- Yield to God's will
- Have faith in plan- Give glory to God
In bringing to pass the Atonement, certain things were utterly unique to Jesus Christ, Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the Quorum of the Twelve said Saturday afternoon. "However," he continued, "on our smaller scale, just as Jesus has invited, we can, indeed, strive to become `even as
He isT.' (Matt. 29.)"
Elder Maxwell briefly touched on his recent bout with leukemia when said he had been given "a delay en route. Whether short or long, it is a wonderful blessing from the Lord." He then explained that mortality presents numerous opportunities to become Christlike, "first by coping successfully with those of life's challenges which are `common to mankind.' (1 Cor. 10:13.) In addition, there are also our customized trials such as experiencing illness, aloneness, persecution, betrayal, irony, poverty, false witness, unreciprocated love, etc."
If endured well, he said, ` "all these things' can be for our good and can `greatly enlarge the soul,' including an enlarged capacity for joy." (D&C 121:42.)
Elder Maxwell gave examples from the Atonement that are "non-exclusive" to the Savior and are found in His personalized words about the Atonement.
He explained that the Savior, feeling the weight of the Atonement, acknowledged, "for this cause came I into the world." (John 18:37.) "We, too, brothers and sisters, came `into the world' to pass through our particularized portions of the mortal experience. Purposely pursuing this `cause' brings ultimate meaning to our mortal lives, and we are greatly helped if we enter with faith that pavilion of perspective - the plan of salvation."
Elder Maxwell told his listeners that they, too, can plead with the Father, just as Jesus did, to not "shrink," meaning to retreat or recoil, from tribulations. "Not shrinking is much more important that surviving," he said. "Moreover, partaking of a bitter cup without becoming bitter is likewise part of the emulation of Jesus."
Speaking of the mortal "whys" of life, he said such questions would be better as "what" questions, such as "What is required of me now?" or, in referring to Ether 12:27, "If I am sufficiently humble, which personal weakness could now become a strength?"
Submissiveness to God's will is more than polite deference, he explained. "Rather, it is a deep yielding in which one's momentary uncertainty gives way to the certainty of Father's rescuing love and mercy. . . ."
In learning greater meekness, Elder Maxwell said, mankind should follow the example of the Savior, who was "most glad to give all the glory to the Father. Alas, even when you and I place something on the altar, you and I sometimes hang around as if waiting for a receipt."
Elder Maxwell said that, along with the great and free gift of the universal and personal resurrection, there is also the personal possibility of meriting eternal life. Though stretched by our challenges, by living righteously and enduring well we can eventually become sufficiently more like Jesus in our traits and attributes, that one day we can dwell in the Father's presence for ever and ever."