“My Strength, My Weakness,” Ensign, Jan. 1998, 66
I have loved words, books, and reading from the time I was small. I would wait for my older sister to come home from school with her first readers so I could crouch by her on the floor, hungrily watching her finger move across the page. After I learned to read, I devoured every book I could get my hands on. To this day I can pick up a book and disappear into it.
While this was a tremendous strength in my education, it could also be a weakness. I learned that if I had to be somewhere or do something, I must not walk through the bookstore. And if I did, I had better not pick up a book. Once I picked one up, often the next thing I’d hear would be the intercom announcing that the store was closing. I have read through many hours that I had something else to do, impatient with interruptions and oblivious to others’ needs. Although we don’t often think of the need to control our strengths, I learned that a strength could be a potential weakness unless I channeled and directed it properly.
Thankfully, the reverse of that is also true. Any weakness we find within ourselves can, with the Lord’s help, be refashioned into a strength. In Ether 12:27, the Lord says, “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.”
Once, when agonizing over something very difficult, I told the Lord, “I can’t do this. I am not perfect.”
“But you want to be, don’t you?” the Spirit whispered, reminding me that in order to become like my Heavenly Father, I must master the very thing I was protesting. When we struggle prayerfully and diligently, the Lord will help us raise our weakness to power and properly direct our strengths.