The Bible version, of course, simply reads: "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth" (Gen. 1:1), and so he did!

The earth did not come into being by some spontaneous but unknown means, as the scholars say. It was ordered and planned by the Almighty himself, even before the creation was begun. When the primeval council was held in heaven; when Jehovah was chosen as the Savior, and Satan rebelled; when all the sons of God shouted for joy—in that period was it planned, designed, and ordered. (Moses 4:1-3; Job 38.)

Since we have the certainty of the special divine creation, and since we have it on God's own word by revelation, there is no room for speculation on this point in the minds of the devout. We are not bound by any man-devised hypothesis. Research is commendable, but it has never factually explained the origin either of the earth or of life on the earth. It has produced theories and deductions, but never the actual truth about our origin.

Revelation has given us the facts. God made the earth, but not "out of nothing," as the sectarians dogmatize. He took existing materials, as the scripture notes, and organized them into the earth. (Abr. 3:24; 4:1.) He did so for a particular purpose: to provide a mortal home for us, his spirit offspring who were with him in the preexistence, and who comprised the hosts of heaven who shouted for joy, as referred to in Job 38.

A. Cressy Morrison, science writer, regarded Genesis as the most correct although the briefest account of creation ever written, and added that its detail is not changed by any information subsequently discovered by modern men.

Morrison, recently deceased, was president of the New York Academy of Sciences and the American Institute of the City of New York; a member of the executive board of the National Research Council; a fellow of the American Museum of Natural History; and a life member of the Royal Institution of Great Britain.

His little book Man Does Not Stand Alone is priceless reading for the average inquiring mind. Its final chapter begins:


The first chapter of Genesis contains the real story of creation and its essence has not been changed by knowledge acquired since it was written. This statement will cause a smile to develop on the genial face of the scientist and a look of incredulity but satisfaction from the true believer. The differences have arisen over details which are not worth controversy. (Old Tappan, New Jersey: Fleming H. Revell Co., 1946, p. 101.)


Genesis says there were six creative periods or "days" of unknown length, and that certain steps in creation characterized each "day." Morrison says science agrees.

Genesis says that all forms of life were commanded to reproduce themselves, but always and only "after their kind." Science agrees that all forms of life do bring forth only after their own kind.

For example, Theodosius Dobzhansky, in his Mankind Evolving, says: "Genetically effective interbreeding is absent between species. Contemporaneous species do not exchange genes, or do so but rarely. There is, for example, no living species with which man could interbreed. Although the horse and donkey species are hybridized on a large scale to produce mules, the mules are wholly or almost wholly sterile so that no gene interchange results." (London: Yale University Press, 1962, pp. 183-84.)

Professor T. H. Morgan of the California Institute of Technology writes: "Within the period of human history we do not find a single instance of the transformation of one species into another one. It may be claimed then that the theory of descent is lacking in the most essential feature that it takes to place it on a scientific basis." (Hand, Why I Accept the Genesis Record, p. 27.)

A Britisher, Dr. McNair Wilson, editor of the Oxford Medical Publications, wrote: "An increase of knowledge about biology has tended to emphasize the extreme rigidity of type and, more and more, to discount the idea of transmutation from one type to another—the essential basis of Darwinism." (Ibid., p. 49.)

The September 1976 issue of National Geographic carried an extensive dissertation on the development of a single cell and the stability of the species, as revealed by the "new biology."

The discussion points out that biologists have found that every cell contains the "entire repertoire" of genes for any given plant or animal; that "each cell is brimming with as many as two hundred trillion tiny groups of atoms"; yet when reproduction comes, each makes exact copies of itself. Could an accident produce all this?

"Each gene," the author says, "or distinct segment of the long DNA strand, contains instructions for making one specific protein."

Reproduction of sponges, for example, is illustrated. Each new sponge is an organism exactly like the original. "Interestingly, when you put cells from two different sponges together, each will recognize its own. . . . One of the primal needs of an organism is to recognize its own cells," the writer goes on.

Speaking of the chromosomes he says:


Each chromosome is a package of DNA divided into hundreds of different genes. It is from the chromosomes that the genes send messages to other parts of the cell on how to make the enzymes and other proteins in which that cell specializes.

The genes responsible for blue eyes or any other physical trait are always located as specific spots on specific chromosomes. Our 46 chromosome "threads" linked together would measure more than six feet. Yet the nucleus that contains them is less than four ten-thousandths of an inch in diameter. The nucleus is most dynamic when a cell divides. Before division, the DNA in each chromosome duplicates. The result is two identical sets of chromosomes. (Rick Gore, "The Awesome Worlds Within a Cell," National Geographic, September 1976, pp. 355-95. Italics added.)


An interesting discussion on the impossibility of interbreeding the species is provided by another Britisher, Henry R. Kindersley, who speaks of the hare and the rabbit, animals which look alike to most people. Yet, he says, "examined as living species we find that the hare and the rabbit absolutely refuse to interbreed. Moreover one of them produces its young blind and naked and the other open-eyed and covered with fur." (The Bible and Evolution, Evidence of History and Science, 64:195-96.)

One of the most vital facts in the entire creation story is the account of the formation of man. When God spoke of making man in his image he spoke of mankind—male and female, not just of an isolated person or even a single couple as Adam and Eve. He thereby provided mortal life for us all.


And I, God, said unto mine Only Begotten, which was with me from the beginning: Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and it was so. And I, God, said: Let them have dominion over the fishes of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

And I, God, created man in mine own image, in the image of mine Only Begotten created I him; male and female created I them.

And I, God, blessed them, and said unto them: Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

And I, God, said unto man: Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree in the which shall be the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to everything that creepeth upon the earth, wherein I grant life, there shall be given every clean herb for meat; and it was so, even as I spake.

And I, God, saw everything that I had made, and, behold, all things which I had made were very good; and the evening and the morning were the sixth day. (Moses 2:26-31.)


He commanded them to reproduce themselves. They too would bring forth only "after their kind." It could be in no other way. Each form of life was destined to bring forth after its own kind so that it would be perpetuated in the earth and avoid confusion.

Man was always man, and always will be, for we are the offspring of God. The fact that we know of our own form and image and the further fact that we are God's offspring give us positive knowledge of the form and image of God, after whom we are made and of whom we are born as his children.

God would not violate his own laws. When he decreed that all reproduction was to be "after its kind," he obeyed the same law. We are therefore of the race of God. To follow an opposite philosophy is to lead us into atheism.

To understand the relationship of our preexistence to our form and nature here in mortality is most important. There were two creations, as the scriptures clearly indicate, one spiritual and the other temporal. (Moses 3:5-7; Abr. 3:21-24.) In the spiritual creation the Lord made the spirits of all forms of life; in the temporal, he made mortal bodies for the spirits that he had thus created previously.

That is one of the reasons the scriptures read: "Thus the heavens and the earth were finished." The universes, of course, were made by him, but likewise in the heavens—in our preexistence with him—the spirits of all forms of life were made.

Moses, in the Bible, makes this clear as he says:


These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord made the earth and the heavens, and every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. (Gen. 2:4-5. Italics added.)


Remember that this was revelation to Moses.

Further meaning is given to this in D&C 77 of the Doctrine and Covenants. The Prophet Joseph Smith inquired of the Lord concerning the meaning of certain parts of the book of Revelation in the Bible. The Lord explained:


Q. What are we to understand by the four beasts, spoken of in the same verse?

A. They are figurative expressions, used by the Revelator, John, in describing heaven, the paradise of God, the happiness of man, and of beasts, and of creeping things, and of the fowls of the air; that which is spiritual being in the likeness of that which is temporal; and that which is temporal in the likeness of that which is spiritual; the spirit of man in the likeness of his person, as also the spirit of the beast, and every other creature which God has created. (D&C 77:2.)


The language is most interesting: "of man, and of beasts, and of creeping things, and of the fowls of the air; that which is spiritual being in the likeness of that which is temporal; and that which is temporal in the likeness of that which is spiritual."

And then this: "the spirit of man in the likeness of his person." This is important as we keep in mind that man was always man, since he was born of God as man in the spirit in the preexistence, and his mortal body was made to fit his spirit.

The Lord's explanation continues: "as also the spirit of the beast, and every other creature which God has created."

The fact that all life was made in the spirit before there even was an earth, and that every mortal body was made to fit the spirit of that form of life as it was made in the preexistence, should answer for every believer in the revelations to Joseph Smith the question of the origin of life. God made life in all its forms. Life did not generate spontaneously, either from nothing, as the sectarians teach, or from any primeval amino acids, as scientists speculate. It was planned, ordered, and accomplished by the Divine Mind of Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, together with his most Beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, our Redeemer.

Part of that planning was the appointment by the Lord of many of his outstanding spirit children who were to become his leaders after their birth into mortality.

Elder LeGrand Richards of the Council of the Twelve, writing in the February 1977 issue of the New Era, referred to our preexistent life. He emphasized the fact that God knew each of us in the period before the earth was formed. He knew us as individuals; he knew our talents and our capabilities. Therefore, Elder Richards explains, God, having this knowledge, chose from among his spirit children while still in the spirit world those who were to become his leaders on earth after they were born into mortality.

He said in part:


Not only Abraham was chosen before he was born, but many others of whom we have record, and the only reason they were chosen before they were born is that God knew them. He stood in their midst, the great and the noble, and of course, all of the other spirits, but this particular reference says that He stood in the midst of the great and the noble spirits.

Of all those noble spirits to come upon the earth, the most wonderful, of course, was Christ our Lord, the firstborn, the Son of God. Satan was another and, without going into details, Satan was a morning star, one of the bright spirits, but because of his own actions, he was cast down to the earth and brought with him a third of the host of heaven.

Because these spirits lived and they were known—for God knew them—all of the prophets have spoken of the work of Christ and what He would do long before he was ever born into this world. They even declared the very minutest details with respect to His life, His ministry, His crucifixion, even that men would cast lots for His raiment when He should be put to death. And all of that was possible because He was known unto God.

Let us now consider John the Baptist. You remember that the angel Gabriel appeared to Elizabeth and told her that she would bear a son and that he would be a forerunner to go before and prepare the way for the coming of the Redeemer of the world. If he had had his beginning without that spiritual existence, it would seem almost incredible to think that anybody could tell what nature of spirit was about to be born into the world.

In the words of Isaiah, "Known unto God are all of his works from the beginning." He does not have to wait to see things worked out here in mortality, because He has decreed certain things and objectives shall be achieved, and He has made preparations and provision in advance by sending certain spirits for their day and time. Their lives and their ministry [are] known to God just as much before they are born as was the mission and ministry of His only Begotten Son. That is why Gabriel could announce the coming of John and his great mission in the world.

Consider also the mission of John the Beloved, the apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ. God did not need to wait until John the Beloved had lived upon the earth in order to know what his mission was in life. John had already prepared himself in the eternal world for the great mission whereunto he was called. That is why 600 years before Christ, an angel of God could reveal to Nephi the things that John would accomplish. (Read 1 Ne. 14:20-27.) . . .

There is a marvelous promise concerning the mission of Joseph Smith, the seer and prophet "like unto Moses," that he should do no other work, save the work which the Lord should command him, and that the work that he should bring forth, by the power of God should bring many people unto salvation. (See 2 Ne. 3.) . . .

I remind you of Jeremiah who was called to be a prophet.

"Then the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

"Then said I, Ah, Lord God! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child." (Jer. 1:4-6.) . . .

The Apostle Paul understood that the Lord called men before they were born. Here are a few verses from the first chapter of Ephesians.

"Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:

"Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.

"According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love." (Eph. 1:1-4.)

So you see, those whom God hath chosen before the foundation of the world—and I would like to bear my testimony to you that most of us who were born under the new and everlasting covenant, and those of us who have heeded the voice of the messengers of eternal truths and have accepted the same, come under this promise—He has called out of the world to be his leaders, to be a light unto the world.


(Mark E. Petersen, Moses: Man of Miracles [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1977], 159-166.)




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