Draw closer to God, come to share intents of his heart
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Those who pray, listen and obey Heavenly Father will draw closer to Him and come to share the thoughts and intents of His heart, Bishop Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, said Sunday morning.
Many people do not know that God exists or feel He is at some great distance, but "God is . . . not distant but close. He is the Father of our spirits; we are His children," Bishop Eyring remarked.Even though people may feel far removed at times from God, if they allow the words of the gospel of Jesus Christ to touch them, then they must believe in God, he explained. They must want to be with Him. And they must sense a need to be purified to be with Him again.
"The day will come when we will see Him again. President Benson described it this way: `Nothing is going to startle us more when we pass through the veil to the other side than to realize how well we know our Father and how familiar His face is to us.'
"While what President Benson said will be true in the future, we need to feel now that God knows and loves us as individuals. There are times you have felt the closeness of God, your Father, and that you are His child. Those times can come more often."
Everyone finds a way to stay close to friends who live a distance away by speaking, listening and doing things for those friends. "If much time passed without the speaking, the listening, and the doing, the bonds would weaken.
"God is perfect and omnipotent, and you and I are mortal. But He is our Father, He loves us, and He offers the same opportunity to draw closer to Him as would a loving friend. And you will do it in much the same way: speaking, listening, and doing.
"Our Heavenly Father has not only invited us to speak to Him, He has commanded it. And, as He has always done, when He commands He promises, too."
Bishop Eyring continued, "Jesus Christ speaks the words of the Father. You can read the scriptures, listen, and then hear God's answers to you. There is another way to listen to God. Many of you will have heard answers to your prayers today. I bear testimony that you have in this conference heard the voices of true apostles and prophets of the Lord Jesus Christ.
"God loves His children. They have great needs. Everything belongs to God, so there is not much you can give Him, after you have given Him a repentant heart. But you can give kindness to His children. If you were my earthly friend, you would win my heart by being kind to my children. God loves His children more than any earthly parent, so think what your kindness to His children means to Him.
"You will still be startled, as President Benson said you would be, to realize how familiar the face of our Heavenly Father is. But when you see Him, you will know His voice, because you will have prayed, listened and obeyed, and come to share the thoughts and intents of His heart."