Thursday, November 27, 2014

If Men Come Unto Me

Ether 12:27 reads: "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."

This scripture is one of the most beloved in the whole Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As people have talked about it, they tend to put the focus on the last line of "weak things [becoming] strong". However, in that focus, I feel we miss the invaluable lesson taught in the first line: "if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness."

To me, that sounds like a promise. If we come unto Christ, we will begin to see our weaknesses. That can be very uncomfortable at times. We dislike seeing our imperfections, we want to believe that we are good people: nobody wants to believe they are a bad person. And most of us are good people, so why do we have to keep seeing more and more of our weaknesses? Wouldn't it be fine for us to just get to be perfect and then stay there?

The Lord answers that question in the very next sentence: "I give unto men weakness that they may be humble". I think to my life. I have some very hard times where I can barely handle all that is going on in my life: I get depressed, and plenty of anxiety attacks, so I just shut down for a few weeks, but I can kind of press through it all. Without these weaknesses that come with mortality, I might start to believe that I no longer need God, regardless of how hard I try. Think for a moment, when do you pray harder: days of sunshine or of rain? As a general rule, we rely on His infinte power when our finite capacity has been drained.

Truly, His "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." When we rely on His power to make it through our days of weakness, we can look back on it and see our growth. Our valleys can make us bitter that we are in the shadows of the mountains, or can make us better and more grateful for each of the mountains we have come out on top of. Our faith is what brings us to the top of each one: if we did not exercise our faith, we would walk in the valley of the shadow of death, and would despair, but our faith in Christ allows us to not fear until we make it to the mountain. Truly the weak things in our lives can be made strong, but it cannot happen unless we see our weaknesses as we come unto Christ.

If you see more and more of your weaknesses, recognize that you are not becoming more distant from Christ, but you are coming unto Him!