Tuesday, March 6, 2018

President Henry B. Eyring on safety in following the Lord

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.
"The Lord is anxious to lead us to the safety of higher ground, away from the path of physical and spiritual danger. His upward path will require us to climb. My mother used to say to me when I complained that things were hard, 'If you are on the right path, it will always be uphill.' And as the world becomes darker and more dangerous, we must keep climbing. It will be our choice whether or not to move up or to stay where we are. But the Lord will invite and guide us upward by the direction of the Holy Ghost, which He sends to His leaders and to His people who will receive it.
"The mists of spiritual darkness will become more dense as we climb. They are described in the Book of Mormon this way: 'And the mists of darkness are the temptations of the devil, which blindeth the eyes, and hardeneth the hearts of the children of men, and leadeth them away into broad roads, that they perish and are lost' (1 Nephi 12:17).
"But the word of God will guide those who develop the capacity to receive it through the ministrations of the Holy Ghost. A clear light piercing the darkness will show the way to those who have taken the Holy Ghost as a trusted and constant traveling companion."
- Henry B. Eyring, "Raise the Bar," BYU–Idaho Devotional, January 25, 2005
Click here to read the full talk

President Eyring's analogy of reaching "higher ground" to find safety is a good one. It requires effort and exertion to get away from the "physical and spiritual danger" that surrounds us, as if we were climbing a steep mountain trail:

President Eyring goes on to emphasize some important factors:

  1. It is up to us to choose whether we will climb those uphill paths to find safety—no one is forced to climb, and our agency is a key element of our experience
  2. God will always continue to "invite and guide us upward" through the whisperings of the Holy Ghost, if we are willing to listen
  3. It doesn't necessarily get easier, the more we climb; those "mists of darkness" are the adversary's attempt to discourage us in the climb and dissuade us from our efforts
  4. We can overcome darkness and all other obstacles through the companionship of the Holy Ghost, who acts as a "clear light piercing the darkness" to show us the way

We truly are blessed to understand these options and to know that we can find safety and peace in a world of turmoil.

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

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