Not My Will, But Thine

by Neal A. Maxwell


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The spiritual life consists of many virtues and activities — earnest prayer, scripture study, love of fellowman, caring service — to name a few. Undergirding all, it seems, is attitude toward God.

Here Elder Neal A. Maxwell shows how crucial is that element. For the disciple, he points out, the teaching and example of Jesus Christ shows an inescapable pattern — submission always to the Father's will. The Savior's greatest test and greatest triumph — the love-inspired Atonement — capsulizes and personifies this spirit: “Not my will, but thine.” As he bore and “learned . . . obedience by the things which he suffered,” so we should bear our infinitely lighter burdens or problems, whether they result from life's vicissitudes or from our Father's deliberate tutor process. We should, as King Benjamin put it, submit to God's will “even as a child doth submit to his father.”

The author offers sound advice on the compelling reasons as well as on the “how-to.” One reason is that there is no way to go around this life — we have to go through it. As with the Prophet Joseph, “all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good” — they signify that the Lord finds us worthy, at least potentially, of his tutorial care, which may include some custom-made trials. But there is a glorious promise for those who “endure well” — no less than eternal life, God's greatest gift.

In this superbly creative style the author explores this important principle of willing, loving submission to our Heavenly Father. He clearly shows this to be not a sacrifice of will but an elevation to a higher purpose and privilege. As such, it offers a life of faith, peace, and joy in the Lord.

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About the Author

Neal A. Maxwell

Elder Neal A. Maxwell, who previously served as executive vice president at the University of Utah and as Commissioner of Education for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was sustained as an Assistant to the Twelve in 1974 and called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in 1981. A well-beloved speaker and author, he wrote more than twenty-five books, including Whom the Lord Loveth, The Promise of Discipleship, One More Strain of Praise, If Thou Endure it Well, and Not My Will, but Thine. He and his wife, Colleen Hinckley Maxwell, have four children and twenty-four grandchildren. Elder Maxwell passed away July 21, 2004.

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A must read.
By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

I thought this book was one of the best I've read ever. the ideas expressed in this book are easily understandable, but sometimes hard to apply. It is a thought provoking book that allows the reader to take a personal inventory of their relationship with God and how they can better that relationship through bending their will to meet God's. A wonderful book that I recommend to anyone who asks.

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