Elder Ulisses Soares: 'Be meek and lowly of heart'

Published: Saturday, Oct. 10 2015 10:35 a.m. MDT

Elder Ulisses Soares speaks during the Saturday Morning session of general conference.  (LDS.org screenshot) Elder Ulisses Soares speaks during the Saturday Morning session of general conference. (LDS.org screenshot)

"As we take Christ's name upon us, it is expected that we strive to emulate His attributes and change our character to become more like Him each day," Elder Ulisses Soares of the Presidency of the Seventy said during the Saturday Morning session of general conference.

"Meekness is vital for us to become more Christlike," he said. "Without it we won't able to develop other important virtues. Being meek does not mean weakness, but it does mean behaving with goodness and kindness, showing strength, serenity, healthy self-worth and self-control."

Elder Soares explained that everyone is "born with the seed of meekness in our hearts" and it takes time and effort to become meek in daily life.

"The first step to becoming meek is to improve day-by-day," he said. "Each day we need to try to be better than the previous as we move forward through this process."

Another step Elder Soares said was to control one's temper. "What is your response when someone offends you, critiques your efforts, or is simply unkind because they are in a bad mood?" he asked, and then added, "At these moments and in other difficult situations, we must learn to control our temper and convey our feelings with patience and gentle persuasion."

By removing the feeling of anger, "we will begin to qualify for the gift of meekness," Elder Soares said.

Becoming humble is another step towards meekness. "I believe only those who are humble are able to acknowledge and understand the Lord's answers to their prayers. The humble are teachable, recognizing how dependent they are on God, and desiring to be subject to His will," he said.

Elder Soares told the conversion story of Moses Mahlangu in Johannesburg, South Africa, and how he was unable to attend services or be baptized because of the country's laws during the 1970s. Brother Mahlangu did not become discouraged but, rather, continued to investigate the Church. He even asked the leaders to leave a meetinghouse window open so he could be able to listen to the meetings from outside the building. It wasn't until 10 years later that Brother Mahlangu was able to attend meetings and be baptized.

"It is possible to reject the evil influences in our lives, control our anger, become meek and develop the attributes of our Savior. He showed us the way. He gave us the perfect example and commanded to teach each one of us to become as He is," Elder Soares said.

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