Brigham Young University (BYU) is operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often mistakenly called the “Mormon Church.” As part of their undergraduate coursework, BYU students take multiple semesters of spiritually uplifting, stimulating religion classes.
Here, in this column, students enrolled in scripture study classes have shared their thoughts, insights, and reflections on the New Testament and gospel of Jesus Christ in the form of letters to someone they know. In publishing these, we fulfill their desire to witness to all of us of the relevance, power, and beauty of the New Testament, and God’s plan of happiness for each of us. We invite you to take a look at their epiphanies and discoveries as they delve into the scriptures. Let us know how these may help you in your own life. Share them with a friend.
Mormonism: The Strength of Vulnerability
For me it is an immense struggle to put myself in a vulnerable place. I avoid it. I’m good at keeping conversation light, or when it is deeply focused on other people. It is an aspect of my personality that I feel I continually wrestle with.
Society gives praise to traits that are associated with positive emotions. We capitalize on our strengths and build an unbreakable picture for others. We love praise and validation. It is not common for us to openly talk about our weaknesses, because we fear what others may have to say, or that they may use these weaknesses against us. When in reality they are the aspects that make us human, asymmetrical, able to love, and ultimately become more godly.
Having moments where we are completely vulnerable is what connects our souls to others. 1 Thessalonians 2:8 says, “so being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of god only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.” Vulnerability is a way of investing in other people. It puts us on the same level as others and gives more meaning to our actions.
Being vulnerable is completely necessary, so necessary that God himself, our Creator, is a God who weeps. Why does He weep? Because He has invested EVERYTHING in us. He still loves us even when we hurt Him by doing wrong. He forgives us. He understands us. He, through the Atonement of Christ has felt our deepest sorrows and celebrated with us our highest joys.
So while we may be putting ourselves in a risky position to get hurt when we open ourselves up and are in vulnerable positions, the relationships that have the opportunity to flourish out of those rich pieces of our soul can yield wonderful results. It’s hard. It won’t be easy, we will likely get hurt, but through the process we become a little more divine and understand the worth of ourselves to God by seeing how much you value an investment in vulnerability here on earth. To me it’s worth it, even if it’s difficult.