Saturday, September 4, 2021

Elder Neal A. Maxwell on graceful endurance

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.
"Real faith in God therefore includes not only faith in him, but in his timing, one of the things that it is most difficult for us to have faith in....
"We're not simply to exist to the end, rather we're to persist in following the example of the son of the living God. Quite a different emphasis than we sometimes think of in connection with enduring....
"This quality about which we're speaking therefore is graceful endurance and it includes becoming and growing. It includes, but is not limited to, hanging on for one moment more. It is as has been observed,a circumstance in which 'all virtues at the testing point take the form of courage' (C. S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters). And then after you and I have passed breaking points without breaking our virtues take the form of endurance...."
- Neal A. Maxwell, "If Thou Endure It Well," BYU Devotional, 2 December 1984
Click here to read the full talk

Concepts of faith, patience, hope, and endurance are closely interrelated, and are among the important things we learn in our mortal experience. We must hold to our faith in God, knowing that He is in charge; and even when we don't understand, especially when we don't understand, trusting that His timing will lead us to growth and blessings.

This is an important insight about the nature of endurance—what Elder Maxwell calls "graceful endurance"; and anyone who has struggled through times of difficulty has learned what it means to trust in God's timing. It is often not an easy thing to do! But it can result in powerful spiritual growth.

And that is the secret of progress and joy in this life.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2021)
May 2, 2015

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