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Brother Larry M. Gibson, first counselor of the Young Men General Presidency, shared lessons he learned as a child and as a father at the priesthood session of general conference on Saturday, April 4.
“I loved my father and how he taught. I wanted to be like him. He planted in my heart the desire to be a good father, and my deepest hope is that I am living up to his example,” he said.
Brother Gibson recounted a story of when he took his 12- and 13-year-old sons on a competition to walk 50 miles in less than 20 hours. After walking an entire night and most of the next day, Brother Gibson’s sons collapsed at home without even eating. Brother Gibson rested before checking on his sons.
His oldest son told him that was the hardest thing he’d ever done and would never, ever do it again, unless his own son in the future wanted him to. “Tears came as I expressed how grateful I was for him,” Brother Gibson said. “I told him I knew he was going to be a much better father than I was.”
Brother Gibson said the scripture from John 5:19, “The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do,” has taken on a new meaning for him as a father.
Brother Gibson also encouraged men to share the gospel and quoted Martin Luther: “Preach the gospel at all times. And when necessary, use words,” he said.
He encouraged men to become the types of fathers that Heavenly Father would have them be. He said the reason men are on earth is to learn to be fathers.