Sunday, March 21, 2010

What is Intelligence?

I am almost done reading "Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling" and it has been a great experience. I almost feel as if I had known him, and I can appreciate the work he did and the man he was even more. In one particular chapter, the author is writing about Joseph's revelations on the universe, stars, time, eternity, and pre-earth life. There is so much to think about on those topics, but the thing that stuck out to me was the idea of intelligence. To paraphrase the author, intelligence means more than knowledge and intellectual capacity. It seems closely related to comprehension, including the understanding of good and evil.

What a beautifully simple truth. Although we strive to gain as much education and knowledge as possible, it doesn't matter whether you are bright or dull. What matters is whether you choose the right. And more important than being able to articulate academic ideas is knowing right from wrong, and choosing the right. Intelligence in this context, makes the following statement even more profound: God's great virtue is the superiority of His intelligence.

I am impressed with the fact that as I progress in the gospel, the more simple it becomes. I think I have quoted these verses before, but they cannot be quoted enough: Moroni 7:15-18

15 For behold, my brethren, it is given unto you to judge, that ye may know good from evil; and the way to judge is as plain, that ye may know with a perfect knowledge, as the daylight is from the dark night.
16 For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.
17 But whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do evil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil; for after this manner doth the devil work, for he persuadeth no man to do good, no, not one; neither do his angels; neither do they who subject themselves unto him.
18 And now, my brethren, seeing that ye know the light by which ye may judge, which light is the light of Christ, see that ye do not judge wrongfully; for with that same judgment which ye judge ye shall also be judged.

No comments: