While a young man, Brother Larry M. Gibson, who was released Saturday afternoon after having served since 2009 as first counselor in the Young Men general presidency, shared in the priesthood session of conference a significant lesson he learned from his father.
Showing his son a silver dollar, the father noted that if it were melted down and mixed with the right ingredients, it would become silver nitrate, which forms the reflective surface of a mirror.
“If you focus on the silver all you will see is yourself and, like a veil, it will keep you from seeing clearly the eternal destiny Heavenly Father has prepared just for you,” Brother Gibson quoted his father as saying.
“He told me to keep the dollar and never lose it,” Brother Gibson remembered. “Each time I looked at it, I was to think about the eternal destiny that Heavenly Father has for me.”
Brother Gibson declared, “Let our eternal destiny drive all of our decisions. Regardless of how difficult those decisions may be, Father will sustain us.”
He said he learned the power of such a vision when he joined his 12- and 13-year-old sons for a 50/20 competition — walking 50 miles in less than 20 hours.
After some pain-filled rest following the event, Brother Gibson went to each son in turn. He promised the younger son: “When you go on your mission, you will never have to walk 50 miles in one day.”
The reply was “Good, Dad. Then I’m going.”
The older son brought tears to his father’s eyes when he said, “That was the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life, and I will never, ever do it again — unless my son wants me to.”
“My heart was full because at his young and tender age he already recognized that one of his most sacred priesthood duties was to be a father,” Brother Gibson said. “He had no fear of that role and title — the very title that God Himself wants us to use when we speak with Him.”
He counseled fathers that their sons will learn how to be husbands and fathers by observing the way the fathers fulfill their roles.
“Do they know how much you love and cherish their mother and how much you love being their father?” he asked. “Through your example they can learn how to respect, honor and protect womanhood.”
He asked: “Do your sons see you striving to do what Heavenly Father would have them do?”