Sermon on the Mount; Poor in spirit and meekness

Everyone wants to be happy but many people search for happiness in wrong places. Some search for it in worldly power and recognition, others in wealth and possessions, others in satisfying physical appetites and passions. Jesus Christ came to teach the way to lasting happiness and how to live to be truly blessed.

In His famous sermon on the mount, the Savior gave us a number of directives and commandments as how to obtain long lasting happiness. I have selected a few to discuss.

Blessed Are the Poor in Spirit and the Meek

“Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5: 3 in the Bible)

“Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5: 5 in the Bible)

Who are the poor in spirit? Who are the meek? How do we gain these two important attributes and character traits? “Poor in Spirit” and “Meekness” are closely linked. Other definitions in the Scriptures are Lowly in Heart, Contrite Heart, Contrite Spirit, Humility and Teachable. Opposite definitions would be prideful, know-it-all, closed minded, unteachable, self-centered, unrepentant, hateful, angry or hurtful.

“Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.” (Numbers 12: 3 in the Bible). The Savior said, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” (Matthew 11: 29 in the Bible)

The Savior chose to emphasize meekness and lowly in heart from among all the attributes and virtues He potentially could have selected!

“Jesus meekly endured the lesser spiritual maturity in the Twelve and in his other disciples. He endured this while helping remedy it. He did this without condescension, without despairing, without cynicism, and without murmuring. We have only to look at his prayers to the Father for and in behalf of his disciples to see how perfect his love is (see John 17 in the Bible). Indeed, when his followers deserved censure, they received teaching. Though he sometimes spoke reproving truth to them, Christ spoke the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15 in the Bible).” (Neil A. Maxwell Oct. 21, 1986 Devotional)

“…a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” (1 Peter 3: 4 in the Bible)

Come Unto the Lord

Poor in spirit, meekness and lowly in heart opens the door for us to come unto the Lord.

After the Savior’s resurrection in Jerusalem, he appeared to some of His followers that lived on the American Continent and said to them, “Yea, blessed are the poor in spirit who come unto me, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (3 Nephi 12: 3 in the Book of Mormon)

One important step in coming unto the Lord is being meek, poor in spirit and lowly in heart. We increase our meekness and lowly of heart through personal prayer, reading and applying to our lives the Lord’s words in the scriptures, kindness, gentleness, partaking of the Lord’s sacrament and serving others.

Promised Blessing From the Savior

“Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?” (James 2: 5 in the Bible)

To receive the Kingdom of Heaven and inherit the Earth is part of this promise. The earth will be cleansed of all unrighteousness, sanctified, and glorified and brought into the Kingdom of Heaven. The apostle Peter taught “Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” (2 Peter 3: 13 in the Bible)

The Savior said, “And the redemption of the soul is through him that quickeneth all things, in whose bosom it is decreed that the poor and the meek of the earth shall inherit it. Therefore, it must needs be sanctified from all unrighteousness, that it may be prepared for the celestial glory; For after it hath filled the measure of its creation, it shall be crowned with glory, even with the presence of God the Father; That bodies who are of the celestial kingdom may possess it forever and ever; for, for this intent was it made and created, and for this intent are they sanctified.” (Doctrine and Covenants 88: 17-20)

For a more detailed discussion on the Savior’s Sermon on the Mount call Dallas Jones, local leader in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, at (231) 383-8359 or send an email [email protected].