Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Elder Neal A. Maxwell on the powerful blessings of genuine hope

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.
"Genuine hope is urgently needed in order to be more loving even as the love of many waxes cold; more merciful, even when misunderstood or misrepresented; more holy, even as the world ripens in iniquity; more courteous and patient in a coarsening and curt world; and more full of heartfelt hope, even when other men's hearts fail them. Whatever our particular furrow, we are to 'plow in hope,' without looking back or letting yesterday hold tomorrow hostage (1 Cor. 9:10)....
"Genuine hope gives spiritual spunk, including to deserving parents drenched in honest sweat from being 'anxiously engaged.' Just as the leaning Tower of Pisa is a persistent rebuke to architectural pessimism, so parental hope—by refusing to topple merely because of the gravity of the current family situation—is a repudiation of despair. Giving parents never give up hope! ...
"Hope beckons all of us to come home where a glow reflects the Light of the World, whose 'brightness and glory defy all description' (JS-H 1:17). Jesus waits 'with open arms to receive' those who finally overcome by faith and hope (Morm. 6:17). His welcome will consist not of a brief, loving pat but, instead, of being 'clasped in the arms of Jesus'! (Morm. 5:11)."
- Neal A. Maxwell, "Brightness of Hope," General Conference October 1994
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

As usual, Elder Maxwell packs so much insight into his discourse! I love the concept of genuine hope, and the powerful impact it can have in our lives as it counteracts the despair the confusion of the world around us. It can make us more loving, more merciful, more holy, more courteous and patient. It gives "spiritual spunk" to parents who need the strength and courage to lovingly persist in spite of the pressures they face. And it offers these glorious promises:

The hope entailed in that glorious promise of a loving embrace is powerful and motivating. Knowing that we can be "clasped in the arms of Jesus" (Mormon 5:11) if we will only repent and turn to Him is the beckoning hope that Elder Maxwell invites us to embrace.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2018)

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