This is difficult to recognize. The attribute is found in the relationship between man and God, not man and man. That is, to be meek is to follow the Lord’s will, even when you don’t want to do so, even when it brings you into conflict with your friends, family or community. You measure meekness as between the servant and the Lord, not as between the servant and his critics.1 Meekness, among other things, involves a conscious effort to avoid harming or offending others. It requires an absence of pride or self-will. It is not insistent upon being recognized or applauded. It denotes a willingness to suffer without complaint. Others may never recognize the meek, because meekness does not vaunt itself nor demand notice. There is great freedom in meekness. It relieves the meek from the burden of seeking their acclaim. It gives them the security of feeling God’s approval for their course of living. It is private.2 Meekness means a person voluntarily restrains themself and uses the absolute minimum control or authority over others. It is related to humility. Humility is voluntary submission to the control or power of God, or in other words, obedience. Meekness affects a person’s relationship with their fellow man. There is nothing showy or attention-grabbing about the meek. Instead, they are content to know they have a relationship and power with God. Unless God requires something to be done or revealed, the meek do not voluntarily put this authority on display.3
2 The Second Comforter, 234.
3 Beloved Enos, 98.
49 But remember that without the fruit of repentance, and a broken heart and a contrite spirit, you cannot keep my covenant; for I, your Lord, am meek and lowly of heart. Be like me. You have all been wounded, your hearts pierced through with sorrows because of how the world has treated you. But you have also scarred one another by your unkind treatment of each other, and you do not notice your misconduct toward others because you think yourself justified in this. You bear the scars on your countenances, from the soles of your feet to the head, and every heart is faint. Your visages have been so marred that your hardness, mistrust, suspicions, resentments, fear, jealousies and anger toward your fellow man bear outward witness of your inner self; you cannot hide it. When I appear to you, instead of confidence, you feel shame. You fear and withdraw from me because you bear the blood and sins of your treatment of brothers and sisters. Come to me and I will make sins as scarlet become white as snow, and I will make you stand boldly before me, confident of my love.
50 I descended below it all, and know the sorrows of you all, and have borne the grief of it all, and I say to you, Forgive one another. Be tender with one another, pursue judgment, bless the oppressed, care for the orphan, and uplift the widow in her need, for I have redeemed you from being orphaned and taken you that you are no longer a widowed people. Rejoice in me, and rejoice with your brethren and sisters who are mine also. Be one.
52 There are only two ways: the way I lead, that goes upward in light and truth unto Eternal lives — and if you turn from it, you follow the way of darkness and the deaths. Those who want to come where I am must be able to abide the conditions established for my Father’s Kingdom. I have given to you the means to understand the conditions you must abide. I came and lived in the world to be the light of the world. I have sent others who have testified of me and taught you. I have sent my light into the world. Let not your hearts remain divided from one another and divided from me.
8 And blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
8 Then Jesus spoke, saying, Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavily laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart. And you shall find rest unto your souls, for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
5 And when Jesus drew near to Jerusalem, and they were come to Bethphage on the mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying unto them, Go into the village ahead of you, and straightway you shall find a colt tied. Untie it and bring it unto me. And if any shall say anything unto you, you shall say, The Lord has need of it. And straightway he will send it. All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, saying, Tell the daughter of Zion, Behold, your King comes unto you, and he is meek, and he is sitting upon an ass, and a colt, the foal of an ass. And the disciples went and did as Jesus commanded them, and brought the colt, and put on it their clothes. And Jesus took the colt and sat thereon. And they followed him. And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way. Others cut down branches from the trees and strewed in the way. And the multitudes that went before, and also that followed after, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. Against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
16 …For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be for ever and ever, but if he yields to the enticings of the holy spirit, and putteth off the natural man, and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child: submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.
4 And now, my brethren, I wish from the inmost part of my heart — yea, with great anxiety even unto pain — that ye would hearken unto my words, and cast off your sins, and not procrastinate the day of your repentance, but that ye would humble yourselves before the Lord, and call on his holy name, and watch and pray continually, that ye may not be tempted above that which ye can bear, and thus be led by the holy spirit, becoming humble, meek, submissive, patient, full of love and all long-suffering, having faith on the Lord, having a hope that ye shall receive eternal life, having the love of God always in your hearts, that ye may be lifted up at the last day and enter into his rest. And may the Lord grant unto you repentance, that ye may not bring down his wrath upon you, that ye may not be bound down by the chains of hell, that ye may not suffer the second death. And Alma spake many more words unto the people which are not written in this book.
Christ knew and stated He was “greatest of all.” (D&C 19:18.) He has explained He is “more intelligent than they all.” (Abr. 3:19.) Yet He came without crown, wealth, or earthly power. He was “meek and lowly of heart.” (Matt. 11:29.)
If our Lord refused honor, acted as if a servant, and rejected praise from others, shouldn’t we also? How can anyone “aspire to the honors of men” or hold any “vain ambition” or seek to exercise “control or dominion or compulsion upon” others or claim to have “power or influence… by virtue of their priesthood”? (D&C 121:37-41.)
Christ behaved wisely and meekly. If He is the prototype of the saved man, who among us can be great without kneeling, serving, persuading, enduring with long-suffering, and relying on gentleness to bring others to come to Christ? Who would want to place themselves above their fellow-man, when the Lord knelt to wash men’s feet?
We should weep over our plight, and deal in kindness toward each other in our lost and fallen state. I hardly have the strength to speak when I consider what confronts us in this dark place.
5 And when I had said this, the Lord spake unto me, saying, Fools mock, but they shall mourn. And my grace is sufficient for the meek, that they shall take no advantage of your weakness. And if men come unto me, I will shew unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness, that they may be humble. And my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them. Behold, I will shew unto the gentiles their weakness. And I will shew unto them that faith, hope, and charity bringeth unto me, the fountain of all righteousness.
8 But behold, my beloved brethren, I judge better things of you, for I judge that ye have faith in Christ, because of your meekness; for if ye have not faith in him, then ye are not fit to be numbered among the people of his church. And again, my beloved brethren, I would speak unto you concerning hope. How is it that ye can attain unto faith save ye shall have hope? And what is it that ye shall hope for? Behold, I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him, according to the promise. Wherefore, if a man have faith, he must needs have hope; for without faith, there cannot be any hope. And again, behold, I say unto you that he 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 of heart.
9 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. And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all. For all things must fail, but charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth for ever. And whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with them. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified, even as he is pure. Amen.
4 And there are none that do good, except they that are ready to receive the fullness of my gospel, which I have sent forth to this generation. Wherefore, I have called upon the weak things of the world, they that are unlearned and despised, to thresh the nations by the Power of my Spirit. And their arm shall be my arm, and I will be their shield and their buckler. And I will gird up their loins, and they shall fight manfully for me, and their enemies shall be under their feet. And I will let fall the sword in their behalf, and by the fire of my indignation will I preserve them. And the poor and the meek shall have the gospel preached unto them, and they shall be looking forth for the time of my coming, for it is nigh at hand. And they shall learn the parable of the fig tree, for even now, already, summer is nigh.
4 For thus says the Lord: I will cut my work short in righteousness, for the days come that I will send forth judgment unto victory. And let my servant Lyman beware, for Satan desires to sift him as chaff. And behold, he that is faithful shall be made ruler over many things. And again, I will give unto you a pattern in all things, that you may not be deceived, for Satan is abroad in the land, and he goes forth deceiving the nations. Wherefore, he that prays, whose spirit is contrite, the same is accepted of me, if he obey my ordinances. And he that speaks, whose spirit is contrite, whose language is meek and edifies, the same is of God, if he obey my ordinances. And again, he that trembles under my power shall be made strong, and shall bring forth fruits of praise and wisdom, according to the revelations and truths which I have given you. And again, he that is overcome and brings not forth fruits, even according to this pattern, is not of me. Wherefore, by this pattern you shall know the spirits, in all cases under the whole heavens. And the days have come; according to men’s faith it shall be done unto them…
2 Now, verily I say unto you that through the redemption which is made for you is brought to pass the resurrection from the dead. And the spirit and the body are the soul of man, and the resurrection from the dead is the redemption of the soul, and the redemption of the soul is through him who quickens all things, in whose bosom it is decreed that the poor and the meek of the earth shall inherit it. Therefore, it must needs be sanctified from all unrighteousness, that it may be prepared for the Celestial glory, for after it has filled the measure of its creation, it shall be crowned with Glory, even with the presence of God the Father, that bodies who are of the Celestial Kingdom may possess it for ever, and ever. For, for this intent was it made and created, and for this intent are they sanctified.
3 And they who are not sanctified through the law, which I have given unto you, even the law of Christ, must inherit another kingdom, even that of a terrestrial Kingdom or that of a telestial kingdom. For he that is not able to abide the law of a Celestial Kingdom, cannot abide a Celestial glory, and he who cannot abide the law of a terrestrial Kingdom, cannot abide a terrestrial glory. He who cannot abide the law of a telestial kingdom cannot abide a telestial glory. Therefore, he is not meet for a Kingdom of glory; therefore, he must abide a kingdom which is not a kingdom of glory.
4 And again, verily I say unto you, The Earth abides the law of a Celestial Kingdom, for it fills the measure of its creation and transgresses not the law. Wherefore, it shall be sanctified. Yea, notwithstanding it shall die, it shall be quickened again and shall abide the Power by which it was quickened. And the righteous shall inherit it, for notwithstanding they die, they also shall rise again, a spiritual body. They who are of a Celestial Spirit shall receive the same body which was a natural body, even you shall receive your bodies. And your glory shall be that glory by which your bodies are quickened. You who are quickened by a portion of the Celestial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fullness. And they who are quickened by a portion of the terrestrial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fullness. And also, they who are quickened by a portion of the telestial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fullness. And they who remain, shall also be quickened. Nevertheless, they shall return again to their own place, to enjoy that which they are willing to receive, because they were not willing to enjoy that which they might have received. For what does it profit a man if a gift is bestowed upon him, and he receive not the gift? Behold, he rejoices not in that which is given unto him, neither rejoices in him who is the giver of the gift.
“And blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.“
This earth abides by a Celestial Law. (D&C 88: 25.) Therefore, it is destined to become a Celestial Kingdom because it will be sanctified by a Celestial Law. (D&C 88: 25-29.) The destiny of the earth is glory. (D&C 84: 101.) Therefore, to “inherit the earth” is to inherit a Celestial Glory.
Since this is so, you need to understand the definition of “meekness…”
it is necessary to be meek first before being trusted with great power. The power to seal on earth and in heaven is something which cannot be handled apart from meekness. Without meekness a man cannot be trusted with such a power. When Enos used the power, he did so meekly. He asked rather than pronounced. He petitioned rather than decreed. Though the Lord would hearken to his words, he refrained from acting.
This is because the proper way to use such authority is only and strictly in conformity with the Lord’s will. The reason Nephi received the authority was because he was meek. The account of the conferral is also the account of his qualification: “Blessed art thou, Nephi, for those things which thou hast done; for I have beheld how thou hast with unwearyingness declared the word, which I have given unto thee, unto this people. And thou hast not feared them, and hast not sought thine own life, but hast sought my will, and to keep my commandments. And now, because thou hast done this with such unwearyingness, behold, I will bless thee forever; and I will make thee mighty in word and in deed, in faith and in works; yea, even that all things shall be done unto thee according to thy word, for thou shalt not ask that which is contrary to my will. Behold, thou art Nephi, and I am God. Behold, I declare it unto thee in the presence of mine angels, that ye shall have power over this people, and shall smite the earth with famine, and with pestilence, and destruction, according to the wickedness of this people. Behold, I give unto you power, that whatsoever ye shall seal on earth shall be sealed in heaven; and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven; and thus shall ye have power among this people. And thus, if ye shall say unto this temple it shall be rent in twain, it shall be done. And if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou cast down and become smooth, it shall be done. And behold, if ye shall say that God shall smite this people, it shall come to pass. And now behold, I command you, that ye shall go and declare unto this people, that thus saith the Lord God, who is the Almighty: Except ye repent ye shall be smitten, even unto destruction.” (Helaman 10: 4-11.)
This is meekness. First, Nephi had conducted his life meekly. He did not fear others. He was not afraid to lose his standing, even his life. He kept God’s commandments to him above all else. He possessed an iron will, his face like flint, unwilling to waiver from what the Lord would have him say and do. He could not be tempted to betray the Lord’s will. Therefore, the Lord knew by the way Nephi lived his life that he would “not ask that which is contrary to [the Lord’s] will.” Never.
Therefore, when the Lord had tried him and determined he was willing to serve Him at all costs, he qualifies to receive trust from God. That trust allows the Lord to confer upon the man great power. (See also TPJS p. 150: “After a person has faith in Christ, repents of his sins, is baptized for the remission of his sins, and receives the Holy Ghost (by the laying on of hands), which is the first Comforter, then let him continue to humble himself before God, hungering and thirsting after righteousness and living by every word of God. The Lord will soon say unto him, ‘Son, thou shalt be exalted.’ When the Lord has thoroughly proved him and finds that the man is determined to serve him at all hazards, then the man will find his calling and election made sure.”)
Meekness is required to qualify for great power. And you know a man is meek when, having great power, he uses it strictly in conformity with the Lord’s will; never varying from the Lord’s command, and never pursuing his own agenda. This kind of meekness is men is a rare thing. Nephi, after receiving that power, was instructed that he was to deliver the Lord’s message: “thus saith the Lord God, who is Almighty: Except ye repent ye shall be smitten, even unto destruction.” It is the Lord’s judgment. It is a meek man who delivers it. But such judgments only come after the Lord has a meek soul upon whom He can place this trust. For He has covenanted to always first employ such a servant before imposing judgments upon mankind. (Amos 3: 7.)
Therefore, when the Lord teaches the “meek shall inherit the earth” it is a statement which includes exaltation for the meek. It is one of the Lord’s deepest teachings, and most profound descriptions of those who will be exalted and why.
3 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots. And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord, and shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord. And he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears, but with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth. And he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked, and righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed, their young ones shall lie down together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the gentiles seek, and his rest shall be glorious.
2 Good and upright is the Lord. Therefore will he teach sinners in the way. The meek will he guide in judgment and the meek will he teach his way. All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.
1 PRAISE the Lord, for it is good to sing praises unto our God. For it is pleasant; praise is comely. The Lord does build up Jerusalem; he gathers together the outcasts of Israel. He heals the broken in heart and binds up their wounds. He tells the number of the stars; he calls them all names. Great is our Lord and of great power. His understanding is infinite. The Lord lifts up the meek; he casts the wicked down to the ground…The Lord takes pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.
The Holy Order, including the right to dominion, must return to the earth. It will be fully restored. It will be in the possession of those who will not covet it. Those who will not, like Cain, attempt to influence the conditions of salvation for souls of men. The right candidates are those who look upon it merely as a burden to be held under the authority of God, belonging to Him, to be returned to Him, so that He can come and fix this broken world and bring wickedness to an end. If an aspiring, ambitious, vain person were to hold such a position, all of the Lord’s plans can be frustrated. Therefore, we need to be like our Lord, the greatest of all,the most intelligent of all, who came here to serve, who knelt and washed the feet of others. He gave His life as a sacrifice. Despite His reluctance He partook of the bitter cup, to the dregs.He was slain, and He gave all glory and all majesty to the Father.That is the kind of person who will be trusted to hold the Holy Order.
The restoration of all things literally means the restoration of ALL things, including the Holy Order. It will not and cannot stop with organizing a New Testament church. The restoration must reach back to the beginning, to the days of Adam.
This generation does not seem to value the truth enough for the Lord to reveal what will save them. God truly does have things that the eyes of man have not seen, nor have the ears heard; nor has yet entered into the hearts of man.114 God sends knowledge into the world for the meek and humble, and He perpetually keeps great things hidden from the strident, vulgar, proud, haughty and foolish. Whether the Lord completes His work and fulfills His promises in this generation, or in a future generation, will be decided by us. We must repent and offer a broken heart and a contrite spirit if we hope to please God.
There is a great deal more that needs to be restored. There is so much resistance to restoring truths from the worldly that this journey may not be possible until man has been humbled by God’s hand. The Lord really is trying to restore the original fullness and Holy Order. But there is a sobering prophecy of a coming moment when the Lord will lament to the living and the dead over the way in which the world has responded to His messages:
“And again, the Lord shall utter his voice out of heaven, saying: Hearken, O ye nations of the earth, and hear the words of that God who made you. O, ye nations of the earth, how often would I have gathered you together as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, but ye would not! How oft have I called upon you by the mouth of my servants, and by the ministering of angels, and by mine own voice, and by the voice of thunderings, and by the voice of lightnings, and by the voice of tempests, and by the voice of earthquakes, and great hailstorms, and by the voice of famines and pestilences of every kind, and by the great sound of a trump, and by the voice of judgment, and by the voice of mercy all the day long, and by the voice of glory and honor and the riches of eternal life, and would have saved you with an everlasting salvation, but ye would not!” (D&C 43:23-25).115
114 D&C 76:10.
115 Many of those sent by the Lord have labored in their ministries without hope of seeing Zion. Mormon explained: “But behold, I was without hope, for I knew the judgments of the Lord which should come upon them; for they repented not of their iniquities, but did struggle for their lives without calling upon that Being who created them.” (Mormon 5:2.) Joseph Smith said, “There has been a great difficulty in getting anything into the heads of this generation. It has been like splitting hemlock knots with a corn-dodger for a wedge, and a pumpkin for a beetle. Even the Saints are slow to understand. I have tried for a number of years to get the minds of the Saints prepared to receive the things of God; but we frequently see some of them, after suffering all they have for the work of God, will fly to pieces like glass as soon as anything comes that is contrary to their traditions: they cannot stand the fire at all. How many will be able to abide a celestial law, and go through and receive their exaltation, I am unable to say, as many are called, but few are chosen.” (DHC 6:184-185.) We are very late in history, and have greater reason to humble ourselves and obey God than any previous generation. Yet most of us also seem far too disinterested to spare ourselves from the coming tribulations by establishing Zion and dwelling in peace with one another.