The poor and meek

The Lord consistently mentions two types of people together: the poor and the meek. Here are a few examples:

Doctrine and Covenants 88:17 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.

Helaman 6:39 And thus they did obtain the sole management of the government, insomuch that they did trample under their feet and smite and rend and turn their backs upon the poor and the meek, and the humble followers of God.

Doctrine and Covenants 35:15 And the poor and the meek shall have the gospel preached unto them, and they shall be looking forth for the time of my coming, for it is nigh at hand—

2 Nephi 21:4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.

2 Nephi 27:30 And the meek also shall increase, and their joy shall be in the Lord, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.

Doctrine and Covenants 109:72  Remember all thy church, O Lord, with all their families, and all their immediate connections, with all their sick and afflicted ones, with all the poor and meek of the earth; that the kingdom, which thou hast set up without hands, may become a great mountain and fill the whole earth;

2 Nephi 9:30  But wo unto the rich, who are rich as to the things of the world. For because they are rich they despise the poor, and they persecute the meek, and their hearts are upon their treasures; wherefore, their treasure is their god. And behold, their treasure shall perish with them also.

2 Nephi 30:9  And with righteousness shall the Lord God judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth. And he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth; and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. (quoting Isaiah 11)

Is the Lord talking about two different groups of people, or a single group that possesses both qualities?  Is that because the path to success in hell (this life) is Korihor’s social darwinism (i.e. survival of the fittest = man fares in this life according to the management of the creature), and in such an environment the meek will always be left behind economically, and thus meekness and poverty become inextricably linked?  Or is it because truly meek followers of Christ give away all their excess to the poor, until they are equal with the poor around them?  Regardless of our other religious qualifications (awards, missions, callings, ordinances, etc), without meekness we cannot even have faith, which, it turns out, is also a pre-requisite for charity:

“And again, behold I say unto you that he cannot have faith and hope, save he shall be meek, and lowly of heartIf so, his faith and hope is vain, for none is acceptable before God, save the meek and lowly in heart; and if a man be meek and lowly in heart, and confesses by the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ, he must needs have charity; for if he have not charity he is nothing; wherefore he must needs have charity.” (Moroni 7:43-44)

The attitudes that bring us unto Christ are those in which we forget our own self importance and recognize that we are nothing without Him.  Our brains, our desires, our dreams–our everything, are all nothing and in vain without Him.  We bring tired, sorry, broken-down life failure to Him and He lifts us up to become more than we could on our own.  It is through Christ that we overcome all weakness, darkness, sickness, death, and sadness.  They joy of the saints is the only real joy.  It is real.  It is the joy of those who have given up and given in to Christ, His way, His truth, and His love.  It is the way of the poor and meek.  As Mary, mother of our Lord, taught humbly:

“And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.

For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.

For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.

He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.

He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.

He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.” (Luke 1: 46-53)

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