Intelligence is defined as the capacity for learning, reasoning, understanding, and similar forms of mental activity; aptitude in grasping truths, relationships, facts, meanings, etc.; however, no disrespect to Webster’s Dictionary, I feel this definition is horribly incomplete. For instance, what kind of truth? The perception of reality can cause people to act in ways that cause heartache and horror for millions of people. So, when I ask, as Pontius Pilate once asked Christ, “What is truth?” I ask this not philosophically, or with my “perceived reality”, but instead will connect actual truth to intelligence, connect intelligence to light, and contrast light from darkness—a less than desirable form of light. I will do so with appeal to scriptures and revelation I have received personally with the hopes to influence those who read this article to contemplate their efforts in becoming “intelligent” people.
Intelligence, from what I have gathered from long and serious study along with prayer, is the ability to choose—without bias—right and wrong. Intelligence derives its origin from the prefix inter meaning “between” and the etymology legere meaning to “choose”
Many would then ask “who decides what is right and what is wrong?” To them I answer unabashedly—God. It is important to remember what we worship will always set the expectation for our behavior; I choose to worship our Father in Heaven because He has dictated what is right and what is wrong with absolutely no gray areas. These areas, foggy and misty and confusing in nature are not how Our Father in Heaven works. In fact, Father Lehi declares that the mist of darkness (gray) is the tool of the adversary and as Paul declares, “God is not the author of confusion” and anyone who tells you otherwise knows Him not. Because Father in Heaven demands choices to be so simply divided, He is pure intelligence, or in other words, He sees things in a sense of how things were, are, and will be—not how things could have been, should be, or might be. We must begin to think in this way. It is not linear, it is not abstract, but it is an eternal round of reason because as a circle has no beginning and no end, neither does eternal truth.
When we are taught and then when we subsequently learn these truths, we are then accountable to live in accordance with them. As we do so, we gain the ability to choose intelligently, without bias directing us one way or another. Knowing that ‘intelligence’ means ‘between choices’ or the ‘ability to choose’: thus, choice must be made for consequences to follow. When we see what types of consequences follow a certain classification of choices, it is easy to declare as Alma declared to Corianton, “Wickedness never was happiness.” The desire to receive positive, powerful, beneficial consequences will lead people to continue to choose righteously. Some may say that wanting to receive blessings is a form of bias—yes, in a way I will concede to this—but in the end, true obedience comes not from a desire for blessings, but for the glory of God. God’s glory is intelligence. This is two fold: as His children gain perfect intelligence or exaltation His glory increases; also, and perhaps just as important, God rejoices when He sees His children choose correctly. He rejoices when we finally make the choice to put Him first in our lives — to drop all other priorities and allow Him to prioritize for us. Remember this, friends, our lives become more influential when we give in to His influence.