DennisTate

Are LDS open to Theistic Evolutionary Theory?

Are LDS open to the idea of Theistic Evolutionary Theory?  

14 members have voted

  1. 1. Are Latter day Saints open to some variation of Theistic Evolutionary Theory?

    • No
      4
    • Yes
      5
    • Perhaps... but that will depend on the wording for the explanation.
      5


Recommended Posts

Because you Latter day Saints are so open to near death experience accounts I think that you are in a position to deliver a knock out blow to Atheistic Evolutionary Theory because I've ran into some truly amazing explanations for how YHWH created the universe  and Multiverse previous to the creation of Eden and Adam and Eve.

Here is an awesome webpage that I found on near death experience accounts that is by members in good standing of the LDS.

https://www.near-death.com/science/experts/widdison-and-lundahl.html

 

 

Quote

 

Dr. Harold Widdison and Dr. Craig Lundahl's Near-Death Experience Research

harold_widdison.jpgDr. Harold A. Widdison earned a Bachelors degree in Sociology and a MBA from Brigham Young University. He received his Ph.D. in Medical Sociology in 1979 and taught at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona for thirty-one years before retiring in 2003. Dr. Widdison became interested in the subject of death, grief, and bereavement two months before his marriage when his father suddenly died in a car a accident. He later created and taught one of the first courses on these subjects in a university setting. He also had several family members share their experiences with him one uncle had an NDE (near-death experience) on the operating table and an adopted daughter had a visit from her dead grandfather. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is an explanation from a near death experiencer that fits amazingly well with chapter thirteen of of "Stephen Hawking's Universe" that was entitled The Anthropic Principle.  Dr. Hawking gave an Agnostic - Atheistic explanation for a variation of the Cyclic Model of the Universe in that chapter but..... this near death experiencer who was an Atheist before his brush with death explained that idea of the Cyclic Model in a much more logical manner that I think sets you LDS up in a special way.

https://www.near-death.com/experiences/exceptional/mellen-thomas-benedict.html#a05

Mellen Benedict:

Quote

 

At this point of my near-death experience, I found myself in a profound stillness, beyond all silence. I could see or perceive FOREVER, beyond Infinity. I was in the Void.

 

I was in pre creation, before the Big Bang. I had crossed over the beginning of time / the First Word / the First vibration. I was in the Eye of Creation. I felt as if I was touching the Face of God. It was not a religious feeling. Simply, I was at one with Absolute Life and Consciousness. When I say that I could see or perceive forever, I mean that I could experience all of creation generating itself. It was without beginning and without end. That’s a mind-expanding thought, isn’t it? Scientists perceive the Big Bang as a single event that created the Universe. I saw during my life after death experience that the Big Bang is only one of an infinite number of Big Bangs creating Universes endlessly and simultaneously. The only images that even come close in human terms would be those created by super computers using fractal geometry equations.
 
The ancients knew of this. They said God had periodically created new Universes by breathing out, and recreated other Universes by breathing in. These epochs were called Yugas. Modern science called this the Big Bang. I was in absolute, pure consciousness. I could see or perceive all the Big Bangs or Yugas creating and recreating themselves. Instantly I entered into them all simultaneously. I saw that each and every little piece of creation has the power to create. It is very difficult to try to explain this. I am still speechless about this.
 
It took me years after I returned from my near-death experience to assimilate any words at all for the Void experience. I can tell you this now: the Void is less than nothing, yet more than everything that is! The Void is absolute zero; chaos forming all possibilities. It is Absolute Consciousness; much more than even Universal Intelligence. The Void is the vacuum or nothingness between all physical manifestations. The SPACE between atoms and their components. Modern science has begun to study this space between everything. They call it Zero point. Whenever they try to measure it, their instruments go off the scale, or to infinity, so to speak. They have no way, as of yet, to measure infinity accurately. There is more of the zero space in your own body and the Universe than anything else!

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are some quotations on the basic ideas behind Grand Unified Theory and String Theory that fit astonishingly well with the higher invisible dimensions reported by near death experiencers such as Paul (or a friend of his) in 2 Corinthians 12:2-4:

Quote

 

"It was not until 1920 that the idea of linking electromagnetism and
gravity resurfaced. At that time a new theory of gravitation had been proposed by Albert Einstein (1879-1955), called the general theory of relativity. It was a replacement of Newton's theory, which had stood unchallenged since 1687. Inspired by Einstein's work, a young German mathematician named Theodore Kaluza was seized by a curious idea. The theory of relativity links space an time together to form a four-dimensional space-time continuum. What would happen, mused Kaluza, if general relativity were formulated in five rather than four dimensions? 
This is what Kaluza did, and to everyone's astonishment it was discovered that five-dimensional gravity obeys the same laws as
four-dimensional gravity as well as Maxwell's laws for the electromagnetic field. In other words, gravitation and electromagnetism are automatically unified in five dimensions, where electromagnetism is merely a component of gravity!"


The only drawback of the theory concerns the extra dimension. 
Why
don't we see it?
 An ingenious answer was provided by Oskar Klein. A
hosepipe viewed from afar looks like a wiggly line, i.e. one- dimensional.
However, on closer inspection it can be seen as a narrow tube. It is, in fact,
two-dimensional, and what was taken to be a point on the line is actually a
little circle going around the tube. In the same way, reasoned Klein, what we normally regard as a point in three dimensional space could in reality be a little circle going around a fourth space dimension. Thus Kaluza's extra
dimension might well exist, but be impossible to detect because it is closed
(circular) and rolled up to a very small circumference. 
In spite of
these bizarre overtones, it seems probable that in future a "theory of everything" will make use of the idea of unseen higher dimensions."
.
...

"Although nature manifests four distinct forces, physicists believe that
each may be part of a smaller number of more primitive forces. At high energy, the electromagnetic and weak forces appear to merge into a single "electroweak" force. Some "grand unified theories" suggest that a further amalgamation takes place between the electroweak and strong forces at as yet unattained energies. The most ambitious unification schemes envisage an amalgamation of all four forces into a single "superforce" at ultra-high levels of energy."
...


 

"The real burden in the next three centuries will not be the development of fancy mathematics, but the experimental testing of these ambitious theories. All current thinking about total unification assumes that the effects of linking all the forces and particles together will only become manifest at energies that are some trillion times greater than those currently attainable in particle accelerators. Probably we shall never reach such energies directly" ( A Theory of Everything" Volume 21 of "The World of Science)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Or by Dr. George Ritchie who back in 1943 was shown what was going on in four higher invisible dimensions of space and time.

https://www.near-death.com/experiences/exceptional/george-ritchie.html#a05e

 
Quote

 

e. His Observations of the Temple of Wisdom
 

The following is the testimony of George Ritchie's Temple of Wisdom and Heavenly City Experience: They then travel to a completely different realm where some kind of enormous university is located. Spirits dressed as monks busily and happily engaged in some form of artistic behavior or research. An enormous library exists here where all the important books of the universe are assembled. Ritchie asks Jesus if this is heaven. These are the spirits of people who grew beyond selfish desires while on Earth; but, like the spirits in hell, these spirits cannot see Jesus either.

Return to Top  
 f. His Vision of the Heavenly City
 

Ritchie is then taken into outer space toward a distant city made of brilliant light - similar in description to the heavenly city in the Book of Revelation (see also Revelation 21:10-27.) This is the place where people go who have become like Jesus while on Earth - a place where love is the dominant focus of life. This is heaven he realizes; but he is not allowed to enter it. Instead, Jesus shows him the future of Earth and is told to return to his physical body. At this point, Ritchie is revived from death.

 

 

 

 

Scientists believe that there are fundamental energy Super Strings but Chaim Henry Tejman writes some interesting ideas about Super Waves that has me wondering if there could also be fundamental energy Super Waves..... perhaps two infinitely ancient forces that began to work and experiment and create and plan and design universes over INFINITE time in the past and........ in a sense learn and could we say "evolve" and become more and more complex perhaps somewhat like the Law of Complexity Consciousness??? 

 

One near death experiencer had a really scary brush with death that does remind me of certain verses which could indicate something about how rough the neighbourhood may have been that the Ancient of Days the Father and the Ancient of Days the Holy Spirit and the Elohim grew up in???


Dr. Michael Yeager pleads guilty go having been very selfish.... and it seems like he may have been shown what life was like before God created various life forms such as angels and eventually us humans:

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/nt/mark/9?lang=eng

42 And whosoever shall aoffend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.

43 aAnd if thy hand offend thee, bcut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into chell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:

44 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

45 And if thy foot aoffend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:

46 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

47 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:

48 Where their aworm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

49 For every one shall be asalted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.

50 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have apeace one with another.

 

Quote

 

Dr. Michael Yeager, on the verge of suicide and with a knife to his wrist a fear hit him which he now recognizes as the fear of God. He dropped his knife and went to his knees and asked the Lord to forgive him of his sins and he gave his life to the Lord.

He was immediately freed from all addictions and was given a desire to tell others about Jesus. What stuck out to me the most is that he said that selfishness is the beginning of being on the pathway to hell. He mentions things like being obsessed with TV watching, sports and anything else we love more than God, as very dangerous and can place us on the wrong path.

One night when in prayer he received a vision of hell and the floor of his room opened up he kept falling down and down in a deep dark hole for miles and miles. It was very real and he could see, touch, smell, feel everything. Fear was filling his whole being.

A wind was blowing from this hole that seemed to be bottomless and the odor was so strong it was sickening. By looking between his feet he could see a distant orange glow. As he approached this orange glow it became bigger and bigger and he then entered a cavern and he was over a huge area of what looked like lava sending flames hundreds of feet into the air. Earth shattering explosions could also be heard. He knew he was still about 10,000 feet above this burning sea and even at that distance the heat was almost too much to bear and it felt like his skin was actually burning off.




The smell was so nauseating that it made him cough and gasp for air but there was none. His ears than began to be filled with a very eerie sound that sounded like humming. This sound was constant and got louder and louder as he approached the lava. God opened his understanding as to what the sound was. The sound was actually human beings screaming in unbelievable agony. He realized that God was showing him a vision of hell.

At about 200 feet above this lake of lava, fire and brimstone, the pain got almost too much to bear. He then saw some objects bobbing up and down in this burning sea of what looked like lava. There were tens of thousands of these objects. These objects were actually human beings bobbing up and down and back and forth. These people were weeping and wailing in extreme agony.

No relief from pain was available to them. Their bodies were burned black in this sea of fire and brimstone. Suddenly he plunged into the lava and it covered him and filled his eyes, nose throat, lungs etc. His eyes felt like they were being consumed out of their sockets and could barely breathe. He finds it difficult to explain the amount of pain he was experiencing. He also knew hell was eternal and no chance of getting out.

He was shown that selfishness is the gateway to hell. Excruciating pain overtook him fully as he was submerged in this sea of fire and brimstone that looked like lava. As he was sucked down into this sea he was in total darkness with no light at all. He was suffocating and could not take a breath but yet he was not dying. When he returned to the surface he realized that he was till intact and his five senses were very much alive.

There were other creatures in the sea of fire that looked like huge worms. They would come to the surface and then disappear and then return to the surface. About 20 feet from him he saw them coming to the surface and they were coming towards him. When they reached him they began boring into him and went inside his body and brain and were coming out of his eyes. They were driving him insane. (where the worm dieth not) There is no end to these things in hell. They are eternal. There is no place to go for any relief. There is no love there. It is totally void of love. An emptiness beyond comprehension enveloped him.

Although there were many, many others there, there were no communications whatsoever. Your memory is also there still with you and you can remember everything that went on in your life, including each time the Gospel was presented to you and you refused.

He then was gripped with an intense thirst. There was no way to quench this thirst. (rich man and Lazarus) If the message of the Gospel is rejected you will be forever tormented in hell like the Bible so clearly says. The voice of God then echoed across the sea of fire and brimstone and lava telling hell to release him and he was returned back to his room. " (Dr. Michael Yeager)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last year I listened to The Book of Moshiah again several times and if my memory does not fail me I thought that there were some verses in there that would perhaps fit with this general idea?  Do you know where those verses might be or other verses in the Book of Mormon that might fit with this theory?

Chapter 3 of Moshiah verse five seems to fit...... 

 

Quote

5 For behold, the time cometh, and is not far distant, that with power, the aLord bOmnipotent who creigneth, who was, and is from all deternity to all eternity, shall come down from heaven among the children of men, and shall dwell in a etabernacle of clay, and shall go forth amongst men, working mighty fmiracles, such as healing the sick, raising the dead, causing the lame to walk, the gblind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear, and curing all manner of diseases.

 

Edited by DennisTate
spelling and grammar and add scripture....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally, I lean towards a theistic evolution viewpoint for the development of life, and I think there are others within the Church who entertain similar possibilities. I also know that we had a stretch during the middle and late 20th century when many of us (including leaders like Joseph Fielding Smith and Bruce R. McConkie) who were staunch creationists and, while I don't think they ever spoke directly to the question of theistic vs. atheistic evolution, never spoke to the possibility of theistic evolution either. Elder McConkie, in his "Seven Deadly Heresies" speech, declared evolution to be a heresy. However, I have observed that he spends most of that portion of the speech decrying atheism and never directly addressed those who believe in evolution and retain a belief in God.

Some of this could be a conflation of the concepts of theistic evolution and creationism. I know they occupy different categories in my own mind, but it seems that, in and out of the Church, some people treat them as variations of the same thing and others treat them as separate things.

We had a creationist streak run through us for a few decades, but I see support building for shifting to a theistic evolution viewpoint.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a problem with using time as a dimension.  In mathematical terms time is a discontinuous function and therefore cannot be considered to be a dimension.  There is some mitigation that actual time is continuous and not accurately defined mathematically - but such mitigation is far from being demonstrated.  Jesus warned about building a house on sand - building on theory that cannot be demonstrated is worse than sand.  There is a lot in science and the universe that we do not see or understand - 95% at least.  Never-the-less, as a scientist and a deeply religious person, I would suggest constructing your models of truth upon foundations you know to be rock solid.

 

The Traveler

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suspect creation happened more recently than most theistic evolutionists propose. Also, while God set evolution in motion, it's likely, in my always humble opinion, that God had a heavier hand in the process than many theistic evolutionists suggest. That said, I'm a history-education-theology guy, not a scientist. I don't prescribe medicine either. :ph34r:

Edited by prisonchaplain

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/7/2020 at 10:41 AM, MrShorty said:

Personally, I lean towards a theistic evolution viewpoint for the development of life, and I think there are others within the Church who entertain similar possibilities. I also know that we had a stretch during the middle and late 20th century when many of us (including leaders like Joseph Fielding Smith and Bruce R. McConkie) who were staunch creationists and, while I don't think they ever spoke directly to the question of theistic vs. atheistic evolution, never spoke to the possibility of theistic evolution either. Elder McConkie, in his "Seven Deadly Heresies" speech, declared evolution to be a heresy. However, I have observed that he spends most of that portion of the speech decrying atheism and never directly addressed those who believe in evolution and retain a belief in God.

Some of this could be a conflation of the concepts of theistic evolution and creationism. I know they occupy different categories in my own mind, but it seems that, in and out of the Church, some people treat them as variations of the same thing and others treat them as separate things.

We had a creationist streak run through us for a few decades, but I see support building for shifting to a theistic evolution viewpoint.

Wow!!!!!

Thank you for this phenomenal and truly encouraging answer.

A near death experiencer who met with Messiah Yeshua - Jesus for forty five minutes reported being told by Jesus in His glorious immortal form that........... as the Word - Logos He had actually......."made Himself" and then threw away the mold???!!!!

That statement really got me thinking about this topic again.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/7/2020 at 5:59 PM, Traveler said:

There is a problem with using time as a dimension.  In mathematical terms time is a discontinuous function and therefore cannot be considered to be a dimension.  There is some mitigation that actual time is continuous and not accurately defined mathematically - but such mitigation is far from being demonstrated.  Jesus warned about building a house on sand - building on theory that cannot be demonstrated is worse than sand.  There is a lot in science and the universe that we do not see or understand - 95% at least.  Never-the-less, as a scientist and a deeply religious person, I would suggest constructing your models of truth upon foundations you know to be rock solid.

 

The Traveler

Brilliantly stated!

One of the reasons why I keep thinking about this topic is that it gives us something to work with while we are digging for gold nuggets in Ezekiel chapter thirty seven and Revelations chapter twenty!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/7/2020 at 6:32 PM, prisonchaplain said:

I suspect creation happened more recently than most theistic evolutionists propose. Also, while God set evolution in motion, it's likely, in my always humble opinion, that God had a heavier hand in the process than many theistic evolutionists suggest. That said, I'm a history-education-theology guy, not a scientist. I don't prescribe medicine either. :ph34r:

My own view is that YHWH was working from infinite time in the past.....

as well as learning from infinite time in the past......

as well as getting better and better and better and better at creating life forms in all eleven or twenty six or more dimensions of space  and time, and I believe that the creation of Adam and Eve somewhere around six millennia ago (in linear time), was an accomplishment that YHWH was truly pleased with.

A near death experiencer reported being shown that at the time of the creation of Covering Cherub Halel - Lucifer, the Word - Logos knew that he would rebel....... but he was created anyway....  and that event occurred a very long time ago...... I suspect before the creation of Adam and Eve and the fixing up of the universe of Genesis chapter one and verse two.  I believe in the Gap Theory on there being a great deal of time between Genesis one verse one and Genesis one verse two.  

Edited by DennisTate
grammar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I distill the 1909 article, I end up with two main points -- God is the creator and man is created in God's image. I tend to conclude that we are open to any cosmology that incorporates those two elements (God is creator and man is created in God's image). Often the big debate that makes enemies of lifelong friends and so on is whether or not a theistic evolution worldview can adequately embrace those two points. As I noted before, I tend to think it can, but I know many in the Church past and present who felt that it could not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, MrShorty said:

When I distill the 1909 article, I end up with two main points -- God is the creator and man is created in God's image. I tend to conclude that we are open to any cosmology that incorporates those two elements (God is creator and man is created in God's image). Often the big debate that makes enemies of lifelong friends and so on is whether or not a theistic evolution worldview can adequately embrace those two points. As I noted before, I tend to think it can, but I know many in the Church past and present who felt that it could not.

The only idea not explicitly said, although maybe implicitly said, is that as members we are open and should be open to any truth. Truth leads us to greater knowledge and to God and His Christ. 

In that light, I would say we are open to any "true" cosmology that incorporates true principles and teachings. If a cosmology contradicts (or any other science emphasis) revealed world, then we will want to reject the theories that contradict. As we are informed, the theories of science and the theories of religion are what contradict. When we recognize what was actually "true" or see what is actually "true" we will then see how science and religion (as God's reality, his realm of knowledge and command), we will see they don't contradict.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, MrShorty said:

When I distill the 1909 article, I end up with two main points -- God is the creator and man is created in God's image. I tend to conclude that we are open to any cosmology that incorporates those two elements (God is creator and man is created in God's image). Often the big debate that makes enemies of lifelong friends and so on is whether or not a theistic evolution worldview can adequately embrace those two points. As I noted before, I tend to think it can, but I know many in the Church past and present who felt that it could not.

 

2 hours ago, Anddenex said:

The only idea not explicitly said, although maybe implicitly said, is that as members we are open and should be open to any truth. Truth leads us to greater knowledge and to God and His Christ. 

In that light, I would say we are open to any "true" cosmology that incorporates true principles and teachings. If a cosmology contradicts (or any other science emphasis) revealed world, then we will want to reject the theories that contradict. As we are informed, the theories of science and the theories of religion are what contradict. When we recognize what was actually "true" or see what is actually "true" we will then see how science and religion (as God's reality, his realm of knowledge and command), we will see they don't contradict.

It is my understanding that the concept of "creation" in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not ex nihilo or out of "nothing" but more of a concept of intelligent engineering of change or to organize.    To be honest, I cannot think of a better definition or statement of evolution than that idea of constant vigil of intelligent oversight in maintaining order in a universe capable of change - especially change defined by the second law of thermal dynamics. 

I have argued with many fellow scientists - that believing life can evolve by chance from singularity is infinitely more far fetched and improbable than the probability of a G-d.  But then my atheists friends say - that such does not answer where G-d came from - to which I say they missed the whole point that intelligence evolves.  Since we know intelligence exist because we are intelligent - that evolution defines at its foundation that G-d is a possibility that cannot be discounted without explicit proof.

 

The Traveler

Edited by Traveler

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As an outsider, I remember reading Sterling McMurrin's stuff on evolution and theology in the 1990s and found it sensible. Nowadays I'm not so sure & tend to doubt whether theism and evolution can be reconciled. Even if evolution does not necessarily need to be 'godless' there are still the factors of the immense stretches of time, and (pointless?)animal cruelty to consider-at least for me. Of course, God could guide or use evolution to bring about a wonderful creation. But why would he-unless his options were pretty limited.  The Samuel Johnson observation on women preachers comes to mind.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, lonetree said:

As an outsider, I remember reading Sterling McMurrin's stuff on evolution and theology in the 1990s and found it sensible. Nowadays I'm not so sure & tend to doubt whether theism and evolution can be reconciled. Even if evolution does not necessarily need to be 'godless' there are still the factors of the immense stretches of time, and (pointless?)animal cruelty to consider-at least for me. Of course, God could guide or use evolution to bring about a wonderful creation. But why would he-unless his options were pretty limited.  The Samuel Johnson observation on women preachers comes to mind.

Thank you for that informative reply that gives me some names to do a search for.

What I mean is the idea that even when children are in the form of spermatazoa and ova they are even then in the "image of God" but...... in the image of God countless billions and trillions of years ago.  

 

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Edited by DennisTate
add scripture

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/18/2020 at 10:16 AM, lonetree said:

As an outsider, I remember reading Sterling McMurrin's stuff on evolution and theology in the 1990s and found it sensible. Nowadays I'm not so sure & tend to doubt whether theism and evolution can be reconciled. Even if evolution does not necessarily need to be 'godless' there are still the factors of the immense stretches of time, and (pointless?)animal cruelty to consider-at least for me. Of course, God could guide or use evolution to bring about a wonderful creation. But why would he-unless his options were pretty limited.  The Samuel Johnson observation on women preachers comes to mind.

I wanted to respond to your post - specifically about g-dless evolution and the pointlessness of current cruel conditions.  I believe that you are thinking that suffering and death is pointless.  This seems to be a primary argument posed from modern thinking attempting to reconcile divine intelligence as a prime factor in the affairs of our universe.  The first point that I would make is that the cruelty of suffering and death only seems pointless if one is attempting to remove the concept of a loving compassionate G-d from the universe.  And the first point concerning our universe - that I would make - is that for all we know of this vast universe - here on this earth is the only place in all the universe we know of where life is suffering and dying.  Obviously, life is, as far as we know, the most rare commodity of this universe.  If this universe is G-dless then life is an aberration and the only way to rid the universe of the anomalie is by suffering and death.  This means that suffering and death is not pointless in a g-dless universe.  What would be pointless in a G-dless universe is life, rightness and wrongness, freedom, liberty, justice and everything else that intelligence would consider as being beyond pointless.

But what if there is a G-d?  From the standpoint of Christianity there are two "points" to consider.  First is the fall of mankind, which came of necessity from the quest of mankind for the knowledge of good and evil.  To me there are obvious flaws in the logic of most religious theology - this is why I personally find the theology of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints one of the very few religious notions - plausible.  A critical element of  the theology of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is that everything has its opposite.  Therefore good cannot exist without its evil opposite and thus good cannot be "known" without a knowledge of evil and vice versa.   And so cruelty and suffering does have a point - and that point is two fold - first so that the opposite of cruelty and suffering can exist and secondly - that the knowledge of good (as expressed in G-dlyness ) can be obtained or acquired.    So it is that this earthly planet uniquely exists in this universe - and as far as we know is the only such unique place where this knowledge of good and evil can be obtained.  This is by itself is a most critical and important reason for suffering and cruelty.  A small abnormal superimposed temporary non-steady state condition on the superhighway of eternity.  And this is the second point to consider - that humans and all other forms of life are not mortal, existing but to eventually suffer cruelly and die but are eternal beings having a temporary mortal experience - which is the purpose of G-d's creation and evolution of human knowledge and intelligence.  

 

The Traveler

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Traveler said:

I wanted to respond to your post - specifically about g-dless evolution and the pointlessness of current cruel conditions.  I believe that you are thinking that suffering and death is pointless.  This seems to be a primary argument posed from modern thinking attempting to reconcile divine intelligence as a prime factor in the affairs of our universe.  The first point that I would make is that the cruelty of suffering and death only seems pointless if one is attempting to remove the concept of a loving compassionate G-d from the universe.  And the first point concerning our universe - that I would make - is that for all we know of this vast universe - here on this earth is the only place in all the universe we know of where life is suffering and dying.  Obviously, life is, as far as we know, the most rare commodity of this universe.  If this universe is G-dless then life is an aberration and the only way to rid the universe of the anomalie is by suffering and death.  This means that suffering and death is not pointless in a g-dless universe.  What would be pointless in a G-dless universe is life, rightness and wrongness, freedom, liberty, justice and everything else that intelligence would consider as being beyond pointless.

But what if there is a G-d?  From the standpoint of Christianity there are two "points" to consider.  First is the fall of mankind, which came of necessity from the quest of mankind for the knowledge of good and evil.  To me there are obvious flaws in the logic of most religious theology - this is why I personally find the theology of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints one of the very few religious notions - plausible.  A critical element of  the theology of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is that everything has its opposite.  Therefore good cannot exist without its evil opposite and thus good cannot be "known" without a knowledge of evil and vice versa.   And so cruelty and suffering does have a point - and that point is two fold - first so that the opposite of cruelty and suffering can exist and secondly - that the knowledge of good (as expressed in G-dlyness ) can be obtained or acquired.    So it is that this earthly planet uniquely exists in this universe - and as far as we know is the only such unique place where this knowledge of good and evil can be obtained.  This is by itself is a most critical and important reason for suffering and cruelty.  A small abnormal superimposed temporary non-steady state condition on the superhighway of eternity.  And this is the second point to consider - that humans and all other forms of life are not mortal, existing but to eventually suffer cruelly and die but are eternal beings having a temporary mortal experience - which is the purpose of G-d's creation and evolution of human knowledge and intelligence.  

 

The Traveler

Thank you for stating the LDS case so clearly.  My view is that-in the case of theistic evolution- there would be an enormous amount of suffering to account for by a loving God. I say pointless exactly because life is involved. How much natural carnage is enough to bridge the gap between animal changes and species-over millions of years? (I admit my knowledge of the whole process is sketchy here-but we're talking about a good long time). And even in the general LDS view of suffering, there is an end to it ultimately(as Rev. 21.4 says), isn't there? Or will there always be that good-evil reality?
     Additionally, as far as I can tell, the LDS concept of God is a very personal one. And He is not only a personal being but has a fair amount of power-compared to ordinary mortals. Theistic evolution may be a great fit for an impersonal lumbering 'divine' force, but for an acting, choosing & because of knowledge acquired, very resourceful deity, I can't see it. The pre-Darwinian account of creation, on the other hand, removes that tension but leads to other problems.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@DennisTate I've been reading a few of your posts lately, and you seem to fixate on near death experiences a lot. You often talk about theories, or teachings by mystics in and out of the church of Christ.

I think you're missing the point.

What makes the Church of Jesus Christ strong, is its doctrines. These doctrines are simple and easy. Look through the scriptures, and you'll find there's nothing mentioned about string theory, or multiverse theory, or "grand unified theory." 

We as a church are not in a position to disprove anything, especially not while using near death experiences as our evidence. What we are in a position to do, is prove that God lives, and loves his children, that he actively ministers among Man through the organization and execution of the priesthood offices. This is our stance: the pure and simple doctrines of the plan of salvation, the restoration, and the teachings of Jesus Christ. Anything more than this cometh of evil.

@DennisTate, have you read the Book of Mormon? If so, when was the last time you read it all the way through? I promise you, you have so much more to learn about the nature of creation from that book than you have to learn from unaffiliated, non-endorsed visions and revelations.such as you've referenced.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, lonetree said:

Thank you for stating the LDS case so clearly.  My view is that-in the case of theistic evolution- there would be an enormous amount of suffering to account for by a loving God. I say pointless exactly because life is involved. How much natural carnage is enough to bridge the gap between animal changes and species-over millions of years? (I admit my knowledge of the whole process is sketchy here-but we're talking about a good long time). And even in the general LDS view of suffering, there is an end to it ultimately(as Rev. 21.4 says), isn't there? Or will there always be that good-evil reality?
     Additionally, as far as I can tell, the LDS concept of God is a very personal one. And He is not only a personal being but has a fair amount of power-compared to ordinary mortals. Theistic evolution may be a great fit for an impersonal lumbering 'divine' force, but for an acting, choosing & because of knowledge acquired, very resourceful deity, I can't see it. The pre-Darwinian account of creation, on the other hand, removes that tension but leads to other problems.

One thing left out of our discussion - and i thought you would notice - is that G-d; as presented by his Son, suffered the ultimate cruelty which is death.  Christian scripture informs us that sin is the cause of death and that because of the suffering unto death by the Messiah - that death and suffering for mortal beings becomes temporary.  In the theology of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints there are clearly two types of suffering and deaths.  This seems to be defined in Christian scripture but not as clearly as it is in modern revelation and scripture that has been brought forth in what we LDS call as the time of restoration of all things.  So the two types of suffering and deaths are physical and spiritual.  In the theology of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - the spirit is immortal and continues after the physical death.  Spiritual death and suffering therefore is the exile from G-d - which is part of our current fallen state.

You have brought up the notion of animal cruelty.  Growing up my family relied both on animals we raised for our table and animals we hunted.  All animals rely on living things for survival.  But sentient intelligence is speculative (unproven) in non-human species.  Obviously I am alive but I have been present on several occasions when death takes place.  It appears to me that the anticipation of death is the worse part of that experience and that humans seem to suffer the most of all species in the way we anticipate and expect death.  I would say that being present at death has been, at least for me, a profound "spiritual" experience and that providing comfort for those anticipating death is an extraordinarily uplifting spiritual experience.

The scientist in me finds evolution to be wonderful and quite possibility an attribute of G-d.   In short, evolution is the one good possibility in the cycle of life and death.  In the scientific community; intelligence is defined by the ability to learn and modify or change behavior.  I personally see death as the ultimate experience of mortality and thus death is symbolic of the knowledge of evil.  The knowledge of good is sacrifice and the resurrection - both of which are expressed in the atonement of Christ.  And so I believe we exercise our individual intelligence following our experience of death and resurrection to then stand before G-d in resurrected flesh to choose or establish our eternal behavior as we have learned and thus become free and spiritually alive - or bound by sin and the cruelty of death.

 

The Traveler

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/19/2020 at 9:06 PM, Moonbeast32 said:

@DennisTate I've been reading a few of your posts lately, and you seem to fixate on near death experiences a lot. You often talk about theories, or teachings by mystics in and out of the church of Christ.

I think you're missing the point.

What makes the Church of Jesus Christ strong, is its doctrines. These doctrines are simple and easy. Look through the scriptures, and you'll find there's nothing mentioned about string theory, or multiverse theory, or "grand unified theory." 

We as a church are not in a position to disprove anything, especially not while using near death experiences as our evidence. What we are in a position to do, is prove that God lives, and loves his children, that he actively ministers among Man through the organization and execution of the priesthood offices. This is our stance: the pure and simple doctrines of the plan of salvation, the restoration, and the teachings of Jesus Christ. Anything more than this cometh of evil.

@DennisTate, have you read the Book of Mormon? If so, when was the last time you read it all the way through? I promise you, you have so much more to learn about the nature of creation from that book than you have to learn from unaffiliated, non-endorsed visions and revelations.such as you've referenced.

You are correct....  I read over half of the Book of Mormon back during the 1990's but I got distracted with all the other things I was reading.  I attended the local Ward two or three times back in those days, I enjoyed it.... .but it was a pretty long drive from my home.

I think it would have been 2018 when I heard Mr. Mark Taylor state that the 2012 election was probably stolen from Mr. Mitt Romney........ I remembered the "White Horse President Prophecy" and I decided to go to the local Ward of the LDS here in Nova Scotia and I did make it up four times during 2019.  I even took a visiting buddy from England there and he was also impressed.  He stated that you LDS where the most welcoming...... the least judgmental... .and the most friendly Christians that he had ever met.  I concurred with his analysis.  (He also was reminded of some of his own experiences by what he read of Prophet Joseph Smith).

Anyway........ I did pray a lot and asked to be shown if Messiah Yeshua - Jesus wanted me to become a Latter day Saint?  What I feel to be clearly led to so far is that once we move to near Toronto I have to attempt to link with a Jewish synagogue as either a Noahide or perhaps even a full fledged Prostylite to Judaism.

That may sound strange... but that is how I clearly feel led at this time..... and one of the simple reasons for this is because I am one of the only Christians that I know of that could perhaps fairly easily fit in in a synagogue, (this is partly because I see zero obvious errors in any of the lectures that I have heard from near death experiencer Rabbi Alon Anava.

I believe that I am supposed to play the role of something of an unofficial ambassador between Jews and Latter day Saints and others who will listen..... and......  I am convinced that you Latter day Saints are indeed destined to SAVE THE USA CONSTITUTION AS WELL AS THE USA PETRO-DOLLAR that is under extreme attack by George Soros, China, Iran, a segment of the leadership of Russia and left wing radical even in the USA.

Cooperation with the nation of Israel and with Jewish scholars is a major key to saving the USA constitution as well as the dollar.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There could be scriptural support for theistic evolution in LDS scripture, this is a potential interpretation but I'm interested in what others think:

Moses 2:20-21:

20) And I, God, said: Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl which may fly above the earth in the open firmanent of heaven.

21) And I, God, created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind; and I God, saw that all things which I had created were good.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Dismatt said:

There could be scriptural support for theistic evolution in LDS scripture, this is a potential interpretation but I'm interested in what others think:

Moses 2:20-21:

20) And I, God, said: Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl which may fly above the earth in the open firmanent of heaven.

21) And I, God, created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind; and I God, saw that all things which I had created were good.

 

This appears to be a very large stretch of scripture. Here is more likely the reading, "And I, God, created whales which the waters brought forth abundantly...." The "and" is simply a statement specifying an additional clause for God created great whales (and every living creature that moves on the planet). It is not saying every living creature came forth from the water.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/9/2020 at 11:59 PM, Anddenex said:

This appears to be a very large stretch of scripture. Here is more likely the reading, "And I, God, created whales which the waters brought forth abundantly...." The "and" is simply a statement specifying an additional clause for God created great whales (and every living creature that moves on the planet). It is not saying every living creature came forth from the water.

Well, compare this to what's said in Abraham (4:20-21):

20 And the Gods said: Let us prepare the waters to bring forth abundantly the moving creatures that have life; and the fowl, that they may fly above the earth in the open expanse of heaven.

21 And the Gods prepared the waters that they might bring forth great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters were to bring forth abundantly after their kind; and every winged fowl after their kind. And the Gods saw that they would be obeyed, and that their plan was good.

...

24 And the Gods prepared the earth to bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle and creeping things, and beasts of the earth after their kind; and it was so, as they had said.

A few things I find interesting here: the waters/earth are described as being "prepared" to bring forth "after their/his kind". Based on this description it doesn't appear to me that whales or the living creatures were created on the spot but that the environment was prepared to to be brought forth and the Gods watch and see that they were obeyed. Also in v2 it states "and the Spirit of the Gods was brooding upon the face of the waters." An 1828 dictionary of "Brood" gives: "To sit on and cover, as a fowl on her eggs for the purpose of warming them and hatching chickens, or as a hen over her chickens, to warm and protect them."

Notice also the creation of man is described separately.

I only find this interesting, I don't expect to understand the creation process and I know evolution has been denied by Church leaders but currently takes no stance. I just find it interesting that this sounds very similar to the general consensus among scientists.

 

 

 

Edited by Dismatt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now