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  1. Interesting question. i know what i think. But would like to hear your thoughts as to which is most accurate. 1. God created us with a specific end product in mind. Our souls are just blueprints that we are contracted to construct for God and with God's help. Each of our blueprints, if we exercise our agency to build it, will lead to ultimate happiness. 2. God participates as a Parent in some sort of spiritual genetic lottery for each of His children - in which good results are always possible, but what exactly each child becomes is something that is a (hopefully pleasant) surprise - even to God. As long as we are fully good (good without evil), He appreciates and Loves what we choose to be. 3. Grrrrr! @lostinwater has missed the obvious answer, AGAIN! ..... (please enlighten us) My only request in this thread is that we all be nice to one another, especially in disagreeing. i don't want to have created a thread that creates or perpetuates feelings of ill will.
  2. While following and even commenting on the recent topic on evolution (, I have a slight sense of foreboding as we begin our study of the OT this year. Lesson 3 ( is on the creation, and, as the other thread (and many of the other attempts to discuss the topic on this forum over the years) shows, it has the potential to become a long debate generating more heat then light and otherwise getting bogged down in some irrelevant sub-topics. My intention is not to rehash the same discussion -- that can continue in the other thread. My intention here is to get advice and counsel from the peanut gallery mormonhub crowd for teachers and participants to make these lessons productive. What topics should be included? What should be avoided? I notice that the manual does not even acknowledge that these kind of debates exist. Is it better for the teacher to follow the manual and hope it doesn't come up or acknowledge the debate and explain that he/she does not want to delve into those kind of questions? When do you bite your tongue if someone brings up a topic on the "don't talk about that" list? When do you stop biting your tongue?
  3. I understand that the church has no official position on the theory of evolution, and that members are free to believe what they will on the subject. The church does however, assert that Adam and Eve were real historical persons, the first children of God on the earth, and the primal parents of the entire human race. The church's position regarding pre-adamites (humans who lived before the biblical time of Adam) is also neutral. The church neither confirms nor denies their existence. The same is true regarding the idea that there was no death on the earth prior to the fall; the church takes no official stance. Though the church is neutral on the subject, fossil and archaeological evidence overwhelmingly point to the existence of pre-adamites and death prior to the fall, and I'm inclined to accept the validity of that evidence. Keep in mind that the church neither supports nor condemns me in doing so. If you similarly choose to accept this evidence, I'm interested in how you reconcile the existence of pre-adamites with a literal, historical Adam and Eve. Perhaps Adam and Eve were the first humans only in the sense that they were the first children of God. Perhaps they were products of evolution, the apex of the pre-adamic race, and were merely the first of whom God breathed the breath of life into their nostrils. Perhaps they weren't created through the process of evolution, and the pre-adamites have no relation to them. Thoughts? Whatever the case may be, it cannot be denied that the best evidence available to us does seem to confirm the existence of pre-adamites. Please let me know what you believe on this subject and why. I would also be very interested if you are aware of any theories advanced by church leaders, or really anyone else for that matter. Thanks! EDIT: Apparently there is some disagreement on what the official doctrine of the church is on this subject. Some church leaders have expressed strong views that evolution is inconsistent with church teachings, and others have likewise expressed strong views that evolution is consistent with church teachings. I maintain that the church's official stance is neutral, which is what allows these church leaders to have their differences of opinion on the matter. Here's a source from that affirms the church's neutral position: "The Church has no official position on the theory of evolution. Organic evolution, or changes to species’ inherited traits over time, is a matter for scientific study. Nothing has been revealed concerning evolution." ( Irregardless of the official church doctrine, I intended for this thread to be centered around what you think about evolution. Let's keep the discussion civil as we express our opinions on the subject. Thanks.
  4. To go along with some of the other recent discussions about the nature of God and creation and cosmology, I have seen a couple of different themes that have caused me to wonder just what we think (if we all think the same thing) about the scope or extent of our Father's creation. I'm not quite sure how to explain what I am thinking here, but a few examples might show the idea I am trying to convey. From smallest to largest: 1) One discussion talked about us "creating planets". Is our Father's/Christ's creation limited to the Earth/Solar system, and everything outside of that is beyond what He created? 2) The scriptures say that God created the Sun, Moon, and stars and placed them in the firmament of heaven. With a couple of notable exceptions (I will come back to them), every star, cluster, nebula, object that we can see naked eye is within our own Milky Way galaxy/"island universe". Is God's creation limited to a single galaxy? Pertaining to this case, the notable exceptions are the Andromeda galaxy and the Triangulum galaxy (and maybe a few others, but definitely those two), both of which can be seen naked eye (when modern light pollution does not interfere). When I look up and see these clouds of light, am I looking beyond what our Father has created? When I pull out my telescope and observe any of the dozens of galaxies that my 150 mm diameter mirror will allow me to see, am I finding things that my Father did not create? I have seen some suggest that God must exist within the universe, so He cannot have created the entire universe, so this model might make sense if that is true. This also might appeal to those who believe in a "steady state" "the universe has always existed" "matter is eternal" kind of universe. 3) Did God create the entire observable universe? No matter what tool I devise, I cannot see anything beyond what the Father created. Does this place the Father (and the Son and our premortal selves) in a "place"/"dimension" outside of our universe? I'm sure there are other variations, but hopefully that gives some sense of what I am pondering. Personally, I am partial to something along the 3rd example -- that God through Christ created the entire observable universe. This suggests to me that the universe's existance (as I can see it, anyway) does not extend back in time indefinitely -- there must have been some beginning point. Whether the big bang's hypothesis that time and space were "created" together, I don't know. Since this kind of observation is beyond my mortal ability, I find it difficult to impossible to conceive of what "state" the universe was in before its creation, or to conceive of God's state outside of that universe. My hypothesis is that few LDS will go with a narrow scope of creation like 1. I would be curious, though, what we might think beyond that.
  5. I should preface this with a disclaimer: I don't care about the theory of organic evolution, I can take it or leave it. We know that creation ex nihilo (from nothing) is a false doctrine of apostate Christendom and is part of the philosophical construction which they call "the Trinity." We also know that matter, physical stuff which exists, is eternal and has no originator or origin. There is nothing which exists which is not material. If something is incorporeal, it doesn't exist. Think about the eternal nature of matter. Now think about what we are, and what the animals are, and what the plants are. We are living organisms, we might call it organic matter. Do you think that organic matter is uncreated and unoriginated the same way inanimate matter is? It seems apparent to me that biological organisms are not eternal, that they must be derived from unliving matter. We don't believe in a God that creates from nothing. We believe in a God which gives order and organization and law to pre-existing materials which he did not cause to be. This includes the laws upon which matter would change incrementally into a higher order. We know that living organisms can be derived from dead matter, because that's exactly what happened. Living things exist, so that is precisely what has happened. Matter has become living. How else would something as complex as our bodies be formed if not incrementally? Do you imagine Him causing dead matter to form all of the complex processes and materials of the body in one act of creation? In one moment? I'm not sure I do. Some have said that biological life on earth was brought from the eternal worlds and settled here on earth. I'm not sure what evidence there is in scripture for that premise. There are contradictions in scripture. Such as the idea that Adam and Eve are the first humans on this earth. I've heard a theory from a BYU biologist (I can't recall his name) wherein Homo sapiens pre-date Adam and Eve and what Adam and Eve are, are the first souls, the first parents of the race of Man. Meaning God took a male and female Homosapien and placed into them the spirits of Adam and Eve. The mind of gods were made flesh. I'm not sure what I think of this theory. Lehi also tells us that there was no death before the fall. Some people have said that this means no death in the garden of Eden only, meaning there was a death outside the garden. But Lehi is very clear that there was no death among all the things which were created. Organisms outside the garden of Eden are among those things created. People like Bruce R. McConkie and Joseph Fielding Smith (one of whom I admire) were very opposed to evolution. While men like B.H. Roberts and James A. Talmage took no issue with it. And those were just the golden oldies, I'm sure the same disagreements exist today. What do you think about evolution?
  6. How dare I approach God? How dare I ask for help, for mercy, for forgiveness? What makes me think the God of the universe would condescend to care about me? The Psalmist David answers: DON'T ABANDON ME FOR YOU MADE ME. This is why God-as-creator is so important, and why skeptics are so opposed to the discussion.
  7. Hi. My understanding: God lives I think on a globe, just like we do. Somewhere out there. Near a star called Kolob. Also, I understand that that where God lives is a celestial body. In fact a former earth-like globe that has been resurrected to a celestial glory. We are taught that we are the offspring of God and that we walked and talked with God. It seems clear that God engaged in a creative period, and after that period was over the host of heaven was finished. That means there is finite number to the host of heaven - created in that creative period Of course the host of heaven are the spirits of men. Because all things are firstly created spiritually. Okay, one question: Was the earth, spiritual or physical, created after all the host of heaven was finished? I think in Abraham the answer is affirmative, because it's only after the entire host of heaven is created (an assumption) is the notion put forward of making an earth for the children of God to dwell for the purpose of proving.