The glory of God is intelligence, or in other words , light and truth (T&C 93:11). And [Christ] ministered unto [the Brother of Jared] even as he ministered unto the Nephites, and all this that this man might know that he was God, because of the many great works which the Lord had shewed unto him (Ether 1:14). This is the definition of the glory of God. This is the definition of light and truth, to know these things about God.1Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection. And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come. There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of the world, upon which all blessings are predicated, and when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.2 How can mankind gain intelligence? How does one gain knowledge? By “diligence and obedience.” The Lord speaks to man to cause him to act. Hearing the Lord’s word without giving it heed, diligence, and obedience yields nothing.3
God’s glory can be described as either intelligence or light and truth. This glory, light and truth, or intelligence is co-equal with God Himself. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be (T&C 93:10). It is a part of God Himself. He and it are one. By extension, therefore, mankind is also one with Him. Joseph does not leave the matter there. He goes on to equate mankind with this same material, this same co-eternal light and truth : Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be (ibid.). At his core, mankind is part of God. All exist because they are made of the same material from which God’s glory, God’s intelligence, or God’s light and truth are comprised. Joseph’s translation of the Book of Abraham moved from the singular “intelligence” to the plural in a description of pre-mortal mankind : Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones; And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said : These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me : Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born (Abraham 6:1, emphasis added). When organized into separate personalities, the intelligence changed from the singular to the plural. With this change came creation (or organization), and as a result, mankind came into being. Joseph further revealed that in order to exist, mankind had to have the freedom to choose. Without that freedom they would not exist at all. They would still be singular, uncreated, and without an existence. All truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it to act for itself, as all intelligence also; otherwise there is no existence (T&C 93:10, emphasis added). There is no existence unless man is free (and able) to choose for himself. His existence flows from God’s intelligence. He was created from it. But to exist, he must be independent from God.4
1 Preserving the Restoration, 359.
2 D&C 130:18–19. Section 130 of the LDS Doctrine and Covenants first appeared as canon in the 1876 edition prepared by Orson Pratt under the direction of Brigham Young. Its inclusion here is for reference. For original sources see JSP, Journals Vol. 2:323–326, (Dec. 1841 – April 1843), 2 April 1843. Willard Richards didn’t accompany Joseph Smith on his four-day trip to Ramus, IL, and reconstructed the Joseph Smith Journal entry from the Journal of William Clayton. See JSP, Journals Vol. 2:403–405, Appendix 2, 1–4 April 1843. WJS, 169–170, 267nn5–6; 172–173, 268n4.
3 Preserving the Restoration, 331.
4 Beloved Enos, 14–15.