Special Witness: Family Testimony
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“Special Witness: Family Testimony,” Friend, Dec. 2002, 7

Special Witness:

Family Testimony

Ensign, May 1996, pages 62–64, spelling modernized

Elder Henry B. Eyring

Did you know that when Elder Henry B. Eyring was a boy, the small branch of the Church that his family attended met in a hotel room? When he was a little older, he and his two brothers were the only Aaronic Priesthood boys in the branch. He has often spoken of his family’s legacy of faith:

My great-grandfather John Bennion … was a convert to the Church from Wales. He, his wife, and his children came into the Salt Lake Valley in one of the early companies of pioneers. We know something of his life because after that time he kept a journal, making a short entry nearly every day.

His short entries don’t have much preaching in them. He doesn’t testify that he knew [that] Brigham Young was a prophet. He just records having answered “yes” every time the prophet called him to serve. … There is even a family legend that the reason he died so close to the day when Brigham Young was buried was to follow the prophet one more time.

The fact that he wrote every day makes clear to me that he knew his ordinary life was historic because it was part of the building of Zion in the latter days. The few entries which record his testimony seem to appear when death took a child. His testimony is to me more powerful because he offered it when his soul was tried.

Here is his record of one of those times. His daughter Elizabeth died in his arms. He reported her burial and the location of her grave in a few lines. But then, the next day, November fourth of 1863, this is the entire entry:

“Wednesday. Repairing up the stable my little children [chattering] around me but I miss my dear Lizzy. I pray the Lord to help me to endure faithful to his cause to the end of my days, that I may be worthy to receive my children back into the family circle, who have fallen asleep in Christ in the days of their innocence[:] Ann, Moroni, Esther Ellen & Elizabeth, blessed & happy are they because of the atonement of Jesus Christ.” …

He taught the truth. He testified that it was true. He lived consistent with his testimony and prayed that he might endure faithful until he could be united with his dear family. I feel his love and a desire to be included in that circle. …

I know that we can live together in families in eternal life, the greatest of all the gifts of God.

Illustrated by Scott Snow