Latter-day Saint Life

This fascinating pharmacy term will totally change how you think about opposition in all things

Pharmacist wearing eyeglasses taking inventory amidst medical storage at pharmacy
Ever heard of an excipient? We hadn't either but we love how it reframes 2 Nephi 2.
Westend61/Getty Images/Westend61

Busy week? Me too. LDS Living is here to catch you up and get you ready for discussions on Sunday. Here’s a nugget of wisdom from this week’s Come, Follow Me study of 2 Nephi 1-2.

Something came up on the podcast this week that I just have to share. From start to finish, 2 Nephi 2 maps out Lehi’s logic of why there are bad things in the world. It runs the course from Adam and Eve’s choices in the garden, leading to our choice to be good every day. And right in the middle, he uses one word that we can apply more literally in our lives.

All things are compounded in one

In the middle of Lehi’s message to Jacob, we get a small but powerful message that “all things must needs be a compound in one.” Compound isn’t a word we use every day, but it’s one a lot of us have at least heard before. There’s compounding interest, where the interest on your money in the bank is based on two things: your original amount AND the interest you’ve already made. And I vaguely remember something about chemical compounds from 10th grade science where two or more molecules are bonded together. Those chemical compounds are related to a compounding pharmacy where they craft your prescriptions on-site for medications that aren’t already available.

On the podcast this week we had a pharmacist come on to explain what goes on in a compounding pharmacy and to apply it as a metaphor for the good and bad things in our lives.

Medication isn’t just made up of one thing that automatically makes you better. It is often combined with an excipient—an inactive ingredient that can help form the mixture, more successfully travel through the body, or any number of things. And while the excipient isn’t the primary thing that is making you better, it is still needed in the mixture for the good thing—the medication—to actually work.

So let’s look at the verse in its entirety again:

11 For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my firstborn in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility.

Life is big and complicated and a compound of everything. Some events in our lives are meant to be healing medication, others are maybe meant to help those events bond together better, and still others might be meant to help the healing come more quickly or more powerfully. If you look back at your life I’m sure you can see each of these types of events in your own history. And as everything works together, we can feel the effect God intends this life to have.

So that was my takeaway this week. To hear more takeaways from other Latter-day Saints on this block of scripture, join our study group on Facebook and Instagram.

Sunday on Monday is a Come, Follow Me podcast hosted by Tammy Uzelac Hall that is released every Monday to guide you through the scripture readings for the week. This week covers 2 Nephi 1-2 and our podcast guests were Katrina Maxton and Faye Leydecker from Scotland. You can listen to full episodes on Deseret Bookshelf Plus and find out more at

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