- I have felt impressed to speak to you today about another kind of gathering. This kind does not happen only every six months, as general conference does. Instead, it has been going on continuously since the early days of the Restoration of the Church, and it has been hastening in recent years. I refer to the gathering of the family of God.
He talks about this plan starting long before we came to earth. This plan to gather the children of God was agreed upon in our premortal life and the way to succeed and return to God was outlined.
- The central element of this plan was the promise that Jesus Christ would offer Himself as a sacrifice, to rescue us from sin and death. Our task in that plan is to accept the Savior’s sacrifice by obeying the laws and ordinances of the gospel. You and I accepted this plan. In fact, we rejoiced in it, even though it would mean that we would leave the presence of our Father and forget what we had experienced there with Him.
We were not sent here to be completely blind to God's plan. We each have the light of Christ to help us sense the right and wrong things in life.
- Each of us was given a portion of God’s light, called the “Light of Christ,” to help us distinguish between good and evil, right and wrong. This is why even those who live with little or no knowledge of the Father’s plan can still sense, in their hearts, that certain actions are just and moral while others are not.
Ultimately, God's plan is to have us all reunited with Him with our families. He intends for us to return to Him and bring our families with us. Families help us learn correct principles that will lead us back to God.
- Families are the basic organizational unit of the eternal realms, and so He intends for them also to be the basic unit on earth. Though earthly families are far from perfect, they give God’s children the best chance to be welcomed to the world with the only love on earth that comes close to what we felt in heaven—parental love. Families are also the best way to preserve and pass on moral virtues and true principles that are most likely to lead us back to God’s presence.
President Eyring speaks about genealogy and the advancements that have occurred of the years that allow us to perform the saving ordinances for our ancestors. God has inspired great people to move these technologies forward and hasten the work of gathering the family of God.
- Our Heavenly Father is anxious to gather and bless all of His family. While He knows that not all of them will choose to be gathered, His plan gives each of His children the opportunity to accept or reject His invitation. And families are at the heart of this plan.
Many in the church including the youth have discovered the blessings that come from family history work, temple attendance, and helping gather the family of God. God inspires us to want to accomplish more and more to gather our family and in the process, provides us direction and guidance along the path of life.
- Many youth have discovered that giving of their time to do family history research and temple work has deepened their testimony of the plan of salvation. It has increased the influence of the Spirit in their lives and decreased the influence of the adversary. It has helped them feel closer to their families and closer to the Lord Jesus Christ. They have learned that this work saves not just the dead; it saves all of us.
What a great blessing it is in our lives to get to partner with God in gathering His children. We are all part of plan and we need to assure we are on the right path, seek to help our neighbors and friends get on the path, and then help our ancestors receive the saving ordinances of salvation. I am so grateful for a perfect plan. It is really a simple plan. If we follow the guidance that is laid out for us, we will find peace in this life and in the life to come and we will not be alone. Our families will be there with us throughout all eternity.