Context and General Information
- Lehi, shortly before his death, teaches Jacob.
- There is a God.
- He has created all things: heaven and earth, all things in them, and things both to act and things to be acted upon.
- To bring about God’s eternal purposes, He allowed for opposition.
- Likewise, to bring about His eternal purposes, He gave us agency. But we really couldn’t act for ourselves if we didn’t have choices.
- An angel of God, according to the the scriptures that Lehi had read (Isaiah!), had fallen from heaven and became a devil.
- This devil sought that which was evil before God. (This was the purpose of his being thrust out of Heaven.)
- Because of the fall from heaven, the devil became miserable forever and sought the misery of all mankind. He wanted to destroy God’s work and glory.
- The devil, therefore, tempted Eve by lying to her about the effects of partaking of the forbidden fruit.
Opposing Forces: Heavenly Father and Satan
So, last time, we pondered the concept of opposition. You can read it here.
We live in a world full of opposing forces – day and night, sleep and wake, high tide and low tide, summer and winter, north pole and south pole, etc. These opposing forces also include good and evil. And the ultimate examples of opposition in all things are God and the devil.
Today, we will study the verses above to learn more about God.
There is A God
First and foremost, we have to understand that there is a God. This is the basis of it all. If there was no God, then there would be no devil. There would be nothing. None of this would matter. But there is a God.
We have the witness of the prophets, the world around us, and the Holy Ghost that tells us there is a God.
He Hath Created All things
The God we believe in created all things – the Heavens, the earth, everything in the earth, and all of the things on the earth.
Quick note: I’m constantly amazed and filled with hope when I contemplate that the God we believe in created the earth. Look around – look at the sweeping views or look at the tiniest details and ponder the fact that these are God’s creations.
Included in Gods creations: each of us!!!
What a comfort it is to know that the ruling force of this entire universe is the God that created us and He loves us.
Let’s think about that a second more. Our Heavenly Father, the ruler of this universe, governs with faith, hope, charity, benevolence, justice, patience, and mercy. His is a nature of happiness. I know that there are more qualities that can describe our God, but when we think of our Heavenly Father we ought to keep these traits in mind. We will be studying the devil next – and he also has a host of qualities. We will contrast those traits with Heavenly Father’s.
For now, though, take a moment to think of Heavenly Father, and the way He governs and guides.
The Lord Gave Us Agency
“Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself. Wherefore, man could not act for himself save it should be that he was enticed by the one or the other.” – 2 Nephi 2:16
When I think of the many things that God has done – the creation of the earth, for example – the thing that I find most amazing is that He gave each of us the gift of agency. He created this earth, the solar systems, the galaxies. He created our bodies, our organs, our tissues, our cells. He has infinite understanding – from the most massive concepts (like the universe) to the smallest concepts (sub-atomic).
He did all of this work, and then He gave us agency.
He lets us choose our own paths, attitudes, decisions – even if we mess everything up.
Now, in order for the agency to have any kind of effect on our lives, then Heavenly Father also had to allow for the forces that opposed His good ones. Meaning He had to allow another being to reign with qualities that included doubt, despair, pride, hate, injustice, impatience, and cruelty. Heavenly Father had to allow another – whose nature was that of misery.
So he did. And we will study this being in the next blog post.
But for now, so that we don’t end on such a depressing note, we can remember the Lord. We can remember that He is a force and power available to us, if we will use our agency to choose Him.