Monday, January 5, 2015

Neal A. Maxwell: Offering our best to God

Elder Neal A. Maxwell (1926-2004) served as a Seventy from 1976-1981, then as a member of the Quorum of Twelve until his death from cancer in 2004.
"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
This is one of my favorite quotes.  Elder Maxwell always spoke with such sensitivity and poetic power.  The tender imagery of this quotation reminds us that we're still very much in the process of growing and learning.  All our loving Father asks of us is the best we have to offer; the challenge most of us have is truly giving Him our best.

It's good to think of this principle as it applies to our relationships with each other.  I believe we are blessed to gratefully and sincerely acknowledge the efforts others contribute, even if we sometimes consider them less than ideal.  In so doing, we may be encouraging better future efforts that can be "laid on the altar" as greater spiritual maturing occurs. Or, we may realize that the lack of spiritual maturity lies with us and not the other, and the gift is more than we originally judged!

1 comment:

  1. Elder Maxwell truly did have a way with words. What a beautiful thought. No matter how old we are we are still spiritually young and the Lord knows that. He accepts us as we are and knows the value and great worth we will have to offer as we learn and grow.


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