things that I missed out on in my teenage years. I have realized how much I took that special bond between a father and a son for granted. But I truly know that my dad loves me, and I love him so much! I do have great childhood memories with my father. You can read some of them in my post tomorrow!
I know that I am not the only youth who took my relationship with my father for granted. If you are one of those youth, or know one, plead with them to strengthen their relationship with their father, it will be one of the best things they will do. Here is a video about a young man, striving to strengthen his relationship with his father in response to Elder Ballard's same talk that touched me!
I think often this same type of thing happens between us and our Heavenly Father. We disagree, grow anger and begin to turn away. Sometimes we feel like he doesn't love us anymore or that we can never live up to who he wants us to be. We take that deep relationship we can and should have with him for granted. But I testify with every fiber of my being that we can live up to who he wants us to be, we can please him, and we can have a deep rooted relationship with him. Just as I repaired my relationship with my father, so can all of us repair our relationship with our Eternal Father. Our elder brother suffered for us that we can repair relationships, both here and in the eternities! Access the atonement and heal wounds!
There is no time like the present to build and strength relationships with our fathers, both the one here and the one above!!