Elder Neal A. Maxwell

Quotes By Elder Neal A. Maxwell

Elder Neal A. Maxwell served as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles from 1981–2004. Among others, Elder Maxwell’s most prominent books are All These Things Shall Give Thee Experience, Not My Will, but Thine and the Neal A. Maxwell Quote Book. Maxwell was known for his great mind and ability to articulate his thoughts elegantly.

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“Creative expression can also represent the celebration of our gratitude to God for our gifts and talents.”

Elder Neal A. Maxwell  |  “Creativity,” New Era, Aug. 1982, 4

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“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!”

Elder Neal A. Maxwell  |  Ensign, July 1975, p. 7

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“Personality patterns, habits, strengths, and weaknesses observed by God over a long period of time in the pre-mortal world would give God a perfect understanding of what we would do under a given set of circumstances to come.”

Elder Neal A. Maxwell

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“Because our lives are foreseen by God, he is never surprised by developments within our lives. The sudden loss of health, wealth, self-esteem, status, or a loved one – developments that may stun us – are foreseen by God, though not necessarily caused by him.”

Elder Neal A. Maxwell

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“There is also a dimension of patience which links it to a special reverence for life. Patience is a willingness, in a sense, to watch the unfolding purposes of God with a sense of wonder and awe, rather than pacing up and down within the cell of our circumstance. Put another way, too much anxious opening of the oven door and the cake falls instead of rising. So it is with us. If we are always selfishly taking our temperature to see if we are happy, we will not be…When we are impatient, we are neither reverential nor reflective because we are too self-centered. Whereas faith and patience are companions, so are selfishness and impatience. It is so easy to be confrontive without being informative; so easy to be indignant without being intelligent; so easy to be impulsive without being insightful. It is so easy to command others when we are not in control of ourselves.”

Elder Neal A. Maxwell  |  Patience, BYUDA 11/79

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“Petitioning in prayer has taught me, again and again, that the vault of heaven with all its blessings is to be opened only by a combination lock. One tumbler falls when there is faith, a second when there is personal righteousness; the third and final tumbler falls only when what is sought is, in God’s judgment – not ours – right for us. Sometimes we pound on the vault door for something we want very much and wonder why the door does not open. We would be very spoiled children if that vault door opened any more easily than it does. I can tell, looking back, that God truly loves me by inventorying the petitions He has refused to grant me. Our rejected petitions tell us much about ourselves but also much about our flawless Father. By inventorying our insights, from time to time, it will surprise us what the Lord has done in teaching us. What we have learned in the past can help us to persist in the present. By tallying the truths and keeping such before us, we can also avoid lapsed literacy in spiritual things. If we will let Him, the Holy Ghost will bring all the important insights to our remembrance.”

Elder Neal A. Maxwell  |  “Insights,” New Era, April 1978, p. 6

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“Someone has recently coined what is called the Gadarene Swine Law, which is, simply put, that just because a group is in formation does not mean that it is going in the right direction.”

Elder Neal A. Maxwell

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“Work is always a spiritual necessity even if, for some, work is not an economic necessity.”

Elder Neal A. Maxwell  |  “Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel”

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“God does not send thunder if a still, small voice is enough.”

Elder Neal A. Maxwell  |  Ensign, November 1976, p. 14

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“Even the gifts of God are of little final use, if one has not developed the quality of charity. I hope we understand the implications of those words. Without charity we can’t go to the upper rooms of the celestial kingdom. It is just as essential as baptism. So what we are to do and what we are to be are incredibly important.”

Elder Neal A. Maxwell  |  address at New Mission Presidents Seminar, Church News, July 2, 1994, p. 5

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