Men urged to 'rise up' and be shepherds during LDS priesthood session

Published: Saturday, Oct. 5 2013 10:10 p.m. MDT

“For instance,” he said, “when I have gone to try to help someone wavering in his or her faith about the Prophet Joseph Smith’s divine calling, feelings come back to me. It is not only the words from the Book of Mormon, it is a feeling of assurance of truth that comes whenever I read even a few lines from the Book of Mormon. I cannot promise that it will come to every person infected with doubt about the Prophet Joseph Smith or the Book of Mormon. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God because I have treasured it.

“I know from experience that you can get the assurance of truth from the Spirit because it has come to me,” he continued. “You and I must have that assurance before the Lord puts us in the way of a traveler who has been wounded by the enemies of truth.”

President Eyring also urged patience and compassion with those who are struggling with their faith. “Our human tendency is to be impatient with the person who cannot see the truth that is so plain to us,” he said. “We must be careful that our impatience is not interpreted as condemnation or rejection.”

Speaking just before President Eyring during the Saturday night priesthood session, President Uchtdorf spoke of falling while skiing with his 12-year-old grandson. When he struggled to get up off the snow, his grandson came to him, reached out and took his hand and said, “Opa, you can do it now!” And instantly, he stood.

“That day on a snow-covered slope I learned something,” President Uchtdorf said. “Even when we think we cannot rise up — there is still hope. And sometimes we just need someone to look us in the eyes, take our hand and say, ‘You can do it now!’”

He expressed sadness at having seen “men filled with potential and grace disengage from the challenging work of building the kingdom of God because they had failed a time or two.”

“These were men of promise who could have been exceptional priesthood holders and servants of God,” he said. “But because they stumbled and became discouraged, they withdrew from their priesthood commitments and pursued easier but less worthy endeavors.”

But he reminded his listeners “our destiny is not determined by the number of times we stumble but by the number of times we rise up, dust ourselves off, and move forward.”

“Even those who set their hearts upon divine goals may still occasionally stumble, but they will not be defeated,” President Uchtdorf said. “They trust and rely upon the promises of God. They will rise up again with a bright hope in a righteous God and the inspiring vision of a great future. They know they can do it now.”

Earlier in the session, Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke about how the doctrine of the church is summarized in the Articles of Faith, a 13-point document originally drafted by church founder Joseph Smith to concisely explain to a journalist what Mormons believe.

“The truths taught in the Articles of Faith build upon one another like the components of a cell phone, mutually supporting one another,” Elder Perry said. “Like the elaborate supply chain that adds components to a cell phone, the Articles of Faith supply us with the key doctrines of the Restoration. Each article of faith adds unique value to our understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Elder Perry then urged the young men in the congregation to “use your bright minds to study and learn the Articles of Faith and the doctrines they teach.”

“They are among the most important and certainly the most concise statement of doctrine in the church,” he said. “If you will use them as a guide to direct your studies of the gospel of Jesus Christ, you will find yourself prepared to declare your witness of the restored truth to the world. You will be able to declare in a simple, straightforward and profound way the core beliefs you hold dear as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

Also speaking during the session was Bishop Gérald Caussé of the church’s Presiding Bishopric, who spoke about the need for unity in the church.

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