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Henry B. Eyring
Second Counselor in the First Presidency
Second Counselor in the First Presidency


Just a few weeks ago, I was working on my family history with a consultant by my side and another helper on the phone. On the computer screen before me was a problem beyond my mortal power to solve. I saw two names, sent to me by the wonders of technology, of people who might be waiting for a temple ordinance. The names were different, but there was reason to believe they might be the same person. My task was to determine what the truth was.

My two consultants agreed that I must choose, and they were completely sure I would discover the truth. The computer, with all its power and information, had left to me the blessing of staring at those names on a screen, evaluating the available information, seeking other research, praying silently, and discovering what was true. As I prayed, I knew with surety what to do—just as I have in other situations when I needed to rely on heavenly help to solve a problem.

We do not know what marvels God will inspire people to create to help in His work of gathering His family. But whatever marvelous inventions may come, their use will require the Spirit working in people like you and me. This should not surprise us. After all, these are beloved sons and daughters of God. He will send whatever inspiration is needed to give them the opportunity to return to Him.

When our children were very small, I started to write down a few things about what happened every day. I wrote down a few lines every day for years. I never missed a day no matter how tired I was or how early I would have to start the next day. Before I would write, I would ponder this question: “Have I seen the hand of God reaching out to touch us or our children or our family today?”

As I kept at it, something began to happen. As I would cast my mind over the day, I would see evidence of what God had done for one of us that I had not recognized in the busy moments of the day. As that happened, and it happened often, I realized that trying to remember had allowed God to show me what He had done.

More than gratitude began to grow in my heart. Testimony grew. I became ever more certain that our Heavenly Father hears and answers prayers. I felt more gratitude for the softening and refining that come because of the Atonement of the Savior Jesus Christ. And I grew more confident that the Holy Ghost can bring all things to our remembrance—even things we did not notice or pay attention to when they happened.

My point is to urge you to find ways to recognize and remember God’s kindness. It will build our testimonies. You may not keep a journal. You may not share whatever record you keep with those you love and serve. But you and they will be blessed as you remember what the Lord has done.

The Sabbath is a perfect time to remember the covenant we made at the waters of baptism to love and serve Heavenly Father’s children.

Fulfilling that promise on the Sabbath will include participating in a class or quorum with full purpose of heart to build faith and love among our brothers and sisters who are there with us. That promise will include cheerfully fulfilling our callings.

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Recently I had the sacred privilege of dedicating the Hartford Connecticut Temple. Having grown up in the New England area, it filled my heart with joy to see another temple dedicated here.

The first time I walked into the Salt Lake Temple, I had the feeling that I had been there before. It felt familiar to me. In an instant, the thought came to me that what I recognized was a sense of peace beyond anything I felt before in this life but that I seemed to recognize and almost remember.

Every one of us knew our Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son before we came into this life. We felt peace with Them then.

Dedicated temples are sacred places where the risen Savior may come. In them, we can feel the peace of our associations with Him in the life before. In them, we can make the covenants which help us to come unto Him in this life and which will permit us to return home to our Father.

I ask you to come to the temple. Come feel the precious peace and love the Savior offers you. He lives. He loves you. He reaches out to you personally.

I am grateful for the many Sundays I taught a deacons quorum in Bountiful, Utah, as well as a Sunday School class in Idaho. And I even remember the times I served as an assistant to my wife in the nursery, where my main task was to hand out toys and pick them up.

It was years before I recognized through the Spirit that my simple service for the Lord mattered in the lives of Heavenly Father’s children. To my surprise, some of them have remembered and thanked me for my fledgling attempts to serve them for the Master on those Sabbath days.

Just as we sometimes cannot see the results of our own service given on the Sabbath, we may not be able to see the cumulative effects of other servants of the Lord. But the Lord is building His kingdom quietly through His faithful and humble servants, with little fanfare, toward its glorious millennial future. It takes the Holy Spirit to see the growing grandeur.

My dear brothers and sisters who are spread across the world, I was grateful for the assignment to speak to you at general conference. My desire was to speak about the feelings of the heart. I focused on gratitude—particularly in the midst of trials. For Latter-day Saints, the Sabbath is such a day of gratitude and love.

You might well be wondering what you could do to live and worship on this very Sabbath day to demonstrate gratitude and to strengthen yourself and others for trials that lie ahead.

You could begin with a private and family prayer of thanks for all God has done for you. You could pray to know what the Lord would have you do to serve Him and others. Particularly, you could pray to have the Holy Ghost tell you of someone who is lonely or in need to whom the Lord would have you go.

I can promise you, your prayers will be answered, and as you act on the answers you will receive, you will find joy in the Sabbath and feel cheer in your heart.

I testify that God the Father knows and loves you. The Savior atoned for you. They know your name as They knew the name of the Prophet Joseph when They appeared to him. I so testify that this is the Church of Jesus Christ and that He will honor the covenants you have made with Him. #LDSconf

When I came into the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Elder Richard G. Scott suggested I buy an inexpensive set of scriptures and mark the insights and revelations I would gain in my new calling. So I did. But I went a little further.

I asked Heavenly Father what He would have me do as an Apostle. I wrote down what I felt His answers were. I typed, color coded, and pasted those answers in the front of my scriptures.

For example, the first one was “I am to be a witness that Christ is the Son of God.” Then I read my scriptures looking for ideas that taught me how to witness that Christ is the Son of God. Every time I came to something, I marked it in blue. Soon I developed my own topical guide around what I thought the Lord wanted me to do. I have learned much through this process.

Going to the scriptures to learn what to do makes all the difference. The Lord can teach us. When we come to a crisis in our life, such as losing a child or spouse, we should go looking in the scriptures for specific help. We will find answers in the scriptures. The Lord seemed to anticipate all of our problems and all of our needs, and He put help in the scriptures for us—if only we seek it.

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A prophet of God once offered me counsel that gives me peace. I was worried that the choices of others might make it impossible for our family to be together forever.

He said, “You are worrying about the wrong problem. You just live worthy of the celestial kingdom, and the family arrangements will be more wonderful than you can imagine.”

To all of those whose personal experience or whose marriage and children—or absence thereof—cast a shadow over their hopes, I offer my witness: Heavenly Father knows and loves you as His spirit child. While you were with Him and His Beloved Son before this life, They placed in your heart the hope you have of eternal life.

With the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ working and with the Holy Spirit guiding, you can feel now and will feel in the world to come the family love your Father and His Beloved Son want so much for you to receive.

I testify that as you live worthy of the celestial kingdom, the prophetic promise that “family arrangements will be more wonderful than you can imagine” will be yours.

Once, as I sat by my father’s bedside through the night, he talked about his childhood. He spoke of the love of his parents in difficult times and of the love of his Heavenly Father and the Savior.

I knew he was dying of cancer, so it did not surprise me that at times he mixed up his feelings for his Heavenly Father with the love and kindness of his earthly father. My father had often said that when he prayed, he thought he could see in his mind the smile of Heavenly Father.

His parents had taught him by example to pray as if he spoke to God and that God would answer him in love.

He needed that example to the end. When the pain became intense, we found him in the morning on his knees by the bed. He had been too weak to get back into bed. He told us he had been praying to ask his Heavenly Father why he had to suffer so much when he had always tried to be good. He said a kindly answer came: “God needs brave sons.”

And so he soldiered on to the end, trusting that God loved him, listened to him, and would lift him up. He was blessed to have known early and to never forget that a loving God is as close as a prayer.

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Don’t take lightly the feeling you get of love for the prophet of God. Wherever I go in the Church, whoever the prophet is at the time, members will ask, “When you get back to Church headquarters, will you please tell the prophet how much we love him?”

That is far more than hero worship or the feelings we sometimes have of admiring heroic figures. It is a gift from God. With it you will receive more easily the gift of confirming revelation when he speaks in his office as the Lord’s prophet. The love you feel is the love the Lord has for whoever is His spokesman.

That is not easy to feel continually because the Lord often asks His prophets to give counsel that is hard for people to accept. The enemy of our souls will try to lead us to take offense and to doubt the prophet’s calling from God.
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