Sunday, August 19, 2018

Elder Neal A. Maxwell on the Savior's invitation to come to Him even amidst trials

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.
"Do we naively expect Christ to come to us—instead of our going to Him? Truly He waits 'all the day long' with open arms to receive the repentant. (2 Ne. 28:32; Morm. 6:17.) There are no restrictive 'office hours.' But it is we who must arise and go to Him! (See Luke 15:18.)
"Blessed are the meek for they shall not be easily offended, which is especially important, since 'My people must be tried in all things, ... and he that will not bear chastisement is not worthy of my kingdom.' (D&C 136:31.)
"Genuine faith makes increasing allowance for these individual tutorials. In view of these tutorials, God cannot, brothers and sisters, respond affirmatively to all of our petitions with an unbroken chain of 'yeses.' This would assume that all of our petitions are for that 'which is right' and are spiritually 'expedient.' (3 Ne. 18:20; D&C 18:18; D&C 88:64-65.) No petitioner is so wise! Paul even acknowledged that we sometimes 'know not what we should pray for as we ought.' (Rom. 8:26; see also D&C 46:30.)
"For example, in process of time, our personal inconsistencies may be made inconveniently clear. How else shall we see what we lack? Spiritual refinement is not only to make the gross more pure but to further refine the already fine! Hence, said Peter, we should not think a 'fiery trial' to be 'some strange thing.' (1 Pet. 4:12.)
"Real faith, however, is required to endure this necessary but painful developmental process."
- Neal A. Maxwell, "Lest Ye Be Wearied and Faint in Your Minds," General Conference April 1991
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

The Savior's invitation was, and always has been, "Come unto me" (Matt. 11:28)—and so it is each of us who must chose to arise and come. He continues to invite, and to wait:

It requires humble, sincere faith to arise and come. Elder Maxwell describes the "genuine faith" that will lead us to Him; and will also bless our lives as we avoid being easily offended, as we understand the nature of our trials and challenges in life, and as we come to comprehend the purpose of petitionary prayer.

Sometimes our prayers for relief or change are denied in order that we have the refining opportunities He would give to us. We learn from every challenge, and are blessed as we trust in God's plan for our growth and tutoring.

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

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