The LDS Daily WOOL© Archive - Turning Weaknesses to Strengths

Regardless of the reason your testimony may be growing dim, the Savior lovingly urges you to come unto Him and become strengthened in Him. Said He to Moroni: "If men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; ... for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them" (Ether 12:27).—Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, General Conference, October 1992

We should learn to be patient with ourselves. Recognizing our strengths and our weaknesses, we should strive to use good judgment in all of our choices and decisions, make good use of every opportunity, and do our best in every task we undertake. We should not be unduly discouraged nor in despair at any time when we are doing the best we can. Rather, we should be satisfied with our progress even though it may come slowly at times.—Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, General Conference, April 1987

Why is it that as humans we tend to emphasize the negative when there is so much to be positive about? We not only constantly criticize our children and each other, find fault, are very judgmental, and often seek out and build up people's weaknesses and failings rather than their strengths and successes, but in our own personal life-styles there are those of us who are incessant, chronic worriers. We worry about all the negative things that could happen, but usually don't, rather than positively trying to face problems with some amount of faith and hope of success.—Elder Paul H. Dunn, General Conference, April 1987

Commune daily with your Heavenly Father, who knows you best of all. He knows your talents, your strengths, and your weaknesses. You are here on the earth at this time to develop and refine these characteristics. I promise you he will help you. He is aware of your needs. He is aware of your unanswered prayers.—Elder Marvin J. Ashton, General Conference, April 1984

Jesus knows that His kingdom will triumph, and He wants you to triumph with it. He knows in advance every strategy the enemy will use against you and the kingdom. He knows your weaknesses and He knows your strengths. By personal revelation you may discover some of your strengths through a careful and prayerful study of your patriarchal blessing. In prayer you can ask Him to reveal to you your weaknesses so that you can amend your life. ("In His Steps," Church Educational System Devotional, Anaheim, California, 8 February 1987.)—Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p.214

Joseph's "weaknesses" included what the world would call inadequacies— in literary and grammatical skills, for example. But the Book of Mormon itself propounds the encouraging doctrine that for those who humble themselves before God, he will make their weaknesses strengths (see 2 Nephi 3:13; Ether 12:27, 37). Nowhere is this transformation better exemplified than in the translation of the Book of Mormon, in which, because of Joseph's weakness," both the process and the substance were directed of the Savior.—Elder Neal A. Maxwell, But for a Small Moment, p.45

In life, the sandpaper of circumstances often smooths our crustiness and patiently polishes our rough edges. There is nothing pleasant about it, however. And the Lord will go to great lengths in order to teach us a particular lesson and to help us to overcome a particular weakness, especially if there is no other way. In such circumstances, it is quite useless for us mortals to try to do our own sums when it comes to suffering. We can't make it all add up because clearly we do not have all the numbers. Furthermore, none of us knows much about the algebra of affliction. The challenges that come are shaped to our needs and circumstances, sometimes in order to help our weaknesses become strengths. Job noted how tailored his challenges were, saying, "For the thing which I greatly feared has come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me." (Job 3:25.) Yet he prevailed so much so that he was held up as a model to the great latter-day prophet, Joseph Smith. (D&C 121.) Our triumph here could not be complete if we merely carried our fears and doubts into the next world. What came to Job was not a minor test with which he could have coped with one hand tied behind him. Rather, "his grief was very great." (Job 2:13.)—Elder Neal A. Maxwell, Notwithstanding My Weakness, p.67 - 68

There may be those who choose to debate the significance of whether or not an omnipotent God gives us a particular trial or simply declines to remove it. The outcome is obviously the same either way; God is willing for us to undergo that challenge. Yet He promises us that His grace is sufficient for us. (2 Corinthians 12:9; Ether 12:26-27.) He even indicates that some of the weaknesses and infirmities given to us can actually become a strength to us. It is in our weakness and extremity that God's power is fully felt. Only when, of ourselves, we are helpless is His help truly appreciated.—Neal A. Maxwell, All These Things Shall Give Thee Experience, p.31

"One of my Book of Mormon heroes, Ammon, the great son of Mosiah, explains how much two people can accomplish when one of them is the Lord: 'Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever' (Alma 26:12)." - Jack H Goaslind, "In His Strength I Can Do All Things," Ensign, May 1997, p. 40

“No one realizes more than I do myself the weaknesses by which we are beset at every hand. Sometimes we hear one say that we ought not to preach anything that we do not practice. It seems to me that that is not altogether correct, but I do endorse the doctrine that we ought not to preach anything that we do not try to do, even though we may not completely succeed in coming to that degree of excellence. We should preach Christ and Him crucified. We should preach the excellence of His life, whether or not we are able to come up to His standard completely. We are living in a world of sin. We are exposed to the temptations of the world. We have our weaknesses and our imperfections. Nevertheless we have delivered unto us the power of God unto salvation, and that power of God is the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, and obedience to that will perfect us in our lives. Nevertheless there is sin in the world, and none of us are perfect. We have our weaknesses and our imperfections, but we ought not to glory in them. We ought not to think that they are justified, or that we are justified in doing anything that is wrong. We are only in the right attitude when we are engaged in the fight against sin.” - Rulon S. Wells, “Conference Report,” April 1914, Third Day–Morning Session, p. 112

However, true religion is not looking primarily for weaknesses, faults, and errors. It is the spirit of strengthening and overlooking faults even as we would wish our own faults to be overlooked. When we focus our entire attention on what may be wrong rather than what is right, we miss the sublime beauty and essence of the sweet gospel of the Master. - James E. Faust, "The Weightier Matters of the Law: Judgment, Mercy, and Faith,” Ensign (CR) October 1997

I say continually, "O God, lead me in the right path: O God, preserve me from all error; O God, I am a poor, feeble, weak, erring human creature, surrounded with infirmities. I need Thy help all the day long. O God, help me." That is my feeling, and the feeling of my brethren of the First Presidency, and of the Twelve and others. We feel that we need the help of the Almighty. We will try and be humble, and be faithful and true to our covenants. And if we listen to counsel and obey the laws of God, and do the things that He requires at our hands, He will help us and bless us, and He will bless Zion and preserve Israel. - "Teachings Of Presidents Of The Church: John Taylor," p. 117

Waste is unjustified, and especially the waste of time-limited as that commodity is in our days of probation. One must live, not only exist; he must do, not merely be; he must grow, not just vegetate. - "The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball," edited by Edward L. Kimball, p. 359

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