President Henry B. Eyring: The Comforter
Contributed By Sarah Jane Weaver, Church News associate editor
Latter-day Saint women can and must be an important part of the Savior giving comfort to those who need comfort, said President Henry B. Eyring on March 28.
“You can play your part best if you know more of how He answers those prayers for help,” said President Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency.
Speaking during the women’s session of the Church’s 185th Annual General Conference to a capacity congregation in the Conference Center and to others gathered across the globe, President Eyring addressed the topic “The Comforter.”
He explained that one of the attributes of the Savior that Latter-day Saints most appreciate is His infinite compassion.
“You have felt He knows you and loves you,” he said. “You have felt His love for those seated around you. They are your sisters, spirit daughters of our Heavenly Father. He cares for them as He cares for you. He understands all their sorrows. He wants to succor them.”
President Eyring said many are praying to Heavenly Father for relief, for help in carrying their burdens of grief, loneliness, and fear. “Heavenly Father hears those prayers and understands their needs. He and His Beloved Son, the resurrected Jesus Christ, have promised help.”
President Eyring said the burdens His faithful servants must carry in life are made lighter by His Atonement. “The burden of sin can be taken away, but the trials of mortal life for good people can still be heavy burdens.”
President Eyring told the worldwide congregation that a great change began in their hearts when they came into the Lord’s Church.
“That is why you have a feeling to want to help a person struggling to move forward under a load of grief and difficulty,” he explained. “You promised that you would help the Lord make their burdens light and be comforted. You were given the power to help lighten those loads when you received the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
President Eyring said in the past few weeks he has watched God’s children pleading in prayer that their burdens would be lightened. “The miracle of the loads being lightened came in a way the Lord promised,” he said. “He and Heavenly Father sent the Holy Ghost as the Comforter to His disciples to help.”
Recently, he continued, three generations of a family were grieving at the death of a 5-year-old boy who died accidentally while with his family on a vacation. “I was granted the opportunity to watch once again how the Lord blesses the faithful with relief and the strength to endure.
“I watched the way the Lord made their great burden lighter. I was with them as the Lord's covenant servant—as you will be often in your life—‘to mourn with those who mourn and comfort those that stand in need of comfort’ (Mosiah 18:9).”
President Eyring met with the family and tried to tell them that he mourned for them but that only the Lord knew and could experience perfectly their pain and grief.
“In the hour we sat together, they spoke far more than I did. I could feel in their voices and see in their eyes that the Holy Ghost was touching them. They spoke of what happened and how they felt in words of simple testimony. The Holy Ghost had already given them the peace that comes with the hope of eternal life, when their son, who died without sin, could be theirs forever. … The Comforter had come, bringing hope, courage, and increased strength for all of us.”
President Eyring said Latter-day Saints lighten the loads of others best by helping the Lord strengthen them. “That is why the Lord included in our charge to comfort others the command to be His witnesses at all times and in all places.”
He said a loving Heavenly Father allows His Son to provide, by His atoning sacrifice, the hope that comforts. “The Father and the Son send the Holy Ghost to comfort and strengthen disciples of the Master in their journey.”
At the funeral of the little boy, President Eyring met a young mother who had also lost a child to death. “She was carrying in her arms a beautiful little girl. I leaned toward her to look into the little girl's smiling face. I asked the baby's mother, ‘What is her name?’ Her quick and cheerful answer was: ‘Her name is Joy. Joy always comes after sorrow.’”
President Eyring said he could see that the peace and comfort had come to her from the only sure source.
“I can know only partially how much He feels joy each time you, as His disciple, help Him bring a moment of peace and joy to a child of our Heavenly Father.”
President Eyring said the Lord has asked each Latter-day Saint to help bear one another’s burdens. “We have promised to do it. I bear my testimony that the Lord, through His Atonement and Resurrection, has broken the power of death. I give my witness that the living Christ sends the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, to those we are pledged to help Him comfort.”