These past couple months, I’ve thought many times about what it means to truly be humble and obedient to the will of the Lord. And at this moment, I would just like to share some of the thoughts I’ve had.
From my own understanding humility has meant that we give credit to God for the things that we do, acknowledging that without Him, those things wouldn’t have been possible. I also believe that humility is the most important characteristic that we bring with us when we wish to repent of our sins, and acknowledge our need for the Savior in our lives.
I still see humility as those things, but this year, humility has taken on a different meaning based on some experiences I’ve had. Today I want to speak of humility in our weaknesses, those that are a part of us being in a mortal state.
The only scripture that has stuck out to me is 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 before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.”
Something I’ve wondered, is if God doesn’t give us weakness as much as He allows them to happen. When we accepted His Plan of Happiness, we knew we would be in a mortal state, where the temptations of the adversary would be pressing down on us, and physical and spiritual weaknesses would be a part of our lives. I believe that all of our weaknesses are not necessarily given to us by God, but are weaknesses that just occur because of our imperfect bodies and minds.
This year, I’ve struggled with some physical weakness that has been one of the hardest things I've ever experienced. There were many times where no matter how many times I pleaded to my Father in Heaven for help and relief, I never felt that relief come. I struggled with feelings of worthlessness, thinking I was so pathetic, that it was no wonder God wasn’t spending His time on me. I was so wrapped up in myself and my problems, and it only made things worse, and I knew that.
After a few months, I decided I wasn’t going to turn to God anymore. I had decided that I needed help, I wanted help, but God wasn’t going to give it. I started thinking about what other resources I had around me, and what others were encouraging me to do. Finally, I was able to turn to those who could help, and I started getting the professional attention I needed, and the heavy cloud over my head started lifting.
It’s only until now, that I think back on that experience, and realize that God was there the whole time. Even though He didn’t answer my pleadings in the way I was expecting, he answered my prayers through the help of doctors and professionals who have spent their life learning how to help people cope with illnesses. I know now that God’s hand is in my life, and He has all knowledge in how to help me in the best way possible. But I had to think about what I had to do for myself, before that help came.
There is a quote by Richard C. Edgley of the Presidency of the Seventy from a talk titled “The Empowerment of Humility.” I’d like to share a quote from that talk:
“Humbly submitting our will to the Father brings us the empowerment of God—the power of humility. It is the power to meet life’s adversities, the power of peace, the power of hope . . . even the power of redemption. . . . Perhaps some of the most sacred words in all the scriptures are simply, “Not my will, but thine, be done”
I’m not sure how to truly express the importance of this principle of humility. All I know, is that if I hadn’t realized I needed help, and actively began searching for it, it’s very likely I wouldn’t be sitting here writing about this today. I learned from this experience, that God doesn’t just jump in and help us the second we ask for help. Sometimes, He waits, and give us the opportunity to learn to act on our trials, rather than letting them act on us.
I know that there is nothing wrong with accepting the weaknesses we have. They are a part of his life, and they aren’t anything to be ashamed of. I know from my own experience, that God expects us to use our head sometimes to figure out how to help ourselves, before he will reach in and provide His own divine support. This life is all about learning, and we can’t learn if we’re spoon fed each time life gets hard.
There is one last quote I would like to share that is spoken of in a Mormon Message. It’s titled “The Hope of God’s Light”, and it’s based on a true story by a man named Todd Sylvester.
“Spiritual light rarely come to those who sit in darkness, waiting for someone to flip a switch. It takes an act of faith to open our eyes to the light of Christ.”
I know that this quote is true. I’ve experienced the power of the Light of Christ that does come when you act purely on faith, even when it feels like life itself is pressing down on you. I testify of the importance of humility in our lives. I know that when we accept our weaknesses, decide to act against them, and turn to God for help in all things,
we can have the power of peace, and the power of hope that Elder Edgley spoke about.
I’ve learned to be grateful for these difficult experience, and to accept the Lord’s way and trust in his plan for me. I know that God lives, and I’m so grateful for this life that I have, and for the amazing opportunities I have to learn and grow, and become more like my Savior, Jesus Christ.