Friday, May 6, 2011

Meekness--An Ornament of Great Price

Jesus said, “For I am meek and lowly in heart” (Matthew 11:29). Peter likens meekness to an ornament “which is in the sight of God of great price” (1 Peter 3:4), and Moroni warned that, “None is acceptable before God, save the meek and lowly in heart” (Moroni 7:44). In our journey of discipleship, we must become meek like He is. 

Great blessings come from being meek—the meek will be accepted of God (Moroni 7:44), and they “shall inherit the earth" (Matthew 5:5). The Psalmist said "The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way." (Psalms 25:9). Moroni taught that we “cannot have faith and hope save… [we] shall be meek and lowly of heart” (Moroni 7:44). 

In a remarkable address entitled “Meekness-A Dimension of True Discipleship”, Neal A. Maxwell said:  

Meekness is not an attribute which is essential only in itself….It is also vital because one cannot develop those other crucial virtues—faith, hope, and charity—without meekness.
In the ecology of the eternal attributes, these cardinal characteristics are inextricably bound up together. Among them, meekness is often the initiator, facilitator, and consolidator. (Neal A. Maxwell, “Meekness—A Dimension of True Discipleship,” Ensign, March 1983.)

Meekness is a fountain from which flows other Christ like attributes.

What is meekness? Meekness is one of the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:23). It develops and grows as we listen to and follow the promptings of the Spirit and strive to become more like Christ (Mosiah 3:19). It encompasses humility, gentleness, patience, and kindness. Some may equate it with being weak, but this is a mistake. Was Moses weak when he stood before Pharaoh and declared, “Let my people go”? I don’t think so, yet Moses was “very meek, above all the men, which were upon the face of the earth” (Numbers 12:3). Was Christ, the perfect example of meekness, weak when He drove the money changers from the temple? I doubt it. Neal A. Maxwell said, “Meekness…is more than self-restraint; it is the presentation of self in a posture of kindness and gentleness, reflecting certitude, strength, serenity, and a healthy self-esteem and self-control” (Maxwell, “Meekness—A Dimension of True Discipleship”). Moses’ and Christ’s very strength flowed from their meekness as can our real strength.

"Meekness is one of those attributes acquired only by experience, some of it painful, for it is developed ‘according to the flesh.’ (Alma 7:11–12.) It is not an attribute achieved overnight, nor is it certified in only one exam—but, rather, ‘in process of time.’ (Moses 7:21, 68–69.) The Savior said we are to ‘take up [the] cross daily’—not just once or occasionally. (Luke 9:23.) His rigorous requirement places a premium upon our having meekness." (Maxwell, “Meekness—A Dimension of True Discipleship”).

When I look for the models of meekness in my life, I need look no further than my 85 year old mother. She is one of the meekest people I know. She has always been kind and gentle; but illness, heart ache, loss, and loneliness have certified and polished her meekness. I can pay her no greater tribute than to say that for me she is the image of meekness. I hope that I can follow her example daily and become meek like Jesus.

(For discourse on meekness, I recommend reading Neal A. Maxwell’s talk, “Meekness—A Dimension of True Discipleship”, which can be found at

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