I have never met a perfect person.
I know of One who once walked this earth, but He was not totally mortal. I have met wonderful, amazing, loving men and women who bore the light of Christ but none of these people were perfect. They seemed to have overcome many weaknesses, achieving a degree of light that I still only hope for.
How do we look at the promise to be perfect knowing of our individual weaknesses and challenges? Can I acknowledge my weakness and decide to give it less of a hold on me? Do I look at my spiritual strengths, and work on them until they overpower my weaknesses?
Ether 12:27 says, “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.”
I marvel at the Lord’s admonition to come unto Him and be humble. When I am consistently doing the things that bring me closer to Him, I feel a very real change within. I feel lighter and brighter, more at peace, less weighed down by my imperfections. I recognize my spiritual gifts more easily and learn how to use them. My weaknesses naturally lose their grip on me. Jesus Christ makes me stronger as I place my hand in His, figuratively, of course.
I don’t believe it matters if you choose to strengthen your gifts or if you choose to work on your weaknesses. The Lord wants us to be making progress somehow. No matter which option you choose, the balances will be tipped in your favor.
I personally admire those who have strength in nutrition and wellness. I could choose to strengthen my knowledge of the healing power of nutritious food and with that would come an increased desire to eat smarter and help my body to function better. On the other hand, I could choose to eliminate some of the food- like substances that do my body harm. I will be progressing either way and hopefully, have the desire to continue making important changes. Either way, if we humble ourselves and turn to the Lord, He will make us better than what we can do on our own.
Elder Marcus B. Nash spoke of this principle in an address he gave not long ago. He said, “I am intrigued and inspired by this prophecy that ‘out of weakness he shall be made strong.’” It may seem counterintuitive that the Lord would call upon the weak to accomplish a mighty work. Yet those who recognize their weakness can be moved by that very weakness to seek the Lord’s strength. Those who thus humble themselves in faith will be strengthened by Him who has all power in heaven and earth (see Matthew 28:18; Mosiah 4:9).”1
We all have need of strengthening as we work to be more like the Savior. We may fall short on our own, but we will always be enough when we seek His help.
1 “Out of Weakness He Shall Be Made Strong,” given at the 70th Annual Joseph Smith Memorial Devotional in Logan, Utah, USA, on February 10, 2013