Saturday, April 9, 2022

President Henry B. Eyring on becoming as a child

President Henry B. Eyring (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 makes it clear how we can receive the hope to hear those words if we find the way in this life to have our natures changed through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. That is the only way we can build on the sure foundation and so stand firm during the storms of temptations and trials ahead. King Benjamin describes that change in our natures with a beautiful metaphor that has always touched my heart. It was used by prophets for millennia and by the Lord Himself. It is this: we must become as a child—a little child.

"For some, that will not be easy to accept. Most of us want to be strong. We may well see being like a child as being weak. Most parents look for the day when their children act less childish. But King Benjamin, who understood as well as any mortal what it meant to be a man of strength and courage, makes it clear that to be like a child is not to be childish. It is to be like the Savior, who prayed to His Father for strength to be able to do His Father’s will and atone for the sins of all of His Father’s children and then did it. Our natures must be changed to become as a child to gain the strength we must have to stand steady and at peace in times of peril....

"We receive that change as we make and renew covenants with God. That brings the power of Christ’s Atonement to allow a transformation in our hearts. We can feel it every time we partake of the sacrament, perform a temple ordinance for a departed ancestor, testify as a witness of the Savior, or care for someone in need as Christ’s disciple.

"In those experiences, we become over time like a child in our capacity to love and obey. We come to stand on the sure foundation. Our faith in Jesus Christ brings us to repentance and to keeping His commandments. We obey, and we gain power to resist temptation, and we gain the promised companionship of the Holy Ghost.

"Our natures change to become as a little child, obedient to God and more loving. That change will qualify us to enjoy the gifts that come through the Holy Ghost. Having the Spirit’s companionship will comfort, guide, and strengthen us."

- Henry B. Eyring, "Steady in the Storms," General Conference April 2022, Saturday morning
Click here to read or listen to the fill address

In the footnote to this talk, President Eyring mentioned that he felt impressed to "revisit" a talk he gave in the April 2006 general conference. The message certainly is as timely as ever. In a world filled with trouble, with challenges, and with the evil influence of the adversary - it is more important than ever to for us to humble ourselves and "become as a child." Realistically, we naturally don't incline to that attitude; we want to be "grown up" and mature, not child-like. This is a good summary:

 What a precious reminder and invitation. Children are naturally trusting, believing, hoping. We need to learn to have those attributes in fulness in our relationship to our Father in Heaven!

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

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