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When a young Henry B. Eyring would complain that things were hard, his mother would advise him, “If you are on the right path, it will always be uphill.” To choose the Lord’s way is to choose higher ground.
"The Lord is anxious to lead us to the safety of higher ground," writes President Eyring, "away from the path of physical and spiritual danger. His upward path will require us to climb." In this remarkable book, he explains some of the ways in which we will accomplish that upward journey, including starting from a strong foundation, learning to help others, and finding strength in adversity.
"Let us do whatever is required to qualify for the Holy Ghost as our companion," President Eyring urges, "and then let us go forward fearlessly so that we will be given the powers to do whatever the Lord calls us to do." Filled with a revered leader's clear insights and sound counsel, Choose Higher Ground helps readers gain access to the power promised by the Lord to all His faithful disciples in the latter days.
About the Author
Henry B. Eyring was called in 2008 as First Counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He has served as a General Authority since 1985, when he was called to serve in the Presiding Bishopric; he was sustained as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in 1995 and as Second Counselor in the First Presidency in 2007.
President Eyring holds a bacherlor’s degree from the University of Utah and master’s and PhD degrees from Harvard University. He worked as an associate professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and was president of Ricks College from 1971 to 1977. He also served as commissioner of Church Education. He and his wife, Kathleen Johnson Eyring, are the parents of six children and grandparents of twenty-eight.
Trust in God, Then Go and Do
The needs of Latter-day Saints across the world are great and varied. Each of you is a unique child of God. God knows you individually. He sends messages of encouragement, correction, and direction fitted to you and to your needs.
One day, as I was pondering and praying about how I might help meet these needs, I received an answer to my prayer as I read the words of Alma, a great servant of the Lord in the Book of Mormon:
“O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people!
“Yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth.
“But behold, I am a man, and do sin in my wish; for I ought to be content with the things which the Lord hath allotted unto me” (Alma 29:1–3).
And then I found in Alma’s reflection the direction for which I had been praying: “For behold, the Lord doth grant unto all nations, of their own nation and tongue, to teach his word, yea, in wisdom, all that he seeth fit that they should have; therefore we see that the Lord doth counsel in wisdom, according to that which is just and true” (Alma 29:8).
God sends messages and authorized messengers to His children. We need to develop enough trust in God and His servants that we will go out and obey His counsel. He wants that because He loves us and wants our happiness. And He knows how a lack of trust in Him brings sadness.
That lack of trust has brought sorrow to Heavenly Father’s children from before the world was created. We know through the revelations of God to the Prophet Joseph Smith that many of our brothers and sisters in the premortal world rejected the plan for our mortal life presented by our Heavenly Father and His eldest Son, Jehovah (see Doctrine and Covenants 29:36–37; Abraham 3:27–28).
We don’t know all the reasons for Lucifer’s terrible success in inciting that rebellion. However, one reason is clear. Those who lost the blessing of coming into mortality lacked sufficient trust in God to avoid eternal misery.
The sad pattern of lack of trust in God has persisted since the Creation. I will be careful in giving examples from the lives of God’s children since I do not know all the reasons for their lack of faith enough to trust Him. Many of you have studied the moments of crisis in their lives.
Jonah, for instance, not only rejected the message from the Lord to go to Nineveh but went the other way. Naaman could not trust the direction of the Lord’s prophet to bathe in a river to allow the Lord to heal his leprosy, feeling the simple task was beneath his dignity.
The Savior invited Peter to leave the safety of a boat to walk to Him across water. We ache for him and see our own need for greater trust in God as we hear the account:
“And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.
“And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.
“But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.
“And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
“And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
“But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
“And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” (Matthew 14:25–31).
We can take courage from the fact that Peter came to trust the Lord enough to stay faithful in His service all the way to his martyrdom.
The young Nephi in the Book of Mormon stirs in us a desire to develop trust in the Lord to obey His commandments, however hard they appear to us. Nephi faced danger and possible death when he said these words of trust that we can and must feel steadily in our hearts: “I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them” (1 Nephi 3:7).
That trust comes from knowing God. More than any other people on earth, we have, through the glorious events of the Restoration of the gospel, felt the peace that the Lord offered His people with the words “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). My heart is filled with gratitude for what God has revealed about Himself that we might trust Him.
For me it began in 1820 with a young boy in a grove of trees on a farm in the state of New York. The boy, Joseph Smith Jr., walked among the trees to a secluded spot. He knelt to pray with complete trust that God would answer his pleading to know what he should do to be cleansed and saved through the Atonement of Jesus Christ (see Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith 2007, 28).
Each time I read his account, my trust in God and His servants expands:
“I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me.
“It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!” (Joseph Smith–History 1:16–17).
The Father revealed to us that He lives, that Jesus Christ is His Beloved Son, and that He loved us enough to send that Son to save us, who are His children. And because I have a testimony that He called that unlettered boy as an apostle and prophet, I trust His apostles and prophets today and those they call to serve God.
That trust has blessed my life and the lives of my family. Years ago I heard President Ezra Taft Benson counsel us to do all we could to get out of debt and stay out. He mentioned mortgages on houses. He said that it might not be possible, but it would be best if we could pay off all our mortgage debt (see, for example, “Prepare for the Days of Tribulation,” Ensign, November 1980, 33).
I turned to my wife after the meeting and asked, “Do you think there is any way we could do that?” At first we couldn’t. And then by evening I thought of a property we had acquired in another state. For years we had tried to sell it without success.
But because we trusted God and a few words from the midst of His servant’s message, we placed a phone call Monday morning to the man in San Francisco who had our property listed to sell. I had called him a few weeks before, and he had said then, “We haven’t had anyone show interest in your property for years.”
But on the Monday after conference, I heard an answer that to this day strengthens my trust in God and His servants.
The man on the phone said, “I am surprised by your call. A man came in today inquiring whether he could buy your property.” In amazement I asked, “How much did he offer to pay?” It was a few dollars more than the amount of our mortgage.
A person might say that was only a coincidence. But our mortgage was paid off. And our family still listens for any word in a prophet’s message that might be sent to tell what we should do to find the security and peace God wants for us.
Such trust in God can bless communities as well as families. I grew up in a small town in New Jersey. Our branch of the Church had fewer than twenty members who regularly attended.
Among them was a woman—an older, very humble convert to the Church. She was an immigrant who spoke with a heavy Norwegian accent. She was the only member of the Church in her family and the only member of the Church in the city in which she lived.
Through my father, who was the branch president, the Lord called her as the president of the branch Relief Society. She had no handbook to tell her what to do. No other member of the Church lived near her. She only knew that the Lord cared for those in need and the few words in the motto of the Relief Society: “Charity never faileth.”
It was in the depths of what we now call the Great Depression. Thousands were out of work and homeless. So, feeling she had her errand from the Lord, she asked her neighbors for old clothes. She washed the clothes, pressed them, and put them in cardboard boxes on her back porch. When men without money needed clothes and asked her neighbors for help, they would say, “Go to the house down the street. There is a Mormon lady living there who will give you what you need.”
The Lord did not run the city, but He changed a part of it for the better. He called one tiny woman—alone—who trusted Him enough to find out what He wanted her to do and then did it. Because of her trust in the Lord, she was able to help in that city hundreds of Heavenly Father’s children in need.
That same trust in God can bless nations. I have come to know that we can trust God to fulfill the promise of Alma that “behold, the Lord doth grant unto all nations, of their own nation and tongue, to teach his word, yea, in wisdom, all that he seeth fit that they should have” (Alma 29:8).
God does not rule in nations, but He is mindful of them. He can and does place people in positions of influence who want what is best for the people and who trust in the Lord (see 2 Chronicles 36:22–23; Ezra 1:1–3; Isaiah 45:1, 13).
I have seen it in my travels across the world. In a city of more than ten million people, I spoke to the Latter-day Saints gathered by the thousands in conference. It was held in a large sports arena.
Before the meeting began, I noticed a handsome young man sitting on the front row. He was surrounded by others who, like him, were better dressed than most of those around them. I asked the General Authority of the Church near me who the men were. He whispered that it was the mayor of the city and his staff.
As I walked to my car after the meeting, I was surprised to see the mayor waiting to greet me, flanked by his staff. He stepped forward, extended his hand to me, and said, “I thank you for coming to our city and to our country. We are grateful for what you do to build up your people. With such people and such families, we could create the harmony and the prosperity we want for our people.”
I saw in that moment that he was one of the honest in heart placed by God in power among His children. We are a tiny minority among the citizens of that great city and nation. The mayor knew little of our doctrine and few of our people. Yet God had sent him the message that Latter-day Saints, under covenant to trust God and His authorized servants, would become a light to his people.
I know that the servants of God whom we sustain as prophets, seers, and revelators are called of God to give messages to His children. The Lord has said of them: “What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same” (Doctrine and Covenants 1:38).
You show your trust in Him when you listen with the intent to learn and repent and then you go and do whatever He asks. If you trust God enough to listen for His message in every sermon, song, and prayer you hear in your Church meetings, you will find it. And if you then go and do what He would have you do, your power to trust Him will grow, and in time you will be overwhelmed with gratitude to find that He has come to trust you.
by Chris - reviewed on March 13, 2013
I received this as a free ebook. It is a wonderful compilation of some of Pres. Eyring's talks and encourages us to listen to the promptings of the Holy Ghost when seeking guidance in our lives. By so doing, we will be able to stay on the right path and improve our lives and influence the lives of those around us.
by Chris - reviewed on March 12, 2013
I received this as a free ebook. I loved reading it and plan to read it again. It is a wonderful compilation of some of Pres. Eyring's talks reminding us that if we will listen to, and heed the promptings of the Holy Ghost, it will help us become closer to our Heavenly Father and live happier lives.
by Jennifer - reviewed on April 16, 2013
I received this as a free e-book! It was wonderful! The sweet and profound testimony of President Eyring is felt through out the whole book. As you read, it's as if he is right there talking to you. I LOVE that! From the very beginning this book is inspiring, it truly beckons one to Choose Higher Ground.
Moved me to a Higher Ground
by Lajla - reviewed on March 26, 2013
With almost each Chapter I have felt that it was just for me and it was what I needed..or for another's need...I felt the power and understood the Atonement better, which has touched my soul and has helped me to make good choices as He said " You make choices every day and almost every hour that keep you walking in the light or moving away toward darkness" My favourite chapter was The Power of Deliverance. And there in Pres. Eyring says "The Savior not only understands and feels grief but also feels your personal grief that only YOU feel..." I just loved this book and feel privileged that it was offered to me as an ebook. L. Mac Donald. Australia
Excellent thoughts in collection of talks
by Vaughn - reviewed on February 28, 2013
Disclosure = I received this as a free ebook and am grateful. The Deseretbook app makes reading and syncing ebooks so easy and portable. This collection of addresses from Henry B. Eyring are very articulate and well-thought out.
by Amy - reviewed on March 08, 2013
President Eyring's writings and discourses are, for me, always thought provoking, inspiring, and deeply profound. This book is a collection of his more recent addresses. On one hand, I remembered most of them and so this book felt more like a review. On the other hand, it was powerful to read them all together, noting the themes that carried through several of the addresses and how the ideas from one talk were further expanded in others. It is definitely worth a thoughtful and careful read.
Wonderful collection of President Eyring's talks
by Wendy - reviewed on March 07, 2013
Although I enjoyed President Eyring's new book, it seemed to be a collection of his thoughts from earlier books. I have two of his books, "To Draw Closer to God" and "Because He First Loved Us," plus those two books on CD. Perhaps because I have already read those books and listened to the CDs many times, much of this book seemed familiar,especially the personal stories. Still wonderful President Eyring insights though.
Empowering food for thought, rather, action!
by Robert - reviewed on March 13, 2013
Paragraph One gives you your first inkling that this book isn't going to beat around the bushes! "Choose you THIS day..." And yet, this book gives you so many great ideas that you feel capable to step up to the plate and get going. Definitely this book doesn't read with the ease of a novel & it isn't a book you can read all in one sitting. But it IS a book full of empowering ideas and several examples to help one internalize the concepts taught. I found myself highlighting & re-reading and note taking for instance on how to have the Spirit as a more constant companion without it always having to be linked to a trial :) I liked fresh concepts such as the idea that Lehi & Sariah were "successful" parents who had righteous posterity that followed in their footsteps for generations, definite food for thought. I loved tidbits such as this, "you will find that the best learners make the best company." I am still trying to implement even a fraction of Elder Eyring's suggestions and know that as I do it WILL lead me to Higher Ground. C. Saxton
Seeking the best life experience is a choice. Elder Eyring shares with such compassion. You will feel the Savior's love in each chapter.
by Amie - reviewed on March 12, 2013
I appreciated the reminder that "If you are on the right path, it will always be uphill." Accepting that a great life was not intended to be easy calms my soul to endure it well. The hard things in life create a space to appreciate and savor the joys of life. I recommend this book for anyone who needs to feel understood. Elder Eyring shows how the higher ground of making and keeping covenants is a choice worth making. Worth whatever it takes!
by Kim - reviewed on March 13, 2013
Elder Eyring is one of my favorits and this book is no exception. Wonderful and uplifting with a great education at the same time. So easy to read on a tablet with thi app. Definetly recommend!
Whatever may be happening in your life right now, I know that you will be strengthened as you read the pages of Choose Higher Ground.
by Sheila - reviewed on April 07, 2013
General Conference Weekend is the perfect time to review Choose Higher Ground. This new book by President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is a book full of words of hope and promise. Some of the main ideas discussed in this book are divided in these sections: A Strong Foundation Personal Growth Through Helping Others Strength in Adversity Power to Live a Consecrated Life Help for the Last Days The main feeling from these books, is one that we can receive power from on high to live each day drawing closer to the Lord. With the choices we make, we can either draw closer to The Savior or pull away. "Stay close to the church if you want your faith in God to grow. And as it grows, so will your ability to claim the promise you were given that you can receive the gifts of the Spirit."(page 195) Pres. Eyring has such a beautiful way with words. He knows how to directly get his message across to the reader, but doing so filled with love. You will be encouraged to do better each day in your life, and not procrastinate. Pres.Eyring said... "The thought 'Someday I Will' can be a thief of the opportunities of time and the blessings of eternity...Amulek warns that procrastinating your repentance and service can cause the Spirit of the Lord to withdraw from you." (page 3) One of my favorite chapters in this book was entitled, "Walk in the Light". It is all about our journey here on Earth. Pres.Eyring wrote of how we will have many hard times in this life. This journey wasn't meant to be easy. I was lifted up by these words... "I testify that by the Spirit of Christ and by the Holy Ghost, you may walk confidently in whatever difficulties will come. Because you are so valuable, some of your trials may be severe. You need never be discouraged or afraid. The way through difficulties has always been prepared for you, and you will find it if you exercise faith. You must have faith to pray. You must have faith to ponder the word of God. You must have faith to do those things and go to those places which invite the Spirit of Christ and the Holy Ghost. " (page 33) Whatever may be happening in your life right now, I know that you will be strengthened as you read the pages of Choose Higher Ground. Henry B. Eyring's words were influenced by the Spirit. Listen to his counsel, and I know that you will feel more happiness and peace in your life.
This is a very powerful must read!!
by Shauna - reviewed on March 20, 2013
Here are a couple of the many quotes I love from this fantastic book... "Just the way you smile or the way you offer to help someone can build their faith." Another one I love... "You can have the utmost assurance that your power will be multiplied many times by the Lord. All He asks is that you give your best effort and your whole heart. Do it cheerfully and with the prayer of faith. Your efforts will be magnified in the lives of the people you serve." Choose Higher Ground is such an inspiring book. I didn't want to put it down when I started reading it. President Eyring really makes you think and realize how much the Savior is there to help us return to live with Him. I truly am thankful for the humbleness of President Eyring he is amazing! His words make me smile and feel so uplifted. This is a very powerful must read!!
by Shauna - reviewed on March 25, 2013
This book is filled with hope and encouragement... Yes, the path is uphill...but you are not alone in walking it. The sections in the book are: A Strong Foundation Personal Growth Through Helping Others Strength in Adversity Power to Live a Consecrated Life Help for the Last Days Wonderful stories to help you understand what is needed in this life for you to be happy, and encouragement to help you know you can do it!
Anything by Elder Eyring is going to be good, but this was falsely represented!
by Customer - reviewed on April 03, 2013
I was disappointed to get this book only to find that it is just a compilation of talks already given. I could get these for free! I love Elder Eyring and his talks...and that is why I already had listened to, read and re-read many of the talks. The book overview gave a very different impression. Deseret Book should make it clear that this is a compilation of talks.
by Emilee - reviewed on March 20, 2013
I have always loved Henry B. Eyring so I was thrilled to have the opportunity of reviewing one of his outstanding books. I've met Eyring a few times on my mission as well as at BYU. He is a pretty remarkable individual and I look up to him. In his book, Choose Higher Ground, Eyring talks about building a strong foundation. He also taught that using the word "someday" can be very dangerous. We shouldn't procrastinate and put off important and basic Gospel principles. Of course, I'm not perfect and I fall short of the whole "someday" word. However, Eyring helped me see the importance. His voice was definitely present in this book and I enjoyed the personal stories that not only uplifted me but helped me see the important principle(s) being taught. Eyring is extraordinary and I enjoyed reading his testimony over and over again. I definitely recommend this book to everyone. It makes a great gift for Mother's Day or Father's Day as well!
Truly Inspiring- choosing the higher ground
by Customer - reviewed on March 28, 2013
Wonderfully inspiring and edifying. It is a must read. I feel it is a message to ponder and consider and incorporate into one's life.
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