Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Neal A. Maxwell on overcoming daily struggles and challenges with hope

Elder Neal A. Maxwell (born July 6, 1926 - 90 years ago today.  Died July 21, 2004 at age 78) served as a Seventy from 1976-1981, then as a member of the Quorum of Twelve until his death from cancer in 2004.
"Ultimate hope and daily grumpiness are not reconcilable. It is ungraceful, unjustified, and unbecoming of us as committed Church members to be constantly grumpy or of woeful countenance. Do we have some moments of misery or some down days? Yes! But the promise is that Christ will 'lift thee up' (Moroni 9:25). The disciple can note the depressing signs of the times without being depressed. He can be disappointed in people without being offended at life. Thus it is that ultimate hope, if it does not finally dissolve our daily disappointments, at least puts them in perspective."
- Neal A. Maxwell, Thanksgiving speech, November 26, 1980; see The Neal A. Maxwell Quote Book p. 164

The words "ultimate hope" are critical to this insight. They refer to our understanding of the final stop on our eternal journey. If we truly do have confidence in our destination, then the things that happen along the way are easier to endure or understand. Therefore we should not have room for "grumpiness" in our lives, as long as we're on the right path and have that perspective. There are still trials, difficulties, frustrations; but through His atonement, Christ will provide strength and support. Elder Maxwell quotes a portion of this beautiful message from Mormon to his son Moroni:
"My son, be faithful in Christ; and may not the things which I have written grieve thee, to weigh thee down unto death; but may Christ lift thee up, and may his sufferings and death, and the showing his body unto our fathers, and his mercy and long-suffering, and the hope of his glory and of eternal life, rest in your mind forever." (Moroni 9:25)
True disciples of Jesus Christ will have this perspective, and will find joy in their journey.

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