Monday, November 15, 2021

Elder Neal A. Maxwell on patient 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.
"Patient endurance is to be distinguished from merely being 'acted upon.' Endurance is more than pacing up and down within the cell of our circumstance; it is not only acceptance of the things allotted to us, it is to 'act for ourselves' by magnifying what is allotted to us. (See Alma 29:3, 6.)
"If, for instance, we are always taking our temperature to see if we are happy, we will not be. If we are constantly comparing to see if things are fair, we are not only being unrealistic, we are being unfair to ourselves.
"Therefore, true enduring represents not merely the passage of time, but the passage of the soul—and not merely from A to B, but sometimes all the way from A to Z. To endure in faith and doeth God's will (see D&C 63:20; D&C 101:35) therefore involves much more than putting up with a circumstance.
"Rather than shoulder-shrugging, true enduring is soul-trembling. Jesus bled not at a few, but 'at every pore.' (D&C 19:18.)"
- Neal A. Maxwell, "Endure it Well," General Conference April 1990
Click here to read the full talk

Faithful and patient endurance was one of dear Elder Maxwell's favorite topics, and this particular talk is certainly one of the most insightful on that theme. Elder Maxwell endured plenty in his own life, so it shouldn't be surprising that he had great insight on this subject. He was a great living example of the things he taught. I love his insights about "patient endurance" being more than restlessly "pacing up and down within the cell of our circumstance," but acting actively to magnify what has been allotted to us. The attitude with which we approach our trials makes all the difference:

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2021)
July 6, 2015

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