Work is principle of gospel's fulness

Stretches talents

Puts off selfishness- Prepares one for eternity

In a warmly personal and often humorous recollection, Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the Quorum of the Twelve said that as a youth he gained an appreciation for work by raising purebred Duroc pigs. Speaking at the Saturday evening priesthood session, he even displayed a blanket filled with nearly 100 ribbons won by prize pigs at various fairs over several years.

"Even so, I did not always put my shoulder to the wheel with a `heart full of song,' but I did learn about shoulders and wheels, which helped later in life, when the wheels grew larger," he said.

"Thus I speak to you as good young men . . . reminding you that the gospel of work is part of `the fulness of the gospel.' Though joyful, missionary work is work. Though joyful, temple work is work."

While young men's individual mix of work will vary by season and circumstance, each form of work can stretch their talents, Elder Maxwell explained.

"Nevertheless, watch the warning lights. For instance, if you are engaged in part-time work, are all your wages spent on yourself? Is tithing paid? Is some saved for a mission? . . ."

Whatever the mix, "the hardest work you and I will ever do is to put off our own selfishness," he said. "It is heavy lifting!"

Speaking to fathers, he warned: "Be careful . . . when you too much desire things to be better for your children than they were for you. Do not, however unintentionally, make things worse by removing the requirement for reasonable work as part of their experience, thereby insulating your children from the very things that helped make you what you are!"

He encouraged fathers and sons, if they are not already teaming up on work, to select just one stretching chore to do together within the next three months.

"Young men, I do not know what your individual gifts are, but you have them!" he said. "Please employ those gifts and stretch your talents - along with taking out garbage cans, mowing lawns, raking leaves, or shoveling snow for widows, widowers or a sick neighbor."

The rising generation, Elder Maxwell said, will determine if Latter-day Saints will continue to be known for the work ethic. "Know that whether one is a neurosurgeon, forest ranger, mechanic, farmer or teacher, etc., is a matter of preference, not of principle," he said. "While those career choices are clearly very important, these do not mark your real career path. Instead, brethren, you are sojourning sons of God who have been invited to take the path that leads home. There, morticians will not be the only occupation to become obsolete. But the capacity to work and work wisely will never be obsolete, and neither will be the ability to learn.

"Meanwhile, my young brethren, I have not seen any perspiration-free shortcuts to the celestial kingdom; there is no easy escalator to take us there."

Speaking to priesthood holders young and old, Elder Maxwell said: "Sweeping is the only way to describe your spiritual history and your possible future! There will always be plenty of work to do, especially for those who know how to do the Lord's work! . . . I believe in your future possibilities. You are special spirits sent to do special chores. It is toward those chores that I have tried to give you a friendly nudge tonight!"

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