Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Glory of God is Intelligence

Above the library doors in Brigham Young University, so I'm told, stands an inscription derived from Mormon scripture, "The Glory of God is Intelligence."  It is a beautiful, passionate sentence to me, which warms my heart and excites my soul whenever I read it.  A stranger to this concept may conclude that members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are intellectual bigots who discriminate against the academically challenged.  It isn't so at all.  Please, allow me to expound the heart melting power of this exquisite phrase.

Firstly, let's discuss the meaning of the word intelligence.  There are, within the walls of LDS doctrine, two of them.  The first primarily counters the idea that intelligence and IQ are synonymous terms.  They are not.  Education does not guarantee intelligence, rather, intelligence is defined as the application of righteous knowledge.  When we know the right thing and act righteously upon such morally correct principles, we are exercising our intelligence (David A. Bednar).  The second is a bit deeper and more encompassing.  It is more or less defined as the consciousness of humanity, the ability to think and make choices.  It is the foundation of our souls and the spiritual fiber with which we are made.  It is the essence of who we are as spiritual beings.  So you, no matter how lowly or uneducated you are, are made of intelligence. 

That being understood, what does it mean that the glory of God is intelligence?  The meaning is that the glory of God is each and every one of us as we are now and as we progress to become something greater.  You are the glory of God.  Your eternal progression, not only in this life but afterward is His work and His glory.  Your ultimate happiness is His crowning achievement.  In a universe of power, through the artistry of the cosmos, compared with the strength of swirling planets and enormity of countless stars, His greatest joy and achievement is you. 

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