I was struck by something I saw on television the other day while I was flipping through channels. A well known evangelist was answer questions that had been submitted to him. One question was: “The Bible says Adam lived until he was 930 years old. Should that be taken figuratively or literally?” The evangelist chuckled and said something to the effect of “of course it should be taken literally.” He then gave several reasons why he thought Adam would have lived 930 years including a lack or air pollution and processed foods. However, I was amazed that this man, who proclaims to be a man of God, did not cite the power of God as a reason, if not the reason, Adam was able to live for nearly 1,000 years!
This reminded me of what Jesus Christ taught the Prophet Joseph Smith when God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to the Prophet. In response to the 14 year old boy Joseph Smith’s question of which church should he join, he was told by the Savior that he “must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: ‘they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof’” (Pearl of Great Price | JS-History 1:19, emphasis added).
The last part of the Savior’s words is what really stood out in my mind. “Having a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof.” This is precisely what this evangelist was doing. I think he sincerely does try to be godly and have a form of godliness, I truly do. However, by not acknowledging the power of God in allowing Adam live 930 years, he seemed to not have faith in God’s power and ability to do all, in other words, he “denied the power thereof”.
I know that the power of God is real. I know that God and Jesus Christ did appear to the boy Joseph Smith and teach him many eternal truths. I know that anything God desires can and will be accomplished. Sometimes God’s means seem to be the natural way of doing things on this Earth, other times God’s means are the supernatural. However, it matters not how God’s will is accomplished; only that it always is done. The Savior taught the Prophet Joseph Smith that “the works, and the designs, and the purposes of God cannot be frustrated, neither can they come to naught“ (Doctrine and Covenants | Section 3:1). The will of our Father in Heaven will be done. I know this to be true, in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.