Monday, February 25, 2013

"For Thy Pleasure They Were and Are Created"

There's a scene in the Book of Revelation, in chapter 4, where 24 elders sit on 24 thrones gathered around the throne of God, a throne surrounded by a rainbow, "in sight like unto an emerald."  Emerald is green, the color of life.  I wondered why 24 elders rather than 12, the usual sacred number that designates the gathering of the Saints.  Perhaps 12 male and 12 female.  There are also 4 "beasts" around the throne, the first "like a lion," the second "like a calf," the third having a face "as a man," and the fourth "like a flying eagle," each having "six wings" (total freedom of movement?) and "full of eyes within" (seeing everything?).

The beasts "give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever," but the elders "fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created" (vs. 10-11).

I immediately thought of a couple of verses that Mormons like to cite in relation to the purpose of creation:
For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. (Moses 1:39)
Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy. (2 Nephi 2:25)
A very pleasant image sprung to mind of God lovingly telling us his children it is for our pleasure we were and are created, and us echoing back, It is for thy pleasure we were and are created!

This is righteousness in creation: doing what we do first for the glory and joy of others.

Christ, of whom Paul said "to whom be glory forever and ever" (Hebrews 13:21), set that pattern in heaven, when he said in response to the call before the creation of the world, "Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever" (Moses 4:2).  He set that heavenly pattern in his ministry on earth when he taught us to pray, "Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done, in earth as it is in Heaven.... Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever" (Matthew 6: 10, 13).  It is the prayer with which he completed his ministry on Calvary: "O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done" (Matthew 26:42).

Divinity is giving glory and joy to others, for ever and ever.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

24 Elders....
12 represent the Old Testament Church (12 tribes), and 12 represent the New Testament Church (the Holy Apostles).