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Sunday, July 21, 2013

The glory of God is intelligence - and there can't be "too much."

[This post is from an article by Spencer W. Kimball published while he was Church President.]

"'The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth' (D&C 93:36), say the modern revelations, and 'pure knowledge ... shall greatly enlarge the soul' (D&C 121:42).

"We read also, 'It is impossible for man to be saved in ignorance' (D&C 131:6). This is greatly misunderstood. Without waiting to find out the true meaning, many young people jump at conclusions and go off unprepared, following the traffic without road maps, and end in disappointment.

"In what kind of knowledge is found power, and what power comes from knowledge? Let us analyze this great truth. In proper sequence comes first the knowledge of God and his program, which is the way to eternal life, and secondly comes the knowledge of the secular things, also very important. The Creator himself gives the proper sequence and defines the order:

"'Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you' (Matt. 6:33).

"And through Joseph Smith he says: 'This is eternal lives—to know the only wise and true God, and Jesus Christ, whom he hath sent. I am he. Receive ye, therefore, my law.' (D&C 132:24.)

"Now this mortal life is the time to prepare to meet God, which is our first responsibility. Having already obtained our bodies, which become the permanent tabernacles for our spirits through the eternities, now we are to train our bodies, our minds, and our spirits. Preeminent, then, is our using this life to perfect ourselves, to subjugate the flesh, subject the body to the spirit, to overcome all weaknesses, to govern self so that one may give leadership to others, and to perform all necessary ordinances. Secondly comes the preparation for the subduing of the earth and all the elements.

"We have this life of limited years in which to learn of God, to become the masters of our own destiny, and secondly, we have this life plus eternities to learn of the earth and the things thereon, and to accumulate secular knowledge which will help make us gods, which is our destiny.

"Peter and John had little secular learning, being termed ignorant. But Peter and John knew the vital things of life, that God lives and that the crucified, resurrected Lord is the Son of God. They knew the path to eternal life. This they learned in a few decades of their mortal life. This exaltation meant godhood for them and creation of worlds with eternal increase for which they would probably need, eventually, a total knowledge of the sciences. But this fact escapes many: Peter and John had only decades to learn and do the spiritual but have already had about nineteen centuries in which to learn the secular or the geology of the earth, the zoology and physiology and psychology of the creatures of the earth. But mortality is the time to learn of God and the gospel first and to perform the ordinances, then to learn what can be secured of the secular things. Here are the so-called ignorant Peter and John heirs to exaltation.

"A highly trained scientist who is also a perfected man may create a world and people it, but a dissolute, unrepentant, unbelieving one will never be such a creator even in the eternities.

"Secular knowledge, important as it may be, can never save a soul nor open the celestial kingdom nor create a world nor make a man a god, but it can be most helpful to that man, who, placing first things first, has found the way to eternal life and who can now bring into play all knowledge to be his tool and servant." (New Era, Sept. 1981.)

[This post is from an article by Spencer W. Kimball published while he was Church President.]

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