Elder Maxwell: Do what you can with your given circumstances

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    By CAMILLA SCOTT

    Elder Neal A. Maxwell, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, emphasized the importance of finding contentment within life’s allotments as he likened Alma’s desire to declare repentance to all the world.

    “Alma’s contentment rested on the reality that God finally allots to us according to our own wills,” Elder Maxwell said.

    Alma became content with his call and hoped only to be an instrument in saving “some soul.”

    Elder Maxwell said members also need to develop their desires and find happiness in life’s situations.

    “Developing greater contentment within certain of our existing constraints and opportunities is one of our challenges,” Elder Maxwell said.

    People are faced with physical, mental or geographic limitations or trials they must “pass through” and “live with.” These constraints may lead to discontentment and self-pity. Elder Maxwell said it is the responses to the allotted “acreage” that really matters.

    “Most important is what we are and what we do within those varied allocations,” Elder Maxwell said.

    Elder Maxwell later said the “Master of the vineyard” knows perfectly what has been done and could have been done with those allotments. He also said the master knows the circumstances and intents of one’s heart, and he knows the talents and gifts of each person.

    Contentment need not be found on a large stage in front of a great audience.

    Speaking of Jesus Christ’s mortal ministry, Elder Maxwell asked members to ponder the small geographic area within which Jesus taught and died.

    “There were certainly much more prominent hills than Golgotha, and much more resplendent gardens than Gethsemane,” Elder Maxwell said. “No matter, these were sufficient to host the central act of all human history!”

    Pondering this great act allows people to find spiritual contentment, said Elder Maxwell.

    Elder Maxwell finished his talk by relating a story about his four-year-old granddaughter, Anna Josephine.

    Anna was born without a left hand. Talmage, her three-year-old cousin, asked if she would have fingers when she grew up.

    “No, Talmage, when I grow up I won’t have five fingers, but when I get to Heaven, I will have a hand,” Anna said.

    Elder Maxwell is certain that as Anna “stays steady” with her life’s allotment, she will be a blessing to the people she meets. Members will also find happiness as they develop their desires and responses to the “acreage” they have been given.

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