Individuals come closer to the Savior through simple acts of obedience to the commandments and through blessing and serving others, President Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in the First Presidency, said during the Saturday morning session of general conference.
"At this Easter Season we are reminded of why we love Him and of the promise He makes to His faithful disciples to become His beloved friends," President Eyring said. "The Savior made that promise and told us how, in our service to Him, He comes to us."
Sharing a story of when he was a young boy — more than 65 years ago — attending a sacrament meeting on a Sabbath day, President Eyring spoke of the joy that came as he kept the simple commandment to gather with his family and with the Saints to partake of the sacrament.
"It was dark and cold outside," he said. "I remember feeling the light and warmth in the chapel that evening with my parents. We partook of the sacrament, administered by Aaronic Priesthood holders, covenanting with our Eternal Father to always remember His Son and keep His commandments."
Through that ordinance, he felt the Savior's love and closeness, and the comfort of the Holy Ghost. Wanting to rekindle those feelings of the love of the Savior and His closeness he felt during that sacrament meeting in his youth, President Eyring decided to keep another commandment — he searched in the scriptures.
"In them, I knew I could go back again to have the Holy Ghost let me feel what the disciples of the risen Lord had felt when He had answered their invitation to come into their home and to abide with them."
President Eyring said as he read about the Savior's Resurrection and visit with His disciples — as He blessed and broke bread with his disciples — he was able to learn of the Savior and His teachings. It is in those words that the Savior says that "repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things" (Luke 24:46-48).
"The Savior's words are true as well for us as they were for His disciples then," President Eyring said. "We are witnesses of these things."
Drawing from the words of the prophet Alma in the Book of Mormon, President Eyring spoke of the "glorious charge" individuals accepted as they were baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. That charge is to "mourn with those that mourn" and "comfort those that stand in need of comfort" and to "stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places."
"We are under covenant both to lift up those in need and to be witnesses of the Savior as long as we live," he said. "We will only be able to do it without fail as we feel love for the Savior and His love for us. As we are faithful to the promises we have made, we will feel our love for Him. It will increase because we will feel His power and drawing near to us in His service."
Another way to feel the Savior draw closer is through service, President Eyring said.
"As we give devoted service to Him, He draws closer to those we love in our families. Every time I have been called in the Lord's service to move or to leave my family, I have come to see that the Lord was blessing my wife and my children. He prepared loving servants and opportunities to draw them closer to Him.
"You have felt that same blessing in your lives. Many of you have loved ones who are wandering off the path to eternal life. You wonder what more you can do to bring them back. You can depend on the Lord to draw closer to them as you serve Him in faith."
Like Alma and King Mosiah, many faithful servants who have served the Lord long and faithfully have children who have wandered, despite their parent's sacrifice for the Lord.
"Like you, they did all they could to no apparent avail, even with help from other loving and faithful people," he said. "Alma and the saints prayed for his son and the sons of King Mosiah, and an angel came. Your prayers and the prayers of those who exercise their faith will bring the Lord's servants to help your family members."
President Eyring said that those prayers will help those wandering choose the way home to God, even when they are attacked by Satan and his followers.1 comment on this story
"My promise to you who pray and serve the Lord cannot be that you will have every blessing you may wish for yourself and your family," he said. "But I can promise you that the Savior will draw close to you and bless you and your family with what is best. You will have the comfort of His love and feel the answer of His drawing closer as you reach out your arms in giving service to others.
"As you bind up the wounds of those in need and offer the cleansing of His Atonement to those who sorrow in sin, the Lord's power will sustain you. His arms are outstretched with yours to succor and bless the children of our Heavenly Father including those in your family."
By following the words and example of Christ, individuals are shown how to draw closer to Him.
"Every covenant servant of His within His Kingdom on earth, and in the spirit world, will receive His direction as they bless and serve others for Him," he said. "Then feel His love, and find joy in being drawn closer to Him."