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`The power is His to delegate, not ours to manipulate’

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"Murmuring seems to come so naturally to the natural man," said Elder Neal A. Maxwell in his address during the October 1989 general conference. "It crosses the scriptural spectrum of recorded complaints. We need bread. We need water. (See Num. 21:5.) The needed military reinforcements did not arrive. (See Alma 60.) `Why did we ever leave Egypt?' " (See Num. 11:20.)

Elder Maxwell said that an early scriptural instance of murmuring involved Cain's offering to the Lord, "illustrating how our intentions are at least as important as our deeds." (See Moses 5:20-21.)"Cain was `wroth' that Abel's offering was acceptable but not his. Sometimes, brothers and sisters, we, too, worry if someone else seems to be more favored than we. Worse still, we want to be accepted of the Lord - but on our terms, not His!"

Further, Elder Maxwell said: "It shouldn't surprise us . . . that Satan . . . does not know the mind of God. (See Moses 4:6.)

"Perhaps when we murmur we are unconsciously complaining over not being able to cut a special deal with the Lord. We want full blessings but without full obedience to the laws on which those blessings are predicated. For instance, some murmurers seem to hope to reshape the Church to their liking by virtue of their murmuring. But why would one want to belong to a church that he could remake in his own image, when it is the Lord's image that we should come to have in our countenances? (See Alma 5:19.)

"The doctrines are His, brothers and sisters, not ours. The power is His to delegate, not ours to manipulate!

"One especially fundamental fact about murmuring is contained in this verse: `And thus Laman and Lemuel . . . did murmur because they knew not the dealings of that God who had created them.' (1 Ne. 2:12.)

"Like Laman and Lemuel, we too, sometimes fail to understand the dealings of our God in our lives and in our times. (See 1 Ne. 2:12; 17:22.)