Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Men Are That They Might Have Joy

This isn't a long post, as I don't have much to say that hasn't already been said on this scripture. In my reading, I came across this scripture mastery scripture: 2 Nephi 2:25 "Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy."

It's a very central distinguishing factor in the doctrine of Mormonism. Rarely in the Christian world is Adam and Eve's Fall looked upon as anything other than filthy sin. The doctrine of the LDS Church, however, teaches that Adam and Eve's Fall had a purpose in the great plan of our God, namely to bring about his work of bringing to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. Without the ability to choose, we humans could not learn to choose wisely. We could not grow. We could not learn to be actors instead of the acted-upon. We could not have learned the power and joy of having a family and children. We could not have learned joy without knowing sorrow. Importantly, LDS doctrine teaches that God knew what Adam and Eve would choose, and then prepared a way for them, if they chose wisely, to be forgiven. Namely, He provided a Savior for them, whose atonement would erase the consequences of Adam and Eve's Fall for all those willing to choose righteously and to repent.

As someone intermittently beset by a lack of joy, I've often wondered about this verse. Sometimes, I've wondered what was wrong with me. If men exist in order to have joy, why was I finding it so difficult? Something that struck me this time, however, was the word "might". Adam didn't Fall in order that men have joy, but to give a chance for men to have joy. There is an opportunity, a chance, for all of us, no matter our position in life, our wealth, our social status, our health, to find that joy. It's not something that comes naturally, it's something that must be worked for. The common modern perception that somehow comfort and joy ought to be handed to all is simply wrong. If a person is given everything they wish, they will not be able to understand joy when they have it. Joy must be worked for, and most importantly, sorrow must be understood in order to appreciate joy.

Only when sorrow pushes the strength of our souls can we understand, just a little bit more, the Price that was paid for our joy. When we do that, we realize how very great the worth of souls is to Him. Imagine! We humans are so valuable, He was willing to undergo humiliation and death, the Father was willing to send His Son to us, knowing all our weaknesses and filth. Yet, despite the fact that we crucified our God, our worth to Him is beyond comprehension. That is humbling, and it brings me great joy.


  1. I think you have focused on a crucial point, Silver. Yes, Heavenly Father and Christ have provided the means and opportunity for us to find joy, but that doesn't mean that we automatically experience it all the time--even if we are living reasonably righteously.

    Although it may be tough to accept at times, I agree that, "Joy must be worked for, and most importantly, sorrow must be understood in order to appreciate joy."

  2. I appreciate this deconstuction more than ever today. To be able to learn to accept and understand grief brings a tremendous strength to seek out and work for joy. Of all the gifts I have been given in my experiences my ability to understand pain is the greatest.


Unfortunately, I've found it necessary to screen comments. Unless your comment violates the commenting policy, it will show up as soon as I can approve it.

Popular Posts