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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

men are not ciphers in vast but dumb space (Maxwell)

  "...men are not mere ciphers in a vast but dumb space; they are everlasting and accountable individuals.  Modern witnesses affirm that meaningfulness of life, human identity and human belonging.  The vastness of God's creations are the verification  of meaning, not its annihilation .  There is eternal purpose, and it is to be found in the Father's Only Begotten, Jesus Christ."  p. 8 "...the Lord's plan of salvation is not a set of floor plans for a new house that we as clients can modify or reject.  The Architect is not our employee, but our Host, even the Lord of Hosts; He is not only our Landlord, He is also our Lord!" p. 9 Elder Neal A. Maxwell, "Even AS I Am", pp 8-9

Honesty in prayer (Maxwell)

When we pray, we are not conveying any information to God that he does not already have.  Nor, when we confess our sins before Him, is it news to Him that we have misbehaved.  More than we realize, being honest with God in our prayers helps us be more honest with ourselves. Elder Neal A. Maxwell

Faith and Scriptures (Maxwell)

  While faith is not a perfect knowledge, it brings a deep trust in God, whose knowledge is perfect! Otherwise, one’s small data base of personal experience permits so few useful generalizations! But by searching the holy scriptures, we access a vast, divine data bank, a reservoir of remembrance. In this way, the scriptures can, as the Book of Mormon says, enlarge the memory. (See  Alma 37:8 .) Elder Neal A. Maxwell, April 1991 General Conference

“Lest Ye Be Wearied and Faint in Your Minds”

Elder Neal A. Maxwell  Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles Having all been richly nourished by this general conference, it is fitting to focus prescriptively on the few in the Church who remain spiritually undernourished, including those who have grown weary and fainted in their minds. (See  Heb. 12:3 .) A few of these few have had their faith scorched, such as by the circumstances of wrenching or unrelieved sickness, grinding economic pressures, loss of a loved one, or deep disappointment with a spouse or friend. Adversity can increase faith or instead can cause the troubling roots of bitterness to spring up. (See  Heb. 12:15 .) A few have been overcome by the preoccupying cares of the world, those wearying, surface things of life. (See  Matt. 13:6–7 .) Emerson’s plea is surely appropriate: “Give me truths: for I am weary of the surfaces.” (“Blight,” in  The Complete Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson,  New York: Wm. H. Wise & Co., 1929, p. 874.) A few are fatigued by unconfessed si

challenges unique to our day (Maxwell)

Latter-Day Saints need to remember that those who live now are being called upon to work out our salvation in a special time of intense and immense challenges.  [During] the last portion of the dispensation of the fullness of times...great tribulation and temptation will occur.  The elect will almost be deceived and unrighteous people will be living much as they were in the days of Noah.  Therefore, though we have rightly applauded our ancetors for their spritual achievements and we don't and must not discount them now, those of us who prevail today will have done no small thing.  The special spirits who have been reserved to live in this dispensation of the fulness of times will one day be praised for their stamina by those who pulled handcarts. Elder Neal A. Maxwell, "Notwithstanding My Weakness", p. 18

Ultimate truths came through young Joseph Smith (Maxwell)

  "God gave to mankind through a young man, Joseph Smith, the ultimate and immense truths of the gospel in this, the last dispensation. This young man who had no social status to protect, no private theology already worked out for God to endorse, and who had loving and listening parents, could report that theophany honestly and cling tenaciously to the truth of that first vision in the midst of great persecution. A sophisticated man who had community status to protect and his own ideas about what kind of religion the world needed—even though a good man—would have been sorely tempted to have traded off truth for the praise of the world. Paul reminded us that "the friendship of the world is enmity with God. . . ." (James 4:4.) Could any but a humble non-linguist have gone to the Hill Cumorah and, under the direction of an angel, be shown ancient records and be told, so boldly, that he, personally, would be the unlettered instrument in translating these for the benefit of a