While writing a history of the Jaredite people, the prophet Moroni experienced some self-doubt. “The Gentiles will mock at these things,” he protested to God. He described the awkwardness of his hands, and compared the words he had written to the eloquent writings of the brother of Jared (Ether 12:23-25).
God responded forcefully: “Fools mock, but they shall mourn.” Then He spoke the following reassuring words: “My grace is sufficient for the meek, that they shall take no advantage of your weakness.” In the following verse, He reiterated the principle and expanded it to include us all: “My grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me” (Ether 12:26-27).
Moroni took that assurance to heart. In the middle of his final exhortation at the end of his book, he repeated the promise again:
Come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.
And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot (Moroni 10:32-33).
Why does it matter that His grace is sufficient for us? Because when we are honest with ourselves, we are vividly aware of our shortcomings and weaknesses. Even as we improve and progress, we become more aware of how far we have yet to go.
Years ago I heard Elder Marlin K. Jensen deliver a sermon to an audience of thousands in a basketball arena at Brigham Young University. Near the beginning of his remarks, he expressed some hesitancy similar to Moroni’s words above:
This morning I looked over my talk that I prepared some days ago. It really looked like a rather ordinary collection of words in some ways, and I realized that there is really only one thing that can breathe life into those words–that’s the Spirit of the Lord, which I pray for tonight as I share with you these very humble thoughts (“Loving with the Spirit and with the Understanding,” BYU Devotional, 28 March 1993).
Here’s the rest of the story: listening to that sermon was a spiritually uplifting experience for me. I didn’t consider it to be an “ordinary collection of words” at all. The Spirit of the Lord really did breathe life into Elder Jensen’s message in a way that helped me to draw closer to God that evening.
Today, I will remember that God’s grace is sufficient for me when I humble myself before Him. I will remember that my ordinary efforts can produce extraordinary results when coupled with His matchless power.