Wednesday, February 14, 2018

President Henry B. Eyring on the tests of our mortal lives

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.
"I wish to bear witness of God’s power of deliverance. At some point in our lives we will all need that power. Every person living is in the midst of a test. We have been granted by God the precious gift of life in a world created as a proving ground and a preparatory school. The tests we will face, their severity, their timing, and their duration will be unique for each of us. But two things will be the same for all of us. They are part of the design for mortal life.
"First, the tests at times will stretch us enough for us to feel the need for help beyond our own. And, second, God in His kindness and wisdom has made the power of deliverance available to us.
"Now you might well ask, 'Since Heavenly Father loves us, why does His plan of happiness include trials that could overwhelm us?' It is because His purpose is to offer us eternal life. He wants to give us a happiness that is only possible as we live as families forever in glory with Him. And trials are necessary for us to be shaped and made fit to receive that happiness that comes as we qualify for the greatest of all the gifts of God."
- Henry B. Eyring, "The Power of Deliverance," BYU devotional Jan. 15, 2008
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

Church leaders often acknowledge the challenges we face in life, and provide encouragement and suggestions in dealing with them. In this case, President Eyring points out that many of our challenges are actually tests, customized to each of our individual, personal needs and circumstances by a loving God who wants to prove and to prepare us. But the test would not accomplish those goals unless it stretched us beyond our "comfort zones." This is a key concept in our understanding of the mortal experience:

Our tests and trials, then, are designed to teach us that we can't survive without His help; and that He is always there to offer that help! As we learn to turn to God and depend upon His help and guidance, we will be blessed with greater insight, greater strength, and greater power to accomplish the things He has in store for us. He is eager to bless us with the greatest of all gifts as we learn to turn to Him!

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

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