Topic Study: God, Power of

(Entered October 2002, Written November 2003 TG Entry: God, Power of, Jesus Christ, Power of)

Overview

We must believe that God is all powerful to have true faith in him.  The creation of the earth is evidence of his power.  Even with that, he still must remind us that nothing is too hard for the Lord, especially during our trails.  To partake of that power, we must believe that his awesome power can make a difference in our lives.  Finally, at the last judgment, everyone will know that the Lord is all powerful.

I             Almighty

President Joseph Fielding Smith taught:

God is our Father …is omnipotent and omniscient; he has all power and all wisdom; and his perfections consist in the possession of all knowledge, all faith or power, all justice, all judgment, all mercy, all truth, and the fullness of all godly attributes. This the Prophet Joseph Smith taught in the Lectures on Faith. The Prophet also taught that if we are to have that perfect faith by which we can lay hold upon eternal life, we must believe in God as the possessor of the fullness of all these characteristics and attributes.  (Joseph Fielding Smith, “The Most Important Knowledge,” Ensign, May 1971, 2, emphasis added.)

The scriptures clearly teach that God has all power.

BEHOLD, and hearken unto the voice of him who has all power, who is from everlasting to everlasting, even Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.

D&C 61:1

God introduced himself to Abraham and others with the title of Almighty.

1  AND when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.

Gen. 17:1

II            Creator of Heaven and Earth

What proof do we have that God is Almighty?  The scriptures about God’s power highlight that he is the creator of heaven and earth.

15  He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heaven by his understanding.

16  When he uttereth his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens; and he causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth: he maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures.

Jer. 51:15 – 16

We are proud of our achievements, of what we are able to individually and collectively create.  Yet our creations are insignificant when compared to those of God.  We should remember that he that created the earth and heavens has power to bless us.

  • Mal. 3:11 (3 Ne. 24:11) I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes
  • Matt. 8:26 he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea
  • John 1:3 All things were made by him
  • Heb. 1:3 upholding all things by the word of his p.
  • Hel. 12:11 by the p. of his voice doth the whole earth shake

III           Nothing Too Hard

Yet, even with that significant evidence that God really is all powerful, we still find reason’s to doubt if he can make a difference in our individual lives.  Because the Lord knows this, he reminds us that he has enough power to do whatever is needed in our own lives.

III.A         Sarah and Abraham

Sarah didn’t believe that she could be blessed with a child.  Abraham asked, “Is there anything too hard for the Lord?”  (Gen. 18:14).

III.B         Jeremiah

Jeremiah, while undergoing a personal trail of his own declared:

17  Ah Lord GOD!  behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:

Jer. 32:17

III.C         Mary

The most famous passage of all, Mary, the Mother of the Savior, being promised that “with God, all things are possible.”  (Matt. 19:26, Luke 1:37)

III.D         Peter

Peter, upon comprehending what was required to be saved, asked, “Who then can be saved?”  The Savior’s answer reminded him of this truth again, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God” (Luke 18:27, see also Mark 10:27).

III.E         Nephi

Nephi had to remind his brothers that the Lord was mightier than Laban, saying,

1  AND it came to pass that I spake unto my brethren, saying: Let us go up again unto Jerusalem, and let us be faithful in keeping the commandments of the Lord; for behold he is mightier than all the earth, then why not mightier than Laban and his fifty, yea, or even than his tens of thousands?

1 Ne. 4:1  (See also 1 Ne. 7:12 “Lord is able to do all things”)

He also reminded them of God’s knowledge of seamanship, saying,

51  And now, if the Lord has such great power, and has wrought so many miracles among the children of men, how is it that he cannot instruct me, that I should build a ship?

1 Ne. 17:51

This wasn’t enough; he also had to literally remind them of God’s great power (1 Ne. 17:48 “filled with the p. of God, even unto the consuming.”)

III.F          Joseph Smith And The Book of Mormon

Nephi prophesied that Joseph Smith would feel overwhelmed by the work he had to do, and humble because he was “not learned”.  But, Nephi said, “Then shall the Lord God say unto him: The learned shall not read them, for they have rejected them, and I am able to do mine own work; wherefore thou shalt read the words which I shall give unto thee.”  (2 Ne. 27:20)

IV          Trials

This wasn’t the only time Joseph was overwhelmed.  While in Liberty Jail, he cried, “O Lord God Almighty, maker of heaven earth, and seas, and of all things that in them are,” (D&C 121:4) and asked that the Lord to show forth his great power.

The Lord’s response was to remind Joseph again that, indeed he did have great power when compared to man.  The example was very personal to Joseph, in jail in the State of Missouri.

33  How long can rolling waters remain impure?  What power shall stay the heavens?  As well might man stretch forth his puny arm to stop the Missouri river in its decreed course, or to turn it up stream, as to hinder the Almighty from pouring down knowledge from heaven upon the heads of the Latter-day Saints.

D&C 121:33

He taught Joseph that there is a purpose in our afflictions.  While still in the jail, he taught him:

9  Therefore, hold on thy way, and the priesthood shall remain with thee; for their bounds are set, they cannot pass.  Thy days are known, and thy years shall not be numbered less; therefore, fear not what man can do, for God shall be with you forever and ever.

D&C 122:9

Our trials and obstacles don’t disprove that the Lord has all power.  He has all power, even in spite of our trails.

Isn’t it interesting that the Book of Job, a book about significant suffering of a person, contains 33% of references to the word Almighty?  Certainly Job did not doubt, even amid all his trails, that the Lord was still all powerful. In the final chapter of the Book of Job, as Job is accepted by the Lord, Job acknowledges that God really can do everything.

1  THEN Job answered the LORD, and said,

2  I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee.

Job 42:1 – 2

Trails should not diminish our faith that God can do all things.

  • D&C 87:6 feel the … chastening hand of an Almighty God

V           Partaking of that Power

Stephen E. Robinson has pointed out that, “To have faith in Jesus Christ is not merely to believe that he is who he says he is. It is not merely to believe in Christ; we must also believe Christ.” (“Believing Christ,” Ensign, Apr. 1992, 6)

We must believe that He is who He says He is, that He can do what He says He can do.  If we can believe that He has all power, and believe that he can make that power active in our own lives, we will have power to become the sons and daughters of God.  As King Benjamin said,

9  Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend.

Mosiah 4:9

A great example of this is the Brother of Jared.  The Brother of Jared believed that the Lord had all power, and that included the power to make a difference in the Brother of Jared’s life.  After the Lord asked the Brother of Jared what He should do that they might have light on their journey, the Brother of Jared supplicated the Lord with these words.

4  And I know, O Lord, that thou hast all power, and can do whatsoever thou wilt for the benefit of man; therefore touch these stones, O Lord, with thy finger, and prepare them that they may shine forth in darkness; and they shall shine forth unto us in the vessels which we have prepared, that we may have light while we shall cross the sea.

Ether 3:4

VI          Judgment and Justice

The Savior was, is and will be the only person to live upon this earth who has power over death.

17  Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.

18  No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself.  I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.  This commandment have I received of my Father.

John 10:17 – 18

God the Father has committed into the hands of his Son the ability to raise up others from the dead.

20  For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.

21  For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.

22  For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:

John 5:20 – 22

Ultimately, we will all stand before the Almighty, and confess that he has all power.

9  Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

10  That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

11  And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philip. 2:9 – 11

It would be well for us to determine this prior to judgment day

11  Wherefore, beloved brethren, be reconciled unto him through the atonement of Christ, his Only Begotten Son, and ye may obtain a resurrection, according to the power of the resurrection which is in Christ, and be presented as the first-fruits of Christ unto God, having faith, and obtained a good hope of glory in him before he manifesteth himself in the flesh.

Jacob 4:11

For ultimately it will be known that God is Almighty.  And all people shall say acknowledge it, as John recorded in Revelations.

6  And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.

Rev. 19:6

  • Rom. 4:17 God, who quickeneth the dead
  • Rom. 8:11 he that raised up Christ … shall also quicken your mortal bodies
  • 1 Tim. 6:13 God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ
  • Rev. 4:8 (11:17) Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come
  • Rev. 21:22 Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple
  • D&C 84:118 saith the Lord Almighty, I will rend their kingdoms
  • D&C 88:106 fierceness of the wrath of Almighty God

Summary

Believing that God truly has all power will give us strength to endure our trails, and faith to rely upon him to save us.  But we must also believe that he can make that power active in our own lives.

Related Hymns

God of Power, God of Right

Hymn number:  (20)

Text: Wallace F. Bennett

Music: Tracy Y. Cannon

Scriptures: Alma 26:35; Mosiah 5:15

Verse 1

God of power, God of right,
Guide us with thy priesthood’s might.
Forge our souls in living fire;
Shape them to thy great desire.

Verse 2

God of wisdom, God of truth,
Take us in our eager youth;
Lift us step by step to thee
Thru an endless ministry.

Verse 3

God of mercy, God of love,
Let thy spirit like the dove,
Touch and humble, teach and bless,
As we serve in holiness.

Other References

See also 2 Kgs. 6:16; 2 Chr. 32:7–8; Job 42:2; Isa. 52:10; Matt. 17:20; 21:21; Mark 9:23; John 11:43; 1 Ne. 22:10; Jacob 4:6; W of M 1:17; Alma 17:3; Ether 12:30; D&C 45:8; 133:3; Moses 1:4; 1:20.

Continue At

Jesus Christ, Power of [Forward Reference]

(Completed December 2003)

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