Monday, November 10, 2014

Then I think to myself, what a wonderful world!

I'm a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as the Mormons. When possible on Sundays, I discuss some things related to my faith and what I believe. With respect to your own beliefs, I hope this gives you a chance to get to know me and my religion a little better. For previous installments, click here.

I consider myself an evolutionary creationist. To me, this means that was a Creator of our universe and our world, namely God or Heavenly Father. However, He is also bound by the laws of nature. He did not create something out of nothing, but rather organized matter that already existed into the world in which we now live.

Joseph Smith, the first prophet of the modern church, explained it this way:
You ask the learned doctors why they say the world was made out of nothing: and they will answer, ‘Doesn’t the Bible say He created the world?’ And they infer, from the word create, that it must have been made out of nothing. Now, the word create came from the word baurau which does not mean to create out of nothing; it means to organize; the same as a man would organize materials and build a ship. Hence, we infer that God had materials to organize the world out of chaos—chaotic matter, which is element, and in which dwells all the glory. Element had an existence from the time he had. The pure principles of element are principles which can never be destroyed; they may be organized and reorganized, but not destroyed. They had no beginning, and can have no end.” (Teachings, pp. 350–52.)
In the October 1975 General Conference, Elder N. Eldon Tanner spoke about how we must follow the laws of nature because "All of this is possible only because through the laws of nature, the Creator keeps creation in its course."

One of those laws is that of evolution. As far as I am concerned, there is no disputing the evidences of evolution, as first put forth by Charles Darwin. Clearly, plants, animals, and even humans have adapted over time to their environment and proven that there is survival of the fittest.

I don't, however, believe we all came out of some primordial soup or have a common ancestor with modern chimpanzees. I believe that God created the world and in that creation, set in motion the ability for all of nature to evolve, grow, and change as necessary to adapt and survive.

I think about that creation every time I am out in nature. This morning, Blake, Malcolm, and I hiked around Sky Meadows State Park to enjoy the colorful autumn foliage and cooler temperatures. The views from the top of these Appalachian foothills were amazing and I, personally, can't believe that these beautiful scenes came out of nothing and just random. Instead, I choose to believe in a Grand Designer who organized this earth for man to live in and enjoy, and I will forever be grateful for this wonderful earth.

Big fluffy clouds as seen on my way to Roanoke

The view from the Piedmont Overlook Trail at Sky Meadows State Park


Giggles said...

I completely agree with you. There is no conflict in my mind between evolution and creation just as there is no conflict between science and miracles.

AmandaStretch said...

Thank you. :)

Heidi said...

Amen to Lisa's comment! I'm a firm evolutionary creationist/intelligent design advocate. There is room in science (SCIENCE!) for religion, and room in religion for science. We talk a lot about miracles at my house, and we are pretty sure that science is a miracle. We pray for healing miracles and blessings, and sometimes the medication IS the miracle and blessing. I wish more people saw the miraculous in the scientific. Also, yay nature!