Holiness and the Plan of Happiness by Henry B. Eyring
Content by Aubrey Birch
On my mission, there was a period that I spent time each morning choosing a phrase from the hymn, "More Holiness Give Me." Some days it was patience in suffering. Others it was trust in the Lord. More joy in his service. Meekness in trial.
I would include this plea in my prayers that day, and reflect at the end of the day on experiences I had that gave me opportunities to obtain more of that quality.
When Elder Eyring began his talk in October, the memory of this ritual came back to me, as well as some of those experiences.
My mission began as an unhappy and challenging experience, yet by the Father’s refinement I became holier and happier in the process and now look back with fondness on the opportunity I had to serve.
In my life now, I have different challenges, fears, and questions. I’m not always as diligent at asking God for help to grow, nor do I take as much time to reflect. I would like for holiness to be something God can just bestow upon me. Yet as I ponder right now, I see that, as Elder Eyring stated, “Greater holiness will not come simply by asking for it. It will come by doing what is needed for God to change us.”
As I think about the last year, my perspective begins to change and my eyes are opened. The anxiety I was diagnosed with is an opportunity for me to have more sense of his care. Moving across the state and the loneliness that followed is an opportunity for me to have more joy in His service. My job teaching special education that has filled me with both joy and grief has been a chance for me to find more strivings within when the days became long. These are just a few examples that, so easy to see in hindsight, have not seemed in the moment to be experiences curated by a loving Father to help me become more blessed and holy, more like the Savior.
This concept has been popping up more as I have kept this talk in my heart.
I remember the story of President Nelson as a young heart surgeon, crying in his living room, on the verge of quitting, yet becoming holier with a taste of the pain of Christ’s grief, later operating on a prophet’s heart, and later leading many millions of hearts as the current prophet. Or Joseph in Egypt, trapped, sold, imprisoned, ridiculed, yet later showing meekness in trial as he saved many people from famine and destruction, including those who had originally hurt him.
God is dedicated to us becoming holier and happier. That is His plan. Every trial and every experience can help us in our journey to becoming more like Him.
I AM STATEMENT
I AM holier and happier through the opportunities the Lord gives me to change and grow.
FAITH IN ACTION
This week, take a moment to choose one phrase from the hymn "More Holiness Give Me," and pray for that quality daily. Take time each evening to reflect on how Heavenly Father is helping you become more holy and happy and record it in your journal.
Take time this week to minister in a higher and holier way by praying for a way to share the gospel or a spiritual experience with someone you minister to. Perhaps invite them to the temple, share a scripture with them, or ask them what they are working on to become more holy and offer to help them. It is easy to bring cookies to those we minister to, but it can be an opportunity for growth to know how to lift them spiritually.
In Come Follow Me this week, ponder how Christ’s example, particularly of being baptized, teaches us that holiness is something we become by doing what is needed for God to change us, rather than something we just obtain by asking for it.
In class or family home evening, invite those participating to write down one challenge, trial, mistake, big or small, that they have struggled with recently. Invite them to think of a way that through repentance or change they have become or may become more holy because of it. You may make suggestions using the words from the hymn for ideas.