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Matthew J. Eyring

To Guard and Nurture Your Testimony

Thank you so much for that beautiful music, and for your preparation. I am grateful for President Richards and for this kind administration. Even as I have been here just these few short minutes for you, there is a wonderful spirit of kindness and faithfulness. As I watched each of you walk in in preparation for not just this devotional, but for every one that you attend. And that song (“I Am Called by Thy Name”) was perfect to me because as I meet you, I know that you are called by His name.

In prayerfully preparing for this talk, I’ve tried to keep a picture of you in my mind—where you’ve come from, your current stage of life at LDS Business College, and perhaps some of your hopes and dreams for the future. While each of you are distinct individuals, there are at least a few important things that you all have in common.

The first is that each of you has made the decision to attend a very special institution, one that prepares its students to enter the workforce and make a contribution to the world. And more importantly, it offers that education in a supportive environment that emphasizes discipleship to the Lord Jesus Christ. Each of you has self-selected to be a part of this uniquely practical, spiritual experience, and it’s not by chance.

Late in my senior year in high school, I remember beginning to make preliminary arrangements to attend the university to which I had been accepted. In the midst of those preparations, I wasn’t feeling settled about my choice of school. After reading my patriarchal blessing and counseling with my parents, I made the unexpected decision to apply to another school, one that I had not before considered attending.

I was accepted there, enrolled, and it turned out to be a wonderful fit for me. I’m sure many of you could tell a similar story of the inspired circumstances that brought you to LDS Business College. Your choice to attend this great institution says a great deal about you, your priorities, and your seriousness of purpose.

In addition to a common choice of school, my guess is that many of you also share a set of similar feelings about your future, and if I guess right, it’s probably a mixture of hope, excitement, uncertainty, and maybe even a little bit of fear. Questions like these might occasionally run through your mind: Have I picked the right career path? Do I have what it takes to be a success? Will I be able to support myself and my family, or the family I hope to have someday? How do I maintain a path of discipleship throughout my life? I’ve always felt that at least a little worry in life is justified, given the complex, competitive, and dynamic world in which we live.

A consulting firm I previously worked for studied the pace at which well-known, large companies failed or were acquired. This isn’t the only thing we did, but that was one study. This failure rate has picked up considerably over the years, even from the time your parents were your age. This increased rate of turbulence presents unique challenges and opportunities for you. By some estimates, the average worker is currently staying in a job less than five years. For the younger generation, including Millennials—that’s many of you, born between 1977 and 1997—there is an expectation of even more rapid job turnover. That is a lot of potential change and career change during a lifetime.

Most importantly, you will also need to stay strong in a world that is turbulent spiritually and increasingly drifting from its moorings. How can you be truly successful in a world that presents turbulence and challenge, especially when you might feel somewhat like an underdog in the first place? May I suggest a very straightforward answer? Over time, the Lord will guide, protect, and bless those who show an attitude of unwearyingness, obedience, and devotion in carrying out the things that He has asked.

The only real genius the Lord needs from you to accomplish His purposes is the genius to give Him your whole heart, as demonstrated by your very best efforts. The Lord can accomplish great things through us, the weak and simple of the world, when we follow His counsel to “be not weary in well-doing.”[i] Whatever our modest abilities, the Lord will work miracles in our lives if we seek Him out with unwearyingness, keep His commandments, and look for opportunities at every turn to be taught and grow.

As mortals, we cannot see the end from the beginning in our lives, but the Lord can and does. The Lord often reminds us of the blessings awaiting those who are not weary in serving Him, even in the face of great obstacles.

In the fall of 1841, Joseph Smith had recently returned to Kirtland, Ohio, from Missouri, where the Saints were seeking to establish Zion. They faced many challenges. In the midst of these struggles, the Lord through His prophet said this to a group of elders preparing to journey to Missouri: “Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great. Behold, the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind.”[ii]

The Lord knew well the challenges facing the Church and its leaders, and of more challenges they couldn’t see that were yet to come. But He could also see the great blessings that would come to individuals in the Church for obedience to His commandments. He asked for their hearts and willing minds, as evidenced by not being “weary in well-doing.”

Sometimes, brothers and sisters, all we can see is very slow progress on a foundation we can barely perceive, while the Lord can see the “great work” that is being built on that foundation of faithfulness. In your life, that foundation may include applying yourself to studies for sustained periods of time, or remaining faithful in the midst of physical, financial, emotional, or other challenges.

A story in the life of Nephi, son of Helaman, illustrates this principle. Although he faithfully served his people as chief judge, he was the sad witness to pride and dissension among the Nephites. Among other things, they were guilty of murdering, plundering, lying, stealing, committing adultery, and deserting away to the land of the Lamanites. Nephi left the judgment seat to preach repentance to the people with his brother Lehi.[iii] During his ministry, Nephi experienced both great success and serious trials. He saw his people repent and then slip again into great wickedness. He pleaded with them to return to the path of righteousness.

In the midst of this struggle and at a time Nephi might have logically questioned whether all of his efforts were paying off, the Lord said this:

Blessed art thou, Nephi, for those things which thou hast done; for I have beheld how thou hast with unwearyingness declared the word, which I have given unto thee, unto this people. And thou hast not feared them, and hast not sought thine own life, but has sought my will, and to keep my commandments. And now, because thou hast done this with such unwearyingness, behold, I will bless thee forever.[iv]

Nephi’s unwearyingness in the face of challenge prepared him to be blessed by the Lord. A missionary companion of mine in Chile taught me the value of not being weary. I had been out in the field four months when I was asked to train a new Chilean missionary. I went to the mission home to pick him up. After hearing me speak Spanish for a few minutes, he told me, “Elder Eyring, you can teach me how to be a good missionary, but I’m going to teach you how to speak Spanish.”

We were assigned to open a brand new area, a number of subdivisions in newly constructed brick homes that had never before seen missionaries. A recently-called branch president presided over a small handful of members who had moved into the area. The first several weeks, as you can imagine, were spent knocking doors and street contacting almost full time.

At the beginning of the day, we would take a large legal pad and draw horizontal and vertical lines until the page was full of dozens of small squares. We would make a goal each day to fill up this sheet with the names and addresses of new contacts. At the end of one particularly long day of street contacting, we had managed to fill the entire sheet with contacts. It was dark and approaching the time we were supposed to return to our apartment.

I told my companion it was time to head back and began walking. To my annoyance, this new missionary lagged behind me. What was he doing? It turned out he was making one more contact. In my mind, we already had been working extremely hard that day. I knew we had. And we had a sheet full of follow-up visits. Somewhat exasperated at the disobedience of my new trainee, I walked back and joined the conversation. This contact was a student returning home from university studies in Santiago. He said he didn’t have much time to talk but gave his name and address and said we could stop by.

The visit didn’t last for more than a minute or so. A few days later, we knocked on the door of that late-night contact. When the door opened, I was surprised to see a whole room full of people. I assumed the family that lived there was entertaining guests and apologized for interrupting. “No,” they said, “this is just our family.” We were very excited.

This family of twelve invited us in, and we attempted to show them a filmstrip of the First Vision. This was a movie filmstrip from many years ago. The bulb in the projector somehow burned out, and we proceeded through the presentation with only a cassette tape audio track and the periodic beeps that accompanied it. Despite our technical challenges, a strong spirit was felt and we were invited back.

Over the next week, we learned more about the background of this large family. They had recently moved from a tough area of Santiago known for a relatively high crime rate. Only a year before, their father had been killed there under tragic circumstances, leaving their 54-year-old mother and older siblings to care for the rest of the young children. Wanting to make a new start in a new location, they had moved to this neighborhood.

They accepted readily our message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and of the eternal nature of families. Several weeks later, all but three of them were baptized, and in the coming years, two older brothers and the youngest sister were also baptized. My companion was transferred soon after we held that initial discussion and was not there to see this wonderful family enter the waters of baptism, but I think often about the fruits of the actions of this young elder and his determination to “be not weary.”

A couple of weeks ago, I received a very unexpected email. It was from the youngest boy of that family, Hector. He was twelve years old when he was baptized, and I hadn’t seen him in over 25 years. He told me he was living in the United States, and he arranged to stop by my office. When I came down to the lobby to greet him, I saw that he was accompanied by his beautiful wife and three children. We went to eat lunch and caught up on the activities of the intervening quarter-century.

He had served a mission himself many years ago, baptizing others who have since served missions. He spoke of the families he had baptized who were subsequently sealed in the temple. After his mission, he met a wonderful young woman in an Institute class and they married in the temple. I wiped away tears of joy as I met with them and pondered the miracles of the Lord’s work. I thought of my old missionary companion. It was his unwearyingness to make that last contact on a dusty road after a long day that began to open the windows of heaven to blessings upon two missionaries and a special family.

So what are some of the ways that you can obey the commandment to “be not weary” as you complete your time here at LDS Business College, head to the workforce, and focus on your obligations to God and family? Let me suggest a few—and I’ll suggest three here:

Number one: be not weary in your course work at LDS Business College. Focus as seriously as you possibly can on your studies and training. I remember being in a devotional forum like this one my freshman year at Ricks College. A member of the school administration was speaking to us, and in exhorting us to give our very best made this point: from here on out our academic transcripts would, in some respects, be pinned to us, following us around the rest of our lives. As someone who hadn’t always given 100% in high school, this gave me motivation to set my sights higher. We should seek to do our very best academically, but beyond a grade on a piece of paper, education prepares us for a future of service our Heavenly Father expects of us.

President Hinckley expressed it beautifully in remarks to the youth in 2007:

You have the potential to become anything to which you set your mind. You have a mind and a body and a spirit. With these three working together, you can walk the high road that leads to achievement and happiness. But this will require effort and sacrifice and faith.

You must get all of the education that you possibly can. Life has become so complex and competitive. You cannot assume that you have entitlements due you. You will be expected to put forth great effort and to use your best talents to make your way to the most wonderful future of which you are capable. Sacrifice a car; sacrifice anything that is needed to be sacrificed to qualify yourselves to do the work of the world. That world will in large measure pay you what it thinks you are worth, and your worth will increase as you gain education and proficiency in your chosen field.[v]

President Hinckley continues:

You have a mandate from the Lord to educate your minds and your hearts and your hands. The Lord has said, “Teach ye diligently . . . of things both in heaven and in the earth, and under the earth; things which have been, things which are, things which must shortly come to pass; things which are at home, things which are abroad; the wars and the perplexities of the nations, and the judgments which are on the land; and a knowledge also of countries and of kingdoms—that ye may be prepared in all things” (D&C 88:78–80).

The Lord wants you to train your minds and hands to become an influence for good as you go forward with your lives. And as you do so and as you perform honorably and with excellence, you will bring honor to the Church, for you will be regarded as a man or woman of integrity and ability and conscientious workmanship. In addition, your education will strengthen your service in the Church. A study was made some years ago that indicated the higher the education, the greater the faith and participation in religious activity.

The Lord wants you to educate your minds and hands, whatever your chosen field. Whether it be repairing refrigerators, or the work of a skilled surgeon, you must train yourselves. Seek for the best schooling available. Become a workman of integrity in the world that lies ahead of you.[vi]

Don’t cheat yourselves by not taking advantage of the opportunity in front of you right now to get the training you will need to bless others. Be not weary in your preparations to make a contribution to the world, your family, and the Church.

There were times in my educational journey where I questioned where it was all headed and whether it was worth it. It is only in hindsight and after many years that I can see the full usefulness and purpose of those years of training.

Number two: be not weary in the workplace. As you prepare to enter the workplace, prepare to give more value than you take. As an employer, I know how rare it is to find someone who is truly unweary, willing to consistently give more than is required, delivering much more value than what he or she takes out or is paid in salary. Fight the selfish urge some young graduates have to feel entitled to special treatment in the workplace or to feel their employer owes them something.

Try to find work that you enjoy, that you are good at, and that can sustain you economically. But once you have committed to something, throw yourself enthusiastically and without reservation into your chosen labors. I have happy memories as a boy, visiting the office of my Grandpa Eyring and seeing the papers and the articles piled on his desk. I was a little younger and shorter at that time, so the piles probably looked a bit bigger. As a chemistry professor at the University of Utah, he taught summers, although that was not a requirement. He loved the subject of chemistry, his students, and the university that employed him. He joked that if someday there was only demand for one chemist in the world, he wanted to be that person. He used to talk with a smile about working until “your ears ring.”

Your work ethic, drive, and willingness to do whatever it takes to do a job well will distinguish you in almost any work environment. An unwearying worker is rare, unique, and valued.

Number three: be not weary in nurturing your testimony and prioritize the things of God first in your life. Despite your weaknesses, why is the Lord able to bless you so much if you commit to not being weary? One reason is because you are teachable and therefore open to be guided by the Spirit. The commandment to be not weary is especially important for your spiritual growth.

One of the tools of the adversary in weakening your testimony of the gospel is to get you to stop experimenting upon the word—that is, consistently nourishing that testimony and living in such a way that it is always growing.

Over the years, I’ve tried to take the periodic opportunity to sit down with each of my children, review goals, and talk about any concerns they might have. One night a number of years ago when we were living in Boston, I was speaking with our young daughter and asked her if she had any concerns she wanted to discuss. She hesitantly offered that she did. With the emotion of a serious 12-year-old, she said, “Dad, when I bear my testimony, I don’t want to just say the words; I want to feel the words. I want to know that they are true.”

This heartfelt plea from a young daughter deeply touched my heart. I opened my scriptures to Alma 32 and asked her to read verse 28. And “now, we will compare the word unto a seed.” We explored together the concept that a testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ is obtained and kept by treating the word of God much like a wise gardener treats a seed. She first needed to plant that seed in fertile soil through her faith, carefully water and watch over it, and avoid doing anything in the meantime that would inhibit its growth.

The key was to not be weary in her effort to experiment upon the word and to take good care of that seed. I promised her that with enough work and patience, in time that seed would grow within her and she would powerfully feel the truthfulness of her testimony. It would be just as Alma promised:

But behold, as the seed swelleth, and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow, then you must needs say that the seed is good; for behold, it swelleth, and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow. And now, behold, will not this strengthen your faith? Yea, it will strengthen your faith: for ye will say I know that this is a good seed; for behold it sprouteth and beginneth to grow.[vii]

We have watched the testimony of that young girl grow over the intervening years. Both she and that seed have matured together because of her unwearyingness in experimenting upon the word. The same promises are available to each of you. Again Alma describes the process:

And behold, as the tree beginneth to grow, ye will say: Let us nourish it with great care, that it may get root, that it may grow up, and bring forth fruit unto us. And now behold, if ye nourish it with much care it will get root, and grow up, and bring forth fruit.

But if ye neglect the tree, and take no thought for its nourishment, behold it will not get any root; and when the heat of the sun cometh and scorcheth it, because it hath no root it withers away, and ye pluck it up and cast it out.[viii]

And listen to these very, very important verses:

Now, this is not because the seed was not good, neither is it because the fruit thereof would not be desirable; but it is because your ground is barren, and ye will not nourish the tree, therefore ye cannot have the fruit thereof.

And thus, if ye will not nourish the word, looking forward with an eye of faith to the fruit thereof, ye can never pluck of the fruit of the tree of life.

But if ye will nourish the word, yea, nourish the tree as it beginneth to grow, by your faith with great diligence, and with patience, looking forward to the fruit thereof, it shall take root; and behold it shall be a tree springing up into everlasting life.

And because of your diligence and your faith and your patience with the word in nourishing it, that it may take root in you, behold, by and by ye shall pluck the fruit thereof, which is most precious, which is sweet above all that is sweet, and which is white above all that is white, yea, and pure above all that is pure; and ye shall feast upon this fruit even until ye are filled, that ye hunger not, neither shall ye thirst.

Then, my brethren, ye shall reap the rewards of your faith, and your diligence, and patience, and long-suffering, waiting for the tree to bring forth fruit unto you.[ix]

My young friends, you are living in a day and age when you must guard your testimony as you would a great treasure. As the years go by, you may watch the faith of those around you be tested. And you may even see some close to you struggle and lose their faith. But you needn’t be concerned if you are unweary in your pursuit of truth. The promise is sure: if you nurture the seed with unwearyingness, it will always continue to grow and produce sweet fruit.

When I was a young boy preparing for baptism, my father sat me down for a brief father’s interview. I can still see in my mind the outline of the room my brother and I shared in Rexburg, Idaho. My father kindly asked me if I believed in Jesus Christ. I began crying and told him I didn’t really know. It was an honest answer from an 8-year-old boy. My dad invited me to kneel with him and pray. I remember a warm feeling enveloping me and the first seeds of testimony coming into my heart. Those early seeds of testimony have grown over the years as I have tried to nurture them and avoid doing things that would create barren ground in my heart.

Nurturing your testimony will require prioritizing the things of God in your life on a consistent basis. There may be a temptation as time goes by, somewhere distant from this devotional in the future, when you might be tempted to neglect the little things that are key to your spiritual well-being. Unwearyingness in key daily habits including prayer, scripture study, and service are absolutely critical. Weekly worship and service in the Church, regular temple attendance, and payment of tithes are all critical, small and simple things that if done with a willing heart will form a foundation of righteousness in your life.

It is a great privilege to speak to you, those with so much life in front of you and so much potential. As I’ve said, I have felt a very special spirit as I have sat here and as I have thought about you before I came to this meeting. I watched as many videos as I possibly could on the LDS Business College website to try to get to know you. Take advantage of the time you have at LDS Business College to prepare for the years ahead. Remember the words from Alma 34 that now is the time “to prepare to meet God.”[x]

I would like to bear my testimony that I know that this Church is true. I know that Joseph Smith was the prophet of the Restoration and that Thomas S. Monson is God’s prophet on the earth today. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know that Jesus is the Christ and that through the Atonement, we are able to overcome sin and return to live with our Heavenly Father. And I say this in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.


[i] D&C 64:33.

[ii] Doctrine and Covenants 64:33–34.

[iii] See Helaman 5:1–14.

[iv] Helaman 10:4–5.

[v] Gordon B. Hinckley, “Seek Learning,” Words of the Prophet, Article for Youth, .

[vi] Hinckley, “Seek Learning.”

[vii] Alma 32:30.

[viii] Alma 32:37–38.

[ix] Alma 32:39–43.

[x] Alma 34:32.


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