Topic Study: God, Omniscience of

(February 2009)

I             General Omniscience

About half the TG entries demonstrated God’s omniscience is complete, knowing all things.

  • 1 Sam. 2:3 Lord is a God of knowledge
  • Ps. 147:5 Great is our Lord … his understanding is infinite
  • Prov. 15:3 eyes of the Lord are in every place
  • Matt. 10:29 sparrows … shall not fall on the ground without your Father
  • John 13:3 Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things
  • Acts 15:18 (1 Ne. 9:6) known unto God are all his works from the beginning
  • Rom. 11:33 wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable
  • Col. 2:3 in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom
  • 2 Ne. 2:24 wisdom of him who knoweth all things
  • 2 Ne. 9:20 (Morm. 8:17; D&C 127:2) God … knoweth all things, and there is not anything save he knows
  • 2 Ne. 27:10 reveal all things from the foundation of the world
  • W of M 1:7 Lord knoweth all things which are to come
  • Alma 7:13 Spirit knoweth all things
  • Alma 18:18 art thou that Great Spirit, who knows all things
  • Alma 26:35 all wisdom, and all understanding, he comprehendeth all things
  • Alma 40:5 God knoweth all these things
  • Hel. 9:41 except he was a god he could not know of all things
  • Ether 3:25 Lord … showed unto the brother of Jared all the inhabitants of the earth
  • Moro. 7:22 God knowing all things, being from everlasting
  • D&C 38:2 knoweth all things, for all things are present before mine eyes
  • D&C 88:6 (88:41) he comprehended all things, that he might be in all
  • D&C 130:7 all things for their glory are manifest
  • Moses 1:6 all things are present with me, for I know them all
  • Moses 1:35 all things are numbered unto me, for … I know them
  • Moses 7:67 Lord showed Enoch all things
  • Abr. 2:8 I know the end from the beginning

II            Man’s Thoughts

The other half of the scriptures dealing with omniscience point out that God knows our thoughts.

  • Gen. 6:5 God saw … every imagination of the thoughts of his heart
  • Gen. 18:19 I know him, that he will command his children
  • 1 Sam. 16:7 Lord looketh on the heart
  • 1 Chr. 28:9 Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all
  • 2 Chr. 6:30 (Acts 1:24; 15:8) thou only knowest the hearts of the children of men
  • Job 23:10 he knoweth the way that I take
  • Ps. 44:21 (Luke 16:15) he knoweth the secrets of the heart
  • Ps. 94:11 Lord knoweth the thoughts of man
  • Ps. 139:3 thou … art acquainted with all my ways
  • Isa. 66:18 I know their works and their thoughts
  • Jer. 12:3 thou, O Lord, knowest me
  • Jer. 17:10 (Rev. 2:23) I the Lord search the heart
  • Ezek. 11:5 I know the things that come into your mind
  • Matt. 6:8 your Father knoweth what things ye have need of
  • Matt. 9:4 Jesus knowing their thoughts said
  • John 16:30 are we sure that thou knowest all things
  • Acts 17:26 hath determined the times before appointed
  • 1 Cor. 3:20 Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise
  • Heb. 4:12 word of God … is a discerner of the thoughts
  • Rev. 2:2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience
  • Rev. 3:1 I know thy works, that thou hast a name
  • 1 Ne. 20:5 before it came to pass I showed them thee
  • 2 Ne. 27:27 I know all their works
  • Jacob 2:5 by the help of the all-powerful Creator … I can tell you concerning your thoughts
  • Alma 18:32 (D&C 6:16) he knows all the thoughts and intents of the heart
  • Alma 39:8 ye cannot hide your crimes from God
  • Alma 40:10 God knoweth all the times which are appointed unto man
  • 3 Ne. 28:6 I know your thoughts, and ye have desired the thing which John … desired
  • D&C 6:24 (15:3) I have told you things which no man knoweth
  • D&C 67:1 whose hearts I know
  • D&C 121:24 mine eyes see and know all their works
  • Moses 7:41 Lord … told Enoch all the doings of the children of men

 

A relevant scripture that isn’t included in the Topical Guide is:

16  Yea, I tell thee, that thou mayest know that there is none else save God that knowest thy thoughts and the intents of thy heart.

D&C 6:16

Elder Francis Gibbons has given an entire talk on this subject (Ensign, 1991, November “The Dual Aspects of Prayer”, Elder Francis M. Gibbons).  He said,

It is clear, then, that Satan and his followers, who have been cast out of God’s presence and are dead to His Spirit, are excluded from those who, by the spirit of prophecy and revelation, may know the thoughts and the intents of our hearts. So, in his wisdom and mercy, God has provided a channel of communication between him and his children on earth that Satan, our common enemy, cannot invade. This is the channel of secret prayer. The significance of this to the Latter-day Saint is profound, for by this means we are able to communicate with our Heavenly Father in secrecy, confident that the adversary cannot intrude

This made me wonder, why is this the case?  Why is it that Satan cannot know our thoughts?  Is it just that it is some law, or is there another reason?  Upon pondering, I have postulated that perhaps an honest person, someone committed to honesty at all costs, can know something that someone who is not honest cannot know.  I have noticed that dishonest people have a difficult time believing anyone is really honest.  They question every motive, because they, themselves, are impure.  The believe that all others must be impure.

This means that the truly honest person has an advantage.  The honest person can believe that there are dishonest people in the world; but they also believe that another honest person can also exist.

I believe this difference, this ability, may enable God to know our thoughts, while Satan and his followers cannot.

 

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