The prophet Isaiah said, “Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees” (Isaiah 35:3).
The apostle Paul paraphrased this admonition in his epistle to the Hebrews: “Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees” (Hebrews 12:12).
And in March 1832, as the Lord called Jesse Gause to serve in a leadership role in the church, He gave Brother Gause the same counsel:
Succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees.Doctrine and Covenants 81:5
As Alma invited a group of people to be baptized, he explained the commitment they would be making:
As ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light;
Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort…Mosiah 18:8-9
At the beginning of the Savior’s mortal ministry, He identified Himself as the Messiah by reading the following passage from Isaiah:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.Luke 4:18, Isaiah 61:1-3
Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf has reminded us that, as disciples of Jesus Christ, we have the same mission:
It is our job to build up, repair, strengthen, uplift, and make whole. Our assignment is to follow the Savior’s example and reach out to those who suffer….
The restored gospel of Jesus Christ blesses lives not just when we believe it—but much more when we live it. It is in the application of gospel principles that individuals are uplifted and families are strengthened. It is our privilege and responsibility not just to talk the talk but also to walk the walk.“Four Titles,” General Conference, April 2013
Today, I will look for opportunities to lift up hands which hang down and to strengthen feeble knees. I will bear other people’s burdens. I will do what I can to strengthen and support people who are struggling.
I love this so much! I was just thinking how I used to only think of the “comfort those that stand in need of comfort” referred to people that were sick or mourning. However, as I raise my kids and they get older, I recognize the need to help them in many instances to cope with their surroundings or their relationships with each other. It also, makes me think of the ultimate source of comfort which is the Spirit of God, which is obtained through prayer, repentance, and Christ-Like living.
Thanks for sharing those thoughts, Josh. I agree that “feeble knees” can refer to any number of infirmities or challenges, seen or unseen. The more clearly we see each another, the more capable we are of strengthening and supporting one another.
Have a great day!