The atonement doesn't cover only our sins, but our adverstiy. And that part is very broad. God does not turn up his nose or turn away from us because of our weaknesses, or our sickness or heartache. He sees in them the seeds of our sanctification, a way in which we can be more like His Son. Weaknesses are a key pattern to how the Lord works with us. He has told us often that He purposefully picks the weak things of the world to accomplish His work.
When Christ appears to the people in the Americas, at the temple Bountiful, he asks them to come forth and touch his wounds. Why his wounds? Usually we think to prove, as evidence, that He is who He says He is. But what about this--what if he wanted them to feel his weakness, his humaneness and scars, so that we might know that it's OK for us to be the same? " I think he calls us all to touch the woundedness in Him, and in ourselves, so that we can be one with Him. REAL INTIMACY COMES THROUGH SHARED WEAKNESSES, NOT STRENGTHS; OTHERWISE, HE'D HAVE US FEEL HIS BICEPS, NOT HIS WOUNDS."
Some people seem to be more open. More open to my pain, more open to feeling and hearing and experiencing it with me. While others turn away because it is "too hard for them." Do you know how much it means to have someone acknowledge your pain? Through an awakening of what this would mean in their own lives. It makes the pain so much less in vain. Does this mean we go around being negative and only speaking of our weaknesses? No. It's about honesty. And openness. It's about being real. Including celebrating our blessings. We may be making someone feel unnecessarily isolated because we choose not to share our weaknesses in appropriate ways.
We may be causing our fellow sisters or brothers to feel even MORE weak, when we turn away from their pain and show them only our "best selves". Do you agree with me? Take the example from this article about a Relief Society talent show, where women come and show their very best. Some may come away feeling diminished and alienated, like they don't measure up to other ladies in the ward. The activity of sharing strengths often produces feelings of personal insecurity and separation, if not downright competitiveness. (Church basketball with the men?)
But what about three or four of these same women in a Visiting Teaching moment...sharing some tender moments of the grief of losing a child, a failed marriage, a wayward teenager, a fractured testimony. Has this happened to you? You've wept a bit with your sisters and come away feeling a closer bond, feeling the wounds of a fellow sister, and had a connection, warmth, and uplift perhaps not possible from the talent show. Again, Terrence Smith says, "I think there was something about touching Jesus' woundedness that built a Zion culture in ways that touching His strengths would not have done."
--Personal thoughts from another blog... as well as quotes she gave from Dr. Terrence C. Smith