Sunday, November 26, 2017

President Henry B. Eyring on finding strengths instead of faults in others

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.
"It has always been hard to recognize in fallible human beings the authorized servants of God. Paul must have seemed an ordinary man to many. Joseph Smith’s cheerful disposition was seen by some as not fitting their expectations for a prophet of God.
"Satan will always work on the Saints of God to undermine their faith in priesthood keys. One way he does it is to point out the humanity of those who hold them. He can in that way weaken our testimony and so cut us loose from the line of keys by which the Lord ties us to Him and can take us and our families home to Him and to our Heavenly Father....
"The warning for us is plain. If we look for human frailty in humans, we will always find it. When we focus on finding the frailties of those who hold priesthood keys, we run risks for ourselves. When we speak or write to others of such frailties, we put them at risk.
"We live in a world where finding fault in others seems to be the favorite blood sport. It has long been the basis of political campaign strategy. It is the theme of much television programming across the world. It sells newspapers. Whenever we meet anyone, our first, almost unconscious reaction may be to look for imperfections.
"To keep ourselves grounded in the Lord’s Church, we can and must train our eyes to recognize the power of the Lord in the service of those He has called. We must be worthy of the companionship of the Holy Ghost. And we need to pray for the Holy Ghost to help us know that men who lead us hold this power. For me, such prayers are most often answered when I am fully engaged in the Lord’s service myself."
- Henry B. Eyring, "Faith and Keys," General Conference, October 2004
Click here to read or listen to the full article

Can imperfect people still be instruments in the hands of God? Do "fallible human beings" have callings to serve, even in significant leadership roles? The answer is most certainly yes. But as President Eyring points out, the Adversary uses this fact to undermine our faith in the Lord's Church and its leadership as we sometimes see "the humanity" of those who hold priesthood keys.

The critical skill we must develop is the ability to distinguish between the person and the position. God has only imperfect men and women to work with and through in this life; we all fall short in some way. But in spite of that, He is able to use whatever efforts we offer Him to bring to pass much good. In spite of the mud-slinging tendency of the world, we must never forget that a perfect God may still work His perfect plan using imperfect people.

So it's critical for us to learn to look for the signs of God's power being manifest, regardless of who currently and temporarily holds the keys to direct the work. It is our responsibility to be worthy of the Holy Ghost, who will help us to see God's hand in the actions of others.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2017)

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