“Gather yourselves together,” says Zephaniah, “…before the day of the Lord’s anger come upon you.” What should we do to prepare for those difficult days? “Seek ye the Lord,” he says, “all ye meek of the earth.” How should we do this? “Seek righteousness,” he clarifies, “seek meekness.” Then, he adds, “it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord’s anger” (Zephaniah 2:1-3).
When Zephaniah exhorts the meek of the earth to seek the Lord, it sounds like they’re already meek. But when he tells them to “seek meekness,” it conveys a different message. Maybe meekness is always aspirational. Maybe we are only meek to the degree that we acknowledge our non-meekness and strive to be better.
Or perhaps it’s an acknowledgement that current meekness is no guarantee of future meekness. Mormon implies this as he includes meekness as part of an ongoing process for a disciple of Jesus Christ:
The first fruits of repentance is baptism; and baptism cometh by faith unto the fulfilling the commandments; and the fulfilling the commandments bringeth remission of sins;
And the remission of sins bringeth meekness, and lowliness of heart; and because of meekness and lowliness of heart cometh the visitation of the Holy Ghost, which Comforter filleth with hope and perfect love, which love endureth by diligence unto prayer, until the end shall come, when all the saints shall dwell with God.Moroni 8:25-26
Meekness invites the companionship of the Spirit, and the Spirit fills us with hope and love. But that companionship (and the corresponding hope and love) rely on our consistent efforts to seek the Lord through prayer.
Seek the Lord. Seek righteousness. Seek meekness.
Today, I will remember that meekness is a necessary condition for closeness to God. Even though I may yet be imperfect in my meekness, I will strive to be more meek, so that I can be closer to Him.