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Make Weak Things Become Strong

Ether 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” (Ether 12:27).


As Elder Neal A. Maxwell (1926–2004) observed:

“It is not an easy thing … to be shown one’s weaknesses. … Nevertheless, this is part of coming unto Christ, and it is a vital, if painful, part of God’s plan of happiness.” 1 

Some people feel defeated by their personal weaknesses and succumb to despair. Some attempt to hide, ignore, or compensate for their shortcomings because of pain and embarrassment. But, as the Lord told Moroni, recognizing and acknowledging a weakness is a necessary part of overcoming it: “Because thou hast seen thy weakness thou shalt be made strong” (Ether 12:37).

Sister Anne C. Pingree – December 2004 

Sometimes, in spite of all we do to “make weak things become strong,” the Lord, in His infinite wisdom, does not take away our weakness. The Apostle Paul struggled throughout his life with “a thorn in the flesh,” which he said served to humble him “lest [he] should be exalted above measure” (2 Cor. 12:7). Three times Paul asked the Lord to take away his weakness, and three times the Lord declined to do so. The Lord then explained that His grace was sufficient for Paul and that, in fact, His strength was actually “made perfect in weakness.” Then Paul wrote, “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

“Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong” (2 Cor. 12:9–10).