"Count it all joy"

In his epistle the Apostle James writes: "Count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." Perhaps it has never occurred to us to look upon the attacks of error as occasions for joy; yet these words show that each temptation overcome serves as a stepping-stone to further understanding of man's spiritual perfection, and that it is impossible to attain the consciousness of perfection without proving the measure of our spiritual understanding each step of the way.

That which is termed temptation is indissolubly connected with the dream of life and intelligence in matter. Indeed, it may be said to be an integral part of this dream, for almost every moment we are tempted to accept and believe in some phase of material sense; and our human experience is harmonious or discordant in the proportion that we reject or accept these suggestions.

The first specific instance of temptation given in the Bible occurs in the third chapter of Genesis, where the serpent is depicted as suggesting to Eve that God's prohibition of the knowledge of both good and evil denied her the opportunity to enlarge her outlook, and that the course of wisdom would be to partake of this knowledge. It is evident from the context that she did not immediately deny this suggestion, with the result that false knowledge seemed desirable; and she accepted the suggestion and acted upon it.

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January 14, 1933

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