Four Maxwell nuggets on disciple scholars

Those who claim to care for the Church but who do not believe in it–the cultural Mormons–act as if the Church already belonged to history, and the Church embarrasses them, especially when it is so lively and living. Other members keep their devotions private instead of going public, for fear of being put out of the secular synagogue.

–          Neal A Maxwell, Things As They Really Are, 57.

The disciples are told that one cannot serve two masters—and the world, in whatever form, is a jealous master. Putting the kingdom and discipleship anywhere but absolute first place means that when push comes to shove, something else will win out.

And, for some, the collision is inherent in the subject matter.

The orthodox Latter-day Saint scholar should remember that his citizenship is in the Kingdom and that his professional passport takes him abroad into his specialty. It is not the other way around. That fact is true not only for the professor but also for the plumber in his relationships with his union.

– Neal A. Maxwell, Deposition of a Disciple, 15.

This will necessarily involve sacrifice, of matters that (from a secular sense) are of very real value and moment. It would not be a sacrifice otherwise:

On occasion, sadly competent disciples will not be chosen for certain professional chores of the world because their peers will see them as being incapacitated to perform fully because they are disciples. The only Roman ‘club’ to which early Christians obtained admittance was the Coliseum, and, unfortunately, other guests–fourlegged and hungry–had been invited too.

–          Neal A Maxwell, Things As They Really Are, 14.

It is this outcome which those who keep their devotion private hope to avoid. Sadly, though, many such are not content with keeping their own commitments and priorities hermetically sealed (as they imagine) from their academic work. They must denigrate those who have chosen differently—an ironic, if common, manifestation of the “tolerance” which the academy claims to espouse.

In opting for discipleship, we have nothing to fear but the disapproval of the natural man and his like-minded preoccupied friends–with their pointing fingers.

Most forms of holding back are rooted in pride or are prompted by the mistaken notion that somehow we are diminished by submission to God.

–          Neal A. Maxwell, “The Disciple Scholar,” 22. [1]

The degree to which we fear such things will likely determine what our choice will be.


[1] Neal A. Maxwell, “The Disciple Scholar,” in On Becoming a Disciple–Scholar, edited by Henry B. Eying (Bookcraft, Salt Lake, 1995).