Saturday, March 5, 2016

Elder Neal A. Maxwell on dealing with the challenges of the last days

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.
"We surely have been warned and forewarned about our time, a period in which the compression of challenges may make a year seem like a decade. Members will be cleverly mocked and scorned by those in the 'great and spacious building,' representing the pride of the world (1 Ne. 8:26; 1 Ne. 11:36). No matter, for ere long, He who was raised on the third day will raze that spacious but third-class hotel!
"Ours will be a time of great inversion as well as perversion, as some will call good evil and evil good (see Isa. 5:20; 2 Ne. 15:20; D&C 64:16; 2 Ne. 2:5). Others, in their ignorance of spiritual truths, will 'speak evil of those things which they know not' (Jude 1:10; see 2 Pet. 2:12).
"Peace has already been taken from the earth (see D&C 1:35). Nation will rise against nation (see Matt. 24:7). It will also be a time of hardening as the love of many waxes cold and iniquity abounds (see D&C 45:27). Secular bewilderment will be epidemic amid the 'distress of nations, with perplexity' (Luke 21:25) as various vexations will mock man’s cosmetic remedies....
"We cannot expect to live in such a world without experiencing certain consequences of these conditions. Yet we can always keep our covenants, even if we cannot keep such conditions from coming.
"The Lord, who knows all that through which we will pass, will help us to overcome in our 'small moment' of time (D&C 122:4). If we are settled, we will 'endure it well' (D&C 121:8) and 'hold fast' (1 Thes. 5:21). Endured righteously, 'all these things shall give [us] experience, and shall be for [our] good' (D&C 122:7). 'Think it not strange' when disciples are called upon to pass through 'the fiery trial,' said Peter (1 Pet. 4:12)....
"The spiritually settled will finally overcome, and the glorious promise is, 'To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne' (Rev. 3:21)."
- Neal A. Maxwell, "Overcome... Even as I also Overcame," Ensign, May 1987, pp. 70-71
Click here to read the full talk

The challenges of "our time" are escalating, as prophets have foretold. For those seeking to stay on the path Lehi and Nephi were shown, the pressures of the world are increasing. We've seen in recent months how dramatic those swings in public sentiment can be; and we are far from over with the challenges to come. But as Elder Maxwell points out, the mockery from the "great and spacious building" will eventually cease:

Elder Maxwell goes on to describe the deteriorating moral, intellectual, and spiritual environment of the modern world, and warns that suffering some consequences of that decline will be inevitable for many of us. But the key is to cling to covenants; earlier in this talk, he says, "if we will keep our covenants, the covenants will keep us spiritually safe." We truly need to be "spiritually settled" in order to survive those conditions and eventually overcome the world and its shortcomings.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2017)

1 comment:

  1. Thank you. So timely. And I can still hear his voice as I read his words.


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