Saturday, June 2, 2018

D&C 18:10 -- On the Worth of Souls

"Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God;"
Doctrine and Covenants 18:10

This is a good reminder, both about others and about our own souls.

The scriptures can seem contradictory on this subject because we are told in other places that we are "less than the dust of the earth" (Helaman 12:7; Mosiah 4:2).  Those verses are associated with disobedience and how the dust follows God better than we do, but they don't mean that we don't matter to God.  I think they are more focused on making sure we don't get above ourselves and think that we are so super cool that we don't need God.

The parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32) I think illustrates both sides of the seeming paradox.  The prodigal son took his inheritance and wasted it, and then had nothing, and he finally realized that he was nothing on his own, without the wealth that he had wasted (which is the comparison to dust), and he decided to return to his father's house to ask for a job as a servant.  But when he came home, he was welcomed with a feast, and accepted again as a son, because his soul was of great worth to his father, who compares his return to coming back from the dead. 

Similarly, we are told in Mosiah 3:19 that "the natural man is an enemy to God" (which goes along with the dust idea), but that we can put off that natural man and learn to become saints.  I think the combined message from both sides is that we have infinite potential, but that when we walk away from it, we're walking away from greatness towards dustiness, but when we "arise from the dust" (2 Nephi 1:14; Moroni 10:31) and start living up to our potential, we can still learn to understand and try to live up to our true worth, and the incredible price that Christ paid to save us.

Today, let's not discount the worth of others or our own worth, but remember our potential, which God can teach us to understand and work toward.  Let's arise from the dust and move towards the amazing people that we can become with God's help.

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