President Henry B. Eyring: ‘He Goes Before Us’

Second counselor in the First Presidency

President Henry B. Eyring speaks during the Saturday evening session of the 190th Annual General Conference on April 4, 2020. Credit: Screenshot,
President Henry B. Eyring Credit: Intellectual Reserve, Inc.
In April 1836, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery received from Elijah the sealing keys that would bind families together. This painting by Dan Lewis is titled "Elijah Appearing in the Kirtland Temple." Credit: Dan Lewis, Intellectual Reserve,
The Lord’s appearance to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in the Kirtland Temple in 1836 is depicted in Walter Rane’s “Even the Voice of Jehovah.” Credit: Courtesy of the Museum of Church History and Art
The logo for the FamilySearch Tree mobile app. Credit: Provided by FamilySearch

Notable quotes:

“Temples will soon again be happily scheduling baptismal opportunities and other sacred ordinances. The desire to serve our ancestors and the bonding of parents and children are growing.” The Lord “has raised up and prepared faithful people who choose to do hard things well.” “Now, as the Lord surely knew would happen, young people are becoming computer mentors to their parents and ward members. All have found great joy in their service.” Summary points:

  • As prophesied in the Kirtland Temple, the Spirit of Elijah is connecting generations of families through temple work and family history research.
  • Working in the gathering of Israel demands sacrifice — but blessings await all who labor.
  • The Lord continues to lead the restoration of His gospel. “He goes before us.”

Talk summary: 

The Spirit of Elijah is changing the hearts of young and old, children and parents, grandchildren and grandparents.

“Temples will soon again be happily scheduling baptismal opportunities and other sacred ordinances. The desire to serve our ancestors and the bonding of parents and children are growing.”

 A “pivotal moment in the Restoration” and the gathering of Israel occurred on April 3, 1836, in the Kirtland Temple, as recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants section 110

The veil was “taken from the minds” of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, and they saw the Lord standing “upon the breastwork of the pulpit.” The resurrected Christ said he accepted the new temple which had been dedicated in His name. 

Blessings, He added, would be given to all who keep His commandments and claim the opportunities promised inside His temple. Subsequent visions of Moses and Elias were followed by an appearance of Elijah, who announced the day had come “to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers.”

“Although the temple endowment as we know it wasn’t administered in the Kirtland Temple, in fulfillment of prophecy, preparatory temple ordinances began to be introduced there, along with an outpouring of spiritual manifestations which armed those called on missions with the promised endowment of ‘power from on high’ that led to a great gathering through missionary service.”

The Lord envisioned all of the Restoration’s key moments.

“He planned for it, step-by-step, as He has done with other changes in His Church. 

“He has raised up and prepared faithful people who choose to do hard things well. He has always been lovingly patient in helping us learn line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little.

“He is firm in the timing and the sequence of His intentions, yet He ensures that sacrifice often brings continuing blessings that we did not foresee.”

In the news:

About the speaker:

  • President Eyring has been a General Authority for more than three decades since he was first called in 1985.
  • He served as a counselor to President Thomas S. Monson from 2008 to 2018 and as a counselor to President Gordon B. Hinckley from 2007 to 2008. Now, he is serving as second counselor to President Russell M. Nelson.
  • He married Kathleen Johnson in the Logan Utah Temple in July 1962. They are the parents of four sons and two daughters.

Recently on social:

  • In a March 5 Facebook post, President Eyring shared details about a recent trip to Idaho. “I spent some of the happiest years of my life in Idaho as the president of Ricks College. As I visited with religious, government, and community leaders, I felt the immense goodness of the people,” he wrote.

  • On Dec. 22, 2019, President Eyring posted a photo of a wooden box he had designed and built for his wife one year as a Christmas gift. He wrote about how creating that gift for his wife “brought a feeling of love for my family and the Master.”

  • In a Twitter post on Nov. 26, 2019, President Eyring reminded his followers that “God the Father lives and loves us. He wants us to come home to Him in families.”
  • Highlighting the importance of gratitude, President Eyring posted to his Instagram account on Nov. 27, 2019, with a photo of one of his watercolor paintings. “One way to bring more gratitude into our lives is to offer a private prayer with thanks,” he wrote. “You could start to count your blessings and then pause for a moment. If you exercise faith, and with the gift of the Holy Ghost, you will find that memories of other blessings will flood into your mind.”

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