The definitions of the verb “build” that are worth noting (for this particular post) include the following:
- To construct something by assembling and joining parts or materials:
- To establish, increase, or strengthen (often followed by up; IE to build up).1
These helpful reviews, combined with our knowledge of the word edifice (which interestingly is a synonym for the noun “building”) help us to understand that when we build something – or someone – we construct, increase, build, and strengthen it. Or, to wrap all of these definitions into a commonly used scriptural reference, we “edify” – meaning literally to add to or to improve upon.
The next step is the verb “become”, since it is a logical outcome of and the process of the object being built. It is defined as “to come into being, to change, to develop, or to grow to be”.2
The key point is that “becoming” is a process, and is the result of a “building”. And for further clarification, a thing cannot “become” changed, or cannot “develop, grow, or come into being” without some active change being effected upon that thing.
With that in mind, I’d like to share three some interesting scripture passages. Please note the use of “become” and how it is used and the end result of their change.
And it came to pass that when they had fled we did pursue them with our armies, and did meet them again, and did beat them; nevertheless the strength of the Lord was not with us; yea, we were left to ourselves, that the Spirit of the Lord did not abide in us; therefore we had become weak like unto our brethren.
And they saw that they had become weak, like unto their brethren, the Lamanites, and that the Spirit of the Lord did no more preserve them; yea, it had withdrawn from them because the Spirit of the Lord doth not dwell in unholy temples—
Therefore the Lord did cease to preserve them by his miraculous and matchless power, for they had fallen into a state of unbelief and awful wickedness; and they saw that the Lamanites were exceedingly more numerous than they, and except they should cleave unto the Lord their God they must unavoidably perish.
For behold, they saw that the strength of the Lamanites was as great as their strength, even man for man. And thus had they fallen into this great transgression; yea, thus had they become weak, because of their transgression, in the space of not many years.
Yea, and moreover I say unto you, that if this highly favored people of the Lord should fall into transgression, and become a wicked and an adulterous people, that the Lord will deliver them up, that thereby they become weak like unto their brethren; and he will no more preserve them by his matchless and marvelous power, as he has hitherto preserved our fathers.
In each of these passages, what these people had “become” was not something better, in fact it was something much worse, but it very much was something that they had “come into being”, had “changed” or “developed” and something that they “grew to be”.
Now I’m not sure about you, but when I talk about constructing something, I don’t have plans to build something so that it “becomes” weak, yet there is a master builder out there who does just that. Don’t believe me? Let’s read another passage:
Wherefore, the Lord commandeth you, when ye shall see these things [evil combinations] come among you that ye shall awake to a sense of your awful situation, because of this secret combination which shall be among you; or wo be unto it, because of the blood of them who have been slain; for they cry from the dust for vengeance upon it, and also upon those who built it up.
For it cometh to pass that whoso buildeth it up seeketh to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries; and it bringeth to pass the destruction of all people, for it is built up by the devil, who is the father of all lies; even that same liar who beguiled our first parents, yea, even that same liar who hath caused man to commit murder from the beginning; who hath hardened the hearts of men that they have murdered the prophets, and stoned them, and cast them out from the beginning.
This last passage gives us a perfect insight into the adversary’s intention. He seeks to “build” us up by promising gain, power, influence, kingdoms, etc. but he is only building us up with the intent to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries. His end goal is complete annihilation. That’s not building, that’s destroying. That’s not construction, it’s deconstruction. This passage is a perfect example of how he uses a fraudulent idea of freedom and growth (building) to promote his ways of bondage and destruction. As he is carefully taking critical pieces of your sure foundation away, he whispers in your ears; “look at what we are building, isn’t this fantastic”? We don’t need this strong foundation, it only holds us back and prevents us from going higher.
He is a liar.
Yet, we can take comfort in one more scripture passage – which indicates that in the end, the ultimate destroyer will be asked a very direct question by his fellow deconstruction workers, which will cause him some shame. Nephi (quoting Isaiah) records the interchange as follows:
2 Ne. 24:9-12, 16
Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming; it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations.
All they shall speak and say unto thee: Art thou also become weak as we? Art thou become like unto us?
Thy pomp is brought down to the grave; the noise of thy viols is not heard; the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee.
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! Art thou cut down to the ground, which did weaken the nations!
…They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and shall consider thee, and shall say: Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms?
In the end, the master destroyer will “become weak” and he will be left to miserably enjoy the rubble of his nothingness that he so carefully built.
Let us not be fooled by his claims of expert building, shortcuts, exclusive knowledge of inspection processes and building tips, and be not impressed by his subtle whispers of progress. Let us on the other hand, always seek the spirit that will truly edify us and build upon the sure foundation – which is Jesus Christ – the true master builder.