In Him All Things Hold Together

Blessed be the Father for his loving-kindness in giving his Only Begotten as Our Redeemer! We do not know, nor could we appreciate if we did, the feelings of the Father as he watched his firstborn go through the Atonement. How great our Father is. Blessed be the Son, Jesus Christ, for his loving-kindness in atoning for our sins. I "scarce can take it in" ("How Great Thou Art"). Whenever you and I witness and experience in a human being impressive loving-kindness, we marvel--and we should marvel. But such highly developed loving-kindness is still not closely comparable to Jesus' loving-kindness. So it is with each of his qualities about which I have spoken tonight. When we are fortunate enough to experience the stirring samples of likeness, these are real and wonderful experiences, but they are not yet fullness. They are not yet the fullness found in Jesus. Even so, he of fullness clearly and kindly beckons us to develop that greater likeness in our lives which precedes fullness. It is that likeness that will give us the light in our lives so that we might, as Paul says, "shine as lights in the world." These are the attributes that convey to us the added authority of example. And as we emulate him, by developing likeness in these attributes, he will bless us and magnify us for his purposes.

My quorum president, President Howard W. Hunter, said twenty-six years ago in April general conference, "He loves the Lord with all his heart, who loves nothing in comparison of him and nothing but in reference to him."

As one of his special witnesses, I testify to you tonight that he is risen. And how marvelous it is, even given the great distance of the trek spoken of earlier, that he beckons us to develop this likeness so that one day we may have fullness with him. It is the journey of journeys. Nothing else is even remotely comparable to it in its importance. There is nothing in comparison of him. Indeed, as Paul said, "in Christ all things hold together."

That is my witness to you on this Easter night, the reality of his mercy, the genuineness of his loving-kindness. He has said to us, "What manner of men [and women] ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am" (3 Nephi 27:27). What an invitation! That invitation verifies the possibility of its realization.

I salute you for who you are, but, more important, for what you have the possibilities to become. There is none like him. And as he has said to us in the marvelous imagery of holy scriptures, "I wait for you with open arms." But it is we who must go to him in this journey of journeys.

Finally, I witness to you the reality of the great Atonement. It is the central act of all human history. Nothing else even remotely approaches it in terms of significance. The meek Jesus says: "Here am I, send me." Jesus will come in majesty, and we will hail him for his loving-kindness. If we love him, we must so love one another.

He is risen, and the symbol of Christianity might well be the empty tomb that bespeaks the fullness of the great Atonement of which I testify to you tonight in love and in appreciation and in recognition of who you really are. I bear this witness to you humbly, lovingly, but, most important, in the holy name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Elder Neal A. Maxwell, "In Him All Things Hold Together" (BYU Fireside, March 31, 1991)


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