Wednesday, February 26, 2014

MEEKNESS.......a meditation

I am having a hard time encompassing the concept of meekness today, I may have to hit the restart button, please pray for me. I wanted to post about a favorite Conference talk from last year, so I chose this one by Elder Ulisses Soares “Be Meek and Lowly of Heart.” Do you think that if I am meek and my heart is lowly, could I in theory have a bad day or just in practice? I had a conversation with a good friend of mine concerning this subject and we concluded that Jesus had a meltdown; a justified and righteous meltdown (clearing out the Temple of money changers and shop keepers). He recovered his composure and continued on with his mission. So with that I will take his example. In Matthew 11: 29-30 he invites us to take upon ourselves his yoke, and he compares himself to those oxen you have seen in pictures yoked together as beast's of burden.29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.

So what exactly is a beast of burden?It's definitely not an old Rolling Stone's song. A very vague definition is: "an animal used for carrying heavy loads or pulling heavy equipment, as a donkey, mule, or ox." Shall we compare the Savior to an animal even a “dumb” animal such as these? But wait, there is symbolic language here and you know where this leads. The animals used in this way are bred for their temperament, their strength and size as it relates to oxen, so they can be docile and trained to bear those heavy loads without throwing them off their backs. So this animal is quite valuable and the owner of this animal loves it very much.  Also note that the ox was a required animal for certain sacrifices of the Lord, usually a sin offering, you could say the ox was set apart for this purpose. 
Hosea 10:11    And Ephraim is as an heifer that is taught, and loves to tread out the corn; but I passed over on her fair neck: I will make Ephraim to ride; Judah shall plow, and Jacob shall break his clods.
In the Saviors invitation to exchange our yoke for his yoke;It is a paradox that by taking on a burden, any burden however light or heavy, will become heavier as we go along. But the Savior says that by taking on his yoke we will find rest to our souls. Why is the Savior’s burden so light; because we forget to cast our cares and burdens upon Him. This is a great analogy. So Elder Soares taught a really powerful lesson on patience, long- suffering  humility and love for the Savior.
My favorite part:
Brother Moses Mahlangu
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 70's 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.
Later the Church organized a branch in his neighborhood in Soweto. This was possible only because of the determination, courage, and faithfulness of people like Brother Mahlangu who remained faithful for so many years under difficult circumstances.
1 Nephi 12:5 And blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth
What does it mean to be meek? Is meekness related to passivity or weakness or becoming “invisible”? Or is meekness a word of action that is contained, ongoing and steadfast. Does meekness bring attention to itself, yes I believe so.
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