What is intelligence? That’s a question people have debated for many years. In France in the early 20th century, a psychologist developed the first modern intelligence test. Since then psychologists have given intelligence tests. We live in a society obsessed with intelligence. There are flashing ads all over the internet asking, “Are you smarter than [so and so]?” or “What’s your IQ?” Do those online quizzes really test your intelligence? There are many different ideas of what intelligence is. Some people view it as a mixture of knowledge and ability to learn. Others view it as a conglomeration of skills – social, academic, physical, and so forth. This focus on intelligence is not new. The ancient Greeks were interested in intelligence. Socrates is well known for saying, “I know that I am intelligent because I know that I know nothing.” That quote has been retold in various ways by various people over the years. But even before the Greeks, Abraham thought about and understood intelligence. His source was pure – the Lord explained intelligence to him.
“If two things exist, and there be one above the other, there shall be greater things above them…if there be two spirits, and one shall be more intelligent than the other, yet these two spirits, notwithstanding one is more intelligent than the other, have no beginning; they existed before, they shall have no end, they shall exist after, for they are gnolaum, or eternal. And the Lord said unto me: These two facts do exist, that there are two spirits, one being more intelligent than the other; there shall be another more intelligent than they; I am the Lord thy God, I am more intelligent than they all…. I dwell in the midst of them all; I now, therefore, have come down unto thee to declare unto thee the works which my hands have made, wherein my wisdom excelleth them all, for I rule in the heavens above, and in the earth beneath, in all wisdom and prudence, over all the intelligences thine eyes have seen from the beginning; I came down in the beginning in the midst of all the intelligences thou hast seen. Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones” (Abraham 3:16,18-19,21-22).
There is a lot of doctrine and truth in these few verses. The Lord told Abraham that if there are two spirits (or people), one will be more intelligent than the other. However, these “intelligences” are eternal – without beginning or end. In this way they are co-eternal with God; God did not create intelligence. However, God is more intelligent than all of these spirits. That can even be interpreted to mean that He is more intelligent than them all combined! God saw the intelligences and organized them in the pre-mortal realm.