Malignant Virtues

I want to share an awesome principle I learned from Elder Richard G. Scott this past conference.

His talk was on repentance through the Atonement of our Savior, Jesus Christ; but more specifically he spoke on the distinct difference between weakness and rebellion:
The joyful news for anyone who desires to be rid of the consequences of past poor choices is that the Lord sees weaknesses differently than He does rebellion.  Whereas the Lord warns that unrepented rebellion will bring punishment, when the Lord speaks of weakness, it is always with mercy.
I absolutely love this concept.  I'm always speaking of how we tend to get guilt and shame confused; coupling the two into one emotion when in reality they are stark opposite.

The same goes for weakness and rebellion.  Shame and rebellion are the warped, diseased and malignant doppelgangers of guilt and weakness.

Think about it.

Satan would have us believe that our weaknesses themselves are an utter offense to God.  That we are a smudge of disappointment simply for being weak, for struggling, for being tempted.  He would have us feel unworthy for making mistakes.

How sometimes quick we are to forget that the Lord actually gave us weakness for a specific purpose:
Ether 12:27
And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness.  I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and 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.
It may be hard to see, but the Lord actually gifted our weaknesses to us.  He has allowed us a  refining process to cultivate and strengthen our humility.

Weakness is not a vice, but rather a virtue.  Rebellion is our vice.

Rebellion is brazenly denying His outstretched hand; giving up, stopping and denying His plan.  That is where the dark clouds of trouble roll in.  That is where we choose to leave the safety of His Celestial mantle.

So long as we strive to recognize, repent and learn from our mistakes, we are safe.  Weakness does not deny us His help, but rather, His help is freely offered because of our weakness.


  1. I love this! It is so true! We make mistakes and then we beat ourselves up, as though perfection is attained instantly. I'm still on Step 7 in a lot of ways and part of that is realizing that God gave me my character weaknesses for a moment and I will be working on them for a long time. It's trusting in Him to help me and move me forward and not give up on improving myself.

  2. I loved this bit of conference myself! I really like your guilt is to shame as weakness is to rebellion comparison as well. Good stuff!!


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