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I'm sure there will be plenty of letters to the editor regarding the official position of the church.

Clark, the article was dated December 2. The only batch of letters to the editor posted at BYU NewsNet since then was December 7, which had several comments about the football coaching change at BYU but nothing on creation and the Adventists.

what is the official stance on the creation and the age of the earth? what are acceptable beliefs for a TR carrying mormon to have regarding the creation? does one have to believe that adam and eve were the first humans, or that they existed at all? do we have to believe that there was no death before the fall? that the garden of eden was in MO?

i have thought long and hard about these issues, and find it very hard to take what is taught literally. but i can't find any statements by GA's stating that it is okay to believe anything other than the orthodox versions of these stories. of course they allow for a longer timeframe for it than most creationists, but still accept most of the stories as being literal history.

i would love to hear others' thoughts on this.

A web site titled Religious Responses to Evolution has a number of links to official and unofficial LDS teachings/pronouncements about evolution. LDS are about halfway down the page, under "Religious Groups Neutral or Ambivalent to Evolution."

BTW Mike, the official position of the church is that it has no position.

While the church might have no official position on evolution as a whole, I think it's position on the literal creation and the history of man is pretty clear.

Elder Nelson was pretty straightforward with the idea of a literal creation in his April, 2000 General Conference talk. The main area that he might have disagreed with is that the Creation wasn't six 24-hour days, but rather six distinct periods of time, where he stated, "whether termed a day, a time, or an age, each phase was a period between two identifiable events—a division of eternity."

If I understand right, the current understanding of evolution doesn't include periods quite like what he describes.

The church also has published articles like Donald W. Parry's "The Flood and the Tower of Babel” in the January, 1998 Ensign. And the Old Testament Chronology chart in the September 1980 Ensign, which all inicate a literal interpetation of the Old Testament, including a 6,000 year history of man and a global flood. Both of those also differ with current understandings of man's evolution, not to mention Earth's history.

With that in mind, I think the idea that we have a belief in a "creation period" is "similar" to what the Seventh Day Adventists believe is correct.

Yes, I think the Church has made a decision that the details of Creation are not going to become defining features of orthodoxy. The statements that are made are general enough that everything from the Big Bang to literal creation fit nicely under the umbrella of orthodoxy. Unlike Evangelicals, this is one fight Mormons have managed to sidestep. Couldn't this approach be used to sidestep disputes on some historical issues as well?

JKnoll, the bigger issue is whether the creation discussed in Genesis 1 is a spiritual creation or not. If it is, then its relation to the physical creation is ambiguous at best. This seems a literal reading of Moses although some, such as Elder McConkie, attempted to downplay the meaning of spiritual.

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