Thursday, July 6, 2017

Elder Neal A. Maxwell on blessings for obedience

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.
"In modern revelation we are told very frankly, brothers and sisters, that 'when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated' (D&C 130:21). I don’t know how it is for you, but I have felt so often in my life so greatly blessed for what little obedience I have given. My conclusion with regard to that verse is that the Lord’s ratio of blessings to our obedience is a very generous ratio indeed. He is so quick to reward us, so quick to reassure us, and so anxious to take delight when we serve Him. So if you puzzle over that verse, as I have in life, including in recent times, the only bottom line I can give you is that the ratio of blessings to our minuscule obedience is a very, very generous ratio indeed."
- Neal A. Maxwell, "Sharing Insights from My Life," BYU Devotional, Jan. 12, 1999
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

Elder Maxwell struggled with cancer in his later years before having a "reprieve" and being able to teach and serve for some additional years. This address to a BYU student assembly includes many wonderful "life lessons" as he reflected on his insights gained through life's struggles. One of the important insights relates to the blessings promised for obedience. Elder Maxwell considered himself to have been blessed perhaps more than he deserved:

This illustrates an aspect of the power and benefit of "counting our blessings" in life. As we carefully identify the many ways in which God blesses us, we recognize that the "ratio of blessings to our minuscule obedience" described by Elder Maxwell is "very, very generous indeed." I love the description given by King Benjamin:
And secondly, he doth require that ye should do as he hath commanded you; for which if ye do, he doth immediately bless you; and therefore he hath paid you. And ye are still indebted unto him, and are, and will be, forever and ever; therefore, of what have ye to boast? (Mosiah 2:24)

Those who obey willingly and consistently, and who then count the blessings that follow, will know, as did Elder Maxwell, of the "generous ratio" of God's love expressed in our lives.

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

No comments:

Post a Comment

// Customization to close archive widget on first view - DK 3/15