Chapter 3 – The Creation

April 1, 2009    By: Kent (MC) @ 4:06 pm   Category: Plan of Salvation

Click here for previous posts in this series and why I’m writing this children’s book.

Chapter 3 – The Creation

Under Heavenly Father’s direction, Christ created and organized the earth, putting natural forces in order and making sure that all types of plants and animals would grow on it. God made this beautiful earth and all its marvelous creations for His children, where we could experience life with mortal bodies and exercise our agency (D&C 88:19, 25). Because the earth was created for God’s children to live on, it will be renewed to its paradisaical glory after Christ comes again and will be the home to those who choose righteousness and who follow Christ.

I actually do believe in evolution, so maybe that is tempering what I have to say in my paragraph. Maybe with less to say, there will be more room for illustrations. It seems a little odd to me that with so much time spent in the scriptures and in the temple about the creation, I have so little to say about it here. If you have more that you think I should add, please tell me.

As the prophets have condensed the presentation of the endowment, they haven’t trimmed down the creation that much, which makes me curious as to what insights you may have on why that may be. Why do you suppose that so much time is spent on the creation when the purpose of it is so straight-forward in the plan of salvation? Am I missing something here?

17 Comments »

  1. Kent,

    Maybe with less to say, there will be more room for illustrations.

    Perhaps you can squeeze this into one of the illustrations.

    Comment by Jacob J — April 1, 2009 @ 9:07 pm

  2. or this one – as long as you don’t let anyone at FMH read your book:

    http://www.funnychill.com/files/funny-pictures/evolution-of-man-and-woman.jpg

    Comment by Ray — April 1, 2009 @ 9:58 pm

  3. You can’t use the word “paradisiacal” in a children’s book, can you?

    Comment by Seth R. — April 1, 2009 @ 11:31 pm

  4. I amof two minds about this, but should you say?

    Christ and others created and organized the earth.

    Comment by Matt W. — April 2, 2009 @ 7:30 am

  5. Seth, my kids have memorized the articles of faith, so they can at least pronounce “paradisaical”, even if they don’t know what it means. I’m not sure I even really understand what it means. I could say, “And the earth will be like a crystal ball in blazing fire. Sounds awesome, huh? We will all enjoy goth metal bands for eternity.”

    Matt,

    As a teenager I knew a girl that absolutely “knew” that she had been involved in creating mountains because she loved them so much.

    Comment by Kent (MC) — April 2, 2009 @ 8:06 am

  6. I myself designed mosquito droppings.

    Comment by Matt W. — April 2, 2009 @ 10:13 am

  7. Kent,

    Since it is for kids, I think the way you have it now is well enough. I think your purpose and intention will be understood.

    Whether it be concepts of “paradisaical” or “evolution”, if you keep it open, I personally feel that you’ll be able to expound and explain away to your kids when they are ready and able to comprehend and appreciate them. Which is why i really liked:

    Christ created and organized the earth, putting natural forces in order and making sure that all types of plants and animals would grow on it

    PS – I designed the little chocolate cadbury eggs and girl scout cookies

    Comment by Riley — April 2, 2009 @ 1:04 pm

  8. I think I might spend some more words on the idea of creation being an organization rather than something poofing into existence from nothing. That is a core Mormon concept which you likely do believe in and which is simple enough for a child to understand.

    Comment by Jacob J — April 2, 2009 @ 1:39 pm

  9. Okay, good call Jacob. I’ll add that.

    As to my original question about why we spend so much time on the Creation narrative in the temple and the scriptures, does anyone have any ideas? I expected some thinkers here at NewCoolThang.com, not people that just shrug their shoulders and say, “Huh, I’ve never really thought about that.”

    Now that you’re thinking about it, what are you thinking?

    Comment by Kent (MC) — April 2, 2009 @ 2:59 pm

  10. I think we talk about it a lot because it has naked people in it.

    Ok, only kidding.

    Seriously, I think we spend so much time on it because Joseph Smith used it as the central piece of the endowment and because we have 3 distinct books of scripture which go over, plus it is covered heavily in the Book of Mormon etc.

    I think we mainly use it as an allegorical way to discuss the way life is.

    Comment by Matt W. — April 3, 2009 @ 1:38 pm

  11. Matt, your answer begs the question. Why do we have three scriptural accounts plus a temple account of the creation?

    Comment by Jacob J — April 4, 2009 @ 9:35 am

  12. Well, Jacob a lot of what we know about the overarching plan of salvation is taught to us in the context of “consider yourself adam and eve”.
    I mean In our scriptures in conection with Adam and Eve we get:
    We are eternal beings
    We are in God’s image and likes
    This life is so that we may have Joy
    We live in a fallen state in this life
    Etc.

    Comment by matt w. — April 4, 2009 @ 8:02 pm

  13. Do we really have three separate accounts of the creation? The account in Moses is a slightly expanded/corrected version of the Genesis account. The version in Abraham superficially seems like a different account, but that is mostly due to the use of “the Gods”. Interestingly enough Moroni mentions in passing in Ether 1:3-4 that the Jaredites possessed a very similar account.

    I am sure that *all* of these accounts and the similar Babylonian legends come from the same original source: the Temple Ceremony (as revealed by God to the prophets).

    I think the creation account is mainly an introduction to the covenants of the temple ceremony. It is not meant to be taken as a textbook for the early history of the earth. That is not the purpose of the temple at all. Some of the creation account may be allegorical, but mostly I think that it is poetic imagery alluding very sketchily to the real creation.

    Unlike some folks in the bloggernacle, I do think there really are an Adam and Eve and a garden in Eden. I have some theories about how all this reconciles with modern archeology, but I am hesitant to speculate publicly about it. I am beginning to suspect that Adam and Eve may occupy a position similar to Abraham and Sarah as the heads of the family through whom the whole human family would be blessed, but this begs the question of just what The Fall really was.

    To the best of my understanding the Lord has simply not revealed much detail about this. I don’t think we need to worry much about this to work out our salvation. On the other hand, I feel that the Lord doesn’t mind us studying, thinking, and praying about this, so long as we don’t neglect more important duties.

    Comment by Tom D — April 4, 2009 @ 9:32 pm

  14. I have some theories about how all this reconciles with modern archeology, but I am hesitant to speculate publicly about it.

    Hehe. Probably a wise decision.

    Comment by Geoff J — April 4, 2009 @ 9:41 pm

  15. Kent,

    One could say we have two accounts of the creation in Genesis, and the three others mentioned.

    I would say it is included in the temple because part of the purpose of the temple is to help us figure out our place in the universe. The creation account takes a swipe of trying to explain what this place is and why we are here. Sure it does so allegorically but that framework is required for the rest of the ceremony to make sense I think.

    Comment by Geoff J — April 4, 2009 @ 9:46 pm

  16. Personally, I think so much time is spent on the creation because it, lays out the process we need to do to obtain more knowledge and light in our lives.

    The earth was gathered from unorganized matter. Our spiritual lives are often unorganized and need order. Separation of light (good) and dark (evil) in our lives to learn. Bringing forth of grass and seeds has a strong tie to the Alma 32 analogy. If you think of all animals as being part of the food chain and such they all provide some sort of service, hence the idea showing the importance of service. Adam was alone and needed eve, we need spouses to obtain the highest degree of Celestial Kingdom.

    Comment by Dallas — April 5, 2009 @ 3:12 pm

  17. Dallas, that’s pretty good! I’ll think about it next time I participate in an endowment and see if it works for me.

    Comment by Kent (MC) — April 5, 2009 @ 8:31 pm

Leave a comment

RSS feed for comments on this post.