"And it came to pass that when my father had read and seen many great and marvelous things, he did exclaim many things unto the Lord; such as: Great and marvelous are thy works, O Lord God Almighty! Thy throne is high in the heavens, and thy power, and goodness, and mercy are over all the inhabitants of the earth; and because thou art merciful, thou wilt not suffer those who come unto thee that they shall perish! And after this manner was the language of my father in thr praising of his God; for his soul did rejoice, and his whole heart was filled, because of the things which he had seen , yea, which the Lord had shown unto him."
Lehi has seen that God's power and goodness and mercy extends to bless all the inhabitants of the earth.
What does all that entail?
What does that do to our relationship with God or in other words how does God's power, mercy and goodness connect us to Him?
King Benjamin cited the following concerning God's power, goodness and mercy.
"I say unto you, my brethren, that if you should render all the thanks and praise which your whole soul has power to possess, to that God who has created you, and has kept and preserved you, and has caused that ye should rejoice, and has granted that ye should live in peace one with another- I say unto you that if ye should serve him who has created you from the beginning, and is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another- I say if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants." (Mosiah 2:20 - 21)
"God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed anything, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us; For in him we live, and move and have our being; as certain also of your poets have said, For we are also his offspring." (Acts 17:24 - 28)
Both Paul and King Benjamin were very clear that God's power upholds us from one moment to another.
God is preserving us from day to day. In Him we live, and move and have our being.
So as far as living, breathing and moving, goes is that power of God to uphold us pretty comprehensive?
Where does this all come from?
How can God's power be in all things as Paul and King Benjamin describes?
What does it mean when Paul states that in Him we have our being?
The Lord revealed the following to the Prophet Joseph.
"He that ascended up on high, as also he descended below all things, in that he comprehended all things, that he might be in all and through all things, the light of truth; (we talked about Christ being the Spirit of Truth in a previous post. Is that synonymous with being the light of truth?) Which truth shineth. This is the light of Christ. As also he is in the sun, and the light of the sun, and the power thereof by which it was made. As also he is in the moon, and is the light of the moon, and the power thereof by which it was made; As also the light of the stars, the the power thereof by which they were made; And the earth also, and the power thereof, even the earth upon which you stand. And the light which shineth, which giveth you light, is through him who enlighteneth your eyes, which is the same light that quickeneth your understandings; which light proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space-- The light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things, which is the law by which all things are governed, even the power of God who sitteth upon his throne, who is in the bosom of eternity, who is in the midst of all things." (D&C 88:6 - 13)
Where does this power, this light of Christ, emanate from?
If it proceeds forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space but it is the power of Christ, the light of Christ, that created and upholds all things does this suggest perfect harmony between the Father and Christ?
Would this suggest that in using this power to create and uphold that Christ continues to do the will of the Father?
Was Christ's willingness to descend below all things and therefore submit to the will of the Father what enabled Him to have this light or power?
The light of Christ is many times compared to a conscience. Is that too narrow a meaning?
According to section 88 is the light of Christ also what physically creates and upholds all things?
Section 88 states that Christ had to descend below all things as well as ascend up on high in order to be able to bring this light to all things or in order to be in all things.
Does that mean that He must understand all people (He must have descended below all people) in order to be able to extend this power to uphold them?
If he had not descended below all people, if His descent had been only a partial descent, would those who were below the level of His partial descent be able to even exist?
Is that in any way related to what the Prophet Joseph said concerning us?
"Thy mind, O man! if thou wilt lead a soul unto salvation, must stretch as high as utmost heavens, and search into and contemplate the darkest abyss, and the broad expanse of eternity - thou must commune with god." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg. 137)
Without this power, the light of Christ, would we have the light of the sun or the moon or the stars?
Would this earth exist without this light of Christ?
Without this light would we be able to see?
Section 88 says that it is this light that enlightens our eyes.
Without this light would we be able to understand anything?
Section 88 says that it is this light that quickens our understandings.
Is having quickened understandings what Paul meant when he declared that in Him we have our beings?
Was Christ's atonement necessary not just for redemption but also in order to create, uphold and give power to understand and comprehend things to all persons and things He created?
How extensive then is Christ's and His Father's power, goodness and mercy over the inhabitants of the earth?
Does this give new meaning to what Christ declared in the Sermon on the Mount and at Bountiful concerning the Father?
"...for he maketh the sun to rise on the evil and on the good." (3 Nephi 12:45)
Is this power, goodness and mercy, this light of Christ, being in all things and through all things, giving life and light to all things what makes it possible for Paul to declare that, "...he be not far from every one of us?"
Is it therefore because of this power, goodness and mercy over all the inhabitants of the earth that we are able to turn to God and He is right there and not some distant deity?
As an aside,
Does this give us a more proper understanding of what Paul stated concerning temples?
"God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;..." (Acts 17:24)
"Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" (1 Corinthians 3: 16)
Are we His temples?
Is Lehi, by declaring this praise to God, showing that he understands this relationship between God and all His children who inhabit this earth; that he now understands the light of Christ that proceeds forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space?
We believe so.
We believe that this praising is included in the Book of Mormon that we might see what kind of an understanding we must come to with respect to the relationship of God to all the inhabitants of the earth, the light of Christ, if we would become godly and do what Joseph was teaching that we must do.
"...you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done before you,..." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pgs. 346)
Clearly, Paul, King Benjamin and Lehi understood these things because God revealed these things to them.