“Book of Mormon: Why Are Humans Less than the Dust of the Earth?”
In the Book of Mormon, king Benjamin says:
Mosiah 2:25 And now I ask, can ye say aught of yourselves? I answer you, Nay. *Ye cannot say that ye are even as much as the dust of the earth*; yet ye were created of the dust of the earth; but behold, it belongeth to him who created you.
Mosiah 4:2 And they had viewed themselves in their own carnal state, even less than the dust of the earth. And they all cried aloud with one voice, saying: O have mercy, and apply the atoning blood of Christ that we may receive forgiveness of our sins, and our hearts may be purified; for we believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who created heaven and earth, and all things; who shall come down among the children of men.
Why are humans less than the dust? Mormon later tells us why:
Helaman 12:6 Behold, *they do not desire that the Lord their God, who hath created them, should rule and reign over them*; notwithstanding his great goodness and his mercy towards them, they do set at naught his counsels, and they will not that he should be their guide.
7 O how great is the nothingness of the children of men; yea, even *they are less than the dust of the earth*.
8 *For behold, the dust of the earth moveth hither and thither, to the dividing asunder, at the command of our great and everlasting God*.
9 Yea, behold at his voice do the hills and the mountains tremble and quake.
10 And by the power of his voice they are broken up, and become smooth, yea, even like unto a valley.
11 Yea, by the power of his voice doth the whole earth shake;
12 Yea, by the power of his voice, do the foundations rock, even to the very center.
13 Yea, and if he say unto the earth—Move—it is moved.
The dust—”owned” by God, and from which humans were made by God (thus humans are “owned” by God)—obeys the word of the Lord exactly: the Lord speaks, and the dust obeys. Humans, however, often do the opposite—the Lord commands, and humans disobey.