In his address at the October 1986 general conference, Elder Henry B. Eyring, then first counselor in the Presiding Bishopric and now a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, spoke about the necessity of an individual, who has been less-active, having his or her heart softened in order to receive even greater teaching. The teacher must also "touch the person with the spirit of righteousness, with love and with tenderness," Elder Eyring said.
"Now, you and I might rightly feel that what
is askedT is nearly superhuman. In our efforts to invite others back, we have felt rejection and even ridicule. We may feel fatigue, frustration, and sometimes guilt. How then can we keep reaching out in a spirit of righteousness, with love and tenderness?"The best answer I know comes from another wonderful father. His name was Mormon. He wrote a letter to his son Moroni in a time when they met not only rejection but unbridled hatred, and faced not only frustration but almost certain failure. Mormon wanted Moroni to meet even such a test with love and tenderness and the spirit of righteousness. He gave a formula, the same one given by true prophets in all ages. It has always worked. The promise is sure. Here it is, from Mormon's letter:
" `And the first fruits of repentance is baptism; and baptism cometh by faith unto the fulfilling the commandments; and the fulfilling the commandments bringeth remission of sins;
" `And the remission of sins bringeth meekness, and lowliness of heart; and because of meekness and lowliness of heart cometh the visitation of the Holy Ghost, which Comforter filleth with hope and perfect love, which love endureth by diligence unto prayer, until the end shall come, when all the saints shall dwell with God.' (Moroni 8:25-26.)
"If you try to imagine the Savior restoring a lost sheep to the fold, won't you picture Him cradling it in His arms? That tenderness and love, Mormon testified to his son, is the natural result of the atonement of Jesus Christ operating in our lives. Our faith leads us to repentance, to the gifts of the Spirit, and from that to the perfect love which the Master Shepherd has, and knows we must have to serve Him."