“Be Meek and Lowly of Heart” is a talk Elder Ulisses Soares gave in the October 2013 General Conference. He offered some beautiful passages of advice and inspiration. I believe this is pertinent to anyone. Below I have selected five passages I found to be especially influential to me:
1. “Being meek does not mean weakness, but it does mean behaving with goodness and kindness, showing strength, serenity, healthy self-worth, and self-control.”
This is a great explanation or definition of what it means to be meek. Meek does not equal weak. The passage here reminds me of one of my favorite scriptures: “And if men come unto me I will show 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 them, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them” (Ether 12: 27).
2. “President Lorenzo Snow, the fifth prophet of our dispensation, taught, ‘It is our duty to try to be perfect, … to improve each day, and look upon our course last week and do things better this week; do things better today than we did them yesterday.’ So the first step to becoming meek is to improve day by day. Each day we need to try to be better than the previous as we move forward through this process.”
I find this concept interesting. It follows the tract of working every day to become a better person. The command isn’t to be perfect. The command is to try to be perfect and to try every day. Complete perfection in everything is impossible. Trying for perfection is possible.
3. “By controlling our reactions, being calm and temperate, and avoiding contention, we will begin to qualify for the gift of meekness. President Henry B. Eyring once said, ‘When we with faith control our tempers and subdue our pride, the Holy Ghost gives His approval, and sacred promises and covenants become sure.’”
This promise is remarkable! Perhaps we may feel that we can’t be meek. It’s too hard. It’s not possible. But that’s not true. We can be meek if we work on controlling our reactions and emotions. This is possible.
4. “Another step to attain meekness is to become humble. The Lord instructed Thomas B. Marsh through the Prophet Joseph Smith, saying, ‘Be thou humble; and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers.'”
Humility is another step to becoming meek. When we are humble, the Lord will answer our prayers. This promise is fantastic! Who doesn’t need answers to prayers?
5. “One of the most beautiful modern-day examples of meekness that I am aware of is that of Brother Moses Mahlangu. His conversion began in 1964, when he received a copy of the Book of Mormon. He was fascinated as he read this book, but it was not until the early ’70s that he saw an LDS Church sign on a building in Johannesburg, South Africa, as he was walking down a street. Brother Mahlangu was intrigued and entered the building to learn more about the Church. He was kindly told that he could not attend the services or be baptized because the country’s laws did not allow it at that time. Brother Mahlangu accepted that decision with meekness, humility, and without resentment, but he continued to have a strong desire to learn more about the Church. He asked the Church leaders if they could leave one of the meetinghouse windows open during the Sunday meetings so he could sit outside and listen to the services. For several years, Brother Mahlangu’s family and friends attended church regularly ‘through the window.’ One day in 1980 they were told that they could attend church and also be baptized. What a glorious day it was for Brother Mahlangu.”
This conversion story is incredible because it shows how necessary it is to be meek in order for conversion to happen. Despite of the circumstances, Brother Mahlangu still did everything in his power to do what he should do and become who he was meant to be. His example is a testimony for all of us.
Here is a link if you would like to read or watch the entire talk:
Photo Credit: C. A. H., Liverpool, England, October 2013