God picks Mormon leaders, and he never gets it wrong, Eyring says

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) President Henry B. Eyring conducts the priesthood session of LDS General Conference, Saturday, September 30, 2017.

God chooses the men he wants to lead the LDS Church — and it’s never a mistake.

The Almighty speaks to Mormon men “called as prophets through revelation,” Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in the church’s governing First Presidency, said at the all-male priesthood session of the 187th Semiannual General Conference on Saturday night. “It takes faith to believe that God calls imperfect people into positions of trust. It takes faith to believe that [God] knows the people he calls perfectly.”

That is equally true in local Mormon congregations, Eyring said. “I try not to judge servants of the Lord or to speak of their apparent weakness.”

There is a “thread that binds us to the Lord in our service,” he said. “It runs from wherever we are called to serve in the kingdom, up through those called to preside over us in the priesthood, and to the prophet, who is bound to the Lord. It takes faith and humility to serve in the place to which we are called, to trust that the Lord called us and those who preside over us, and to sustain them with full faith.”

Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, offered a meditation on the spiritual healing of light.

“Even the deepest spiritual wounds — yes, even those that may appear to be incurable — can be healed,” Uchtdorf told the boys and men assembled in the ConferenceCenter in downtown Salt Lake City. “... Spiritual ailments...have onething in common: the absence of divine light.”

Darkness “dims our vision of that which was at one time plain and clear,” he said. “When we are in darkness, we are more likely to make poor choices, because we cannot see dangers in our path. When we are in darkness, we are more likely to lose hope, because we cannot see the peace and joy that await us if we just keep pressing forward.”

By contrast, light “allows us to see things as they really are,” Uchtdorf said. “It allows us to discern between truth and error, between the vital and the trivial. When we are in the light, we can make righteous choices based on true principles.”

As believers “step away from the shadows of the world and into the everlasting light of Christ,” he said, it brings “hope, happiness and healing of any spiritual wound or ailment.”

In turn, those who walk in the light “become instruments in the hands of [Jesus Christ] ‘the light of the world,’” Uchtdorf said, “to give light to others.”

Richard J. Maynes of the Seventy discussed the need to gaining the trust of God, family, friends, even co-workers.

“Earning the Lord’s trust comes as a result of being true to the covenants we have made in the waters of baptism and in the holy temple,” Maynes said. “When we keep our promises to the Lord, his trust in us grows.”

Trust brings peace in a marriage and home, he said. It “plays an extremely important role in the development of a Christ-centered home.”

The LDS general authority ended with a story about his business-owner father being offered a bribe from a potential project partner. The dad declined in horror, saying, “Listen, Rick, once you take a bribe or compromise your integrity, it is very difficult to ever get it back. Don’t ever do it, not even once.”

Trust is a “sacred principle,” Maynes concluded, “built on integrity.”

LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson did not attend the meeting. The 90-year-old leader is in declining health and is not expected to be at any of this fall’s conference sessions.