Two Living Examples
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“Two Living Examples,” Ensign, June 2019

Until We Meet Again

Two Living Examples

By the way they live, my father and father-in-law have helped me know how to teach my children about the Father and the Son.

Two Living Examples

Brian K. Ashton’s father, Kent L Ashton (right), and father-in-law, J. Lawrence Earl (left), as missionaries

Photographs courtesy of the author

I am fortunate to have two fathers—my dad and my father-in-law—who have taught me that one of the primary roles of fathers is to teach their children about Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.

Although they grew up with fathers who were not active in the gospel, both my dad and my father-in-law served missions. On his mission, my dad came to love the scriptures. From them he learned that fathers—just like Heavenly Father—should teach about, testify of, and point their children toward Jesus Christ (see, for example, Joseph Smith—History 1:17). Because of what my father learned as a missionary, he and my mother consistently led our family in daily scripture study, where we learned about the Savior, about His life and mission, and about Heavenly Father.

I remember how my father frequently bore testimony of Jesus Christ. For example, one day our family was eating at a restaurant. With two adults and five or six children in tow at that time, we were hard to miss. When a gentleman who had been sitting nearby finished his meal, he complimented my parents on the behavior of their children. My father told him our behavior was a result of our faith in Jesus Christ and His teachings. My dad’s willingness to share his testimony, even in everyday situations like this, greatly strengthened my own testimony.

My father-in-law internalized Doctrine and Covenants 121:41–46 on his mission. From these verses, he learned how Heavenly Father treats His children—humbly, with persuasion, long-suffering, gentleness, meekness, love unfeigned, kindness, and pure knowledge. My father-in-law decided he would treat his family and others in this manner. As I came to know my father-in-law, his example had a profound impact on me and helped me see the Father and the Son as beings who also act this way.

I am so grateful for these two fathers, who have taught me by their living examples. They have blessed me eternally. I am now trying to follow their examples by teaching my children about Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father, just as these men taught me.