The Schoolmaster Of The ‘Compressed Curriculum’


Great are the words of Neal A. Maxwell; profoundly stated almost twenty-years ago.

“Uncertainty as to our longevity is one of life’s basic realities for all of us. Hence, you and I should importune in faith for the blessings we deeply desire, but then be “content with the things which the Lord hath allotted unto [us]” (Alma 29:3). Clearly our individual exit routes from this life vary; so does the timing.

There are many who suffer so much more than the rest of us: some go agonizingly; some go quickly; some are healed; some are given more time; some seem to linger. There are variations in our trials but no immunities. Thus, the scriptures cite the fiery furnace and fiery trials (see Dan. 3:6­26; 1 Pet. 4:12). Those who emerge successfully from their varied and fiery furnaces have experienced the grace of the Lord, which He says is sufficient (see Ether 12:27). Even so…such emerging individuals do not rush to line up in front of another fiery furnace in order to get an extra turn! However, since the mortal school is of such short duration, our tutoring Lord can be the Schoolmaster of the compressed curriculum.

The redeeming presence of our loving Father-God in the universe is the grand fact pertaining to the human condition. It is the supernal truth which, along with His plan of happiness, reigns preeminent and imperial over all other realities. Other truths, by comparison, are merely fleeting factoids about which we may be “ever learning” without coming to a knowledge of the grand truths (2 Tim. 3:7).

Mortal experience points evermore to the Atonement of Jesus Christ as the central act of all human history. The more I learn and experience, the more unselfish, stunning, and encompassing His Atonement becomes! (“From Whom All Blessings Flow,” GC, 1997)

May we look to the ‘Schoolmaster’ and have faith that His ‘compressed curriculum’ will spark and ignite in us, the everlasting flame of thirst for truth, that will never be quenched, but will forever burn in our hearts!

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