19 And because of the knowledge of this man he could not be kept from beholding within the veil; and he saw the finger of Jesus, which, when he saw, he fell with fear; for he knew that it was the finger of the Lord; and he had faith no longer, for he knew, nothing doubting.
20 Wherefore, having this perfect knowledge of God, he could not be kept from within the veil; therefore he saw Jesus; and he did minister unto him.
In explaining why the brother of Jared was able to come into the presence of God, Moroni teaches us two important principles about faith and knowledge:
- Faith precedes knowledge, and knowledge replaces faith. When the brother of Jared saw the finger of the Lord, “he had faith no longer, for he knew, nothing doubting.” This recalls Alma’s teaching, that when you have completed an experiment and evaluated the results, “your knowledge is perfect in that thing, and your faith is dormant; and this because you know” (Alma 32:34).
- Knowledge gives us power to come back into God’s presence and become like Him. “Having this perfect knowledge of God, [the brother of Jared] could not be kept from within the veil; therefore he saw Jesus; and he did minister unto him.” Consider the following teachings from the prophet Joseph Smith:
- “Knowledge is necessary to life and godliness…. Knowledge is the power of God unto salvation.”
- “In knowledge there is power. God has more power than all other beings, because He has greater knowledge.”
- “As far as we degenerate from God, we descend to the devil and lose knowledge, and without knowledge we cannot be saved.”
- “A man is saved no faster than he gets knowledge.”
(All four quotes from Teachings: Joseph Smith, “Chapter 22: Gaining Knowledge of Eternal Truths“)
Today, I will seek greater spiritual knowledge by faith, remembering that knowledge of spiritual things gives me power and that I can only acquire that knowledge by exercising my faith.