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Why is “opposition in all things” central to the plan of salvation?

Answer: Lehi taught his son, Jacob, that “there is an opposition in all things.” (2 Nephi 2:11)

The concept of “opposition in all things” includes:

(1) every law has both a punishment and a blessing attached to it

(2) disobedience to law requires a punishment which results in misery

(3) obedience to law provides a blessing which results in happiness

(4) without law there can be neither punishment nor blessing, neither misery nor happiness–only innocence

(5) thus happiness (or joy) can exist only where the possibility of the opposite also exists, and

(6) in order to exercise free agency, a person must have the possibility (and the freedom) of choice.

“And now, behold, if Adam had not transgressed, he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the garden of Eden. And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end.

“And they would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin.”(2 Nephi 2:22-23)

Source: 400 Questions and Answers About the Book of Mormon by Susan Easton Black, p. 90.