It was 1975 and Elder Neal A. Maxwell had been serving as an Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for one year when he gave a talk entitled, "The Man of Christ," during April General Conference. Elder Maxwell would go on to serve for exactly 23 years in the Quorum of the Twelve, passing away after a long fight against leukemia on the anniversary of his call as an apostle.

Elder and Sister Neal A. and Colleen H. Maxwell.
Elder and Sister Neal A. and Colleen H. Maxwell.Photo: Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved

In the wake of his passing, a Deseret News obituary wrote of Elder Maxwell's oratory excellence.

"Regarded by many LDS Church members as the faith's ultimate wordsmith, Elder Maxwell's public addresses — particularly those during the faith's semi-annual general conferences — included intricately crafted similes, metaphors and alliteration that cut to the core of the faith's most basic doctrines," Carrie Moore wrote.

In "The Man of Christ," Elder Maxwell makes "a brief attempt to describe just a few of the things the men and women of Christ will feel and see in the course of that adventurous journey."

"He marvels not, therefore, when customized challenges and temptations come his way — with soul-stretching experiences and individualized injections of irony: These may constitute 'but a small moment' (Doctrine and Covenants 121:7), but endured well, yield experience which shapes all eternity!" Elder Maxwell said. "He remembers Gethsemane and senses that, sometimes, when a righteous individual is in agony, seemingly alone, he, too, is companied by celestial friends who are nearby, but not so near as to interfere. For the surrender which is underway is also a victory!"

Read the entire text here.