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what are you deprived by living the gospel? (Maxwell)

 “What are you actually and specifically deprived of by serious gospel living?” Ponder these several examples. By complying with the revealed Word of Wisdom, you are much more likely to be deprived of lung cancer, and surely deprived of becoming an alcoholic. You are much more likely to miss out on AIDS if you keep the seventh commandment and refuse to use drugs. Before you die, my young brothers and sisters, you will thank Heavenly Father many times for the advantages of abstinence! Regarding certain destructive things, abstinence is so much easier than moderation! Meanwhile, you will see those about you who are surfing life’s pleasures indulgently. They will eventually crash against the reefs of reality. By responding to the strong gospel emphasis on education, you will also be deprived of being ignorant. You will be deprived of that large dose of human despair that “cometh because of iniquity” (Moroni 10:22). You will also miss out on the exhausting and finally futile calisthenics o

meekness can be just as contagious as rudeness (Maxwell)

  “Like Jesus, we can decide, daily or instantly, to give no heed to temptation (see D&C 20:22). We can respond to irritation with a smile instead of scowl, or by giving warm praise instead of icy indifference. By our being understanding instead of abrupt, others, in turn, may decide to hold on a little longer rather than to give way. Love, patience, and meekness can be just as contagious as rudeness and crudeness.” – Neal A. Maxwell

God did not grow bored and leave (Maxwell)

 

we are sovereign (Maxwell)

 

A society that permits anything will eventually lose everything (Maxwell)

 "Once society loses its capacity to declare that some things are wrong per se, then it finds itself forever building temporary defenses, revising rationales, drawing new lines—but forever falling back and losing its nerve. A society that permits anything will eventually lose everything! Take away the consciousness of eternity and see how differently time is spent. Take away an acknowledgment of divine design in the structure of life and then watch the mindless scurrying to redesign human systems to make life pain-free and pleasure-filled. Take away regard for the divinity in one’s neighbor, and watch the drop in our regard for his property. Take away basic moral standards and observe how quickly tolerance changes into permissiveness. Take away the sacred sense of belonging to a family or community, and observe how quickly citizens cease to care for big cities. Can we turn such trends around?...  It will take the same kind of spunk the Spartans displayed at Thermopylae when they t

obedience; progression and eventual accomplishment (Maxwell)

  “...obedience [is not] a mindless shifting of our personal responsibility. Instead, it is tying ourselves to a living God who will introduce us—as soon as we are ready—to new and heavier responsibilities involving situations of high adventure. Obedience, therefore, is not evasion; it is an invasion—one that takes us deep into the realm of our possibilities. What God says He has in store for us will, in literal actuality, require a peculiar people (as mortals measure peculiarity), a people particularly suited for everlasting chores elsewhere. Therefore, it isn't that God seeks to shape us capriciously, just to prove that He is in charge; He is fitting us for special chores for which there are rigorous and nonwaivable specifications. There will be only one recruitment effort among us for any aspirants to such adventure, only one set of standards to be followed, and only one narrow and precise path of development for those so recruited. But when we are safely beyond the narrowness o

weakness (Maxwell)

 "When we read in the Scriptures of man's 'weakness,' this term includes the generic but necessary weakness inherent in the general human condition in which the flesh has such an incessant impact upon the spirit (see Ether 12:28-29).  Weakness likewise includes, however, our specific, individual weaknesses, which we are expected to overcome (see D&C 66:3; Jacob 4:7).  Life has a way of exposing these weaknesses."   Elder Neal A. Maxwell, "Lord, Increase our Faith" [1994], 84

immortal individuals (Maxwell and C.S. Lewis)

When striving disciples reflect deeply upon this mortal experience, certain realities become even more clear. This includes a clarifying and particular reality: We are immortal individuals whose constant challenge is to apply immortal principles to life’s constantly changing situations... With this perspective, we can improve our daily performances because we have fixed our gaze on eternity and its great realities. Neal A Maxwell - The pathway of discipleship “There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations - these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit - immortal horrors or everlasting splendors. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously - no

unreasonable expectations for life (Maxwell)

 

the tests are real (Maxwell)

Knowing that one is in the midst of a testing time does not make the test any less real. The disciple is not able to wink slyly, as if he could cope with one hand tied behind him. His teeth rattle, too. It's "all out"  for everybody, and then we scarcely make it.  The temptations of Jesus were terrifyingly real even though he did not yield. The difference is that those who are (or who will become) Saints reach breaking points without breaking. Often this is the very kind of humble report you hear at fast and testimony meetings-- about the passing of one of those mortal milestones.... Surely the Saints in such settings strengthen, exhort, and edify each other. Remember, these were words from soldiers in the trenches of life, not communiques from some country club safely removed from the mortal fray.  Neal A. Maxwell, "Deposition of a Disciple," Pages 52-53.

righteous in the dark (Brigham Young; Maxwell)

 

perfection (Maxwell)

  "Our perfect Father does not expect us to be perfect children yet. He had only one such Child. Meanwhile, therefore, sometimes with smudges on our cheeks, dirt on our hands, and shoes untied, stammeringly but smilingly we present God with a dandelion—as if it were an orchid or a rose! If for now the dandelion is the best we have to offer, He receives it, knowing what we may later place on the altar. It is good to remember how young we are spiritually." - Neal A. Maxwell, "That Ye May Believe," p. 100

there is none like Him (Maxwell)

 “...He is utterly incomparable in what He is , what he knows , what He has accomplished , and what He has experienced .  Yet, movingly, He calls us His friends. We can trust, worship, and even adore Him without any reservation.   As the only perfect person to sojourn on this planet, there is none like Him. In intelligence and performance, He far surpasses the individual and composite capacities and achievements of all who have lived, live now, and will yet live.   He rejoices in our genuine goodness and achievement, but any assessment of where we stand in relation to Him tells us that we do not stand at all.   We kneel.” Elder Neal A. Maxwell, " Even As I Am ", p. 116
What's ahead is made more clear only as the adversary is put behind us.  Lucifer clouds not only our view of the present but also our perception of the future. Neal A. Maxwell, "Even As I Am" p. 77

the example of Jesus in resisting and dispatching tempations (Maxwell)

Brooding over temptations can produce self pity and a false sense of nobility. Prolonged consideration of the temptation only increases the risks—but it does not increase our options; the two options and the consequences remain the same regardless of our dallying. Moreover, protracted consideration of a temptation does not increase the justification to succumb—only our rationalization. When we are well taught we know, initially, what must be done. Therefore, to give heed to temptation is, in effect, to “give place” for Satan’s seeds to grow and sprout and to bring forth its bitter harvest. So it was that Jesus, for the first recorded time, met the awful if . It was a word to be repeated later when the stress was even greater. So we should do likewise. Otherwise, to host an if is like hosting an insect that breeds and multiplies in the sun of circumstance. Soon one is crawling with ifs and thereby overcome. Some doubters who are overcome even become proud of their doubts—rather like

Enoch; real learning experiences (Maxwell)

Enoch surely had received special lessons in patience in the development of his special city "in process of time." Though His enemies hated and feared the city of Enoch, they nevertheless stood "afar off" out of respect for Enoch's access to divine power, which access depended upon Enoch's personal righteousness.  As the results of his tutorials, the Enoch who had earlier felt inadequate later actually moved mountains.  A matured Enoch, once slow of speech, become so powerful the people trembled when he spoke, "so great was the power of the language which God had given him." But Enoch never forgot the Source of his eloquence...Yet it all began with a meek lad who was slow of speech and who was disliked by the people. (See also Ether 12:27) Neal A. Maxwell, Even As I Am , p. 48 In acknowledging that we cannot comprehend all that God comprehends, this attitude should apply not alone to the galaxies, but also to the constellation of characteristics th

Jesus never doubted His power; He governs galaxies but also provides individualized lessons (Maxwell)

"Jesus never doubted His power, but He was never confused about its source, either." "Has not the Lord with equal truth and relevance told us, concerning the resources of this planet, 'For the earth is full, and there is enough and to spare'?  Should not this reality sober us in terms of what might be achieved as regards to poverty?  Clearly, it is the attribute of love, not other resources, that is in short supply..." "Though Jesus now governs galaxies, yet of a night He stood by Paul when Paul was in jail.  We do not fully understand how Jesus oversees His vast flock and also provides such individualization in His ministry, but we are counseled: 'Believe in God; believe that He is, and that He created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that He has all wisdom, and all power...believe that man doth not comprehend all things which the Lord can comprehend.'  It is one of the hallmarks of human vanity that we assume, because we cannot