Tuesday, June 19, 2018

President Henry B. Eyring on teaching doctrine in our families

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.
"There has been a war between light and darkness, between good and evil, since before the world was created. The battle still rages, and the casualties seem to be increasing. All of us have family members we love who are being buffeted by the forces of the destroyer, who would make all God’s children miserable. For many of us, there have been sleepless nights. We have tried to add every force for good we can to the powers swirling around the people who are at risk. We have loved them. We have set the best example we could. We have pled in prayer for them. A wise prophet long ago gave us counsel about another force which we may at times underestimate and thus use too little...
"'Alma thought it was expedient that they should try the virtue of the word of God' (Alma 31:5).
"The word of God is the doctrine taught by Jesus Christ and by His prophets. Alma knew that words of doctrine had great power. They can open the minds of people to see spiritual things not visible to the natural eye. And they can open the heart to feelings of the love of God and a love for truth....
"The need to open eyes and hearts tells us how we must teach doctrine. Doctrine gains its power as the Holy Ghost confirms that it is true. We prepare those we teach, as best we can, to receive the quiet promptings of the still, small voice. That takes at least some faith in Jesus Christ. It takes at least some humility, some willingness to surrender to the Savior’s will for us. The person you would help may have little of either, but you can urge that they desire to believe. More than that, you can take confidence from another of the powers of doctrine. Truth can prepare its own way. Simply hearing the words of doctrine can plant the seed of faith in the heart. And even a tiny seed of faith in Jesus Christ invites the Spirit."
- Henry B. Eyring, "The Power of Teaching Doctrine," General Conference April 1999
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

How do we best prepare ourselves, our family members, our youth and ward members to deal with the "war between light and darkness" in which casualties are continuing to increase? President Eyring suggests the answer is to focus on teaching doctrine, establishing a firm foundation and bringing strength and power:

It's powerful to remember the importance of teaching and testifying; as we do so, those who hear us are given the chance to plant seeds of faith in their hearts. "And even a tiny seed of faith in Jesus Christ invites the Spirit." What a beautiful, hopeful message!

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

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