“Should there be anyone who feels he is too weak to do better because of that greatest of fears, the fear of failure, there is no more comforting assurance to be had than the words of the Lord: ‘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’ (Ether 12:27).”
(Thomas S. Monson, “Our Sacred Priesthood Trust,” Ensign, May 2006, 57)
Every time I read these words of comfort, I can’t help but ask myself a difficult question: How can we have enough humility and faith to let the Lord repair our faults? Humility seems to be one of the most elusive virtues, since if you have it, you will never know. However, when I hear the phrase “humble themselves before me,” I think of countless times in the Book of Mormon when the weak, the sinners, and the oppressed have knelt before God in prayer to ask that their needs be met.
In the Mormon Church, we need to be humble enough to admit that we can’t do it without Heavenly Father, and we need the humility that leads to obedience and worthiness. We need to believe (have faith) that he can and will respond to our pleas, being worthy of the response, and we need to be humble enough not to take the credit for our strength afterward. It is easy to say, “I will never be able to fix everything that is wrong with me,” but the miraculous power of Jesus Christ is with us in our struggles. If we can accept as fact that the Lord will make our weaknesses strong, we can have the faith needed to receive the miracle.
As much as we may doubt our own humility, we must have faith that the Lord is merciful, and that he lets our best efforts be enough. Through the power of the atonement, he can fortify our weakened defenses, reform our broken hearts, and satisfy our most aching hunger. His grace is sufficient that, in all of our weakness, we can still receive if we ask in humility, and believe.