As I was studying the book of Helaman, I read something that I thought was really interesting:
” O how great is the nothingness of the children of men; yea, even they are less than the dust of the earth. For behold, the dust of the earth moveth hither and thither, to the dividing asunder, at the command of our great and everlasting God.” -Helaman 12:7-8
When you read this you may think that it is a bit harsh. Why would the prophets call us “worthless”?
At this time in the Book of Mormon, the prophet Nephi, was very troubled with the people. The Gadianton Robbers had reeked havoc on the people’s lives and faith. The people had become wicked and slow to repent. The people did repent, but only after the Lord had made a famine across the land. After a couple of years, they were back to being wicked.
I think that in the scripture above, the prophets aren’t calling us “worthless”, but instead “powerless”. Compared to God, we are nothing. In the whole of chapter 12, Nephi is explaining that the people must be chastened to just remember the Lord. This is why he says that the dust of the earth is better than man. The dust obeys what God wants it to do. We are disobedient. We are prideful and make mistakes.
Luckily, we have the Atonement in our lives. We can be better with that. With a new year ahead of us, we can strive to be better and use the Atonement in our lives more often.
I am excited for a new year, especially with changes in the church happening. Two hour church will be interesting.