Neal A Maxwell

NealElder Neal Ash Maxwell  (6 July 1926 – 21 July 2004) was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1981 until his death.

I met Elder Maxwell June 1985 in Frederick, Maryland.  After services, Elizabeth and I went up standing in line to shake Elder Maxwell’s hand. He patted Elizabeth’s head and said something. I wish I had kept a journal of that special experience, sad to say I cannot remember what he said.

In 2004 we were making plans to serve an eighteen-month mission in South Africa. It was taking an unusually long time to get our fingerprint records back from Washington, DC. It was getting close for our departure date, so, when they finally arrived rather than mail them we thought we’d jump in the car and deliver them personally. We had forgotten about it being Elder Maxwell’s funeral. We just made it in time to drop off results of fingerprints from DC as they were closing Everything down at noon until 2:00 p.m.

My husband decided to go to the temple and I wanted to go to the genealogical library to do some last minute family history. (I felt a little guilty for not going to the temple with my husband). He dropped me off in front of the library where he proceeded on to the temple. I walked up to the front door and read a sign indicating they would be closed until 2:00 p.m. I walked across the street and into Temple Square when they closed the big iron gate. I asked if they closed the temple also to which the gentleman at the gate replied, “Yes.” I later discovered they did not close the temple. I thought, “How will my husband know where I am.” I sat down on a concrete bench very close to the Tabernacle when a funeral hearse pulled in with limousines and cars following. The hearse and limousines pulled on around the tabernacle out of sight. The cars were all bumper to bumper stopping with car doors flying open. The first person I saw exit a car was Elder Ballard. He stood looking into my eyes for what seemed a good minute. It was as if he was saying, “I know you.” Then all of the other apostles were getting out of their vehicles. Elder Oaks, Elder Haight, forgive me for not listing all their names here. I was so close I could almost reach out and touch their cars. Needless to say those pangs of guilt for not attending the temple just melted away. An usher came out offering me a program (which I still have), inviting me to come in. I declined as I needed to be where my husband could hopefully see me 🙂 I love and miss Elder Neal Ash Maxwell ❤ We must be different


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