Friday, October 22, 2010

Ether - Chapter 12

  27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.
I read and loved this verse for a very long time before I noticed that God, who is speaking in this verse, points out that it is He who gives us our weakness.  I had always supposed that my weakness came from Satan.  Clearly God does nothing without purpose and so it is with giving us weakness.  We need to be humble and if we are allowed to suppose that we have sufficient strength to accomplish our spiritual goals by ourselves we will miss the whole point of the Plan of Salvation.  We need to learn to rely upon the merits and mercy of Christ and, at least in my case, nothing but a keen awareness of my weakness would have brought me to that realization and eventual intention.

It makes me think of Paul's thorn in the flesh (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).  His affliction or weakness was not removed from him because he was a better, stronger servant when he was humble and his weakness served to press him to rely upon God.  It is significant that we are not told what Paul's weakness was.  Had we been told we might not consider that his thorn could be our own.  Have you considered that your physical handicap, or same sex attraction, or addictive personality, or other affliction is actually a gift from God?  Have you considered that coming to God and having been shown that weakness, might be the thing that humbles you sufficiently to discover your great need for Him?  To do so is to discover your utter dependence upon God which, I think is the greatest discovery of all.  How thankful I am that my addiction drove me to my knees where I discovered how completely my Savior has prepared the way for me.
28 Behold, I will show unto the Gentiles their weakness, and I will show unto them that faith, hope and charity bringeth unto me—the fountain of all righteousness.
He gives us our weakness so we may be drawn to Him the Source of all that will bring us to the strength of our divine potential.
9 Wherefore, ye may also have hope, and be partakers of the gift, if ye will but have faith. 

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