Touching Advice and Stories Apostles Have Shared About Fatherhood

by | Jun. 12, 2019

Mormon Life

Elder Gary E. Stevenson

Photograph courtesy of the Stevenson family, taken from ChurchofJesusChrist.org.

When Gary Stevenson was about 11 years old, his father took him hiking. “I was jumping from rock to rock in front of my father,” he remembers. “I intended to climb a large rock and look down. As I clambered toward the top of the boulder, he grabbed me by my belt and pulled me down.

“‘What’s the matter?’ I said, and he replied, ‘Don’t climb on that rock. Let’s just keep on the trail.’ A moment later as we looked down from higher up the trail, we could see a rattlesnake on top of the rock, basking in the sun.

“‘That’s why I pulled you back,’ my father explained.

“Later as we were driving home, I knew he was waiting for me to ask the question: ‘How did you know the snake was there?’ He said, ‘Let me teach you about the Holy Ghost.’ We had an impromptu lesson about the roles the Holy Ghost can have in our lives: protector, comforter, and one who testifies. ‘In this case,’ my father shared, ‘the Holy Ghost was protecting you through me. He warned me to pull you away.’”

This experience, though simple, helped Elder Stevenson to understand that when promptings of the Spirit are received, they should be accepted and acted upon. It was one of many lessons gleaned from his father.

Quoted from "Elder Gary E. Stevenson: An Understanding Heart"

Elder Dale G. Renlund

Photo from Facebook.

Life couldn’t get any busier for Dale and Ruth Renlund. They were in their late 20s, living in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. Dale had completed medical school at the University of Utah. He and Ruth had moved across the country so he could undertake a demanding and prestigious medical residency at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. They had a beautiful young daughter, Ashley. His precious wife, Ruth, was undergoing cancer treatments, and Dale had obediently accepted a call to serve as bishop.

As he visited ward members, Dale sometimes took Ashley with him. One day they visited a less-active member. “I knew that no one would be able to turn away this adorable little girl at my side,” remembers Elder Renlund. He knocked on the door of a man who had angrily dismissed Bishop Renlund’s counselor sometime earlier.

When the man opened the door, he was so large he filled the door frame. He glared at Bishop Renlund. Four-year-old Ashley blurted out, “Well, can we come in or what?”

Surprisingly, the man said, “I guess so. Come in.”

When they were seated inside, the man told Bishop Renlund he did not believe the Church was true, nor did he believe in Jesus Christ. He kept talking angrily while Ashley played with a toy. Finally she got off her chair, cupped her hand to her father’s ear, and whispered loudly, “Daddy, tell him the truth.”

So he did. Bishop Renlund bore his testimony to the man. He recalls, “The man’s attitude softened, and the Spirit came into his home.”

Quoted from "Elder Dale G. Renlund: An Obedient Servant"

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