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I have been thinking about the creation. Those thoughts have caused me to be amazed at how effective Lucifer has been at establishing his agenda in this world. We have gone from an almost universal belief in a Supreme Creator to a time when we have chased Him out of our classrooms.
Moses knew the truth. I wonder what people would do now with Moses in the witness chair in a class-action suit against the teaching of intelligent design.
“So, Mr. Moses, you believe that this world is an organized and created thing? A product of planning and design?”
“No, Counselor, I don’t believe that.”
“Pardon me. I thought you were a witness for the defense here. If you do not believe these things, why have you been called to testify in the case?”
“For that very reason. I do not believe. I know. I am an eyewitness. I saw God face to face. He showed me his creations. He showed me the creative process. I watched the forming of the world and the placing of the stars and the coming of the plants and animals. I observed the creation of man. That creation was not an accident. It was not a by-product of seawater and amino acids and forty-nine billion years of trial and error. It was a carefully planned and executed project under the direction of some really intelligent beings.”
Very few would take such a testimony seriously, of course. They would feel about Moses like Alma felt about the Zoramites on the Rameumptom. But we take it seriously. The testimony of the prophets, carried to our hearts by the power of the Spirit clarifies reality in a way that our own intellect never could.
Moses described the world. He saw every particle and every person (see Moses 1:27,28) and asked the Lord to tell him about it. “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?” (Moses 1:30). Moses asks “Why” and “How” and the Lord, after explaining that there are worlds without number (Moses 1:33) answers him regarding this world and its heaven.
“And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto Moses, saying: Behold, I reveal unto you concerning this heaven, and this earth; write the words which I speak. I am the Beginning and the End, the Almighty God; by mine Only Begotten I created these things; yea, in the beginning I created the heaven, and the earth upon which thou standest” (Moses 2:1).
I want to make a couple of observations about the creation that might be interesting. They relate to issues that unbelievers have with the Biblical account, and with intelligent design. One observation has to do with a creation that lasted only seven days.
“But first, what is a day? It is a specified time period; it is an age, an eon, a division of eternity; it is the time between two identifiable events. And each day, of whatever length, has the duration needed for its purposes. One measuring rod is the time required for a celestial body to turn once on its axis. For instance, Abraham says that according to ‘the Lord’s time” a day is ‘one thousand years’ long. This is ‘one revolution’ of Kolob, he says, and it is after the Lord’s Amanner of reckoning (Abr. 3:4).
“There is no revealed recitation specifying that each of the ‘six days’ involved in the Creation was of the same duration” (Bruce R. McConkie, “Christ and the Creation,” Ensign, June 1982, 11).
The word ‘day’ as it is used in the Biblical account is usually misinterpreted. The word that was translated as ‘day’ in the early chapters of Genesis is translated as ‘a season’ in Genesis 40:4, and as ‘process of time’ in Judges 11:4.
Determining how much time the creative process required cannot be a simple matter. Brigham Young said,
“Geologists will tell us the earth has stood so many millions of years. Why? Because the Valley of Western Colorado, here, could not have washed out without taking such a length of time. What do they know about it? Nothing in comparison. They also reason about the age of the world by the marvelous specimens of petrification that are sometimes discovered. Now we can show them plenty of places where there are trees, perfect stone, running into the solid rock, and perhaps the rock is forty, fifty, or a hundred feet above the tree. Yet it is a perfect tree. There is the bark, there is the heart, and there is the outer‑coating between the heart and the bark, all perfect rock. How long did it take to make this tree into rock? We do not know. I can tell them, simply this‑‑when the Lord Almighty brings forth the power of his chemistry he can combine the elements and make a tree into rock in one night or one day, if he chooses, or he can let it lie until it pulverises and blows to the four winds, without petrifying, just as he pleases. He brings together these elements as he sees proper, for he is the greatest chemist there is. He knows more about chemistry and about the formation of the earth and about dividing the earth, and more about the mountains, valleys, rocks, hills, plains, and the sands than all the scientific men that we have. This we can say of a truth” (Journal of Discourses, XV, August 11, 1872).
How much does God need to create things? For example, how long does it take him to make bread? I mean, how long does it really take? I am not talking about baking. I am talking about making. When we make bread, we must plant and nourish and harvest the seed (assuming we have seed to start with), and then we must grind and mix and then bake. How long? Months, anyway. But how long did it take Jesus to make bread? When he fed the 4000 and the 5000, how much time did he need to make bread?
How long does it take to make good wine? The rule is, the longer it takes, the better it is. I think that is a rule, anyway. I am not an expert in this matter. But how long did it take Jesus to make good wine? At the wedding feast, when the wine Jesus had made in an instant was served, the ruler of the feast said “Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now” (John 2:10).
That is the chemistry of God at work. All I mean to imply by this is that we cannot evaluate what we see in the creations around us by the light of our own scientific genius. As Brigham Young said, God “brings together these elements as he sees proper, for he is the greatest chemist there is.”
I have been thinking a bit about the creation of life as well. How did the plants, animals, and people get here? I have tried to think about this logically, knowing that my logic is pathetic compared to the intellect at work in the creation. But it is hard to think that God, each time he makes a new world, is required to reinvent everything he needs. A man who builds homes in Draper and then moves to Spanish Fork to build again does not need to reinvent bricks. He can get them from the same supplier he used in Draper or find one that is closer.
God found a place with space and materials and went to work (see Abraham 3:24). He prepared the earth to bring forth grass, herbs, trees (see Abraham 4:11), and he “prepared the earth to bring forth the living creature after his kind” (see Abraham 4:24).
If I decide to open a zoo in Orem, I don’t build cages and then wait for something to evolve, especially if I have built zoos in other places. I can just bring the things I need from other locations and begin a breeding or growing program here.
An insight from the account of the creation of man in Moses stands out. Notice this verse: “And I, the Lord God, planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there I put the man whom I had formed” (Moses 3:8). And this verse: “And I, the Lord God, took the man, and put him into the Garden of Eden, to dress it, and to keep it” (Moses 3:15).
Think about the significance of the word ‘put’. If God put Adam in the Garden, where did he come from? He must have been made somewhere else. The Lord describes this process with these words:
“And I, the Lord God, formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul, the first flesh upon the earth, the first man also; nevertheless, all things were before created; but spiritually were they created and made according to my word” (Moses 3:7).
What does it mean to become, of the dust of the ground a living soul? We are told that answer as well: “. . . inasmuch as ye were born into the world by water, and blood, and the spirit, which I have made, and so became of dust a living soul . . .” (Moses 6:59).
Brigham Young said:
“Though we have it in history that our father Adam was made of the dust of this earth, and that he knew nothing about his God previous to being made here, yet it is not so; and when we learn the truth we shall see and understand that he helped to make this world, and was the chief manager in that operation.
“He was the person who brought the animals and the seeds from other planets to this world, and brought a wife with him and stayed here. You may read and believe what you please as to what is found written in the Bible. Adam was made . . . as you and I are made, and no person was ever made upon any other principle” (Brigham Young: Journal of Discourses, Vol.3, p.319, April 20, 1856).
One final thought about this. Adam, after he was formed and received Eve as his wife, said of her: “This I know now is bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife; and they shall be one flesh” (Moses 3:23-24).
If Adam did not have a father and a mother, this verse makes no sense. If he was made, to use the language of Brigham Young, as we make adobes, why should he speak of his own marriage as an illustration of what a man should do when he marries–that is, leave his own parents and cleave unto his wife?
The verses in Job, chapters 36-40 contain a stern warning to those who would take God out of the creation equation. There we are told, “God thundereth marvellously with his voice; great things doeth he, which we cannot comprehend” (Job 37:5). We live in a society where many refuse to believe things they cannot comprehend. “Seeing is believing,” they say.
The phrase, “Seeing is believing” was first recorded about 1640. It means that only physical evidence is to be trusted. The idea has its origins in the account of Thomas, who was informed of the appearance of the resurrected Christ in his absence and said, “Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe” (John 20:25).
God asks a question of those who scoff at the idea of an organized creation and refuse to believe: “Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?” (Job 38:2). Are you so old, he then asks, that you saw the beginning of things?
“Knowest thou it, because thou wast then born? or because the number of thy days is great?” (Job 38:21).
Lehi spoke of a time when people would “dwindle in unbelief, after they have received so great blessings from the hand of the Lord—[and after] having a knowledge of the creation of the earth, and all men, knowing the great and marvelous works of the Lord from the creation of the world” (2 Nephi 1:10).
We live in Lehi’s day of dwindling. Nations, cultures, and people have abandoned their belief in the Creator to kneel and worship at the altar of evolution. What a blessing it is for us to know the truth and to worship the God who made the heavens in their glory, and the earth with all the beautiful things that are on the face of it.