Though the traditional definition of the family consists of blood relatives, many people have moved to the opinion that a true family is more about love and support. Similarly, the people who are being celebrated this Fathers Day aren’t always biological fathers.
Kathrine Price, an Idaho Falls local, said that family is “a group of people that you trust and can rely on when the world gives you too much to handle … just a strong, reliable support group.”
Price thinks that people need to earn the title of family. Just because they’re blood relatives doesn’t mean they are family, and family isn’t always connected by blood.
“I don’t think a family can be just blood relatives, that’s just who you share DNA with.” Price said.
For her, her father figure is both. Price views him as family because she can talk to him about anything and he won’t get defensive. He makes her feel safe. He’s a strong, healthy masculine figure. He’s OK with her asking tons of questions. Even when they’re dumb, there’s no shaming from him. She says they also have a similar sense of humor, which helps.
“In short, he’s someone that I can always kind of relax around,” Price said.
Jacob Klein, a sophomore studying theater at BYU-Idaho, doesn’t really have a blood-related father in his life, but he still had father figures and help in growing to be a good man.
“So many things went into play,” Klein said.
An African proverb states that “it takes a village to raise a child.” Many people helped shape Klein.
Klein’s bishop in his home ward was there when he got baptized, then later when the bishop was a stake president, he encouraged Klein to go on a proselyting mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Older friends, though not yet fathers, taught Klein how to be a good man. Though the father-like figure who helped him the most, he said, was his uncle.
Nicolas Hopkins shared a similar experience and attributes ofbeing a good man to his Uncle Ben. When Hopkins was younger, his Uncle Ben took him out once a week, just to spend time with him. Uncle Ben did this for all Hopkins’ siblings, too.
Uncle Ben taught Hopkins “manly” things like electrical, lawn and building skills.
“He’s helped my mother and me multiple times financially,” Hopkins said. “Whenever I needed male advice, he would always give me the best male advice. That’s why he’s a father figure to me.”