Preparing for Eternity

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Neal A. Maxwell

Since life in the Church illustrates, painfully at times, our own defects, as well as the defects of others, we are bound to be periodically disappointed thereby in ourselves and in others. We cannot expect it to be otherwise in a kingdom where, initially, not only does the net gather "of every kind," but those of "every kind" are also at every stage of spiritual development (see Matthew 13:47). When people "leave their nets straightway" (see Matt. 4:20 and Mark 1:18), they come as they are—though in the initial process of changing, their luggage reflects their past.

Hence, discipleship is a developmental journey that requires shared patience, understanding, and meekness on the part of all who join the caravan. Together we are disengaging from one world and preparing ourselves for another and far better world.

Meekness and patience have a special mutuality. If there were too much swiftness, there could be no long-suffering, no gradual soul-stretching, nor repeating. With too little time to absorb, to assimilate, and to apply the truths already given, our capacities would not be fully developed. Pearls cast before us would go unfound, ungathered, and unsavored. It takes time to prepare for eternity.

For he will give unto the faithful line upon line, precept upon precept; and I will try you and prove you herewith. (D&C 98:12)

I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more. (2 Nephi 28:30)

The meek are also less likely to ask amiss in their prayers (see James 4:3). Being less demanding of life to begin with, they are less likely to ask selfishly or to act selfishly.

Excerpt from Neal Maxwell's BYU Dev. "Meek and Lowly", given 21 Oct., 1986: Preparing For Eternity