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Question

 

Hi Gramps,

I found a talk by Henry B. Erying “Mountains to Climb.”   He says unbreakable spiritual strength comes simply by sincere service to God and man.  Is it really that simple?  Is he literally meaning strength that is truly unassailable?  As in Satan may as well not exist?  As a human who has had his fair share of mistakes and weaknesses, that seems almost like fairy tale.  Can I really have Moroni-esque strength simply from this?  Are there other things I should do?

Spencer

 

Answer

 

Dear Spencer,

Here is the quote, “It is serving God and others persistently with full heart and soul that turns testimony of truth into unbreakable spiritual strength.”  Mountains To Climb

You ask if it is really “that simple.”  To answer your question let’s consider Pres. Eyring’s words together.

First, what does it mean to “serve God and others persistently with full heart and soul?”  That sounds like a lifetime pursuit to me. Pres. Eyring starts out by saying he will give us some counsel about how to build an “unshakable foundation”.  Here are some of the things he suggested:

#1 Patience – he talks about learning to build houses when he was young and how preparing a foundation was back-breaking work.  He also spoke of the “tedious and time-consuming process” of putting bars in the foundation to give it strength.  I believe we could compare this to some of the things we have been asked to do: daily prayer, scripture study (not casual reading but study) home/visiting teaching, attending our meetings, service . . . etc.  Sometimes we may find those things “tedious and time-consuming” but they are very important.

#2 Chose the right – Pres Eyring said, “Our choosing the right consistently whenever the choice is placed before us creates the solid ground under our faith.”   Again this is a challenge for a life-time.  We can never “retire” from striving to make good choices.

#3 Endure to the end –  Here is where he says the quote you alluded to, but let me include the preceding sentences for context:  “One of the keys to an enduring faith is to judge correctly the curing time required . . . That curing does not come automatically through the passage of time, but it does take time.  Getting older does not do it alone.  It is serving God and others persistently with full heart and soul that turns testimony of truth into unbreakable spiritual strength.”

Here he is warning us that we must do all these things he suggested and we have to do them consistently day after day, year after year.  We have to keep doing them through adversities whose “curing time” may be much longer than we had hoped.  Endure means suffer patiently.  So the commandment to endure to the end could also be considered as a warning that it won’t be easy.

You said, “As in Satan may as well not exist?”

No I don’t think that is what Pres. Eyring intended.  Consider Christ. Certainly He had unbreakable spiritual strength, but His life did not unfold as if Satan did not exist.  Christ did not succumb to temptation, but His life was taken.  Look at Joseph Smith, he had great spiritual strength, and yet Satan buffeted him constantly, and he too was murdered.  I don’t think any of us can get through this life as if Satan does not exist.

You also asked: “Can I really have Moroni-esque strength simply from this?”

Yes, yes you can.  You can have something even better. You can choose to “yoke” yourself with the Savior.  With Him at your side how can you fail?  The hardest part is to stay in the yoke and not let life or adversity drive you away from Him.

Spencer, Heavenly Father and Christ WANT us to return to them.  They are not going to make the journey impossible.  Christ is willing to be our guide on the journey, every step.  The only real question is whether or not we will choose His way.  In order to build the strength, the foundation that will keep you yoked to the Savior, follow the counsel from Elder Eyring as I have outlined above.  It’s a life-time pursuit, but yes, it is that easy and that hard.

 

Gramps

 

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