Out of Weakness…

Near the end of his life, Lehi spoke with son Joseph. He spoke of a future seer who would publish his words and the words of his descendants. He didn’t say this seer would be perfect. He said, “Out of weakness he shall be made strong” (2 Nephi 3:13). He said something similar about the words of his descendants. Quoting the Lord, he said: “The weakness of their words will I make strong in their faith” (2 Nephi 3:21).

The apostle Paul made a similar statement as he listed numerous people who had overcome substantial challenges by faith: “Out of weakness,” he said, “[they] were made strong” (See Hebrews 11:34.)

Nephi and Moroni both lamented their weakness in writing, but both expressed confidence that God could accomplish His purposes through their efforts in spite of their imperfections. (See 2 Nephi 33:4, 11, Ether 12:23-40.)

The Lord clearly acknowledged the imperfections of Joseph Smith. “I have sent forth the fulness of my gospel by the hand of my servant Joseph,” He said; “and in weakness have I blessed him” (Doctrine and Covenants 35:17). And, speaking of the revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants, He said:

I am God and have spoken it; these commandments are of me, and were given unto my servants in their weakness.

Doctrine and Covenants 1:24

On the day Joseph and Hyrum Smith died, Hyrum read a passage from the Book of Mormon and folded down the page. Here is part of that passage: “Because thou hast seen thy weakness, thou shalt be made strong, even unto the sitting down in the place which I have prepared in the mansions of my Father” (Doctrine and Covenants 135:5). (See Ether 12:37.)

In August of 1831, the Lord spoke to a group of church leaders traveling to Missouri. He introduced Himself as “the Lord your God, even Jesus Christ, your advocate, who knoweth the weakness of man and how to succor them who are tempted” (Doctrine and Covenants 62:1).

Elder Ulisses Shares testified that the Savior can help us with our weaknesses:

In addition to providing the majestic gift of salvation, the Savior offers us relief and comfort as we face our afflictions, temptations, and weaknesses of mortal life, including the circumstances we have experienced recently in the current pandemic. I can assure you that Christ is ever aware of the adversities we experience in mortality. He understands all of the bitterness, agony, and physical pain as well as the emotional and spiritual challenges we face. The Savior’s bowels are filled with mercy, and He is always ready to succor us. This is possible because He personally experienced and took upon Himself in the flesh the pain of our weakness and infirmities.

“Jesus Christ: The Caregiver of Our Soul,” General Conference, April 2021

Today, I will remember that the Savior is aware of my weaknesses, and that I can help Him accomplish His purposes in spite of my weaknesses. I will make my best efforts, knowing that He can make my weakness strong, as I exercise faith in Him.

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