I have a 23-year-old son.
He is autistic. And non-verbal.
He uses a device for rudimentary communication (e.g., I want Arby’s, I want McDonald’s, etc.), but it is very basic.
Communication with him at any level is tough, so I totally sympathize with others who are living in similar situation.
The young man in the video below, Gibson, was born with a rare for of cerebral palsy that mostly effects the functions of his mouth.
Like my son, Gibson uses an augmentative communication device to speak.
He is extremely hard working, kind, and loving. Despite his challenges, he is one of the happiest people you will ever meet and his love of life and the gospel is contagious!
Gibson makes everyone around him better.
Gibson was called to be a Temple and Family History Consultant in his ward recently, and he has fallen in love with the work! Every month, he meets with two families and teaches them what they can do to be a part of temple and family history work.
Gibson also spoke at church on family history and temple work. His mom had him do it again when they got home so she could share it (and she was kind enough to allow us to share it here on MLH)!
His parents took Gibson and his siblings to the Salt Lake Temple some time ago. It was at a time in his mother’s life and journey with Gibson where she wasn’t sure about where he was going and how she could help him along the way. She relays . . .
The thing that weighed most heavy on my mother heart was whether or not he would be able to serve a full time mission, a goal and desire of his. As we walked the grounds of the temple, I couldn’t help but notice that there were many missionaries with disabilities.
I finally went up to a group and asked “What mission are you serving in?” They replied with enthusiasm and pride: “We serve in the family history library.”
At that moment, my heart was filled and I knew that Gibson would have a place in the Lord’s work. The Lord reserved Gibson for this time for many reasons; he was given challenges for many reasons. I believe that one of those reasons was so that he would be forced to be extremely tech savvy (because his life and independence depend on it), and because of that knowledge, he would have the talents and capabilities to be a servant of the Lord in bringing about miracles with family history, genealogy, and temple work.
The Lord’s hand has directed Gibson’s life at every turn. It is one of my greatest joys and blessings to be able to witness the connection Gibson has to his Savior.
President Russell M Nelson said “we are engaged in the work of the Almighty God. We are His covenant children, He can count on us.” He can definitely count on Gibson.