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 Gethsemane 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) led the Israelites out of bondage in Egypt (see Num. 12:3). 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 humble submission to God’s will.
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 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, open attitude makes it easy for others to talk with her about her blindness and her long struggle to accept and benefit from it.
Another woman, Sister Vera Hales, endured eight years of paralysis. Before she passed away, her son, Elder Robert D. Hales, asked her 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, page 29).
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” (Richard G. Scott, Ensign, May 1994, page 7). 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).