“Meekness and Prayer,” Ensign, August 2020
My father was among the meekest men I have ever known. He was humble before God and meek before his fellowmen. I never heard him boast about himself or seek the honors of men, even once, but he did express joy in his family, just as our Father in Heaven expressed joy in His Son, “in whom [He was] well pleased” (Matthew 3:17; 17:5; Mark 1:11; 2 Peter 1:17; 3 Nephi 11:7).
When my children were young, if my father happened to be at our home at bedtime, he loved to tuck his grandchildren into bed. In addition to providing bedtime stories, he would ask their permission to offer the prayer at their bedside. With the tender affection of a grandfather, he would use that opportunity to pray for the grandchild—praising them to their Father in Heaven, speaking good things about them, and asking Father in Heaven’s blessings upon them. His grandchildren remember with fondness these precious moments with their grandfather.
Elder Neal A. Maxwell (1926–2004) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was another example of meekness. Many years ago, I was on assignment with him in Northern California, USA. At day’s end we returned to the hotel. As we walked down the hallway, we came to his room first. He said, “Would you like to have a word of prayer before we retire for the evening?” I gladly followed him into his room, where we knelt together.
In a gesture of meekness, he said, “Would you mind if I offered the prayer?” After expressing gratitude for the blessings of the day, he began praying for me. He then prayed for my wife and then for my children. The experience impacted me profoundly.
Our supreme example of meekness is the Savior. One of the most inspiring moments in the New Testament is when He offered what is known as the great Intercessory Prayer. In a selfless plea to His Father, the Savior prayed for His disciples: “I pray … for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine” (John 17:9). In this poignant moment in history, His prayer was turned outward, unselfishly focused on those He loved. How inspiring!
The Lord instructed us, “Govern your house in meekness” (Doctrine and Covenants 31:9). May these examples of meekness and prayer inspire each of us as we strive to do exactly that.