Friday, February 3, 2017

President Henry B. Eyring on God's love and our agency

President Henry B. Eyring (born May 31, 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.
"We can depend on that unfailing desire of the Savior to bring all of Heavenly Father's spirit children back to their home with Him. Every faithful parent, grandparent, and great-grandparent shares in that desire. Heavenly Father and the Savior are our perfect examples of what we can and must do. They never force righteousness because righteousness must be chosen. They make righteousness discernible to us, and They let us see that its fruits are delicious.
"Every person born into the world receives the Light of Christ, which helps us see and feel what is right and what is wrong. God has sent mortal servants who can, by the Holy Ghost, help us recognize what He would have us do and what He forbids. God makes it attractive to choose the right by letting us feel the effects of our choices. If we choose the right, we will find happiness—in time. If we choose evil, there comes sorrow and regret—in time. Those effects are sure. Yet they are often delayed for a purpose. If the blessings were immediate, choosing the right would not build faith. And since sorrow is also sometimes greatly delayed, it takes faith to feel the need to seek forgiveness for sin early rather than after we feel its sorrowful and painful effects....
"I suggest that you take both the short and the long view as you try to give the inheritance of hope to your family. In the short run, there will be troubles and Satan will roar. And there are things to wait for patiently, in faith, knowing that the Lord acts in His own time and in His own way."
- Henry B. Eyring, "A Priceless Heritage of Hope," Ensign, May 2014, pp. 22-25
Click here to read or listen to the full article

This is an important premise: the Savior has a great desire to "bring all of Heavenly Father's spirit children back to their home with Him." Just like any parent or grandparent, He wants to help us find the greatest peace, happiness, and success. But that can't be accomplished by force or coercion; only by showing us the joy that's available through righteousness, and allowing us to then choose to follow that path.

I love this thought. God helps us want to choose the right by allowing us to feel consequences of our choices. Good choices eventually bring joy; bad choices eventually bring regret. The consequences are not always immediate, so that we can learn to develop faith; but they are clear and sure to those who are alert and aware.

Awareness of both short-term and long-term situations becomes crucial. Sometimes in the midst of our immediate struggles and challenges, we forget the eventual triumph of good and resolution of conflict and sorrow. "Satan will roar" in the short-term; but the Lord will triumph eventually. "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." (Psalms 30:5)

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