Sunday, March 12, 2017


Thoughts stimulated by – The Inexhaustible Gospel – by Neal A. Maxwell

I have previously written about how humorous I found our son Cevin’s statement to be when he came home from his first day of kindergarten and replied with the word ‘EVERYTHING’ to my query about what he had learned that morning.

I have also previously mentioned about how deeply Paul Maddox planted in my heart and mind the concept of ‘the pittance we know in comparison to God’ as we shared many meaningful learning experiences together.

I even think I have previously mentioned how I feel we often misinterpret the words of the Lord to Joseph Smith found in the first section of the Doctrine and Covenants, when speaking about ‘the only true and living church upon the face of the earth’ to mean we have a completeness of God’s knowledge, while ignoring the Article of Faith which states that ‘we believe God will yet reveal many great and important things’.

Neal Ash Maxwell, one of the Lord’s apostles of the latter-days wrote a book entitled The Inexhaustible Gospel (A collection of 21 fireside talks given by Elder Maxwell) which became a treatise meant to convince one and all about the gulf which exists between mere mortal knowledge and the Universal Omniscience of Deity.

Therefore, it should not mystify any of us when we read the words of the prophet Brigham Young, where he stated ‘that it would not surprise him that in the life to come, it might take him millions upon millions of years, as we count them, to begin to grasp the knowledge which God has.’

After I officially retired from my career as a full time employee of the Church Education System in 2006 I was blessed to receive a calling from President Zundel of the Mission Viejo, California Stake to teach, or better said, continue to teach a religion class for adults one morning a week. This additional blessing of continuing in the classroom went on for five years until my body started to fall apart and I had to submit myself to the knives of medical science.

As I was going through some of my files I came across the extensive collection of lessons I had prepared while teaching from Elder Maxwell’s book, and I was overcome with a desire to share some of the major concepts we shared as classmates during that experience.

I probably should tell you that the Thought I wrote two weeks ago was stimulated by a quote in the introduction to that post career class on Elder Maxwell’s book and that for the foreseeable future I will be basing my Thoughts every other Sunday from that series of lessons.

I feel a need to further explain that I will not be writing this series of Thoughts by copying my outlines which I prepared from Elder Maxwell’s talks, but I will be using a formula which Elder Scott taught us when Kathleen and I were attending a Mission President’s Conference in Quito, Ecuador. Elder Scoot counseled us not to take copious notes of the words he would be speaking, but to write those things the Spirit whispered during his presentations.

Therefore, what I hope to do, is to write Spirit directed Thoughts, as if I were a student being taught the words from Elder Maxwell’s speeches.

Perhaps a bit of Rabbinical Wisdom would be appropriate to get us started:

It is not up to you to complete the task. It is up to you not to desist in trying!

Some fundamental concepts which I hope we will come to have in common if we are to gain a more complete impact of the importance of the Inexhaustible-ness of Infinite knowledge and our current limited acquiring thereof:

We will come to realize the terms truth, knowledge, intelligence, education and wisdom as they are used in context as defined by the restored gospel are not the same as secular definitions.

We must understand that part of the hope which leads unto Eternal Life must be based on the principle that as mortals we can continue our learning in the arena of the Eternal Inexhaustible Gospel.

We must gain a witness that most of what we learn in mortality is really remembering what we learned from our Heavenly Parents in our First Estate.

We will be mystified by the rejection of so many of Heavenly Father’s children during mortality of the truth, knowledge, intelligence, education and wisdom, after they had shouted amen to those same teaching’s in their First Estate.

We will more fully realize the necessary connection between gaining a correct understanding of truths, knowledges, intelligences, educations and wisdoms and our ability to put on the characteristics, attributes and perfections of Godliness.

We will come to comprehend the increase of accountability which is placed upon a person who has the blessing of being added upon in the areas of truth, knowledge, intelligence, education and wisdom during mortality.

We will more fully understand the necessary Infinite-ness which must be part of the mantel of Godhood, lest, as Joseph Fielding Smith said, ‘if it were not for Omniscience of God, the possibility would exist that someone else would discover what was unknown to Him and therefore supplant Him.’

I know that much of the joy and fulfillment that will be showered during the time I spend writing these Thoughts based on that choice extra time I had teaching after retirement will be selfishly mine, but I also hope that to some small degree those who take the time to read them, there will also be a degree of joy and fulfillment which accompanies your reading



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