Book of Mormon Notes– How deep can you dig?

2010, February 17

“Book of Mormon: What is the Purpose of Life?” by grego

“Book of Mormon: What is the Purpose of Life?”

grego
(c) 2010

So, what’s the purpose of life?

1. Enlightenment?
No. What does that really mean, anyway? Any consensus on that? Does it mean to become one with light? And what does that get you? Happy only when you meditate? Emotionless? So you spend your life away from society and be quiet and do nothing? Or is enlightenment the starting point, or a part of the path?

2. Reincarnation?
No. And generally the purpose of reincarnation is to finally become one with “God” in all ways, after living good lives to be able to get your there… I am unsure how to put these reincarnation doctrines of “life is an illusion”, “all is all”, “be good”, and “become one with God” all together to make sense. (It makes less sense to me than the basic Calvanistic “doesn’t matter what you do, you’re already saved or damned” thinking.) If it’s all set, how can the end be our purpose?

3. Attaining knowledge?
No. Knowledge can be good and useful, but while it’s part of life, it’s not the purpose of life. Get knowledge, and then die?

4. Living healthily?
No. Health can be good and useful, but while it’s part of life, it’s not the purpose of life.

5. Immortality, or at least a long life?
No. While nice, it’s not the purpose, and might even be contrary to the purpose. Many great humans lived much shorter than a long life, yet still achieved the purpose of life.

6. Taking care of the earth?
No. Granted that is part of our responsibility, but it’s not the purpose of life.

7. Here is some insight as to the purpose of life, along with some reasons why:

Jacob 2:21 Do ye not suppose that such things are abominable unto him who created all flesh? And the one being is as precious in his sight as the other. And all flesh is of the dust; and for the selfsame end hath he created them, that they should *keep his commandments and glorify him forever*.

Keep God’s commandments. The Book of Mormon is full of this instruction and many of its aspects.

2 Nephi 2:25 Adam fell that men might be; and *men are, that they might have joy*.

And how does one get this joy?
2 Nephi 2:26 And the Messiah cometh in the fulness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall. And because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon, save it be by the punishment of the law at the great and last day, according to the commandments which God hath given.
27 Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.
28 And now, my sons, I would that ye should look to the great Mediator, and hearken unto his great commandments; and be faithful unto his words, and choose eternal life, according to the will of his Holy Spirit;
By making choices that lead to eternal life.

I guess you could say our purpose is to become more like the dust:
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.
This could be stated as obedience, which come from humility.

Mosiah 2:19 … O how you ought to thank your heavenly King!
20 I say unto you, my brethren, that if you should render all the thanks and praise which your whole soul has power to possess, to that God who has created you, and has kept and preserved you, and has caused that ye should rejoice, and has granted that ye should live in peace one with another—
21 I say unto you that if ye should serve him who has created you from the beginning, and is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another—I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants.
22 And behold, all that he requires of you is to keep his commandments; and he has promised you that if ye would keep his commandments ye should prosper in the land; and he never doth vary from that which he hath said; therefore, if ye do keep his commandments he doth bless you and prosper you.
23 And now, in the first place, he hath created you, and granted unto you your lives, for which ye are indebted unto him.
24 And secondly, *he doth require that ye should do as he hath commanded you*; for which if ye do, he doth immediately bless you; and therefore he hath paid you. And ye are still indebted unto him, and are, and will be, forever and ever; therefore, of what have ye to boast?
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.
26 And I, even I, whom ye call your king, am no better than ye yourselves are; for I am also of the dust. And ye behold that I am old, and am about to yield up this mortal frame to its mother earth.
27 Therefore, as I said unto you that I had served you, walking with a clear conscience before God, even so I at this time have caused that ye should assemble yourselves together, that I might be found blameless, and that your blood should not come upon me, when I shall stand to be judged of God of the things whereof he hath commanded me concerning you.
28 I say unto you that I have caused that ye should assemble yourselves together that I might rid my garments of your blood, at this period of time when I am about to go down to my grave, that I might go down in peace, and my immortal spirit may join the choirs above in singing the praises of a just God.
Living a life of obedience prepares one for the coming judgment and brings peace.

Nephi says our purpose is to inhabit the earth; then he gives clues by how that happens, and what we do for it:
1 Nephi 17:36 Behold, the Lord hath created the earth that it should be inhabited; and he hath created his children that they should possess it.
37 And he raiseth up a righteous nation, and destroyeth the nations of the wicked.
38 And he leadeth away the righteous into precious lands, and the wicked he destroyeth, and curseth the land unto them for their sakes.
39 He ruleth high in the heavens, for it is his throne, and this earth is his footstool.
40 And he loveth those who will have him to be their God. Behold, he loved our fathers, and he covenanted with them, yea, even Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and he remembered the covenants which he had made; wherefore, he did bring them out of the land of Egypt.

8. From the Pearl of Great Price:
Abraham 3:22 Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was…
24 And … [Jesus] said unto those who were with him: We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell;
25 And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them;
26 And they who keep their first estate shall be added upon; and they who keep not their first estate shall not have glory in the same kingdom with those who keep their first estate; and they who keep their second estate shall have glory added upon their heads for ever and ever.
Once more, the purpose of life is to keep the commandments of God.

And finally, for here:
Moroni 9:6 And now, my beloved son, notwithstanding their hardness, let us labor diligently; for if we should cease to labor, we should be brought under condemnation; for *we have a labor to perform whilst in this tabernacle of clay, that we may conquer the enemy of all righteousness, and rest our souls in the kingdom of God*.
(Note how their salvation is tied into the salvation of others.)

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