No Weapon That Is Formed Against Thee Shall Prosper – 3 Nephi 22:16-17

16 Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy.
17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall revile against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.
(3 Nephi 22:16-17)

When your ally is the most powerful Being in the universe, you can think differently about the challenges you face. In this passage, Isaiah teaches us how to overcome our fears when we feel like we’re under attack.

Imagine a person threatening you with a weapon. Where did that weapon come from? It was created by a human being (the “smith”), and that human being was created by God. What about the person holding the weapon (the “waster”)? Also created by God. So, what looks like a hopeless situation actually boils down to a group of people, who are not nearly as powerful as they might seem to be.

What’s a weapon? It’s anything a person uses to try to harm you. In an 1831 revelation, the Lord referred to defamatory language as a weapon:

Wherefore, let them bring forth their strong reasons against the Lord.
Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you–there is no weapon that is formed against you shall prosper;
And if any man lift his voice against you he shall be confounded in mine own due time (Doctrine and Covenants 71:8-10).

No matter what “weapons” may be used against us, we can follow Isaiah’s logic to overcome our fears: The people who are attacking us may seem powerful, but they are really just people. They may hold positions of authority. They may have significant wealth. They may be well-connected and influential. They may believe that they have the power to harm us. But fundamentally, they are human beings, created by God. No matter how intimidating their “weapons” may be, they’re just people. And God can protect us from people.

As Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf has reminded us, we can rely on this promise to avoid being paralyzed by fear:

In the face of fear, let us find our courage, muster our faith, and have confidence in the promise that “no weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper….”
Therefore, let us set aside our fears and live instead with joy, humility, hope, and a bold confidence that the Lord is with us (“Perfect Love Casteth Out Fear,” General Conference, April 2017).

Today, I will overcome intimidation and fear by remembering that God is our creator. I will have confidence in His promise that no weapon used against me will prosper. If God is with me, I will be able to overcome every obstacle I face.

5 thoughts on “No Weapon That Is Formed Against Thee Shall Prosper – 3 Nephi 22:16-17

Add yours

  1. Hey. So you said, “No matter how intimidating their “weapons” may be, they’re just people. And God can protect us from people.”
    While I agree, God “CAN” protect us from people. Or…anything for that matter.
    He doesn’t. And by, “He doesn’t” I mean He doesn’t to any degree worth mentioning. Miracles happen. But frankly, the faithful have been dying by weapons of all kinds since the dawn of time.
    We like to think of that phrase as meaning “nothing you bring against me will harm me.”
    What it says is, no weapon formed against me will prosper.
    What is the worst that could happen with a weapon. I suppose it could kill you.
    If a weapon kills a faithful member of the church….did that weapon prosper?
    I don’t think so.
    Not remotely. Death is one of the reasons we came into this world. It is simply a passage. One that our culture derides. But one that is part of it.
    If that’s as far as we go then God’s word stands perfectly for everyone….always.
    Another way to say that verse is: You can’t take my testimony from me…no matter what weapon you use.
    It is interesting, though….that of all the weapons that are the most dangerous to a testimony are the ones you spoke of and the ones that are often sung about on the playground: “Sticks and stones can break my bones but names will never hurt me.”
    Oh how wrong that song is.
    I don’t know how it the scripture was fully intended (in all of the places where it exists). I wonder if anyone can say that 100 percent. But if it was intended the way you are speaking of it… then it just doesn’t really work.
    Unless you are the chosen of the chosen and then are granted a miracle.
    And that sounds…not so great.
    At least for me.


    1. These are very good points, and I appreciate you raising them. Just because God can protect us from every weapon raised against us doesn’t mean that He will. I’m sure Abinadi would agree with that statement!
      Maybe the word “prosper” should be interpreted differently, as you suggest, or maybe it was intended to be more contextual, talking about a specific event in history. Ultimately, I think this promise is a reminder that God really is able to accomplish His purposes. We can have confidence in positive ultimate outcomes as we exercise faith in Him and follow His plan for us.
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!


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