Gustive Olaf Larson was born in 1897 in Holladay, Utah to Swedish immigrant parents. He was the youngest of four children. After attending Granite High School and then the University of Utah. He graduated in 1920 with a B.A. in History. Then he taught at Weber College from 1920-1921. Soon after the school year he was called serve in the California Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1921 to 1924. Once upon being released he moved to Richfield, Utah and became the principal of the LDS Seminary. In Richfield he met Virginia Bean. They were married in February of 1926. In 1927 he was awarded his master's degree from the University of Utah. Larson began his professional work as Principal of the Cedar City, LDS Seminary in the year of 1926-1927.He became the very first director of the Institutes of Religion in the LDS Church. During1930 Larson banded together with William R. Palmer and Arthur Fife to try and homestead Dry Creek; which had not yet become apart of Zions National Park. In 1940 they were informed by the government they did not succeed. In the years 1936 to 1939 Gus and Virginia were called to preside over the LDS Swedish Mission. In 1954 he transferred to Brigham Young University and taught in the department of Religion and History until retirement in 1972. In the spring of 1974 Gustive was presented with an honorary doctorate from Southern Utah State College.