Wednesday, June 21, 2017

2 Nephi 2:11 -- On Opposition and Choosing Good

"For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my firstborn in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility."
2 Nephi 2:11

The idea of opposition in all things is sometimes hard to understand, I think because we're so used to the world the way it is that we can't really imagine what it would be like if opposition didn't exist.  I think the movie Shadowlands explains it a little bit.  In the movie, Joy says that the pain Jack will feel when she dies is part of the happiness that they have now--that's the deal.  I think we can all relate to that on some level.  We can't have joy, or even understand what joy is, without understanding sorrow, and the other way around too.  They are necessary to each other on a very basic level.

They say ignorance is bliss, but it really isn't, is it?  It only becomes bliss in retrospect, when you wish you could go back to not knowing, or envy someone who hasn't gone through what you have.  Before, you didn't really feel anything about it, because you didn't understand the good or the bad.  It's like Adam and Eve.  Until they fell, they couldn't really accomplish any good works or progress, because they didn't understand any of it.  The tree of knowledge of Good and Evil *couldn't* have been a tree of just the knowledge of either one.  It had to be both.  There is no good without bad.  If everything is good, then there is nothing to compare to, and the words have no meaning.

When I was a kid, I remember asking my mom what we were having to eat and she said "cabbage."  I had no idea what cabbage was.  All I had to go on was the word itself... and the word sounded bad to me, so I told her I didn't like it.  Turns out, I love cabbage, but without a knowledge of it, I couldn't know that it was good... or bad.

God takes a side.  He is Light, and Truth, and Goodness.  But he couldn't be those things if darkness, falsehood, and evil didn't exist, and to be like him, we have to understand what those bad things are, so we can move forward with becoming good. :)  That doesn't mean we should jump in and wallow in the bad, and it doesn't mean that Good doesn't triumph in the end.  We know it does.  But we have to have this Earthly experience partly to understand that concept, and to get a chance to choose for ourselves what we want to become.  Today, let's remember that what we choose is who we become, and choose the good.

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