Summarized by Kent Larsen
Elder Maxwell recounts blessings
Deseret News 6Jun99 C2
By Lynn Arave: Deseret News staff writer
The prayers of members of the LDS Church in behalf of Elder Neal A Maxwell
are being answered as he seems to be recovering from leukemia. But Elder
Maxwell sees the disease as a more of a blessing than a curse. Elder
Maxwell spoke at the annual National Cancer Survivors Day for Utah
gathering on Saturday, telling those in attendance that the disease helped
him focus on the important things in life. [Cancer patients] "have a
different perspective, a sharper focus," he said. "I've been given by the
Lord a delay en route."
Maxwell was diasnosed with leukemia three years ago. The disease was caught
fairly early, but was rapidly spreading through his body. Multiple
chemotherapies led to 46 days in the hospital. During that time, he was
able to only work part time, but finally returned to full-time service
about 10 months ago. He is still getting some chemotherapy.
Maxwell is one of a number of general authorities that have suffered from
cancer, including President Spencer W. Kimball, Elder Bruce R. McConkie and
President Howard W. Hunter. "There's no immunity from suffering," said
Elder Maxwell about church leaders. "Only variation from suffering. How we
handle it is the key."
Among the things Elder Maxwell says he has learned from his fight with
leukemia is a greater appreciation of the atonement and a better capacity
to receive help from others.