Illuminate the landscape of our individual lives

The same God that placed that star in a precise orbit millennia before it appeared over Bethlehem in celebration of the birth of the Babe has given at least equal attention to placement of each of us in precise orbits so that we may, if we will, illuminate the landscape of our individual lives, so that our light may not only lead others but warm them as well.

Elder Neal A. Maxwell, That My Family Should Partake (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1974), 86.

I recently heard this quote will listening to a rebroadcast of a speech by Michelle Marchant, BYU professor of special education. I had read the quote for the first time at Christmastime, when it was printed on the tag of a star cookie cutter, given to us at a Relief Society activity.

I especially love the part that refers to God giving special care to placing us each in the “precise orbits” of our lives. As much as I can tell, God does not leave the sending of children to earth to chance. He is perfect in his timing in such important matters. We are each a deliberate, carefully placed piece in his marvelous plan.

2 thoughts on “Illuminate the landscape of our individual lives”

  • In our preparation meeting for the early shift in the St. George Temple today (10/25), the member of the temple presidency used the Elder Maxwell quote that you show. It touched me. I goggled it, and here you are. Your additional commnents also struck a cord. A few weeks ago I spoke at the funeral of my sister-in-law. Her family has passed through a highly dysfunctional period, but due to her willingness to recognize weaknesses and work to correct them, much of that dysfunctional spirit was dispelled. Still, it has had a strong influence on the children and grandchildren who will now struggle to maintain cohesiveness as a family. I felt impressed to include in my remarks the thought that their membership in the family did not come as a result of some spirit-world version of the Power Ball lottery, i.e., random choice, or as the result of a pre-mortal version of the military draft; if your number is drawn, you’re off to boot camp, like it or not, but that family lines had already begun to be drawn far in our spiritual past, and in all likelihood, they had come to know and love each other in the spirit world. Their challenge now was to continue to know and love each other. Am I in left field with those thoughts?

    • I so appreciate this comment! I’m so sorry to hear about your sister’s passing (and I apologize for not responding sooner! I haven’t been on my blog to check comments recently). I personally think you are correct with those thoughts. Elder Ronald A. Rasband quoted Elder Neal A. Maxwell in a conference talk two years ago: “’None of us ever fully utilizes the people-opportunities allocated to us within our circles of friendship. You and I may call these intersectings “coincidence.” This word is understandable for mortals to use, but coincidence is not an appropriate word to describe the workings of an omniscient God. He does not do things by “coincidence” but … by “divine design.”’” (“By Divine Design,” October 2017 general conference). I know that no matter our circumstances, Heavenly Father is aware of us and will magnify our every effort to bless those in our circles of influence–particularly our family!

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