“Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls” (Matt. 11:29).
The Savior described himself as “meek and lowly in heart.” In order to fulfill his divine mission, he patiently endured weariness, ridicule, misunderstanding, rejection, and finally the agony of the Atonement and his crucifixion.
He also took courageous action when necessary, cleansing the temple and casting out evil spirits. Always, he meekly accepted and followed his Father’s will.
Sometimes being meek means accepting circumstances as they are. When Amulon forced great hardships and burdens on the people of Alma, they turned to the Lord, who “did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord” (Mosiah 24:15).
At other times, being meek means taking action, as when Moses, whom the scriptures say was among the meekest of mortals in Egypt (see Num. 12:3), led the Israelites out of bondage in Egypt. It takes meekness to leave behind a familiar life to join the Church, or to accept a mission call, or to resist wickedness by taking righteous action. Meekness is simply humble submission to God’s will.
We face many challenges as we try to discern and follow our Heavenly Father’s will for us. When we are meek, we acknowledge that God’s ways are higher than our ways (see Isa. 55:9). We also know that the difficulties we face as we follow our Heavenly Father’s will for us can be for our good (see D&C 122:7).
Many difficulties we face are not easy to resolve or accept. They may linger over months, years, even a lifetime, requiring great patience. Often, however, patience comes only as we struggle and meekly seek the Lord’s help to understand his will.
A young sister with diabetes became blind during her pregnancy with her second child. Her loss of sight was devastating—and irreversible. After a time of anguish and questioning, she turned to the Lord for comfort and answers about what was expected of her in these new circumstances. With patience she learned that the “pleasing word of God … healeth the wounded soul” (Jacob 2:8) and that she could use her disability to help others. Her cheerful attitude makes it easy for others to talk with her about her blindness and her struggle to accept and benefit from it.
Sister Vera Hales endured eight years of paralysis. When he was serving as Presiding Bishop, her son, Robert D. Hales, told of asking her, just before she passed away, why she had suffered so much pain. She answered that she had suffered in order to learn patience. When he asked if she had learned patience, she replied, “I have, but have you?” (Ensign, May 1985, p. 29.)
Elder Richard G. Scott said that the Lord’s healing “can mean being cured, or having your burdens eased, or even coming to realize that it is worth it to endure to the end patiently, for God needs brave sons and daughters who are willing to be polished when in His wisdom that is His will” (Ensign, May 1994, p. 7).
The Lord said, “Learn of me, and listen to my words; walk in the meekness of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me” (D&C 19:23). As we develop these qualities, we will find the peace that only the Lord can give.
How can meekness and patience help us face adversity?
How can weaknesses, if acknowledged in meekness, become strengths? (See Ether 12:27.)