What does it mean for an LDS man to be a patriarch in his home?


Some brethren misunderstand the concept of being a patriarch in the home and think that patriarch equates to “Boss”. That is not a Gospel principle.

President Howard W Hunter:

A man who holds the priesthood accepts his wife as a partner in the leadership of the home and family with full knowledge of and full participation in all decisions relating thereto. ..The Lord intended that the wife be a helpmeet for man (meet means equal)—that is, a companion equal and necessary in full partnership. Presiding in righteousness necessitates a shared responsibility between husband and wife; together you act with knowledge and participation in all family matters.

Notice that President Hunter talks about a full partnership – our wives are not junior partners or sleeping partners – they are full partners.

Chieko Okazaki:

Let me begin by stating the obvious: a partnership occurs between equals. They don’t have to be identical but they do have to be equal. They need to be equal in commitment to the marriage itself.

Solomon explained the benefit of working and being together as “two are better than one because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall one will pick up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; he hath not another to help him up.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)


President Howard W Hunter:

Keep yourselves above any domineering or unworthy behavior in the tender, intimate relationship between husband and wife. Because marriage is ordained of God, the intimate relationship between husbands and wives is good and honorable in the eyes of God. He has commanded that they be one flesh and that they multiply and replenish the earth (see Moses 2:28; Moses 3:24). You are to love your wife as Christ loved the Church and gave himself for it (see Eph. 5:25–31).

President Gordon B Hinckley:

If you will make your first concern the comfort, the well-being and the happiness of your companion, sublimating any personal concern to that loftier goal, you will be happy, and your marriage will go on through eternity.

President Hinckley taught on several occasions that one’s spouse should be treated in special regard. He said that a husband should regard his wife as the greatest treasure. (Matt 6:21). A husband is to love his wife with all his heart and cleave unto her and none else (see D&C 42:22–26). This is the only time in scripture where the Lord asks us to love anything or anyone with all thy heart beside Himself.

President Ezra Taft Benson gave husbands the following counsel:

“Once you determine that a high priority in your life is to see that your wife and your children are happy, then you will do all in your power to do so. I am not just speaking of satisfying material desires, but of filling other vital needs such as appreciation, compliments, comforting, encouraging, listening, and giving love and affection.” (In Conference Report, Apr. 1981, p. 47; or Ensign, May 1981, p. 34.)


In recent conferences the Lord’s servants have warned of the dangers of pornography. Jesus taught whoesoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. (Matthew 5:28)

President Howard W Hunter:

Pornography, flirtations, and unwholesome fantasies erode one’s character and strike at the foundation of a happy marriage. Unity and trust within a marriage are thereby destroyed. One who does not control his thoughts and thus commits adultery in his heart, if he does not repent, shall not have the Spirit, but shall deny the faith and shall fear (see D&C 42:23; D&C 63:16).


Righteousness is a state of being. When we keep the laws and commandments of the Gospel we become righteous.

Elder Tom L Perry:

Brethren, your first and most responsible role in life and in the eternities is to be a righteous husband.

Elder Bruce R McConkie:

“….from the moment we are sealed together by the power and authority of the holy priesthood – the power to bind on earth and have it sealed eternally in the heavens – from that moment everything connected with revealed religion is designed to help us keep the terms and conditions of our marriage covenant, so that this covenant will have efficacy, virtue and force in the life to come.” (Improvement Era June 1970)


Dr Brent Barlow:

While many men are physically present in the home, they are often psychologically absent. Too many husbands bring home unfinished work or spend a disproportionate time working at hobbies, reading newspapers, taking catnaps or watching television. A husband’s physical presence in the home should be matched by his psychological presence. Wives don’t like to be ignored, particularly when husbands are at home.” (What Wives Expect of Husbands p 128)


President David O McKay:

Let me assure you brethren, that some day you will have a Personal Priesthood interview with the Savior Himself. If you are interested, I will tell you the order in which he will ask you to account for your earthly responsibilities.

First, he will request an accountability report about your relationship with your wife. Have you actively been engaged in making her happy and ensuring that her needs have been met as an individual?
Second, he will want an accountability report about each of your children, individually. He will not attempt to have this for simply a family stewardship, but will request information about your relationship to each and every child.
Third, He will want to know what you personally have done with the talents you were given in the pre-existence.
Fourth, He will want a summary of your activity in your church assignments. He will not necessarily be interested in what assignments you have had, for in his eyes the home teacher and the mission presidents are probably equals, He will request a summary of how you have been of service to your fellowmen in your church assignments.
Fifth, he will have no interest in how you earned your living, but if you were honest in all your dealings.
Sixth, He will ask for an accountability on what you have done to contribute in a positive manner to your community, state, country, and the world

Elder Tom L Perry:

Every child needs a sense of security. I often think of the security of our old family home. It was a fortress against the adversary. Each morning and evening it was blessed by the priesthood as we would kneel in family prayer. That power was also manifest as my father blessed his family in time of need.

President Howard W Hunter:

Take seriously your responsibility to teach the gospel to your family through regular family home evening, family prayer, devotional and scripture-reading time, and other teaching moments. Give special emphasis to preparation for missionary service and temple marriage. As patriarch in the home, exercise your priesthood through performing the appropriate ordinances for your family and by giving blessings to your wife and children. Next to your own salvation, brethren, there is nothing so important to you as the salvation of your wife and children.


George Eliot:

I like not only to be loved but to be told that I am loved; the realm of silence is large enough beyond the grave.

President Harold B Lee:

Marriages are not successful merely because these couples have fewer problems than others, but they are successful because, when problems come, as come they will, a husband and wife sit down together to solve their problems like grown-up mature individuals, rather than with the immaturity of adolescence.” (Teachings of Harold B Lee p248)


Elder Bruce R Hafen:

 The Lord put Adam and Eve on the earth as full grown people. Why couldn’t he have done that with this boy of ours?” His wife wisely replied, “God gave us that child to make Christians out of us.” (World Congress of Families 1999)

President Howard W Hunter:

A successful parent is one who has loved, one who has sacrificed, and one who has cared for, taught, and ministered to the needs of a child. If you have done all these and your child is still wayward or troublesome or worldly, it could well be that you are, nevertheless, a successful parent. Perhaps there are children who have come into the world that would be a challenge to any set of parents under any circumstances. Likewise, perhaps there are others who would bless the lives of, and be a joy to, almost any father or mother. My concern today is that there are parents who may be pronouncing harsh judgements upon themselves and may be allowing these feelings to destroy their lives, when in fact they have done their best and should continue in faith.


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