Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
The following article appeared in The Ensign in September of 1981, shortly after Elder Maxwell was ordained an apostle.
Responding to his call as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, Elder Maxwell spoke quietly of commitment and fulfillment of prophecy. “There is no way,” he said, “that one can feel any sense of adequacy about this calling. All one can do is to be willing to be tutored and trained; I certainly am willing to do that. I
responded to this call immediately; I am pleased to play a small part in the kingdom.
“I take note of the fact that the Church, in this part of this dispensation, exists in a time when one of President Brigham Young’s prophecies is being fulfilled, in which he said as the Church grows and expands in the nation and the world, so also, in direct proportion, will the power of the adversary rise. So the high adventure that lies before us as a people and as a kingdom is difficult to assess. I hope in some small way that I can make a contribution.”
Elder Maxwell’s service as a General Authority began in April of 1974 when he was called to be an Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve. When the First Quorum of the Seventy was reorganized in 1976, he was called to the presidency of that body.
Prior to his Church callings, Elder Maxwell held a variety of administrative and teaching positions with the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, including executive vice president of the University. He had earlier served as a legislative assistant to United States Senator Wallace F. Bennett of Utah. He has served as director of several business firms and has been active in public service.
He has written a number of books and has authored many articles dealing with politics and government for national, professional, and Church publications.
A political science graduate of the University of Utah, Elder Maxwell also earned a master’s degree from that university. He was later awarded honorary doctoral
degrees from Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Brigham Young University, and Utah State University in Logan.
Prior to his 1970 appointment as Church Commissioner of Education, Elder Maxwell had served the Church in a variety of positions, including bishop of Salt Lake City’s University Sixth Ward, member of the General Board of the Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Association, member of the Adult Correlation Committee, and
Regional Representative. As a young man he served a two-year mission to Canada.
Born July 6, 1926, he is married to the former Colleen Hinckley. They are the parents of four children.