Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Young Women's Values—Knowledge

. . . [Eve] heard all these things and was glad, saying: Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient.

~Moses 5:11

I love to learn about the way the world works. I have a tendency to remember random things about just about anything. I have always been a little intrigued by the onus placed on Knowledge by most of Christianity.

Perhaps we, as people, have a tendency to extremes. Either we want to know everything, and thus be responsible, or we want to know nothing and absolve responsibility. But that's not why we're here. When we learn, we also must learn how to use that knowledge, and that is what makes us "as Gods, knowing good and evil."

But knowledge doesn't come easily. We don't value what comes too cheaply. That which we earn through pain (such as through a degree, or significant experience) is indelibly etched on who and what we are.

For example, when I spend time with my children, I treasure every minute because sometimes I don't have them around. I am a better mother now that I know I could have lost them. I know that when I find a good man, a man who honors his Priesthood in righteousness, I honor him even more greatly because I know how easy it would be for him to try to exercise control over me. When I attend the temple, it is exquisite because I didn't have that opportunity for a year and a half while serving a mission. If my garden ever grows, the vegetables will taste divine because last year's yield was almost nothing.

That, I believe, is why the Spirit is so difficult to hear at times. If we always had the Spirit telling us every little thing we should do with little effort of our own, we would be unable to act on our own. Knowledge is the first step to agency, for without knowledge, we cannot act. We become objects of others' agency when we refuse to learn and apply that learning in wisdom.

I am intrigued by the claim that we must know good and evil. As Eve went on to say in the above scripture, without experiencing the bitter, they would not have known the sweet. Without pain and sorrow, we would not value the good.

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