Then I Will Make Weak Things Become Strong Unto Them

Area Leadership Message

Wolfgang Pilz
Elder Wolfgang Pilz, Germany Area Seventy

Surrounding the city where I grew up, there were beautiful forests which still correspond today to the image of the romantic German forest. These forests were the origin of mysterious stories and narratives from ancient times. By a lonely waterhole known as Siegfried’s Spring, an event is supposed to have taken place which is still related in the mythological world of central and northern Europe

Our hero is called Siegfried, known in northern lands as Sigurd.

This young man is described as courageous, strong and adventurous. His fame increased further when he conquered a dragon with his sword. Subsequently he bathed in the blood of the slaughtered monster in order to become invulnerable. Unfortunately, at that moment, a linden leaf fell onto his back, so that a certain spot was left uncovered.

This uncovered spot was later to prove his downfall. Siegfried got entangled in an intrigue between two queens and was subsequently to be killed in an ambush. During the hunt he was killed with a targeted spear thrown by a traitor who knew the vulnerable spot just as he was bending down to drink from the spring.

Siegfried’s daring was based on his feeling of invulnerability, but he had a weak spot which his enemy knew and exploited.

We too often feel secure and invulnerable in our over-confidence. But if we do not recognize our weaknesses and don’t turn them into strengths we too can be overwhelmed.

I invite you to follow Moroni’s counsel when he exhorts us to take our weaknesses to the Lord:

“And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness.…[F]or if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.”1

Personal individualism, an unattractive characteristic, our tendency to flare up, be easily moved to anger, thinking and talking badly of others, rejoicing in the misfortune of others, judging unjustly or prejudicially – all of that makes us vulnerable and assailable. We often carry around with us character traits which became ingrained in our youth and have never been worked on. Sometimes they are the consequence of experiences from our childhood or youth for which we ourselves were not responsible. Whatever the reason may be, we would do well to take these weaknesses to the Lord. He can heal us. He expects us to lay a sacrifice on the altar – not a sacrifice as in ancient times, but a broken heart and a contrite spirit.

We too often feel secure and invulnerable in our over-confidence. But if we do not recognize our weaknesses and don’t turn them into strengths we too can be overwhelmed.

The words of King David show that the people in ancient times already knew that burnt offerings alone were not sufficient: “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart….”2

The risen Lord repeated this injunction in the New World immediately after he had announced the abolition of burnt offerings: “And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost, ….”3

In these days in which this article will appear there are ‘For the strength of youth’(FSY for short) conventions all over Europe. These conferences are not simply fun events but are intended to teach our youth how to prepare for divine guidance. So that the young people can take the things taught home with them, they teach our youth to follow a code of conduct during the convention which will be reflected in their behavior and even in their outward appearance. They discover where their personal weak spots are in order to be able to effectively protect themselves from the darts of the adversary. Then they return home with a desire to put on the whole armor of God so that no spot in their spiritual body remains unprotected in the future.

Let us rejoice in the strength of the “youth of Zion” who stand unflinching in the midst of the turbulent currents of our time.