I never thought I would have the privilege of meeting a member of the first presidency in my life, let alone on my mission. Elder Harden Eyring has served as the director of the visitor center for 2 years, and his older brother President Henry Eyring came to present the culmination of his brother's service. I remember when Elder Eyring first arrived and he had a fireside while I was serving in the city. Over his mission he has been working to get a scale model of the Washington DC Temple that shows off the interior. There is only one other model for the Salt Lake temple and they are now planning to make one for the Rome, Italy temple. It is a remarkable object. It stands 9 feet tall and shows every part of the temple with exactness. Every piece of furniture, the color of the walls and the upholstery are all exactly replicated by a 3D printer. President Eyring came to introduce the model to the community, and to also address our mission personally.
The first thing that impressed me was his relationship with his brother. People ask Elder Eyring if it's weird to see his older brother address the world in general conference. He said that when he was 19 in a job interview he was asked who his hero was, and he immediately responded his older brother Hal. All growing up the 6 years age difference did not affect their closeness. The 16 year old President Eyring would always spend time with his 10 year old brother Harden. I want to be that kind of family man, I want to be that kind of brother.
I thought that President Eyring would start out his remarks with some sentiments about his brother, but no, he is all about His Father's business. He started looking at us deeply, scanning the audience left to right. He asked them to turn the lights up brighter so that he could see into our eyes. He explained that he wants to help us to be better teachers, and that teaching has the greatest impact when it's done on an individual basis. He said that to teach with power you need to be able to use the spirit of discernment and that is something you must pray for. He didn't just tell us that though, he showed us with real power. He immediately began to address the needs of our mission based upon his spiritual promptings. He said that we're not loving the people like we should. We need to trust that Heavenly Father knows every person on this earth. He stated that he doesn't know how it's possible, but he knows that He does. Every person we meet is not by chance, and we should ask for the love that Father has for them. He continued to look at us and go to different topics, and I reached out to him with my eyes. I didn't know what my concern is, but I know I have one. Then in a moment I felt his eyes lock with mine, and he proclaimed, "You're having a hard time knowing that you have been forgiven." I felt like he was talking directly to me. That's something I've been franticly studying my entire mission. He declared, you need to trust the atonement. The Holy Ghost is the cleanser and if he is your companion, you have been forgiven and you need to move on. I felt the spirit burn within me and I knew it was an answer to my prayer. Perhaps it took so long to receive that answer, because Father wanted me to receive it through a prophet of God. That took my testimony of prophets to another level. I know he is a prophet, there is no other way he could have known my struggle and be able to minister to me personally. Trust that the Lord is in control, and that he leads the church through inspired righteous men. Remember that the Lord knows you, and that he will send his messengers to answer your prayers. I am so grateful that I got to be on my mission at this time and not in school. I'm having experiences that are just so special and out of this world.