What Is Meekness?

Mormon identified meekness as the foundational virtue:

[A man] cannot have faith and hope, save he shall be meek, and lowly of heart.
If so, his faith and hope is vain, for none is acceptable before God, save the meek and lowly in heart; and if a man be meek and lowly in heart, and confesses by the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ, he must needs have charity; for if he have not charity he is nothing; wherefore he must needs have charity Moroni 7:43-44).

And King Benjamin identified meekness as a core attribute of sainthood, which we can only develop by yielding to the enticings of the Holy Spirit (Mosiah 3:19). (See also Alma 13:28.)

Jesus taught that the meek will inherit the earth, quoting from the book of Psalms (3 Nephi 12:5, Matthew 5:5, Psalm 37:11).

How will this happen? The Savior will eventually establish perfect justice. He will “reprove with equity for the meek of the earth” (Isaiah 11:4, 2 Nephi 21:4, 2 Nephi 30:9).

One reason this is necessary is because meek people appear to be weak from a worldly perspective, and unscrupulous people are constantly trying to take advantage of them. “They despise the poor, and they persecute the meek,” observed Jacob when condemning the wealthy among his people (2 Nephi 9:30). And his brother Nephi seconded this observation (2 Nephi 28:13). People who have worldly power often callously take advantage of those less fortunate than themselves.

But if we are truly meek, we can have confidence in the Savior’s assistance. Moroni worried that his modern readers would criticize him for his lack of eloquence in writing. the Lord responded, “Fools mock, but they shall mourn; and my grace is sufficient for the meek, that they shall take no advantage of your weakness” (Ether 12:26).

The Savior said, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart” (Matthew 11:29). I think it means that He is not above doing manual labor. He is willing to get His hands dirty. If we are to be His disciples, we must also be willing to serve in humble ways, instead of pursuing worldly acclaim, prestige, and recognition.

Elder David A. Bednar contrasted the reality of meekness with the way it is often perceived:

The Christlike quality of meekness often is misunderstood in our contemporary world. Meekness is strong, not weak; active, not passive; courageous, not timid; restrained, not excessive; modest, not self-aggrandizing; and gracious, not brash. A meek person is not easily provoked, pretentious, or overbearing and readily acknowledges the accomplishments of others (“Meek and Lowly of Heart,” General Conference, April 2018).

Today, I will strive to be meek. I will be responsive to the promptings of the Holy Ghost and will strive to do God’s work without drawing undue attention to myself. As I follow the example of the Savior, I will recognize that my actions may be misunderstood and that people who are not meek may detect weakness and attempt to take advantage of me. But I will trust the Lord and remember that His grace is sufficient for me as long as I am meek.

One thought on “What Is Meekness?

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  1. How great is Elder Bednar’s talk?! Christ had the power to do anything yet was at all times meek enough to subdue his will as he sought to do the will of the Father. Meekness truly is strong!

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