Saturday, February 19, 2022

President Henry B. Eyring on the blessings of gratitude during trials

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 have felt that transformation of growing gratitude for blessings and a love of God increasing across the Church. It seems to accelerate among members of the Church in times and places where there are trials of their faith, where they have to plead to God for help to even carry on.
"The times we will pass through will have in them hard trials, as they did for the people of Alma under the cruel Amulon, who put burdens on their backs too heavy for them to bear:
"'And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came to them in their afflictions, saying: Lift up your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me; and I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage.
"'And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.
"'And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.' (Mosiah 24:13–15.)
"You and I are witnesses that whenever we have kept our covenants with God, especially when it was hard, He has heard our prayers of thanks for what He has already done for us and has answered our prayer for strength to endure faithfully. And more than once He has made us cheerful as well as strong."
- Henry B. Eyring, "Gratitude on the Sabbath Day," General Conference, October 2016
Click here to read or hear the complete talk

President Eyring made an interesting observation. Gratitude increases during times when faith is tried. In the times when we "have to plead to God for help to even carry on" then we start to understand why we should be more grateful.

The example of the people of Alma under Amulon's oppression is always instructive. They didn't plead for burdens to be lifted or for the ability to overcome their oppressors. Instead, they received strength to carry burdens and to endure in faithfulness. God told them, as he will tell us, "for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me; and I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage."

I especially love that closing line.  God can not only help to make us strong; He can also make us cheerful.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2022)
October 11, 2016

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