When I was discharged from the Army and had saved the money to go on a mission I patiently waited for the Bishop to call me on a mission. The Bishop seemed so slow in calling me. I learned for the man who was then the Bishops ward clerk that my bishop had felt, since I had been overseas for quite a while, I shouldn’t be rushed into the mission field. He waited for me to tap on the door.
Oh, how quick we are sometimes to judge with so little data! And these experiences are in each of our lives, and they are illustrative of large issues, if we will but learn from them. I am so grateful to that ward clerk who, at least 40 years later, sent me a note one day saying he'd heard I'd mentioned this tapping on the bishop's door at night, and he thought I ought to know the bishop's feelings. The rush to judgment continues to be the reflex of the natural man and the natural woman if we do not guard against it carefully.
Another insight that seems to recur again and again in confirmation is that the todays of life constitute the holy present. We can't fix the past. We may be able to repent of it, but we can't change past events. We can fashion the future, and we do that by using what someone has called the holy present, which indeed it is.
Sharing Insightsfrom My Life
NEAL A. MAXWELL
devotional address was delivered at BYU on 12 January 1999.