Fallen, But He Shall Rise Again

Man has Stooped to Conquer


By James E. Talmage, of the Council of the Twelve

 

Man is a dual being, a composite of physical and spiritual organisms, a union of body and spirit. That anyone really believes himself to be nothing but a body of flesh, bones, and other material tissues, is questionable. Even the observations and deductions of science, to say nothing of the definite word of revealed truth, demonstrate the presence of an animate entity in the person, which, while in most intimate association and complete interpenetration with the bodily tissues, is nevertheless distinct therefrom. That living something is the spirit, which existed as an intelligent being before the body was begotten, and which shall live on after the corporeal structure has gone to decay.

Some hold the individual to be a triune being—a combination of body, spirit and mind; though the mind is more consistently to be regarded as one of the distinctive attributes or qualities of the spirit. Certainly when the spirit leaves the body the mind goes with it. The spirit and the body are united in the soul, which is therefore the complete living being: "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." (Gen. 2:7; see also Pearl of Great Price, p. 12). "And the spirit and the body is the soul of man." (Doctrine and Covenants 88.)

Attempts have been made to show that the present state of man is the culmination of a long course of development, higher forms having been evolved from inferior progenitors. Undoubtedly much that is classed under the current title, Evolution, is true. That part which comprises facts is true; and with equal assurance be it said that much of the theory of evolutionists is error. Evolution as applied to the study of man takes principal cognizance of the body, and at most of body and mind. The evolution of man will never be understood so long as we ignore the spiritual being, for whom the mortal body is but a temporary tenement.

That the soul has never fallen—that the scriptural account of Adam's transgression whereby man, once immune to death, became mortal, is but myth and fable—is the devil's doctrine. The satanic propaganda in support of this has been cunningly devised and agressively waged with the sinister purpose of having men believe that there is no need of a Savior, and that the conception of the redemption of mankind is at best but a theologic supposition.

To bring men to a denial of the Christ and have them spurn the efficacy of the Atonement is a passing triumph for Satan and his hosts. Many are easily led into this snare of delusion and falsehood by pandering to their sinful propensities, whereby they become blind and deaf to all things spiritual and have interest only in the world, the flesh and the devil. Others are just as surely inveigled by the veiled fallacies of philosophy misnamed and "science falsely so called."

As the posterity of Adam and Eve became numerous, evil inclinations developed, and the cause is thus made plain: "And Satan came among them, saying: I am also a son of God; and he commanded them, saying: Believe it not; and they believed it not, and they loved Satan more than God. And men began from that time forth to be carnal, sensual, and devilish." (Pearl of Great Price, p. 21).

Alma the prophet, commenting upon the fact of this declension, said of the race: "Therefore as they had become carnal, sensual, and devilish, by nature, this probationary state became a state for them to prepare; it became a preparatory state." (Book of Mormon, Alma 42).

In a later revelation given through Joseph Smith, the first prophet of the last dispensation, the subject is set forth more fully: "We know that there is a God in heaven, who is infinite and eternal, from everlasting to everlasting the same unchangeable God, the framer of heaven and earth, and all things which are in them. And that he created man, male and female, after his own image and in his own likeness created he them; and gave unto them commandments that they should love and serve him, the only living and true God, and that he should be the only being whom they should worship. But by the transgression of these holy laws, man became sensual and devilish, and became fallen man. Wherefore the Almighty God gave his Only Begotten Son, as it is written in those Scriptures which have been given of him. He suffered temptations but gave no heed unto them; he was crucified, died and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven, to sit down on the right hand of the Father, to reign with almighty power according to the will of the Father: That as many as would believe and be baptized in his holy name, and endure in faith to the end, should be saved." (Doctrine and Covenants 20).

Thus, though man is in a fallen condition as a mortal, he may rise again; and through obedience to the word and will of his Maker may surpass the status of opportunity and power which he held prior to his embodiment. But to this high plane man cannot lift himself. Only by laying hold on the advantages provided through the Lord's sacrificial Atonement, can man attain salvation and the immeasurable possibilities of exaltation in the Kingdom of Heaven.


(Fallen, But He Shall Rise Again, Improvement Era, 1919, Vol. Xxii. October, 1919 No. 12 .)

 

 

 
Make a Free Website with Yola.