From Weaknesses to Strengths

By Jacqueline N. Smith

Church Magazines

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    How was I supposed to be a Young Women leader when I had just finished the program myself?

    young woman reading scriptures

    I had been out of the Young Women program less than a year when the bishopric called me to be the assistant Young Women camp director, supervising 12 first-year Beehives. I agreed reluctantly.

    In my mind, leaders were supposed to be women, and I still saw myself as just a girl. I could carry around a clipboard, have my own copy of the schedule, and even sleep in the leaders’ tent, but I could not wrap my mind around how I could teach them anything.

    I remember praying fervently to my Heavenly Father for help to fulfill my calling. I saw my age and lack of leadership experience as a significant weakness. But my real weakness was lack of faith in what God could make of me.

    As we went off to camp, Heavenly Father helped me realize that it didn’t matter if I thought I wasn’t old enough. In reality, this group of girls listened to me because I was so young; I could relate to them and we had a lot of fun. I also found that while I may not have had much leadership experience, I still had plenty to teach them about camping and the Young Women values, ideas that were still fresh in my mind from attending girls’ camp only one year before.

    The Lord taught that “if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; … 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). He was able to take my age and lack of experience—my weakness—and turn it into fun and fresh ideas—a strength. The key is to humbly ask Heavenly Father for help and have faith in what He can make of us.