Friday, January 27, 2017

Worthless and Fallen... Really?

While studying Mosiah 4, this verse of scripture struck me:
“For behold, if the knowledge of the goodness of God at this time has awakened you to a sense of your nothingness, and your worthless and fallen state—“ (Mosiah 4:5) This is Benjamin talking in one of the most profound “conference talks” ever given.

When I first read this, I thought, “this is rather harsh.” Yet, the passage goes on to talk about all that Heavenly Father has done for us. Why then call us worthless, fallen and nothing? So, I asked Him what it meant. How can we be so important yet worthless at the same time? This is what the Holy Ghost answered:
“Worthless and fallen” This isn’t about us being worthless, but the state we are in. Without God in our lives, without any acknowledgement or awareness of our relationship to and dependency upon Him, we are in a state of mind that from an eternal perspective is worthless and fallen: it’s pointless. Not because we are but because it is of no value to us. There’s nothing to be gained from it. In it we won’t progress, we won’t learn, and we won’t become better people, hence it is worthless to us.
Fallen just means we no longer share the close connection with God we once had. Our relationship used to be much better. So comparatively, we’ve fallen away from Him. It doesn’t mean we are any less important to ourselves or to Him.
Nothingness in this case is a measure of relative capability not of intrinsic value. God created the universe… worlds without number move according to His faith and will. By comparison, I can't even manage my own life. My capabilities are nothing compared to God’s. But I’m still important enough that His Son died for me.
In the end, this passage doesn’t condemn us, it prepares us to learn the truly valuable lesson of this passage: through the Atonement and by the grace of God, we can become like Him and return to be with Him again. There's a better way to live... live with God in your life.


  1. Slant on the Nothingness of man:

    It can be more related to the fact that we are (as a general rule) so disobedient. Helaman compares us to the dust of the earth that does what ever God commands. (Hint: that is what we are SUPPOSE to do.)

    Helaman 12:7 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+ he goes on to elaborate the many ways the earth obeys the Lord.

  2. In this context, I was thinking more along the lines of Moses 1:10 where Moses, after seeing the greatness of God exclaims, "... I know that man is nothing...." That's certainly what I felt as I pondered the passage. That said, you're right about Mormon's comments too. It points out the dual meaning that often can be found in the scriptures and what a passage, "means" often is determined by what the Holy Ghost leads us to think at a given time.

  3. I like the context you put "orthless" in. It does take it from a different angle and a profound thought: while we may learn and gain some good experience, if we don't use this mortality to take advantage of the atonement so we can progress further as intended, the process as a whole didn't live up to the "measure of its creations." That qualifies as 'worthless'.