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Showing posts from October 17, 2010

When we have done all we can, the Lord will do the rest

"My faith is, when we have done all we can, then the Lord is under obligation, and will not disappoint the faithful; he will perform the rest." Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young , p. 155 "If I ask Him to give me wisdom concerning any requirements in life, or in regard to my own course, or that of my friends, my family, my children, or those that I preside over, and get no answer from Him, and then do the very best that my judgment will teach me, He is bound to own and honor that transaction, and He will do so to all intents and purposes." Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young , p. 43


Patience is not indifference.  Actually, it means caring very much but being willing, nevertheless, to submit to the Lord and what the scriptures call "the process of time."  Patience is tied very closely to faith in our Heavenly Father.  Actually, when we are unduly impatient, we are suggesting that we know best--better than does God.  Or, at least that our timetable is better than His.  Either way we are questioning the reality of God's omniscience, as if, as some seem to believe, God were on some sort of postdoctoral fellowship and were not quite in charge of everything. Neal A. Maxwell, " Patience ," BYU Devotional, November 1979 Full text of devotional address

Opportunities for learning and service

There is not a single condition of life...and not one hour’s experience, but what is beneficial to all those who make it their study and aim to improve upon the experience they gain. Brigham Young I hope we realize, brothers and sisters, that we may fritter away the time, but it is always drenched with more opportunities for service and learning than we use. Elder Maxwell


Letting off steam always produces more heat than light.  (See Matthew 18:15) Neal A. Maxwell, Ensign, November 1989, p. 84 It is customary, even understandable, when we read of God's indignation and anger to think of it in terms of an angry mortal father and not ponder it much more.  Some even mutter about Old Testament "tribalism," mistakenly thinking of God as being personally piqued or offended at some act of wickedness or stupidity because He has told us to behave otherwise.  This is erroneous, bumper-sticker theology.   Simply because we are, so often, angry at a wrong done to us, we assume the same about God's anger.   Neal A. Maxwell, "Sermons Not Spoken," p. 83

Concern for others

How much larger your life would be if your self were smaller in it; if you could really look at other men with common curiosity and pleasure. . . . You would begin to be interested in them. . . . You would break out of this tiny and tawdry theatre in which your own little plot is always being played, and you would find yourself under a freer sky, and in a street full of splendid strangers. G. K. Chesterton

Care for the life of the soul

Let like the young man with Elisha on the mount.  At first intimidated by the surrounding enemy chariots, the young man's eyes were mercifully opened, and he say "horses and chariots of fire," verifying "they that be with us are more than they that be with them" (2 Kings 6:16).  Brothers and sisters, the spiritual arithmetic has not changed! Our own intellectual shortfalls and perplexities do not alter the fact of God's astonishing foreknowledge, which takes into account our choices for which we are responsible.  Amid the mortal and fragmentary communiques and the breaking news of the day concerning various human conflicts, God lives in an eternal now, where the past, present and the future are constantly before Him (see D&C 130:7).  His divine determinations are guaranteed, since whatever He takes into His heart to do, He will surely do it (see Abraham 3:17).  He knows the end from the beginning!  (see Abraham 2:8).  God is fully "able t

Every man speaks

"Every man is a missionary now and forever, for good or for evil--whether he intends or designs it or not. He may be a blot, radiating a dark influence outward to the very circumference of society, or he may be a blessing, spreading benediction over the length and breadth of the world; but a blank he cannot be. There are no moral blanks, there are no neutral persons. We are either the darkness that sows and corrupts, or the light that splendidly illuminates, and the salt that silently operates, but being dead or alive, every man speaks." Steven L. Richards


Since life is such a brief experience, there must be regular exit routes.   Some easy.   Some hard.   Some sudden.   Others lingering.   Therefore, we cannot presume, even by faith, to block all exits, all the time, and for all people.   Nor, if possessed of full, eternal perspective, would we desire so to do. Neal A. Maxwell, Ensign, May 1982, p.22 At funerals our tears are genuine, but not because of termination—rather because of interruption.   Though just as wet, our tears are not of despair, but are of appreciation and anticipation.   Yes, for disciples, the closing of the grave is but the closing of a door which will later be flung open with rejoicing.   Neal A. Maxwell, “All Hell Is Moved” p. 181 As we wait with those who are dying we brush against the veil, as goodbyes and greetings are said almost within earshot of each other. Neal A. Maxwell, “Patience” p. 219 On the other side of the veil, there are perhaps seventy billion people.   They need the same Gospel, and


God does not begin by asking about our ability, but only our availability, and if we then prove our dependability, He will increase our capability! Neal A. Maxwell, “Its Service, Not Status, That Counts”   p. 7 The large attributes, those that cover the most ground, are almost always developed incrementally—by small steps, small decisions, and small initiatives.   These attributes and talents we bring with us from the premortal world were most likely developed there in the same way.   Yet upon seeing someone with highly developed cardinal attributes, we may respond that “he was born that way”.   Whatever the case, so far as mortal life is concerned, it is what we do with these qualities that matters.   Neal A. Maxwell, “If Thou Endure It Well”   p. 35

The Church (LDS)

Quickly forgotten by those who are offended is the fact that the Church is “for the perfecting of the saints” (Ephesians 4:12).   It is not the well-provisioned rest home for the already perfected.   Likewise, unremembered by some is the reality that in the kingdom we are each other’s clinical material; the Lord allows us to practice on each other, even in our imperfections.   And each of us knows what it is like to be worked on by a “student” rather than senior surgeon.   Each of us, however, unintentionally, has also inflicted some pain. Neal A. Maxwell, “ Ensign ” May 1982, p. 38 We are Christ’s kingdom builders.   Those who build the heavenly kingdom have always made nervous people who are busy building worldly kingdoms.   Noah’s ark-building was not politically correct… The reactions to us will vary: there will be almost Agrippas, the puzzled Pilates, the timed Van Burens, and the stout Colonel Kanes, and, of course, there will be some scorn and some rage.   But deep within

The Great Plan of Mercy for the exception of the very few who defect to perdition, there is no habit, no addiction, no rebellion, no transgression, no apostasy, no crime exempted from the purpose of complete forgiveness.   That is the promise of the atonement of Christ.   How all can be repaired, we do not know.   It may not be accomplished in this life.  We know from visions and visitations that the servants of the Lord continue the work of redemption beyond the veil.   This knowledge should be as comforting to the innocent as it is to the guilty. I am thinking of parents who suffer unbearably for wayward children and are losing hope. Boyd K. Packer, Conference Report, October 1995


Out of the night that covers me, Black as the pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be For my unconquerable soul. In the full clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud, Under the bludgeoning of chance My head is bloody, but unbowed. Beyond this place of wrath and tears Looms but the horror of the shade, And yet the menace of the years Finds, and shall find me unafraid. It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul. William Ernest Henely