I have long been intrigued by the seeming paradox that, on the one hand, man is “less than the dust of the earth,” but on the other hand, God’s work and His glory is to bring to pass the eternal life of man, which makes us infinitely precious to Him.
In what sense is man “less than the dust than the earth”? It is due to the fact that, given our agency, we do not always obey our Creator immediately, fully, and without question, as the rest of all creation does.
Helaman 12 is a masterful discourse on this subject, as Mormon teaches:
4 O how foolish, and how vain, and how evil, and devilish, and how quick to do iniquity, and how slow to do good, are the children of men; yea, how quick to hearken unto the words of the evil one, and to set their hearts upon the vain things of the world!
5 Yea, how quick to be lifted up in pride; yea, how quick to boast, and do all manner of that which is iniquity; and how slow are they to remember the Lord their God, and to give ear unto his counsels, yea, how slow to walk in wisdom’s paths!
6 Behold, they do not desire that the Lord their God, who hath created them, should rule and reign over them; notwithstanding his great goodness and his mercy towards them, they do set at naught his counsels, and they will not that he should be their guide.
I wrote this text with these ideas in mind, and Benjamin Cole wrote the beautiful music:
All Creation Doth Reverence Thy Majesty, Lord (sheet music)