Sometimes they argue about whether the gospel is for the weak or for the strong. The answer is both, or neither. Its the wrong way of thinking about it. Or rather, it depends on what you mean by “weak” or “strong.”

I can’t point to the specific Conference talk, but somehow one of things I learned at Conference is this:

The way we think about it, weak and the strong are relative terms. They are also mortal terms. The weak and the strong are always about some social system, and people’s places within it.

But weakness and strength are different for the gospel. The strongest man is always weak when he ventures out beyond the limits of his capabilities. That is what weakness is: inability, incompetence, failure. And the weakest man is strong when he only does what he is accustomed to do, within the limits of his abilities.

The gospel is for the weak. It provides atonement, repentance, comfort, and growth for whoever ventures out beyond their limits. The gospel is for the strong. It provides meaning and validation for whoever has come to do something well. The gospel makes the strong weak, and then the weak strong.

“I give unto men weakness” is just another way of saying that God expects more of us than we have already mastered. He does not see mature, accomplished hominids but rather halting, infant Gods.

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