A Life Founded in Light and Truth (Eyring)

Obedience to commandments is the way we build a foundation of truth. Here is the way that works, in words that are so simple a child could understand. The truth of most worth is to know God our Heavenly Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and Their plan for us to have eternal life with them in families. When God communicates that priceless truth to us, He does it by the Spirit of Truth. We have to ask for it in prayer. Then He sends us a small part of that truth by the Spirit. It comes to our hearts and minds. It feels good, like the light from the sun shining through the clouds on a dark day. He sends truth line upon line, like the lines on the page of a book. Each time a line of truth comes to us, we get to choose what we will do about the light and truth God has sent to us. If we try hard to do what that truth requires of us, God will send more light and more truth. It will go on, line after line, as long as we choose to obey the truth. That is why the Savior said that the man who obeyed His commandments built on a rock so solid that no storm or flood could hurt his house.



In another place in the scriptures, the Lord described in a beautiful way how that foundation could be built so that we could finally come to know all He knows and become like Him and our Heavenly Father. Listen to His words. His words are truth. And listen to see if something comes into your mind that you should do, because these words are true.

I give unto you these sayings that you may understand and know how to worship, and know what you worship, that you may come unto the Father in my name, and in due time receive of his fulness.
For if you keep my commandments you shall receive of his fulness, and be glorified in me as I am in the Father; therefore, I say unto you, you shall receive grace for grace. [D&C 93:19–20]

And then a few verses later the Lord says:

And truth is knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come;

And whatsoever is more or less than this is the spirit of that wicked one who was a liar from the beginning.

The Spirit of truth is of God. I am the Spirit of truth, and John bore record of me, saying: He received a fulness of truth, yea, even of all truth;

And no man receiveth a fulness unless he keepeth his commandments.

He that keepeth his commandments receiveth truth and light, until he is glorified in truth and knoweth all things. [D&C 93:24–28]

Now you can understand why President Joseph F. Smith made building on a foundation of truth sound like a long list of things to do. He seems to be describing work rather than the exciting adventure that it is. I remember President Benson saying with a smile about his service, "I love this work. And it is work." Here is President Smith's description of the work it takes to build an imperishable foundation of truth. You will notice that the work is simple obedience. It is not complicated things--it is not fancy things or getting great spiritual manifestations. This is work within the abilities of the most humble and the least educated. Here is his list:

But the men and the women who are honest before God, who humbly plod along, doing their duty, paying their tithing, and exercising that pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father, which is to visit the fatherless and the widows in their afflictions and to keep oneself unspotted from the world, and who help look after the poor; and who honor the holy Priesthood, who do not run into excesses, who are prayerful in their families, and who acknowledge the Lord in their hearts, they will build up a foundation that the gates of hell cannot prevail against; and if the floods come and the storms beat upon their house, it shall not fall, for it will be built upon the rock of eternal truth. [GD, 7–8]

It sounds so simple to build on a foundation of truth that you may wonder why everyone doesn't succeed. For one thing, it takes great humility. It is hard to repent, to admit you are wrong on faith alone, before the coming of the evidence of a feeling of being forgiven and the appearance of light. But that is the way it has to be. First comes obedience, and then come the confirming assurances, the revelation of truth, and the blessing of light.





Henry B. Eyring, "A Life Founded in Light and Truth", Education Week, August 15, 2000


http://speeches.byu.edu/reader/reader.php?id=1147&x=62&y=4

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