It is not always not knowing that gets in our way

Elder Richard L. Evans

Elder Richard L. Evans

Some days ago I spent some time with a young man who was troubled. He did not like the way our Father in heaven was running the world. He said, “We need to know more.”

Well, I agreed with him. We do need to know more. I should like to know all the answers. I am sure we all would. But, I said, “Let us begin with what we know. I think we can agree that there are some things we do know. What are we doing with them? Let us begin with the Ten Commandments, and also the two great commandments:

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

This is the first and great commandment.

And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (Matthew 22:37-39.)

“Do you know anyone who is keeping them in their fullness? Just for example, do you know anyone who literally and always loves his neighbor as himself? I agree we need to know more, but also we need more to use more of what we do know.”

The Lord has set up the objectives. He has given us a few simple rules. He has given us freedom; he has given us the right of choice, and what we shall become will depend, beyond his saving grace, on what we do with what we know.

And in replying to this young man, I could not refrain from observing that even though I were to agree with him, there are some things I would do differently from my point of view. I reminded him that we—he and I—cannot make a worm, and we cannot make a blade of grass, and who were we to dictate to the Creator in our small wisdom?

One thing he was troubled about was the necessity for faith: Why could he not know by sight or sound of the existence of God himself? “Why can’t I see him? Why doesn’t he tell these things to me? Why do I have to live by faith?”

There are people who have not had to live by faith who have found themselves in serious trouble. There are those to whom the Lord God has spoken who have made grievous errors.

Let us take the case of Lucifer, who lived with his Father. He did not have to have faith as to the existence of his Father in heaven, but what did his knowledge do for him? He was brilliant, but he lacked humility. He was arrogant and overly ambitious. He wanted to usurp his Father’s power, and he wanted to do things in his own way. He wanted to change the commandments, to change the rules, and to run the kingdom according to his own view of things. So it is not always just not knowing that gets in our way. With his brilliance, humility would have saved Lucifer, but that he did not seem to have.


Elder Richard L. Evans, Conference Report, April 1957, pp. 12-13.

About LDS Scripture Teachings

I write about ways scripture applies in our lives:
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