Jun 22, 2014

A Priceless Heritage of Hope

A Priceless Heritage of Hope
by President Henry B. Eyring

A couple weeks ago I blogged about a Mother's Influence, and the fact that my influence today will affect 1000's.  If you missed it you can read it here.

This talk gave me hope.  I love President Eyring.  His words really speak to me.

"Whoever you are and wherever you may be you hold in your hands the happiness of more people than you can now imagine."

"Every day and every hour you can choose to make or keep a covenant with God.  Wherever you are on the path to inherit eternal life, you have the opportunity to show many people the way to greater happiness.  When you choose whether to make keep a covenant with God, you choose whether you will leave an inheritance of hope to those who might follow your example."

"To some. . ., that may seem a nearly hopeless dream."

"You have seen faithful parents sorrow over children who have rejected or who have chosen to break their covenants with God.  But those parents can take heart and hope from other parental experiences."

 Take heart and hope from other parental experiences:

-Alma's son and King Mosiah's sons returned from fierce rebellion against the covenants and the commandments of God.
-Alma the Younger's son, Corianton, turned away from gross sin to faithful service.

"The Lord has given us all the source of hope as we struggle to help those we love accept their eternal inheritance.  He has made promises to us as we keep trying to gather people [even our own children] to Him, even when they resist His invitation to do so.  Their resistance saddens Him, but He does not quit, nor should we."

Having a child, family member, or friend who has chosen to break their covenants is horrible.  It comforts me to know that the Savior is just as sad, just as heartbroken, as I am.  When the hard times come (and they always do), and I feel like giving up, I remember that Christ does not quit.  He will never give up hope.  He will never quit trying to bring them back - no matter how bad it gets, and I shouldn't either.

"We can depend on that unfailing desire of the Savior to bring all of Heavenly Father's spirit children back to their home with Him.  Every faithful parent, grandparent, and great-grandparent shares in that desire.  Heavenly Father and the Savior are our perfect examples of what we can and must do.  They never force righteousness because righteousness must be chosen.  They make righteousness discernible to us, and They let us see that its fruits are delicious."

There have been many times when I've wished I could force others to do what's right.  I would be happy, they would be happy.  . . unfortunately (or fortunately) it doesn't work that way.  

"Every person born into the world receives the Light of Christ, which helps us see and feel what is right and what is wrong. . . God makes it attractive to choose the right by letting us feel the effects of our choices.  If we choose the right, we will find happiness--in time.  If we choose evil, there comes sorrow, and regret--in time.  Those effects are sure.  Yet they are often delayed for a purpose.  If the blessings were immediate, choosing the right would not build faith.  And since sorrow is also sometimes greatly delayed, it takes faith to feel the need to seek forgiveness for sin early rather than after we feel its sorrowful and painful effects."

"Father Lehi sorrowed over the choices made by some of his sons and their families.  He was a good man--a prophet of God.  He often testified of our Savior, Jesus Christ, to them. . .At the very end of his life, he was still testifying to his children.  Like the Savior-and despite his power to discern their hearts and to see the future both sad and wonderful-Lehi kept his arms outstretched to draw his family toward salvation"

Last conference, in his talk To My Grandchildren, President Eyring reminded us that "God had devised means to save each (not some, but each) of His children."
BUT it shall be in his own time, and in his own way, and according to his own will (D&C 88:68).

"I suggest that you take both the short and the long view as you try to give the inheritance of hope to your family.  IN the sort run, there will be troubles and Satan will roar.  And there are things to wait for patiently, in faith, knowing that the Lord acts in His own time and in His own way. . . We will need the long view when those we love feel the pull of the world and the cloud of doubt seems to overwhelm their faith.  We have faith, hope, and charity to guide us and to strengthen them."

When my son started to fall away, I remember thinking, how can this happen?  We have family home evening.  We have family scripture study and family prayer.  We go to church and attend the temple.  We're doing what is right.  Why is this happening?  For me, it's nice to know (and I find a little bit of comfort in the fact) that Alma, and Alma the younger, and Lehi -all prophets of God, all doing what they should be doing-also had children that chose to break their covenants.  I am trying to learn from their examples of faith.

I take heart in the fact that "When they are older, they will remember the hymns they sand with you.  Even more than recalling music, they will remember the words of scripture and testimony.  The Holy Ghost can bring all things to their remembrance, but the words of scriptures and hymns will last the longest.  Those memories will exert a pull that may bring them back when they wander for a time, possibly for years, from the pathway home to eternal life."

"After all we can do in faith, the Lord will justify our hopes for greater blessings for our families than we can imagine.  He wants the best for them and for us, as His children."

Next Week's Talk:
by Bishop Gary E. Stevenson

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