Counsel to Men and Boys

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President Spencer W. Kimball

"We love the women of the Church! We have great respect for them.

...I want to counsel you as sons, brothers, fathers, and husbands. As you serve with the women of the Church, follow what Paul said when he urged Timothy to "intreat the elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity" (1 Tim. 5:1-2). We men of the priesthood ought to so do. We must be different than other men, and I am sure most priesthood holders are. Paul's suggestion that we treat older women as if they were our mothers and younger women as if they were our sisters and to do so with "all purity" is excellent instruction. Men of the world may disregard women or see them only as objects of desire or as someone to be used for selfish purposes. Let us, however, be different in our conduct and in our relationships with women.

Peter urged us to give honor unto our wives. (See 1 Pet. 3:7.) It seems to me we should be even more courteous to our wives and mothers, our sisters and our daughters, than we are to others. When Paul said that a man who did not provide for his own and those of his own household was "worse than an infidel" (1 Tim. 5:8), I like to think of providing for our own as including providing them with affectional security as well as economic security. When the Lord told us in this dispensation that "women have claim on their husbands for their maintenance" (D&C 83:2), I like to think of maintenance as including our obligation to maintain loving affection and to provide consideration and thoughtfulness as well as food.

President Lee once observed that the "needy" around us may need friendship and fellowship as well as food. I sometimes think our own Latter-day Saint women are "needy" just because some of us are not as thoughtful and considerate of them as we should be. Our pantries can be filled with food and yet our sisters can be starved for affection and recognition.

Let us, brethren, support the sisters of our household in their Church callings as they so wonderfully support us. Let us not neglect them simply because they sometimes go on being good even when they are neglected.

Let our homes be filled with praise and commendation for all those of our household. Let us also, brethren, not get so concerned with our priesthood peers, those men we are associated with in our church assignments, that we neglect our eternal companions, for our association with our wives will be forever.

Excerpt from Priesthood Session, Gen. Conf., Oct., 1978