Friday, January 1, 2010

The worth of man

In Sunday Schools worldwide the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are going to be studying the Old Testament this year. A lot of people find the Old Testament difficult to study. I find it exciting and deep, like visiting with a wise old neighbor and hearing their view on life. It is timeless wisdom and refreshing in its wordage.

I also find it compelling that before we begin our study of the Old Testament we are to spend two weeks reviewing the life of Moses and the Lord’s plan for our salvation.

The Book of Moses, found in the Pearl of Great Price, contains “the words of God, which he spake unto Moses at a time when Moses was caught up into an exceedingly high mountain, and he saw God face to face, and he talked with him and the glory of God was upon Moses; therefore Moses could endure his presence.”

As I studied the lesson for the coming week I, as always, was impressed with the differences between God and Satan. God called Moses “my son” and told Moses he was “in the similitude of mine Only Begotten.”

Satan, on the other hand, degrades Moses and calls him a “son of man.”

Our Heavenly Father wants so much to lift and edify us, to tell us of our worth and potential.

Satan wants to make us feel that we have nothing divine within us, that we are fallen and only have an earthly heritage ahead of us.

God lovingly takes the time to show Moses a vision of “the world and the ends thereof.” After this grand vision “it came to pass that…(Moses) said unto himself: Now, for this cause I know that man is nothing, which thing I never had supposed.”

So here is Moses, saying because of his vision he knows, absolutely knows that man is nothing. Hmmm. Isn’t that what Satan wants man to believe, that he is nothing and has no divine worth? What gives?

Moses had been raised in Pharaoh’s court. The Pharaoh was considered god incarnate. Moses was a prince in Egypt, trained to inherit the throne. Moses had the entire world before him in terms of wealth, power and respect. He commanded palaces and armies yet God came to him and tenderly showed him things from His viewpoint. Moses gets, for the first time, the Big Picture; and it is then he realizes his earthly wealth and power and respect play no significant role in the eternities. He finally, truly, understands that no matter how much worldly glory he could achieve, it does not compare to God’s glory—the glory He has waiting to share with him and with us.

Later, when Satan appears to Moses and tries to twist his new understanding into something degrading by telling Moses he is a son of man, Moses is able to resist Satan by recalling his divine worth.

How important it is to know that we truly are sons and daughters of God, the King of Heaven. We are created in His image and we are of divine worth. Yes, we are imperfect—but that does not change our heritage. That just explains why He sent His son to the world atone for our sins. He wouldn’t make such a great sacrifice for something of little or no value.

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