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Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Strength of Weakness

Well, its been awhile.  Time flies!  I guess that is one of the “hard” things that this blog is suppose to be about: the difficulty in finding time to do all that you need or want to do!  As always, what follows is my own interpretation, and in no way official doctrine!
I wanted to share with you a study session I had a few evenings ago.  I was sitting at home after work and had a desire to sit down and study the scriptures.  I wasn’t sure what to study about, I found a post it note in the front of my scriptures (if you know me, you know I have post it notes everywhere in my scriptures with little notes, ideas, or things to study.)  Anyway, this post it note said simply, “The Strength of Weakness” and then referenced Ether 12:27-28 and 37, as well as 2 Cor. 12:9.  I read those two scriptures and they, as you may recall, both talk about the Lord making weak things become strong. 
I particularly enjoyed reading 2 Cor. 12…but wound up reading verses 7-11.  I’ve always been struck by those verses.  I have marveled that one such as Paul would talk about a “thorn in his flesh” and how the Lord did not permit him to be rid of it.  But much more, I marvel at how Paul handles what the Lord tells him! He talks of “glory[ing] in [his] infirmities”, take[ing] pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distress.”  I don’t know about you….but I definitely do not find myself glorying in such things. 
The key to Paul’s attitude, I believe, was in what the Lord told him.  Verse 9 says, “…he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness…”  What a great way of putting it! 
(in my scriptures I have looked up every mention of the word “grace” and written “enabling power” in the margin…it is a great exercise, which I’d recommend to anyone!  It opens your eyes to what is really being talked about when grace is mentioned.)
In the last half of that, I replaced the word “perfect” with “complete”.  So it reads “ …for my strength is made complete in weakness…”  Then I started thinking about why we are given weaknesses.  The Book of Ether tells us, “…I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves…” (Ether 12:27). 
So we are given weaknesses so we will be humble.  When I make a commitment to be better it always seems like Heavenly Father shows up and says, “Hey, heard you wanted to get a little better, I thought I’d drop by and give you a list of things I thought you could start with…” 
Has anyone else had that experience?? As soon as you try to be better, you realize all the things you need to be better at!!  Our weaknesses humble us, but only when we recognize them!  Ether 12:37 states that it is only because Moroni had “seen [his] weakness” that he was promised he’d be made strong. 
Continued Tomorrow...

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