Monday, November 9, 2015

Neal A. Maxwell on the role of prophets in modern events

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.
"But make no mistake about it, brothers and sisters; in the months and years ahead, events will require of each member that he or she decide whether or not he or she will follow the First Presidency. Members will find it more difficult to halt longer between two opinions (see 1 Kings 18:21).
"President Marion G. Romney said, many years ago, that he had 'never hesitated to follow the counsel of the Authorities of the Church even though it crossed my social, professional, or political life' (CR, April 1941, p. 123). This is a hard doctrine, but it is a particularly vital doctrine in a society which is becoming more wicked. In short, brothers and sisters, not being ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ includes not being ashamed of the prophets of Jesus Christ....
"Before the ultimate victory of the forces of righteousness, some skirmishes will be lost. Even these, however, must leave a record so that the choices before the people are clear and let others do as they will in the face of prophetic counsel. There will also be times, happily, when a minor defeat seems probable, that others will step forward, having been rallied to righteousness by what we do. We will know the joy, on occasion, of having awakened a slumbering majority of the decent people of all races and creeds—a majority which was, till then, unconscious of itself.
"Jesus said that when the fig trees put forth their leaves 'summer is nigh' (Matthew 24:32). Thus warned that summer is upon us, let us not then complain of the heat."
- Neal A. Maxwell, "Meeting the Challenges of Today," BYU devotional, October 10, 1978
Click here to read the full talk

Elder Maxwell always spoke wish such insight and perception, such prophetic clarity. I miss hearing that voice, though the strength of his witness and teachings lives on. When he spoke in 1978 of the "months and years ahead" and the challenges they would bring, it was hard for many to see what he saw. But the key counsel he offered at that time to deal with the coming confusion was to "follow the First Presidency," not being "ashamed" of their teachings and warnings.

There will be heat in the summer sun, according to the prophecy of the Savior quoted by Elder Maxwell. We must rely for guidance and comfort on the Lord's Spirit, and on His appointed messengers who will always guide us on the proper course. Of that I am certain.

1 comment:

  1. That day is here when we have to follow the first presidency no matter what. There may even be those close around us that don't. But not following them is foolish and could be foolish to our eternal welfare.


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