‘I’m not a bad person,’ they say. ‘I just can’t seem to overcome the weaknesses that so easily beset me and distance me from God. It’s not the sins so much as the lack of talent, the lack of capability, the lack of strength that separate me from God.’
-Tad R. Callister
Tad continues with a personal story that involved his daughter when she was a fourth grader. She came home a bit distraught because on her report card there was a check under the category of handwriting suggesting she needed to improve it. Tad R. Callister explained that his daughter felt like a failure. So they tried to comfort her with different words, but nothing worked. Finally they decided to read Ether 12:26-27 and read it together with their daughter. They also talked about how Moroni told of the Gentiles mocking his writing. How Moroni did feel comfortable to speak aloud though. Moroni at one point acknowledges the Lord in making him mighty in words, but not in writing. Moroni was feeling insecure and could see his weakness.
When we write we behold our weakness, and stumble because of the placing of our words; and I fear lest the Gentiles shall mock at our words
The Lord then responds with this statement:
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.
What a promise! The Lord tells us that we can overcome our weakness, but also that He can make those strong!
We need to have faith in his power.
We then need to do all that we can.
Tad gave a father’s blessing to his daughter and his daughter even made a poster of the scripture to put in her room to always be reminded of this promise. She then prayed every day for the Lord’s help to improve her handwriting. She started practicing with a calligraphy set, and every night she had her parent’s review her homework to check her writing, and if it hadn’t improved, she would redo it.
Fast forward to the graduation of her now in 6th grade. The daughter received a certificate of the finest penmanship.
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me
We can overcome weaknesses and shortcomings if we have faith and humble ourselves before the Lord.
From these example we see how Moroni and this girl excessed faith, and did all they could to make those weaknesses strong.
Here is an example of someone who did the opposite.
Moses, in the Bible, also had a weakness.
O my Lord, I am not eloquent, … but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue
The Lord then replies by asking,
Who hath made man’s mouth? or who taketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the Lord?
So the Lord is reminding Moses that He created him, and so why wouldn’t He be able to help him in his work?
The Lord continues by telling Moses,
Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say
Now the Lord is plainly stating that He will be there to help Moses and will be his mouth and help him to know what to say to the people. That’s a pretty great promise to have! Definitely something that could be a confident booster! Knowing that God himself will be the one to help you.
However, it wasn’t enough. Moses responds with,
O my Lord, send, I pray thee, by the hand of him whom thou wilt send
Moses is basically asking the Lord to give him a spokesperson so that he doesn’t have to do it. In other words, Moses is doubting God. He didn’t think his speech problems could be fixed. How do you think God reacted to that?
And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses, and he said, Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee: and when he seeth thee, he will be glad in his heart
So God was angry with Moses because of his lack of faith. He doubted in the very being who created Him. And what happened? He was given a spokesman like he requested. Well, what’s so bad about that? God did what Moses asked. Well, what could have turned into a strength, remained a weakness. Moses could have used God to overcome his weakness and make it into something strong. Instead, he chose to hide that weakness and use someone else.
In comparison you have basically the same exact story with Enoch. He was also slow of speech and brought it to God’s attention. God told Enoch pretty much the same thing. To go and He will fill his mouth with what to say. Well what do you think Enoch did? He went and opened his mouth. And guess what happened?
As Enoch spake forth the words of God, the people trembled, and could not stand in his presence … So great was the faith of Enoch that … he spake the word of the Lord, and the earth trembled, and the mountains fled, even according to his command; and the rivers of water were turned out of their course; … and all nations feared greatly, so powerful was the word of Enoch, and so great was the power of the language which God had given him
Moses 6:42, Moses 7:13
What a difference! Two similar stories but with two different attitudes and results. Enoch was able to overcome his weakness so much so that it became a huge strength!!!
We all have different weaknesses and shortcomings, but what do we do them? Do we continue to hide them and find ways to work around them like Moses? Or do we rely on the Lord to makes us strong?
I know that putting faith in the Lord can be difficult, and even scary at times – especially when it comes to our weak spots. But I know that if we humble ourselves and put our faith in Him, then we can overcome those weaknesses so much so that they become STRONG.