In my Book of Mormon class here at Brigham Young University my professor often reiterates this plea to make it our story. He wants us to read these sacred scriptures and then find ourselves in them. I felt the power of this request in my life this week as I read 2 Nephi, Chapter 3, verse 7. Here the patriarch of the main family being portrayed in Book of Mormon named Lehi, is dying and giving last words of wisdom to his children. He says to his youngest song Joseph, “And out of weakness he shall be made strong, in that day when my work shall commence among all my people, unto the restoring thee, O house of Israel, saith the Lord.”
This scripture is actually a prophecy about Joseph Smith Jr. who would restore Jesus Christ’s church in modern times. Lehi is explaining how the Lord will take an uneducated farm boy and make him the prophet of the restoration. However I focused in on that first phrase specifically, “And out of weakness he shall be made strong.” This is describing a beautiful and simple doctrine that it is in our moment of greatest need when Heavenly Father will lift us up and make us successful.
Throughout time this pattern has been shown through various prophets and faithful individuals. For example Moses was not a strong speaker or leader and couldn’t understand why the Lord had chosen him to lead the Children of Israel out of captivity. But the Lord knew that because of Moses’ faith in Him the weaknesses would be turned into strength. Indeed Moses was successful in helping the Hebrews escape the Egyptians. There is another powerful example in the New Testament when the woman with an issue of blood seeks out the Savior. Her physical weakness was turned into a strength when, in faith, she touched the hem of Jesus Christ’s robe and she was healed.
Though I am no Moses and struggle to have the same amount of faith as that woman, I too can utilize this principle of the Lord turning weaknesses into strengths. I think one of the greatest weaknesses in my life right now is my distance from my family who live in Virginia. For almost nineteen years my family was my greatest strength and support. Now all of a sudden to be living almost 3000 miles away from them and knowing I won’t see them until December is overwhelming. There are moments every day when I want to cry out because of loneliness and when I would give anything to have them here with me in Utah. But I have spent the last month really praying to Heavenly Father to help me cope with these feelings. He has answered my prayers and helped to turn my weakness into strength. He has helped me understand that this distance is actually forcing me to become independent in various aspects of my life from cooking to laundry to editing my papers to finding transportation. More importantly, the distance has allowed me to come closer to my Heavenly Father and rely on his guidance and wisdom. Had I stayed comfortably at home I would not have had the opportunity to find the truth in Lehi’s powerful statement, “And out of weakness he shall be made strong”. I know this principle will continue to bless me throughout my life. I am so thankful to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Days Saints (inadvertently called the “Mormon Church”), a church that believes in such hopeful doctrine and teaches its members to rely on the strengthening power of the Savior.
By Katie S.