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To use mere words to pay editorial tribute to the life of Elder Neal A. Maxwell is akin to trying to capture the beauty of a stunning sunrise through a camera with a foggy lens. Neither does justice to the subject.
Elder Maxwell, after all, had an extraordinary love affair with words.
His death Wednesday night at the age of 78 may have silenced his audible expressions, but his voice will continue to be heard through the 30 books he wrote and the archived accounts of the eloquent sermons he delivered.
As a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for 23 years he traveled the world proclaiming his deeply held beliefs. While the poetic clarity of his words touched millions, he’ll be remembered as much for the tenderness, humility and sensitivity of his personal ministry.
From a youngster who raised pigs and a teenage soldier in a foxhole on Okinawa, he rose to become an influential teacher and successful educational administrator before joining the ranks of Latter-day Saint leadership. Even his eight-year battle with leukemia can be viewed as an example of handling adversity with consummate dignity.
KSL, along with millions worldwide, will miss Elder Neal A. Maxwell. Our heartfelt admiration goes beyond mere words.