Verse 18 had me looking for awhile. Who are the others that he is talking about? In the Student Manuel, it says, "The Lord called the Prophet Joseph Smith, as well as the prophets of other ages to cry repentance to the world and warn..." So, I guess it is just at other times that he called prophets, which makes sense. Verse 19 reminded me of something I had searched a while back and got me on that search again. "The weak things of the world" which in the footnote says meekness. My good dad once advised me to search meekness and strive to cultivate it. It has always been a hard concept to completely understand. My brother gave me some great quotes that outline meekness as not weak, yet more of a quiet confidence. I have thought much about it. I found an amazing talk by Elder Maxwell, given as an address at BYU. In it, he says,
"We need to learn so much, and yet we are free to choose! (See 2 Ne. 2:27.) How crucial it is to be teachable!" He talks about how we have to agency to choose to be teachable. Elder Maxwell also explains that agency is required for perfection and meekness is required for the wise use of agency.
"Meekness, however, is more than self-restraint; it is the presentation of self in a posture of kindness and gentleness, reflecting certitude, strength, serenity, and a healthy self-esteem and self-control." Oh how I need to work on that. I admire that quality in others so much. I tend to just open my mouth and speak before thinking. I learn by talking and I do by jumping in. I am trying to learn more by thinking and wirting and pondering. About jumping in, I get so much done by jumping in....
"The meek are filled with awe and wonder with regard to God and His purposes in the universe. At the same time, the meek are not awestruck by the many frustrations of life; they are more easily mobilized for eternal causes and less easily immobilized by the disappointments of the day." I love this quote! I would love to not get worried about what I have to do each day and just find joy in knowing that I am just doing the Lord's will. I am working on that, but have a long way to go.
"Because they make fewer demands of life, the meek are less easily disappointed. They are less concerned with their entitlements than with their assignments." I don't think I feel like I have lots of entitlements, but just that I place huge demands and expectations on myself and then I disappoint myself. So much to work on...
"When we are truly meek, we are not concerned with being pushed around, but are grateful to be pushed along. When we are truly meek, we do not engage in shoulder-shrugging acceptance but in shoulder-squaring, in order that we might better bear the burdens of life and of our fellow beings. " I have a great friend who showed this so much. A quite confidence and conviction. Sometimes I get too emotionally involved, so I have a harder time disagreeing with others. It tends to come out all wrong.
"Furthermore, not only are the meek less easily offended, but they are less likely to give offense to others. In contrast, there are some in life who seem, perpetually, to be waiting to be offended. Their pride covers them like boils which will inevitably be bumped." I don't tend to be easily offended and when I do, I do usually take a step back and recognize it. I like to be easy going.
"Meekness does not mean tentativeness. But thoughtfulness." I love this. I do tend to be thoughtful.
"Among the meek there is usually more listening and less talking" Did that say less talking, well if you know me, you know I could talk forever. I am working on this, too.
"Meekness permits us to be confident, as was Nephi, of that which we do know—even when we do not know the meaning of all other things. (See 1 Ne. 11:17.) Meekness constitutes a continuing invitation to continuing education. No wonder the Lord reveals His secrets to the meek, for they are “easy to be entreated.” (Alma 7:23.) Not only are the meek more teachable, but they continuously receive, with special appreciation, “the engrafted word,” as the Apostle James said—and, as Joseph Smith declared, the flow of pure intelligence—all from the divine databank." I love this added reminder that there is confidence and continued learning. The old adage that the more you know, the more you realize you don't know.
"Meekness permits us to be prompted as to whether to speak out or, as Jesus once did, be silent. But even when the meek speak up, they do so without speaking down." Something I want in my life.
"There are strivings and struggles and setbacks, and we inch forward when we would prefer to run" I love this because I feel like I studied this a year ago, and I still have a ways to go. I am closer to my goal, but I still have a ways to go. That is okay, because it is an inching goal.
"Furthermore, our hearts will be broken in order that they might be rebuilt." A great reminder that all good things come through hard work and hard times.
Ok, so this was more of a personal reflection that anything. I got so much out of this article. I want to reread it again and again.