Elder Neal A. Maxwell holds a special place in my heart. In my youth, I remember listening to his words and his singular whistle as he spoke during General Conference.
While I was in Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah in 1998, he spoke at a devotional and shared some poignant messages that brought the Spirit so powerfully that I have never forgotten them.
Additionally, when my wife was in the hospital giving birth to my second child, Evan, Elder Maxwell passed away, on July 21, 2004.
Below are some of his greatest quotes that were compiled by azquotes.com.
“How can you and I really expect to glide naively through life, as if to say, ‘Lord, give me experience, but not grief, not sorrow, not pain, not opposition, not betrayal, and certainly not to be forsaken. Keep from me, Lord, all those experiences which made Thee what Thou art! Then, let me come and dwell with Thee and fully share Thy joy!'” – Neal A. Maxwell
“God does not begin by asking us about our ability, but only about our availability, and if we then prove our dependability, he will increase our capability.” – Neal A. Maxwell
“In conclusion, the submission of one’s will is really the only uniquely personal thing we have to place on God’s altar. The many other things we ‘give,’ brothers and sisters, are actually the things He has already given or loaned to us. However, when you and I finally submit ourselves, by letting our individual wills be swallowed up in God’s will, then we are really giving something to Him! It is the only possession which is truly ours to give!” – Neal A. Maxwell
“The more seriously we work on our own imperfections, the less we are judgmental of the imperfections of others.” – Neal A. Maxwell
“If, in the end, you have not chosen Jesus Christ it will not matter what you have chosen.” – Neal A. Maxwell
“Trials and tribulations tend to squeeze the artificiality out of us, leaving the essence of what we really are and clarifying what we really yearn for.”- Neal A. Maxwell
“I fear that, as conditions worsen, many will react to the failures of too much government by calling for even more government. Then there will be more and more lifeboats launched because fewer and fewer citizens know how to swim. Unlike some pendulums, political pendulums to not swing back automatically; they must be pushed. History is full of instances when people have waited in vain for pendulums to swing back.”- Neal A. Maxwell
“The great challenge is to refuse to let the bad things that happen to us do bad things to us. That is the crucial difference between adversity and tragedy.” – Neal A. Maxwell
“Patience is tied very closely to faith in our Heavenly Father. Actually, when we are unduly impatient, we are suggesting that we know what is best—better than does God. Or, at least, we are asserting that our timetable is better than His. We can grow in faith only if we are willing to wait patiently for God’s purposes and patterns to unfold in our lives, on His timetable.” – Neal A. Maxwell
“The soul is like a violin string: it makes music only when it is stretched.” – Neal A. Maxwell
“Time is clearly not our natural dimension. Thus, it is that we are never really at home in time. Alternately, we find ourselves wishing to hasten the passage of time or to hold back the dawn. We can do neither, of course, but whereas the fish is at home in water, we are clearly not at home in time–because we belong to eternity.”- Neal A. Maxwell
“During our mortal schooling in submissiveness, we will see the visible crosses that some carry, but other crosses will go unseen. A few individuals may appear to have no trials at all, which, if it were so, would be a trial in itself. Indeed, if, as do trees, our souls had rings to measure the years of greatest personal growth, the wide rings would likely reflect the years of greatest moisture-but from tears, not rainfall.” – Neal A. Maxwell
“Men’s and nations’ finest hour consist of those moments when extraordinary challenge is met by extraordinary response. Hence in those darkest hours, we must light our individual candles rather than vying with others to call attention to the enveloping darkness. Our indignation about injustice should lead to illumination, for if it does not, we are only adding to the despair-and the moment of gravest danger is when there is so little light that darkness seems normal!” – Neal A. Maxwell
If, in the end, you have not chosen Jesus Christ it will not matter what you have chosen.
“It is our job to lift others up, not to size them up.” – Neal A. Maxwell
“While most of our suffering is self- inflicted, some is caused by or permitted by God. This sobering reality calls for deep submissiveness, especially when God does not remove the cup from us. In such circumstances, when reminded about the premortal shouting for joy as this life’s plan was unfolded (Job 38:7), we can perhaps be pardoned if, in some moments, we wonder what all the shouting was about.” -Neal A. Maxwell
“A society which permits anything will eventually lose everything.” – Neal A. Maxwell
“Sometimes the best people… have the worst experiences… because they are ready to learn.” – Neal A. Maxwell
“When we are unduly impatient with an omniscient God’s timing, we really are suggesting that we know what’s best. Strange isn’t it-we who wear wrist watches seek to counsel Him who oversees cosmic clocks and calendars.” – Neal A. Maxwell
“The cavity which suffering carves into our souls will one day also be the receptacle of joy.” – Neal A. Maxwell
“To be cheerful when others are in despair, to keep the faith when others falter, to be true even when we feel forsaken—all of these are deeply desired outcomes during the deliberate, divine tutorials which God gives to us—because He loves us. These learning experiences must not be misread as divine indifference. Instead, such tutorials are a part of the divine unfolding.” – Neal A. Maxwell
“Like Jesus, we can decide, daily or instantly, to give no heed to temptation (see D&C 20:22). We can respond to irritation with a smile instead of scowl, or by giving warm praise instead of icy indifference. By our being understanding instead of abrupt, others, in turn, may decide to hold on a little longer rather than to give way. Love, patience, and meekness can be just as contagious as rudeness and crudeness.” – Neal A. Maxwell
“The submission of one’s will is really the only uniquely personal thing we have to place on God’s altar. The many other things we ‘give’ are actually the things He has already given or loaned to us.” – Neal A. Maxwell
“We can tell much by what we have already willing discarded along the pathway of discipleship. It is the only pathway where littering is permissible, even encouraged. In the early stages, the debris left behind includes the grosser sins of commission. Later debris differs; things begin to be discarded which have caused the misuse or underuse of our time and talent.” – Neal A. Maxwell
“We should certainly count our blessings, but we should also make our blessings count.” – Neal A. Maxwell
“God, as a loving Father, will stretch our souls at times. The soul is like a violin string: it makes music only when it is stretched. . .. God will tutor us by trying us because He loves us, not because of indifference!” – Neal A. Maxwell