Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — For Elder Reggie Lewis of the Florida Orlando Mission, the loving language of President Henry B. Eyring's talk during the priesthood session of the October 2011 Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was just what he needed.
In December 2011, Lewis, a native of Paradise, Utah, was called to be zone leader of the Orlando Zone, and he was feeling a little overwhelmed by the new assignment. In his blog entry for Dec. 27, 2011, he records: "I found comfort this morning from a talk by President Eyring titled 'Preparation in the Priesthood: I Need Your Help.' He talked about how we are prepared for each calling we receive in the priesthood and how the Lord will continue to train us, mold us and help us learn and grow. It's exactly what I needed to hear since this is a huge and new change."
What Lewis was experiencing as he faced his new missionary assignment was exactly what President Eyring was referring to when he introduced his message by observing that "most of us wonder to ourselves at times, 'Am I prepared for this assignment in the priesthood?' "
"My answer is, 'Yes, you have been prepared,' " President Eyring continued. "My purpose today is to help you recognize that preparation and draw courage from it."
Clearly, President Eyring's purpose was fulfilled in at least one case, as Lewis drew courage from the talk as he approached his new assignment as a zone leader.
Another full-time missionary, James Russell Allen, also reported drawing strength from President Eyring's talk. Upon returning home from a 23-month mission to Fortaleza, Brazil, with his wife, Shirlyn, Allen was concerned about finding ways to serve the Lord after his mission was over. In his blog, he expressed appreciation for the way President Eyring "helpfully gives us a list of service we can consider wherever we are in this quest to … have the gift of eternal life with God."
In President Eyring's words to the men and boys who participated in the priesthood session, that list includes "being teachers in the church, wise and loving fathers, members of a quorum and missionaries for the Lord Jesus Christ."
"The Lord will offer the opportunities," President Eyring said, "but whether we are prepared will depend on us."
Allen found in those words the courage and motivation he needed to serve "in whatever situation … we may find ourselves."
"The Lord needs our help," he wrote, "and we need to prepare and be prepared when the opportunities are given."
President Ronald White of the La Verne California Stake says he was especially grateful for the section in President Eyring's talk in which he spoke about the "oath and covenant of the priesthood."
"It is a covenant we make with God to keep all his commandments and give service as he would give it if he were personally present," President Eyring said of the scriptural charge found in the 84th Section of the Doctrine and Covenants. "Living up to that standard as best we can builds the strength we will need to endure to the end."
President White said that since October conference, he has been using President Eyring's comments about how "spiritual staying power comes from working past the point when others would have taken a rest" as a way to illustrate to the priesthood holders in his stake the scriptural promise of the oath and covenant "to be sanctified unto the renewing of our bodies."
"My offer of proof is in the lives of the apostles and prophets — like President Eyring," President White said. "They hold the same priesthood as do we, but their lives of devotion have sanctified them in remarkable ways. As President Eyring taught, we can likewise be sanctified as we magnify our service in our spheres of responsibility, be it home teacher, quorum instructor or whatever our calling may be."
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