BYU Students Share Letters & Reflections on Scripture
BYU (Brigham Young University) is operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often mistakenly called the “Mormon Church.” As part of their undergraduate coursework, BYU students take multiple semesters of spiritually uplifting, stimulating religion classes.
In this series (see below), students enrolled in scripture study classes have shared their thoughts, insights, and reflections on the Book of Mormon in the form of letters to someone they know. We invite you to take a look at their epiphanies and discoveries as they delve into the scriptures.
In publishing these, we fulfill their desire to speak to all of us of the relevance, power and beauty of the Book of Mormon, a second witness of Jesus Christ and complement to the Bible. The Book of Mormon includes the religious history of a group of Israelites who settled in ancient America. (The names they use are those of prophets who taught the Book of Mormon peoples to look forward to the coming of Christ—Nephi, Lehi, Alma, Helaman, and other unfamiliar names. We hope those names will become more familiar to you as you read their inspiring words and feel the relevance and divinity of their messages through these letters.)
Let us know if you’d like to receive your own digital copy of the Book of Mormon, and/or if these messages encourage and assist you spiritually as well.
That They May Be Humble
Letter to one who may be frustrated by some weakness
We are all human. None of us are perfect. Far from it, actually. Very far. We sneak extra candy from our bags at Halloween, we make up excuses so that we don’t have to hang out with someone that annoys us, we watch mind-numbing amounts of TV, we procrastinate, we are petty. We aren’t good at speaking in public, we aren’t good at communicating intelligibly with the opposite sex, we can’t spell or use technology properly. Some of us are addicted to things that can harm us, some of us have fears and doubts that prevent us from having normal working lives. Like I said, none of us are perfect.
Quite often, we get caught up in our weaknesses; the little things that we find wrong with ourselves get pushed to the fronts of our minds and, sometimes, it’s all we can think about. We feel inadequate or worthless and we let our weaknesses define us. But that is not what we should do. We should never be ashamed of our weaknesses, no matter how bad we think they are.
In Ether chapter 12 of the Book of Mormon, verse 27 states, “I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me.”
We are human; we are imperfect. That is the way the Heavenly Father made us, so that we could be humbled. Jeffrey R. Holland, one of the twelve apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said, “Except in the case of His only perfect Begotten Son, imperfect people are all God has ever had to work with. That must be terribly frustrating to Him, but He deals with it. So should we.” No matter what our weaknesses may be, we can deal with them. We can work around them and use them as opportunities to better ourselves and to humble ourselves before the Lord, to ask Him for His help in overcoming them.
Dieter F. Uchtdorf, the Second Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints said, “Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. It’s wonderful that you have strengths and it is part of your mortal experience that you do have weaknesses. God wants to help us to eventually turn all of our weaknesses into strengths, but He knows that this is a long-term goal. He wants us to become perfect, and if we stay on the path of discipleship, one day we will. It’s okay that you’re not quite there yet. Keep working on it, but stop punishing yourself.”
So yes, you may be really bad at writing essays; you may be addicted to a harmful substance; you may be a liar or a cheater or have really poor time management skills. Whatever the case may be, Heavenly Father is willing to work with you and help you with your weaknesses if you would but go to Him humbly. It’s okay that you’re not quite there yet. Keep working on it, but stop punishing yourself.
One who is most humbled by her weaknesses