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Our God-ordained weakness.

In Ether 12:27 we read:

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.

And then verse 37 in part states:

37 And because thou hast seen thy weakness thou shalt be made strong, even unto the sitting down in the place which I have prepared in the mansions of my Father.

So let's start with verse 27.  The Lord says that if we come unto Him, He will show us our weakness.  I love this because it means I don't have to listen to anything anyone else says about my faults or flaws.  I don't have to be worried about what order they think I should work on things.  It's about me and the Lord and no one else.  Now, this is not to say I should be proud or stubborn.  I'm not saying anything like that.  Just that when others are picking on me and telling me what I've done wrong, it's comforting to know (which allows me to let things go and not stress or feel yucky towards those who say something) that I have been to the Lord and I am working on the things He is wanting me to focus on right now.  When it's time for me to work on that particular failing, He'll let me know.

The next thing to notice is that this verse says weakness, not weaknesses.  That confused me for a time.  I don't know about you, but I have so many faults and weaknesses that I didn't know what to make of the word being singular rather than plural.

One day, while pondering on the cherubim and the flaming sword which are placed to guard the way of the tree of life, I understood why it is singular and not plural.  It is, to my understanding, in reference to the natural man.  That is our weakness.

Then, in the next sentence He says something terribly important.  "I GIVE unto men weakness..."  Okay.  Hold on.  Let me just percolate that for a moment.

I in, it is intentional and a gift.  Then I was sure He was talking about the natural man.

The next thing that stood out to me was near the end of the verse.  "...if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I MAKE weak things become strong unto them."

Stop.  Just stop.

It isn't my job to make my weaknesses go away?!  I'm not supposed to focus on all of my failings and find habits and ways to overcome them???  Wait.

Then will I make weak things strong...

Just let that sink in for a moment.

And while you're doing that, I want to you literally in this moment freeze.  Don't move your body (except to breathe and blink for you smarty-pants out there).  Now I want you to observe your body from head to toe or toe to head, whatever is your preference.  As you are sitting there and paying attention to your body, do you notice anything in the way you are currently sitting or standing that makes you uncomfortable?  Is there anything that is causing you pain?

Shift it.


Now.  When you noticed there was something that was causing you pain, did you berate your body for feeling uncomfortable?  Did you condemn it as a horrible thing for feeling that way?

Of course not.  You noticed some discomfort and you shifted.

This is the goal as we see our weakness showing up in different places.  Instead of judging ourselves harshly, we want to observe and shift.  When we judge something, it closes our hearts and shuts down our connection with the Lord through the Holy Spirit.  When we observe, our hearts expand and we are able to increase our connection through the Spirit.  Then we are able to receive instruction on how best to move forward after becoming aware of our weakness.

When the natural man shows up - as it is wont to do least for me - observe it, don't judge it.  See it and allow yourself space to ask questions of it.  Allow yourself the opportunity to dig deeper and come to understand what is really going on.  We always may choose whether we will judge and shutdown, or observe and shift. 

In verse 37, the Lord says, "...because thou hast seen thy weakness, thou shalt be made strong."

Because thou hast seen.  That is your only job.  To see it.  Thou shalt be made's not your job!  It's His!  You will be made strong...not make yourself strong.

Next time, I want to talk more in depth about how the natural man is a gift to us.  I would argue that it is a gift as great and as important to our eternal salvation as the gift of the Holy Ghost.  For we require both if we are ever to progress and become perfected in Christ. 


  1. What a relief to know this. Makes life easier and to flow. So grateful for you!


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