Thursday, January 18, 2018

President Henry B. Eyring on staying close to God

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 need to feel now that God knows us and loves us as individuals. There are times you have felt the closeness of God, your Father, and that you are his child. Those times can come more often. There is a simple way to think about it.
"If you want to stay close to someone who has been dear to you, but from whom you are separated, you know how to do it. You would find a way to speak to them, you would listen to them, and you would discover ways to do things for each other. The more often that happened, the longer it went on, the deeper would be the bond of affection. If much time passed without the speaking, the listening, and the doing, the bond would weaken.
"God is perfect and omnipotent, and you and I are mortal. But he is our Father, he loves us, and he offers the same opportunity to draw closer to him as would a loving friend. And you will do it in much the same way: speaking, listening, and doing."
- Henry B. Eyring, "To Draw Closer to God," General Conference April 1991
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

The opening statement of this excerpt is important: we must know of God's love for us and feel its influence. And the way to feel that more strongly and more frequently is clear. President Eyring shares an analogy that is profound, but simple and obvious: just as we must follow steps to stay close to those we love in this life, we must follow similar steps to create and retain a nurturing relationship with our Heavenly Father.

So we must learn to speak, to listen, and to do as we nurture our relationship with God. President Eyring describes aspects of those activities in the article, and it's a worthwhile review of fundamental counsel. It's always impressive how great the promises and the blessings are when we perform the basic actions of a disciple!

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2018)

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