Strength and Weakness

We all have weaknesses. Our lives are built such that we can change our weaknesses into strengths. Spiritually, “as we humble ourselves and exercise faith in Jesus Christ, the grace of Christ and His infinite atoning sacrifice make it possible to change” (“Then Will I Make Weak Things Become Strong” – Elder Kevin S. Hamilton). We can also turn physical, mental, and emotional weakness into strength.

What Is a Weakness?

The first thing we must ask is what is a weakness? I believe weaknesses come in many forms. Some of them are:

  1. Attractions – Things that we are drawn to that are not good for ourselves
  2. Addictions – Things that we are “chained” to that keep us from progressing in life
  3. Limitations – Things that limit what we can do. For example, lack of muscle to be able to lift things
  4. Negativity – Things that make us feel less and affect our self-confidence


“One of Satan’s greatest lies is that men and women cannot change.” The adaptability each of us has allows us to change. We can move forward or backward. In fact, we are in a constant state of change. Day after day we make decisions that change our lives. Some of them are small, some are big, but we can change.

One way in which we change is through daily repentance. Recently I started a new habit. I have started to pray, not only morning and night, but at midday. I’ve also made a more concerted effort to pray on my knees and to remember to repent. It’s been an eye-opening experience to feel the Spirit as I pray with a repentant heart. I now testify to President Nelson’s words “Too many people consider repentance as punishment – something to be avoided except in the most serious circumstances. … When Jesus asks you and me to ‘repent’, He is inviting us to change.”

What can we do to change?

Praying with a repentant heart is only one part of changing. There are other steps we must take in order for change to occur. For instance, if I want to lose weight (and incidentally I’m trying to), there are different things I can do to help the process. I can stop drinking soda (haven’t mastered that one yet) and drink more water. Getting regular exercise including walking, jogging, weights, and other physical fitness activities will help. Eating better and avoiding foods that will not benefit my body will also allow me to reach my goal.

When I was a senior in high school, I had a calculus class. I did not do well in that class even though I was good in every other math class I’d ever taken. Even now, calculus is a subject that is difficult for me. In order to overcome this weakness, I have purchased and studied two books, “Precalculus DeMYSTiFieD” and “Calculus DeMYSTiFieD“. Using these two books and practicing has helped me begin to turn this weakness into a strength.

As I stated above, I’ve started a new habit of praying three times a day with a repentant heart. This is one of the steps I’ve taken to help overcome some of my spiritual weaknesses. Others that I have started include reading the scriptures and lesson material from “Come Follow Me” every day. A new item I have added is to read the Book of Mormon every day with a purpose. I have a “Journal” edition that has wider margins for taking notes. These steps have led me to have the Spirit in my life as I haven’t in a long time. I feel closer to God. I also believe that this has helped to firmly put me on and keep me on the “Covenant Path”.

Having Faith

In the book of Ether, chapter 12, verse 27 we read “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” (emphasis added). It is easy to “put [our] trust in the arm of flesh” (2 Nephi 4:34). The world teaches us that we are what we make of ourselves. The Lord teaches us to have faith in Him and He will make us into something greater than ourselves.

This means that in all areas of our life, we must include the Lord. Even the weaknesses that are physical can be made into strengths with His help. Having faith in God leads us to believe in ourselves. Trusting God opens the channels of revelation. By revelation, the steps to overcoming our weaknesses are given to us. Now, some of these steps we already know, but revelation can and will give us steps we won’t think of right away. Revelation opens doors that help us change our weaknesses into mighty strengths.


As we identify areas of weakness and take steps to change them into strengths, and if we have faith in Jesus Christ, we will receive divine help. Elder Hamilton states “Our greatest weaknesses can become our greatest strengths. We can be changed and ‘become new creatures.’ [Mosiah 27:24-26] Weak things literally can ‘become strong unto {us}’ [Ether 12:27] … The Savior worked out His infinite and eternal Atonement so that we could in fact change, repent, and become better. We can actually be born again. We can overcome habits, addictions, and even the ‘disposition to do evil.’ [Mosiah 5:2] As sons and daughters of a loving Father in Heaven, we have the power within us to change.”

I echo Elder Hamilton’s words. Not only because I believe them, but because I have lived them. I have seen changes in my life because I have had faith that I could change. I have overcome some of my weaknesses and plan to continue identifying and overcoming more throughout my life. I have strengths where once before weakness hindered me and you can too.


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