Thursday, March 14, 2019

President Henry B. Eyring on encouraging youth to be their best

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.
"As a young father I prayed to know what contributions my children might make in the Lord’s kingdom. For the boys, I knew they could have priesthood opportunities. For the girls, I knew they would give service representing the Lord. All would be doing His work. I knew each was an individual, and therefore the Lord would have given them specific gifts for each to use in His service.
"Now, I cannot tell every father and every leader of youth the details of what is best for you to do. But I can promise you that you will bless them to help them recognize the spiritual gifts with which they were born. Every person is different and has a different contribution to make. No one is destined to fail. As you seek revelation to see gifts God sees in those you lead in the priesthood—particularly the young—you will be blessed to lift their sights to the service they can perform. With your guidance, those you lead will be able to see, want, and believe they can achieve their full potential for service in God’s kingdom."
- Henry B. Eyring, "Help Them Aim High," Priesthood Session, General Conference October 2012
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

These remarks were addressed to a gathering of men and boys at a General Priesthood session of conference. President Eyring was talking specifically about the role of fathers and Church leaders in working with youth, encouraging them to discover their gifts and become their best selves. The same counsel clearly applies to mothers and leaders of young women.

I love the counsel to pray about each individual child, seeking to better understand their gifts and what the Lord has in store for them. A parent or leader could then tailor his efforts to helping that young person grow in the best ways, and to recognize their own spiritual gifts. President Eyring's testimony about their individual potential is clear:

Sometimes we all need to be reminded that "No one is destined to fail." We all, youth and adults, have divine potential that can be realized as we focus on the gifts we have been given and strive to serve with faithfulness and unselfishness.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2019)

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