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Surely we could not stay there.

God, who has seen billions of spirits pass through His plan of salvation, has told us to be meek in order to enhance our enjoyment of life and our mortal education. Will we be meek and listen to Him and learn from Him? Or will we be like the Gadarene swine, that pathetic example of totus porcus—going whole hog—after the trends of the moment?

Perhaps, brothers and sisters, what we brought with us as intelligences into our creation as spirit children constitutes a "given" within which even God must work. Add to that possibility the clear reality of God's deep commitment to our free agency—and we begin to see how essential meekness is! We need to learn so much, and yet we are free to choose (see 2 Nephi 2:27)! How crucial it is to be teachable! There "is no other way" in which God could do what He has declared it is His intent to do. No wonder He and His prophets emphasize meekness time and time again!

Since God desired to have us become like Himself, He first had to make us free, to learn, to choose, and to experience; hence our humility and teachability are premiere determinants of our progress and our happiness. Agency is essential to perfectibility, and meekness is essential to the wise use of agency—and to our recovery when we have misused our agency.

Let us not brush by this developmental premise. The scriptures concerning life's purposes do make it clear that we are to become like the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ: "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect" (Matthew 5:48). "Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect" (3 Nephi 12:48). "Therefore, what manner of men [and women] ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am" (3 Nephi 27:27). It is an awesome objective—impossible of attainment without meekness.

The Father and our Savior desire to lead us through love, for if we were merely driven where They wish us to go, we would not be worthy to be there, and, surely, we could not stay there. They are Shepherds, not sheepherders.

Excerpt from Meekly Drenched in Destiny by Neal A. Maxwell who was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when this fireside address was given at Brigham Young University on 5 September 1982.