Sunday, April 24, 2016

Ponderize 121:36 - A Limit to God's Power?

This week, I've been ponderizing D&C 121:36
The rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected to the powers of heaven, and the powers of heaven cannot be controlled or handled except upon the principles of righteousness.

Apart from a few minor errors, like saying "or" instead of "nor," the only differences between what I memorized and the original verse were deliberate. I took out the two "that"s so the sentence could stand on its own, and "only" to "except," because I'm pretty sure that's more true to the original meaning.

But while we're on the subject of that "except," I wonder how true that second half of the verse is. "The powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled [except] on the principles of righteousness." Does this restriction extend to God as well? Does God have to be righteous in order to use His power? We know that if a mortal priesthood holder tries to use to priesthood unrighteously or unworthily, it won't work, and I'm pretty sure the power that priesthood holders hold is the same kind of power that God uses. If we cannot use the priesthood unrighteously, I wonder if God couldn't either. Then again, the question is moot, since God is always perfectly righteous anyway.

Still, I wonder sometimes whether the rules of the universe were created by God, and whether He could change or break them, or whether those rules were in place before He attained His godhood, and whether He is as bound by them as we are.

Of course, it's not an important question. If it ever becomes important for us to know, we'll probably find out at that point, and like I said earlier, the questions is moot anyway. God wouldn't break His own rules, even if they were his own rules and He could do it and get away with it. He wouldn't set that kind of example for us and have His Son tell us to be like Him. God is perfect; therefore, His righteousness is perfect. He will always act on the principles of righteousness, whether His priesthood power depends on it or not.

1 comment:

Rozy Lass said...

Since obedience is the first law of heaven I believe God IS obedient to all the laws, which he didn't just make up but which are eternal and unchanging. That is a difficult concept for our finite minds to grasp, but it's true. Our God learned the laws from his God, and so on back in an unending line of authority.

Describing the creation of our world, Abraham says, "And the Gods watched those things which they had ordered until they obeyed." (Abr. 4:18) God cannot circumvent natural laws at his whim.

God, both Father and Son, are completely obedient to the laws which govern them, they cannot change, or they would cease to be God, (See Mormon 9:19).

His (or their) complete obedience to laws is what gives them power and allows us to have faith in them, for they are completely dependable, honest, and unchanging. I would be truly afraid of a God who could use his power unrighteously and capriciously. He would then be no better than our politicians bending to the expediency of the moment.