Sunday, December 9, 2018

President Henry B. Eyring on how the blessing of the Holy Ghost helps us watch ourselves

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.
"King Benjamin taught that we are responsible for the determined effort necessary to resist temptation. He warned his people about specific temptations. But after giving those warnings, he put the obligation on them. As often as we pray not to be overcome by temptation and to be delivered from evil, we are responsible for ourselves. Here are the words he spoke, which are not his, but from God:
"'And finally, I cannot tell you all the things whereby ye may commit sin; for there are divers ways and means, even so many that I cannot number them.
"'But this much I can tell you, that if ye do not watch yourselves, and your thoughts, and your words, and your deeds, and observe the commandments of God, and continue in the faith of what ye have heard concerning the coming of our Lord, even unto the end of your lives, ye must perish. And now, O man, remember, and perish not.' (Mosiah 4:29–30.)
"With the help of the Holy Ghost, we can watch over ourselves. We can pray to recognize and reject the first thoughts of sin. We can pray to recognize a warning not to speak words which would hurt or tempt someone else. And we can, when we must, pray for the humility and the faith to repent.
"There will surely be some who hear my voice who will have this thought come into their minds: 'But the temptations are too great for me. I have resisted as long as I can. For me, the commandments are too hard. The standard is too high.'
"That is not so. The Savior is our Advocate with the Father. He knows our weaknesses. He knows how to succor those who are tempted. (See D&C 62:1.)
"I bear you my witness that the Savior lives and that He is the sure foundation. I know that by acting on our faith in Him we can be cleansed and changed to become pure and strong, as a little child. I bear you my testimony that the Holy Ghost can lead us to truth and away from sin."
- Henry B. Eyring, "As a Child," General Conference April 2006
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

President Eyring spoke of "times of moral peril" in this message, identifying the challenges and dangers that we face in our modern era. But there is hope, if we follow the Lord's prescribed path: "Our natures must be changed to become as a child to gain the strength we must have to be safe."

Children are more naturally filled with faith in God and trust in His help. As we become more like children, and experience the "change of heart" that comes through discipleship, we receive strength to co what is right and to be blessed through our challenges.

Learning to "watch over ourselves" is a great gift that blesses our search for peace and happiness. President Eyring promises that through the gift of the Holy Ghost, our abilities to watch are enhanced:

No challenge is beyond our capacity; no temptation is to great to overcome, as long as we approach it with Divine help. We must learn to act with faith in God, humbly doing all we can and then relying on His merits through the Holy Ghost.

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

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