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Wisdom Longsuffering & Patience of God

Updated on September 18, 2022
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Rodric's opinion of the Restored Gospel's doctrines change as more revelation comes. In the meantime, reasoning and perception rule the day.

In a remote corner of the world separated from most civilizations, save those nearby, lived a King by the name of Benjamin who preached a heartfelt entreaty to his people about change and hope. In ancient America, he spoke words that changed an entire generation of people recorded in The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. Ancient King Benjamin's words have application today, as they did then, praising the wisdom, longsuffering, and patience of God.

King Benjamin Depiction at the Temple in Zarahemla

God's Wisdom

Benjamin counseled his people to believe in God and that He has wisdom greater than the wisdom that mortal men have. He then instructs them that to gain salvation they must also remember always the supreme example of God's wisdom among the others.

Nephi, the first legitimate leader of the Nephite nation, showed his trust in God's wisdom by stating in his record "I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them." [1]

Nephi remembered that God's wisdom exceeded his own so much so that he could have confidence in each commandment that God gives no matter how strange or ridiculous it may seem to humanity in general.

Isaiah recorded, speaking with divine investiture of authority from God, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." [2]

The work of God is foolishness to evil people, but to the righteous who know and remember His wisdom, His wisdom is law. The questions as to why things occur the way that they do in life are answered in the wisdom of God, Who sees the beginning, the middle, the end, and beyond.

Life is forever.

Humanity is an eternal species and possesses the ability to exist indefinitely because of the wisdom of God. Being of the same species, or being the literal children of God means the seeds of deity are within humanity, which explains the inventive genius of scientific ingenuity in mortal man.

Humanity inherited God's creative nature.

Reason dictates that God intends to divulge more to humanity as it reaches beyond the carnality of telestial mortal life towards celestial life. "For," as King Benjamin instructed, "the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord."[3]


God's Patience & Long-suffering

As part of the plan of happiness God designed for the human family, King Benjamin wanted his subjects to remember that Heavenly Father has to wait patiently and tolerantly regarding their imperfections until they can achieve the desired level of righteousness He expects.

Humanity and God wait on each other!

Literature for how people must wait patiently for things to occur in God's time is extent. God must also wait on people to become righteous enough to hear Him speak and be able to abide by the commands He provided for their salvation. God and His children agree to a covenant for the salvation of each soul at the expense of Jesus Christ, who suffered for the sins of all people. The condition of this covenant for mortals is to accept the sacrifice and become a disciple of Jesus Christ fully, partially, or not at all.

After Joseph Smith was ready to act and obey, the Lord appeared to him in the Sacred Grove instructing him on things to come. Nephi's plans to obtain the Brass Plates failed, then God delivered Laban into his hands commanding him to kill that man.

God waited until after Lehi pondered the dreams he received, thinking deeply about their meaning and application, and asked the Lord about them before he saw the vision to preach to Jerusalem.

God waits until His people are ready before He shows them miracles or gives them commandments; fortunately, He is a perfectly patient and tolerant Man.

Moroni referenced this concept as it applies to mortals, but the same applies to the immortal God of heaven! Moroni records,

Ether did prophesy great and marvelous things unto the people, which they did not believe, because they saw them not. And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith. [4]

Benjamin instructed his people because God must have patience and long-suffering that He has knowledge of their ability to do His will and their potential. The past, present, and future are always within view of God's cognition and well within His purview. Theories exist trying to explain how God can know the outcome of all events and not share responsibility for causing all sin as well as all goodness.

Such thinking is based on a linear mortal perspective regarding time. Whether God sees all scenarios or just sees all things as they are is of little consequence since the outcome is the same. He has knowledge of all things and waits patiently for them to occur so that He can act for the good of all people collectively and individually.

He must suffer long through all individuals' errors and misconceptions for the opportunity to correct them in a way that each person is likely to accept, whether that is through His authorized servants or the next adequate conduit such as an imam, television program, or next door neighbor.

God works through His official sources for general counsel to His people, a prophet. Any person with leadership responsibility to any group of human beings has the right to receive inspiration for his or her stewardship, but not the right to act as a representative of God without direct authority from Him by way of the priesthood.

Though King Benjamin did not mention all of these things during his sermon to his people, he wanted them to understand that God is constantly waiting on mankind to exalt them, and all mortals should remember it applies eternally.


Points to Remember

Knowledge One Must Remember about God for Salvation

  1. His Goodness
  2. His Power
  3. His Wisdom
  4. His Patience
  5. His Long Suffering
  6. The Atonement

Source Material

(1 Nephi 3:7) [4]

(Isaiah 55:8-9) [2]

(Mosiah 3:19) [3]

(Ether 12:5-6) [4]

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2013 Rodric Anthony Johnson


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