So in Paradox #1 I wrote about the importance of knowing good and evil. In this post I’m going to write about the role of certain people, or a group of people, perceived as “bad” or “evil”, and how something that is eternally good came from their “evil” actions.

I will start with a reminder about how important the Fall was. It was a critical piece to the Plan that was laid out before the “foundation of the earth”. To show how important the Fall was, I want to quote some verses from 2 Nephi:

“And now, behold, if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the garden of Eden. And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end. And they would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin (notice the relationship between good and evil [sin] here).” (2 Nephi 2:22,23)

“Wherefore, it (the earth) must needs have been created for a thing of naught; wherefore there would have been no purpose in the end of its creation. Wherefore, this thing must needs destroy the wisdom of God and his eternal purposes, and also the power, and the mercy, and the justice of God.” (2 Nephi 2:12)

Without the Fall, God’s eternal purposes would have been destroyed!

Now, if I’m Lucifer, and I really want to “destroy the wisdom of God and his eternal purposes…”, I’m sure not going to entice Adam and Eve to eat of the forbidden fruit! If it was Lucifer’s desire to thwart God’s plan, he should have gone to some other galaxy and left Adam and Eve alone. But by getting them to eat the forbidden fruit, he actually made ALL of God’s purposes possible.

I understand that Lucifer’s ambition wasn’t only to thwart God’s plan, but there was something else. Lehi said, “…[Lucifer] sought that which was evil before God.” Elsewhere the scriptures tell us that he sought God’s power and glory. I’m sure there is much more to the story that I don’t know. I just find it a great paradox that getting Adam and Eve to eat of the forbidden fruit is one of the actions for which Lucifer is maligned.

Consider what Adam and Eve themselves said:

“And in that day Adam blessed God and was filled, and began to prophesy concerning all the families of the earth, saying: Blessed be the name of God, for because of my transgression my eyes are opened, and in this life I shall have joy, and again in the flesh I shall see God.”

“And Eve, his wife, heard all these things and was glad, saying: Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient.”

These verses not only beautifully describe the dance between good and evil, but they demonstrate the importance of Lucifer, and other perceived “bad” people, in our eternal progression. This can be pointed out elsewhere, but I will stay with what I have here.

So here’s another example: Judas Iscariot. His betrayal of Christ with a kiss is iconic, but it was also necessary. No betrayal, no crucifixion, no Atonement.

Jeremiah was told by the Lord that he was ordained “a prophet unto the nations” before he was ever born (Jer 1:5). Alma in his epic discourse on the priesthood said that we are called to the priesthood pre-mortally (Alma 13:3-4). I bring this up because as we know, the whole plan of salvation was prepared and voted on before the world was even formed. This included “callings” we would have on Earth.

With this in mind consider John 6:64, “For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.” Which “beginning” is John talking about? If Jeremiah was ordained to be a prophet before the world was formed, isn’t it possible that Judas Iscariot was “called” and chosen to be the Betrayer of Christ? If so, then his actions were the fulfillment of what he was called and chosen to do in the pre-existence. He fulfilled his “calling”.

In addition, many see Judas’ suicide as a terrible act. However, in Genesis 9:6 we see that the penalty for shedding a person’s blood, is to have their own blood shed. This is the foundation for capital punishment in our society. I’m absolutely certain Judas was aware of this, and realizing what he had done and the inevitable consequence it would have, took his own life to fulfill this law. Therefore, his betrayal of Jesus was necessary, and his suicide justified.

One last example, the Jews in crucifying Christ. For millennia the Jews have borne the harshest of criticism and abuse for this action. But read what the Lord Himself said about them:

“And what thank they the Jews for the Bible which they receive from them? Yea, what do the Gentiles mean? Do they remember the travails, and the labors, and the pains of the Jews, and their diligence unto me, in bringing forth salvation unto the Gentiles?”

“O ye Gentiles, have ye remembered the Jews, mine ancient covenant people? Nay; but ye have cursed them, and have hated them, and have not sought to recover them. But behold, I will return all these things upon your own heads; for I the Lord have not forgotten my people.” (2 Nephi 29:4-5)

Again, without Christ’s crucifixion, there would have been no Atonement. Where would we be without it? What would happen to God’s wisdom and eternal purposes? Do we thank the Jews for bringing us the Atonement and all it affords us?

There are more examples: Moses, a murderer; Paul, the great persecutor of Christians, Alma the younger, “the vilest of sinners”, etc.

I ponder and ponder on these things; the importance of knowing good and evil, the actions of perceived “evil” people without whom, God’s purposes would have been to no avail. I guess I think about it so much because of my own life. I also ponder a lot on these things because I believe we know so little. I think there is so much more to the picture than meets the eye when it comes to the Plan of Salvation and God’s eternal purposes.