Weakness that we may have faith

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 themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

The Lord says he gives us weakness that we may have faith. We read that, but we have the wrong idea in our head. The worst idea we have about it is the false interpretation that God gives men their spiritual and moral weaknesses, as if God was the source of evil, or as if a sweet fountain could bring forth bitter water.

But even if we avoid the degenerate interpretation that God gives men moral weakness, we are still missing the point of this verse.

See, the problem is that we have the wrong idea in our head altogether. We are surrounded in this life with our incapability. Man’s pitiable mortal state is frail, and full of dilemnas, difficulty, and work which can be tedious or laborious.

If we would pair these two scriptures together, we may understand Mormon’s statement more clearly. Take that verse I cited before:

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 themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

Now pair that verse with this verse:

Luke 17:6 And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.

Here, Christ says that if we have faith as a grain of mustard seed, then we can say to a sycamine tree to be plucked up by the root and planted in the sea, and it would obey us.

We read Ether 12:27 without understanding. We understand that this life is full of dilemnas. But we read that verse rationalizing that we have already arrived at the faith God desires us to have, or that even Mormon himself had.

But no. God gives us weakness that we may have faith. But when we have faith, we will say to a sycamine see to be plucked up by the roots and planted in the sea, and it would obey us.

Think about it. Which of our myriad mortal dilemnas could God not solve in a moment simply by taking thought? What whim could he not grant? What great desire do we have that he could not grant?

There is a Christmas Carol that says “If Jesus had wanted for any small thing”, even a bird on the wing, God would surely have granted it. We sing those words as a contrast between our mortal state and what God would be willing to do for Jesus.

We do so because we don’t understand Ether 12:27. The point is, he will make things tough on us here, where we have to lean on him for even the least of matters at times because of our weakness. He could, if he so desired, grant our very whims with no more than a thought. And he will not do so. NOT because he is not willing to do so. He is just as willing to grant us “any small thing” even “a bird on the wing” as he would be willing to grant them to Jesus. But only when we acquire the faith necessary. And when we do, the if we should command a tree to be plucked up by the roots and planted in the sea, then it will obey us.

See, the problem is because we are incapable of granting many of our own desires in this life, we conclude that he doesn’t want us to have these things because “it is good for us”. But that is not correct. He is perfectly willing for us to have them, as long as we obtain faith. Not the pitiable excuse for faith that we have all arrived at, but faith as God measures faith.

We must obtain faith as a mustard seed, and then, even more faith than that. And when we do, then we will understand. If we are true then we must one day learn to have faith even as the Son of God did. And then God will grant us what things we ask him.

That faith he requires of us is so far away that we may laugh the whole matter off as irrelevant. After all, what mortal man do we know of that was not afflicted with such weakness. Can we think of any man except Christ who was not afflicted with weakness? I expect the three Nephites, who could feel no suffering except sorrow for the sins of the world would qualify, and those in Zion who were taken up into heaven. Maybe there are others, such as Melchizedek who shut the mouth of lions and quenched the violence of fire while but a child. But it is a small list of people, so it may seem irrelevant to even talk about it.

But since Christ talked about it, and exhorted us to obtain such faith, then it must be important for us to strive for it, even if the prize such a great distance off to us that we may feel he was mistaken to teach it to us.

But he was not, and such faith is what he wants from us. He reproved Peter for sinking into the water. Does he want less faith from us? He gives us weakness that we may have faith. But if we will have faith, we will walk on water because we desire it and he is willing to grant it, and for no other reason.

Advertisements

Published by

John Robertson

I am nothing more than a regular member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s