Prophets or Evolution - An LDS Perspective

 

Chapter 5

 

About God the Father

Part 2 of 2

 

 

“Will the Lord turn away from the honest heart seeking the truth? No, he will not; he will prove it to them, by the revelations of his Spirit, the facts in the case. And when the mind is open to the revelations of the Lord it comprehends them quicker and keener than anything that is seen by the natural eye. It is not what we see with our eyes—they may be deceived—but what is revealed by the Lord from heaven that is sure and steadfast, and abides forever.”

Brigham Young - DBY, 429–30

 

 

Pearl of Great Price

 

The Book of Moses is part of the Pearl of Great Price.  At one time it was part of the Bible, but parts of it were removed from the Bible (or was never put in) between the time Moses wrote it and the time the King James version of the Bible was translated.

 

  41 And in a day when the children of men shall esteem my words as naught and take many of them from the book which thou shalt write, behold, I will raise up another like unto thee; and they shall be had again among the children of men - among as many as shall believe.

Moses 1:41 [God speaking to Moses]

 

This verse has a clear reference to events between the time of Christ's former apostles and the time of new apostles, such as Joseph Smith.  During this time wicked men would tamper with the words of God as written by the prophets.

 

Note the phrase: "the children of men shall esteem my words as naught."  Not only were the scriptures themselves changed, but the doctrines of God were also changed to suit the purposes of evil men.  The Nicene Creed is one such example.

 

The true and living God is nothing like the Nicene Creed teaches.  The Nicene Creed is nothing but the "philosophies of men."

 

Also, note that in the above verse, God compared Joseph Smith to a modern day Moses: "I will raise up another like unto thee."

 

The Book of Moses tells mankind what the true and living God is like.  First of all, He can speak face-to-face with a prophet!!

 

  2 And [Moses] saw God face to face, and he talked with him, and the glory of God was upon Moses; therefore Moses could endure his presence.

  3 And God spake unto Moses, saying: Behold, I am the Lord God Almighty, and Endless is my name; for I am without beginning of days or end of years; and is not this endless?

  4 And, behold, thou art my son; wherefore look, and I will show thee the workmanship of mine hands; but not all, for my works are without end, and also my words, for they never cease.

  5 Wherefore, no man can behold all my works, except he behold all my glory; and no man can behold all my glory, and afterwards remain in the flesh on the earth.

  6 And I have a work for thee, Moses, my son; and thou art in the similitude of mine Only Begotten; and mine Only Begotten is and shall be the Savior, for he is full of grace and truth; but there is no God beside me, and all things are present with me, for I know them all.

  7 And now, behold, this one thing I show unto thee, Moses, my son, for thou art in the world, and now I show it unto thee.

  8 And it came to pass that Moses looked, and beheld the world upon which he was created; and Moses beheld the world and the ends thereof, and all the children of men which are, and which were created; of the same he greatly marveled and wondered.

  9 And the presence of God withdrew from Moses, that his glory was not upon Moses; and Moses was left unto himself. And as he was left unto himself, he fell unto the earth.

  10 And it came to pass that it was for the space of many hours before Moses did again receive his natural strength like unto man; and he said unto himself: Now, for this cause I know that man is nothing, which thing I never had supposed.

Moses 1:2-10 [narrative of Moses]

 

Because of this vision, Moses was able to comprehend the history of the earth: "And it came to pass that Moses looked, and beheld the world upon which he was created; and Moses beheld the world and the ends thereof, and all the children of men which are, and which were created; of the same he greatly marveled and wondered." (verse 8)

 

This verse from Moses makes it clear that God is able to show a prophet the entire history of the earth during a single conversation!!

 

According to this passage, God is so great that He states: "... for my works are without end, and also my words, for they never cease.  Wherefore, no man can behold all my works, except he behold all my glory; and no man can behold all my glory, and afterwards remain in the flesh on the earth." (verse 5)

 

Again, we see the greatness of God, but in this case Moses is not able to see a vision of the greatness of God and still remain on earth; thus he was not shown the entire greatness of God.

 

After the vision, it is stated of Moses: "And it came to pass that it was for the space of many hours before Moses did again receive his natural strength like unto man.”  Moses was so impressed and overcome by the glory and power of God that he could not even stand up for "many hours," after he had been shown the vision.

 

When Moses regained his strength, he stated "for this cause I know that man is nothing, which thing I never had supposed."  Moses did not mean that we humans are not important (remember, our spirits are literally the children of God, thus we are very important to God), what he meant is that we are spiritual and mental infants compared our great God.

 

Some time after the above revelation Moses was shown an even greater revelation:

 

  27 And it came to pass, as the voice was still speaking, Moses cast his eyes and beheld the earth, yea, even all of it; and there was not a particle of it which he did not behold, discerning it by the spirit of God.

  28 And he beheld also the inhabitants thereof, and there was not a soul which he beheld not; and he discerned them by the Spirit of God; and their numbers were great, even numberless as the sand upon the sea shore.

  29 And he beheld many lands; and each land was called earth, and there were inhabitants on the face thereof.

  30 And it came to pass that Moses called upon God, saying: Tell me, I pray thee, why these things are so, and by what thou madest them?

  31 And behold, the glory of the Lord was upon Moses, so that Moses stood in the presence of God, and talked with him face to face. And the Lord God said unto Moses: For mine own purpose have I made these things. Here is wisdom and it remaineth in me.

  32 And by the word of my power, have I created them, which is mine Only Begotten Son, who is full of grace and truth.

Moses 1:27-32 [narrative of Moses]

 

In this verse, Moses is shown many inhabited "earths."  Moses asks God why these earths were made.  The answer God gave was this: "For mine own purpose have I made these things. Here is wisdom and it remaineth in me."

 

In the prior chapter a quote from Brigham Young compared the mental abilities of humans, compared to God, as being similar to the gap in intelligence (and power) between a gnat and humans.  The intelligence of humans truly cannot be compared to the intelligence of God.  Yet, we are His children and have great potential!!

 

We know about these things because God is able to show prophets great things by His power.  Moses was shown the gap between human intelligence and the power of God.  Needless to say, Moses was stunned and such concepts had never entered into his mind before.

 

 

Astronomy

 

The church claims the Book of Moses was originally written by Moses.  While those who believe in the theory of evolution may not believe the Book of Moses was written by Moses; it is a historical fact that it was first published in 1831, the year after the Book of Mormon was published.

 

The year 1831 was about a hundred years before astronomers discovered galaxies.  The galaxies had been their all along, but in Joseph Smith's day scientists did not know about galaxies and they did not know about most of the stars in our own galaxy.  Telescopes were still very crude by today's standards.

 

In the Book of Moses the prophet Moses is having a conversation with God.  Consider the following versus (these versus are a continuation of the last-quoted versus):

 

  33 And worlds without number have I created; and I also created them for mine own purpose; and by the Son I created them, which is mine Only Begotten.

  34 And the first man of all men have I called Adam, which is many.

  35 But only an account of this earth, and the inhabitants thereof, give I unto you. For behold, there are many worlds that have passed away by the word of my power. And there are many that now stand, and innumerable are they unto man; but all things are numbered unto me, for they are mine and I know them.

  36 And it came to pass that Moses spake unto the Lord, saying: Be merciful unto thy servant, O God, and tell me concerning this earth, and the inhabitants thereof, and also the heavens, and then thy servant will be content.

  37 And the Lord God spake unto Moses, saying: The heavens, they are many, and they cannot be numbered unto man; but they are numbered unto me, for they are mine.

  38 And as one earth shall pass away, and the heavens thereof even so shall another come, and there is no end to my works, neither to my words.

  39 For behold, this is my work and my glory - to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.

  40 And now, Moses, my son, I will speak unto thee concerning this earth upon which thou standest; and thou shalt write the things which I shall speak.

Moses 1:33-40 [narrative of Moses]

 

These words of God to the prophet Moses present the perspective of God.  God's focus is on His children (see verse 39).  Thus, when God speaks He focuses on talking about His children.  Note that God talks about "worlds" (where His children live) and "heavens" (also where His children live).  God is more interested in talking about places where His children live, than He is in talking about the stars.

 

Our human astronomers cannot see the many inhabited planets in our Universe, thus scientists talk about "stars," which is what they can see.  That is the perspective of astronomers.

 

The flaw is with scientists who are unable to "see" the vast number of inhabited planets and heavens.  If scientists could see these inhabited planets, perhaps scientists would also talk about "worlds" instead of "stars."

 

As God is talking about innumerable planets and heavens; because planets (and assumedly heavens) need a star to orbit around; God is also talking about innumerable stars.

 

Talking about innumerable stars and innumerable inhabited planets and innumerable inhabited heavens were scientific nonsense at the time of Joseph Smith.  Scientists in Joseph Smith's day knew of only one inhabited planet and perhaps 2 inhabited "heavens" (i.e. heaven and hell).  Scientists knew nothing about innumerable stars (which are required for innumerable planets to exist).

 

Also, no scientist would have said in Joseph's day that stars were born and eventually died (though God was not specifically interested in that topic, He was talking about planets living and dying).  "And as one earth shall pass away, and the heavens thereof even so shall another come, and there is no end to my works, neither to my words."

 

In the time of Joseph Smith, the concept of a galaxy did not exist, thus scientists had no clue just how many stars there were in the Universe.

 

Scientists in Joseph Smith's day believed in what we now call the "steady state" theory; namely that the Universe has always existed and will always exist in its current state.  Heavenly Father talks about a very dynamic Universe.

 

Plus, for every star the scientists in 1831 could see, we now know there are more than a quadrillion stars.  In other words, there are more than a quadrillion times more stars known about today than in 1831!!

 

However, even today, astronomers can only "count" the stars they can see.  It may be that astronomers today can only "see" a very small percentage of all the stars in space.  There may even be other Universes.

 

In any case, the concept of a hundred billion galaxies, each with an average of a hundred billion stars, is routinely stated today.  But no human can conceive of such numbers!!

 

We can write symbols for such numbers but we cannot comprehend them any more than an ant can comprehend the number of grains of sand in the Sahara Desert.

 

This is why God stated in verse 35: "And there are many that now stand, and innumerable are they unto man; but all things are numbered unto me, for they are mine and I know them."

 

While we can write symbols for how many stars we think are in the Universe, we cannot begin to mentally grasp and comprehend even the number of stars we can see, much less the number of people on the planets and heavens related to these stars.

 

Today the words of the Book of Moses would not raise an eyebrow of a single astronomer.  He or she would simply say: "that is not surprising."  But in 1831, and even in 1931, a hundred years later, the Book of Moses was way ahead of its time.

 

Members of the church had to take it on faith that there were far, far more stars than scientists knew about in 1831.  And many did take it on faith.

 

Back in the early days of the church the members had to take a lot of things on faith.  Even today, members have to take a lot of things on faith.

 

Scientists today only know of a small number of planets which orbit other stars, and they don't know of a single inhabited planet other than earth.  Exactly what "heavens" are; we are not told.  No doubt there are many objects in the Universe we cannot see, thus we know nothing about them.

 

Some would say that it was just pure luck that the Book of Moses was correct and that the scientists in the 1830s were dead wrong.  Pure luck?

 

God created the Universe and reveals some of his secrets to His chosen prophets (see Amos 3:7 - "Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.").

 

Why would anyone be surprised that the scriptures of 1831 were far more accurate than the scientists of 1831 or even 2009?  Prophets get their information directly from God, not from science books.

 

Remember, the LDS church does not claim that Joseph Smith first wrote these things, the church claims Moses first wrote these things, long before telescopes were invented!!