Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Henry B. Eyring on fanning the spark of faith

President Henry B. Eyring (1933- ) served in the Presiding Bishopric from 1985-1992, as a Seventy from 1992-1995, then was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles. He has served in the First Presidency since 2007.
"I think of those whose hearts ache over promises yet unfulfilled. Tonight, or tomorrow, many of us will pray with real intent, and perhaps with tears, over someone whose happiness would bring us happiness, who has been promised all the blessings of peace that come with baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost, and yet who counts the promises worthless. None of us is immune, because all of us have circles of love large enough to include such people. My heart is drawn especially to those asking the question we all have asked: 'How can I be sure I have done all I can to help?'
"Fifty years ago, in October conference, President J. Reuben Clark, Jr., of the First Presidency, gave this answer, which I carry copied on a card:
"'It is my hope and my belief that the Lord never permits the light of faith wholly to be extinguished in any human heart, however faint the light may glow. The Lord has provided that there shall still be there a spark which, with teaching, with the spirit of righteousness, with love, with tenderness, with example, with living the Gospel, shall brighten and glow again, however darkened the mind may have been. And if we shall fail so to reach those among us of our own whose faith has dwindled low, we shall fail in one of the main things which the Lord expects at our hands' (in Conference Report, Oct. 1936, p. 114).
"That lovely metaphor—of a spark, a spark of faith—gives me confidence. President Clark pictured the spark nearly hidden, almost smothered by the ashes of transgression. It may be so small that the person can't feel its warmth. The heart may be hardened. Even the Holy Spirit may have been forced to withdraw. But the spark still lives, and glows, and may be fanned to flame."
- Henry B. Eyring, "The Spark of Faith," Ensign, November 1986, pp. 73-75
Click here to read the full talk

President Eyring has a tender, sensitive heart. In this address, he offered comfort and hope to those who have family members or others close to them who have let the light of the Gospel fade from their lives.

President Eyring found comfort in this beautiful analogy shared fifty years earlier by one of his predecessors in leadership, President J. Reuben Clark Jr., who was then serving as a counselor to President Heber J. Grant:

Even in what appears to be the darkest of lives, "the spark still lives, and glows, and may be fanned to flame." What a beautiful promise of hope!

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