So far we have covered the first two beatitudes (Poor in Spirit and Mourn). Just to recap, being poor in spirit is about letting go of the solutions of the world and seeking out God’s mind and will. Poor in Spirit is a “humbled” state. Then comes the transition from trusting in the arm of flesh to trusting in God, which requires mourning. The mourning that is required isn’t about sadness, but about placing the desire to know the mind and will of God at the front of your mind and placing the distractions of life in the gaps. Those who mourn/seek in this manner, we’ll be comforted. Not only do you find solutions to problems, but you also simultaneously come to know God better. It is important to reiterate that the beatitudes are not random attributes, but a map that teaches us how to ascend into the presence of Christ. This leads to the topic of today’s blog, the meek.
3 Nephi 12:5
“5. And blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
Those who are the meek have successfully proven the principles of the gospel. Rather than having to learn through bad experiences, the meek learn the reasons (the mind and will of God) then apply the principles and wait for the results/fruits that are promised (Alma 32). The meek know that there is a law irrevocably decreed in heaven, before the foundations of the earth, upon which all blessings are predicated (D&C 130:18). The life of the meek is principle based and their foundation is as a rock. As long as they continue to strengthen their foundation, they become candidates to “inherit the earth.”
Inheriting the earth comes according to the degree of meekness you obtain. The law and the blessing always go hand in hand. Those who are endowed and sealed are promised a future inheritance of this earth. However, the greater the meekness, the sooner the inheritance is offered.
Inheriting the earth didn’t only included a future promised land. It also included things valuable to us today …of this earth, like: fields, flocks, herds, gold, silver, land, precious things of every kind, art, etc. (Helaman 12:2). Any time a Zion people existed their city continually expands in abundance.
When covenants are broken the inheritance can be lost or taken. Each law is a two-edged sword. Inheriting the earth has the effect of magnifying your heart. Obtaining things of the world is the height of the pride cycle. The fork in the road is the choice to rely less upon God and give all the credit to the arm of flesh, or to move forward to the next beatitude. It is in our success that we forget our God. Now that all is well, we do not need to trust in God, is a common mistake amongst saints.
“8. In the day of their peace they esteemed lightly my counsel; but, in the day of their trouble, of necessity they feel after me.”
The pattern can be seen in the lives of the early saints in Nauvoo. Initially the saints in Nauvoo were focused on the building of the temple. Their beginnings were humble and “poor in heart”. They suffered together and began building their city with the temple at the center, with a promise that the Lord would come into it and give them higher ordinances. The saints “mourned” and were comforted as they began living the law of consecration. During this period Joseph introduced more scripture (The Pearl of Great Price). They learned greater principles from God, thus increasing their “meekness” before Him, without having to learn through suffering. Soon the saints begin to thrive in their industry along the Mississippi (inheriting the earth). Then temple construction slows as industry occupies the lives of the saints. They fail to complete the temple in “sufficient time” (D&C 124:40-48) and suffer the consequences that the Lord promised. The saints are forced into the desert, many were killed, and the Nauvoo temple was completely destroyed.
“2. Yea, and we may see at the very time when he doth prosper his people, yea, in the increase of their fields, their flocks and their herds, and in gold, and in silver, and in all manner of precious things of every kind and art; sparing their lives, and delivering them out of the hands of their enemies; softening the hearts of their enemies that they should not declare wars against them; yea, and in fine, doing all things for the welfare and happiness of his people; yea, then is the time that they do harden their hearts and do forget the Lord their God, and do trample under their feet the Holy One- yea, and this because of their ease, and their exceedingly great prosperity.
3. And thus we see that except the Lord doth chasten his people with many afflictions, yea, except he doth visit them with death and with terror, and with famine and with all manner of pestilence, they will not remember him.”
If our hearts are not right, we go through the first three steps and then fall back again. We become ripened with iniquity until we are chastened with afflictions because we will not remember Christ. Then we start at the very beginning again. The only way to break free from this vicious pride cycle is to “always remember Him.”
When we always remember Him, our earthly success will only translate into the next beatitude of hungering and thirsting after righteousness.