Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Henry B. Eyring on the divine perspective of adversity

President Henry B. Eyring (born May 31, 1933 - 83 years ago today!) 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.
"With all the differences in our lives, we have at least one challenge in common. We all must deal with adversity. There may be periods, sometimes long ones, when our lives seem to flow with little difficulty. But it is in the nature of our being human that comfort gives way to distress, periods of good health come to an end, and misfortunes arrive. Particularly when the comfortable times have gone on for a while, the arrival of suffering or the loss of material security can bring fear and sometimes even anger....
"My purpose today is to assure you that our Heavenly Father and the Savior live and that They love all humanity. The very opportunity for us to face adversity and affliction is part of the evidence of Their infinite love. God gave us the gift of living in mortality so that we could be prepared to receive the greatest of all the gifts of God, which is eternal life. Then our spirits will be changed. We will become able to want what God wants, to think as He thinks, and thus be prepared for the trust of an endless posterity to teach and to lead through tests to be raised up to qualify to live forever in eternal life.
"It is clear that for us to have that gift and to be given that trust, we must be transformed through making righteous choices where that is hard to do. We are prepared for so great a trust by passing through trying and testing experiences in mortality. That education can come only as we are subject to trials while serving God and others for Him."
- Henry B. Eyring, "Adversity," Ensign, May 2009, p. 23
Click here to read the full talk

In some ways, this is a "hard doctrine"—life isn't supposed to be easy. There will be periods of simplicity and comfort, when everything seems to go along perfectly; but eventually, challenges will come to each and all. That's part of the divine plan, because the greatest growth and the choicest blessings can come as we learn to pass through those challenging times.

If we react to difficult times only with "fear and anger" we will fail to gain the growth and strength that might come. There's a sweetness of spirit that recognizes that in an eternal scheme, "thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment" (D&C 121:7) and that truly, "all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good" (D&C 122:7). Joseph Smith learned that, and we should each pray for that kind of faith and trust in a loving God; and, as President Eyring notes, spend our efforts "serving God and others for Him."

No comments:

Post a Comment

// Customization to close archive widget on first view - DK 3/15