Tom Smart, Deseret News
Joy is guaranteed for the faithful, said President Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in the First Presidency.
“Whatever our personal characteristics or whatever will be our experiences, there is but one plan to happiness,” he said. “That plan is to follow all the commandments of God.”
Speaking during the Sunday morning session of conference, President Eyring said this year two of his grandchildren will be married. “Within a few years as many as 10 of their cousins will follow into the wonderful world of family creation.”
President Eyring said that happy prospect has caused him deep contemplation as they have asked, “What choices could I make that will lead me to happiness?”
“For all of us, including my grandchildren contemplating marriage, there is one overarching commandment that will help to meet the challenges and lead to the heart of a happy family life,” he said. “It applies to all relationships regardless of circumstances.”
The Lord’s advice to all who want to live together forever in loving happiness is: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all they heart, and with all they soul, and with all thy mind. Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”
From that simple statement, it is not hard to summarize what choices lead to happiness in families, he said.
“For me it has been to choose to put myself where I felt the joy of forgiveness through the Lord’s Atonement.”
He said accepting and magnifying every calling offered in the Church is a choice that is “one of the great keys to family happiness.”
“The pressures at every stage of life can tempt us to reject or neglect calls to serve the Savior. That can put us in spiritual peril for ourselves, our spouse, and our families. Some of those calls may seem unimportant, but my life and my family was changed for the better by my accepting a call to teach a deacons quorum. I felt the love of those deacons for the Savior and His love for them.”
While serving others, Latter-day Saints are most likely to plead for the companionship of the Holy Ghost. “Success in His service always produces miracles beyond our own powers.”
It is only with the companionship of the Holy Ghost that Church members can hope to be equally yoked in a marriage free from discord. “The miracle of becoming one requires the help of Heaven and it takes time. Our goal is to live together forever in the presence of Heavenly Father and our Savior.”
President Eyring said that Heavenly Father “has perfect foresight, knows each of us, and knows our future. He knows what difficulties we will pass through. He sent His Son to suffer that He would know how to succor us in all our trials.
“We know that Heavenly Father has spirit children in this world who sometimes choose sin and great unhappiness. That is why He sent His Firstborn to be our Redeemer, the greatest act of love in all creation. That is why we must expect that it will take the help of God and time to polish us, to prepare us for eternal life, to live with our Father.”
Life in families will test God’s children, he said. “That is one of God’s purposes in giving us the gift of mortality — to strengthen us by passing through tests. That will be especially true in family life where we will find great joy and great sorrow and challenges which may at times seem beyond our power to endure them.”
President Eyring said God has devised means to save each of His children.
“The way for loving parents and grandparents and all of God’s servants will not be easy in a decaying world. We cannot force God’s children to choose the way of happiness. God cannot do that because of the agency He has given us.”
Heavenly Father and Jesus love all of God’s children no matter what they choose to do or what they become, President Eyring said.
“My message then to my grandchildren, and to all of us trying to forge eternal families, is that there is joy guaranteed for the faithful. From before the world was, a loving Father in Heaven and His Beloved Son loved and worked with those whom they knew would wander. God will love them forever.”
With the help of the Holy Ghost, all truths will be brought to remembrance, he said. “We cannot force that on others but we can let them see it in our own lives. We can always take courage from the assurance that we all once felt the joy of being together as a member of the beloved family of our Heavenly Father.
“With God’s help we can all feel that hope and that joy again.”
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