Many years ago as a young seminary teacher and then as an institute teacher I became fascinated with the creation. For one thing, it didn't make sense to me how this earth could have been created in seven days as the Bible indicates. There is just too much scientific evidence regarding the ancient age of the earth -- and then what about the dinosaurs?
I began an intensive study regarding the creation from a scriptural point of view as well as from what science had to say regarding the subject. I accumulated article after article that eventually filled a very large three ring binder. I studied the laws of first and second thermodynamics, the law of entropy, evolution, cataclysmic creation, and etc.. I read everything Brigham Young and other gospel scholars had to say about the subject. In teaching the creation I felt obliged to share all I knew with my students. I shudder now to think back on those lessons and my poor students. I thought I was really on to something regarding how this earth was created.
Well, as the years have gone by, thankfully I have gained a little more wisdom. As I study
Moses, Abraham, and ponder the creation account given to us in the temple I know that the
Lord in his infinite wisdom is much more concerned that we understand why this earth was
created as opposed to how it was created. I now believe the greatest truth regarding how this earth was created is given to us in the book of Moses. Moses had just asked the Lord how and why this earth was created and all of the stars and etc.. The Lord responded as follows: (Moses 1:32-33.) "And by the word of my power, have I created them, which is mine Only Begotten Son, who is full of grace and truth. 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."
I suppose this is all we need to know about how this world and all of the other worlds were
created. I am just overwhelmed when I consider the thought that the Father through the Son has created worlds without number. What does that mean? How do you comprehend that? And then the Lord went on to say to Moses - (Moses 1:37-38.) "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."
The Lord isn't going to tell us more than that about the "how" of creation and I am convinced at this time in my life that this is all we need to know. He is much more concerned it seems that we understand the "why" of creation which he gives in the next vs. (Moses 1:39.) "For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man."
Last week, JoAnne and I were listening to the BYU devotional and heard the most inspiring
lecture regarding the creation that we have ever heard. It was given by John R. Lamb, a professor of chemistry at BYU. He has written over 150 scholarly articles that have been published worldwide in the scientific community. He has been an in residence professor at
four major universities in Europe and etc.. But to me, his greatest credential is that he is a
returned missionary who served his mission in northern Italy. With all of his scholarly knowledge he is a humble and faithful latter-day saint. In speaking of these verses in Moses he gave the following analogy: if you could build a spaceship better than the spaceship Enterprise -- one which could overcome time space and begin your space voyage when
you were first born and only one second old -- and then in your special spaceship take one
second to visit each Star in our galaxy which could support life like this earth and spend just one second exploring it, and if you lived to be 100 years old and traveled nonstop all that time, by the end of your life you would have visited 1.5 billion stars, which is not even one percent of the stars in our milky way galaxy. Beyond that he said that with the Hubble telescope which has been launched out into outer space we are aware of at least 150 billion other galaxies as big or bigger than the one upon which we live.
Then this great scientist said that when he thought of these creations and looked up into the night sky and saw the stars available to human eyes he was always prompted to think of the words in the great hymn, "How Great Thou Art!" "Oh Lord my God, when I in solemn wonder, consider all the worlds thy hands have made, then sings my soul my Savior God to thee - How Great Thou Art - How Great Thou Art!" You see, I had missed the point for many years of my life regarding the creation. I will tell you that as I consider the creation now that my soul sings. And the greatest thought is that somehow this great creator, as unbelievable as it may seem, and in some way we do not understand, knows each one of us intimately and has created all of this for us. All of the worlds that have ever been created have been created for one purpose and one purpose only so that Heavenly Father's Children could have the opportunity of obtaining the gift of Eternal Life.
One of the great scientists of our age, Stephen Hawking, paralyzed and only able to use the
thumb on his right hand, not even being able to speak, and yet the discoverer of great scientific truths concerning the universe, had this to say about the creation: "Although science may solve the problem of how the universe began, it cannot answer the question: Why does the universe bother to exist? I don't know the answer to that." (Stephen W. Hawking, Black Holes and Baby Universes [New York: Bantam Books, 1993], p. 99) "... What is the nature of the universe? What is our place in it and where did it and we come from? Why is it the way it is...If we do discover a complete theory... then we shall all... be able to take part in the discussion of the question of why it is that we and the universe exist. If we find the answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason, for then we would know the mind of God." (Stephen W. Hawking, A Brief History of Time [New York: Bantam Books, 1988], pp. 171, 175)
I wonder if an LDS scientist has ever spoken to Stephen Hawking? Thankfully, we know the
answers to his questions have been given to us in our day. I am grateful that my thinking about the creation has evolved to where it is now over the years. My soul does sing when I consider the great creator of heaven and earth. Thanks be to Joseph Smith and modern-day revelation for these great truths that have been restored to the earth in our day. As Alma was confronted by Korihor the antichrist, who had asked for a sign to prove that there was a God, he gave him the following significant message: (Alma 30:44.) "But Alma said unto him: Thou hast had signs enough; will ye tempt your God? Will ye say. Show unto me a sign, when ye have the testimony of all these thy brethren, and also all the holy prophets? The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator."
I suppose that this is all we need to know concerning the creation of this earth. But what about the dinosaurs?