Sunday, April 04, 2010

President Thomas S. Monson on Earth's Grand Designer

In the Jan. 2008 Ensign, Elder Douglas L. Callister of the Seventy teaches that "the passage of time, even long intervals of time, is not a 'cause' and provides no answers without an intelligent designer." ("Our God Truly Is God," Ensign, Jan. 2008, p.67.) Elder Callister's words "intelligent designer" refer to a Creator God and not the Intelligent Design movement led by the Discovery Institute (discussed here). We have also previously discussed President Thomas S. Monson's comments about science and religion (here and here).

"Who can doubt that there is a designer?" declared President Monson in this morning's session of general conference. With thoughtful consideration he reasons, if there is design in the world, there "must be a designer." According to President Monson, "the Grand Designer" created the heaven and the earth. For example, there was light, President Monson said, because the Grand Designer said "Let there be light." The sun, moon, and stars "came by His design."

"Man alone," said President Monson, "received intelligence, a brain, a mind, and a soul. Man alone with these attributes had the capacity for faith and hope, for inspiration and ambition." He said man is "the noblest work of the Great Designer."

The point is NOT what "man alone" received. The point is the Prophet's teachings clearly support the idea that "man's mortal body was made in the image of God in a separate creation" (Boyd K. Packer, 2008, discussed here).


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't see why the modern Intelligent Design movement is any different than what Pres Monson was getting at. The modern ID movement supports LDS doctrines regarding the creation. They are completely compatable.

4/05/2010 09:45:00 AM  
Blogger R. Gary said...

Anonymous, I'm very confident President Monson's comments were NOT intended as an endorsement of the Discovery Institute. His comments merely echo and underscore current LDS teachings about Creation.

4/05/2010 10:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, I am sure he was not endorsing any group or movement such as ID. I am just stating that Pres Monsons words are completely compatable with what ID proponents believe.

4/05/2010 01:20:00 PM  
Blogger R. Gary said...


President Monson's words are not compatible with the idea that all organisms share a common ancestor. Yet that is what Michael Behe, a leading proponent of Intelligent Design, believes. As he said in his book, Darwin's Black Box:

-------------- quote --------------
"For the record, I have no reason to doubt that the universe is the billions of years old that physicists say it is. Further, I find the idea of common descent (that all organisms share a common ancestor) fairly convincing, and have no particular reason to doubt it." (p.5.)
-------------- end quote --------------

President Monson spoke of several characteristics which he said "man alone" received during the creation. The Prophet's teachings speak of a special creation for man's physical body and that is entirely incompatible with Mr. Behe's thoughts on common descent.

Even if the Intelligent Design movement were Young Earth Creationism disguised as science (which some evolutionists claim), I.D. would still be incompatible with LDS creation teachings.

4/05/2010 02:12:00 PM  
Blogger R. Gary said...

The web page, "Intelligent Design is not Creationism," explains the Discovery Institute point of view regarding Bible believing Creationists. (Click here to read the entire article.) One sentence says:

-------------- quote --------------
"The [Intelligent Design] theory does not challenge the idea of evolution defined as change over time, or even common ancestry, but it disputes Darwin's idea that the cause of biological change is wholly blind and undirected."
-------------- end quote --------------

I believe the above statement from the official web site of the Discovery Institute confirms what I said earlier about I.D.

4/05/2010 05:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gary: For example, there was light, President Monson said, because the Grand Designer said "Let there be light." The sun, moon, and stars "came by His design."

Are suggesting that because God said "Let there be light" that the sun, moon, and stars all appeared in the blink of an eye? If not, if there were some creative process involved then can we not view man's creation in a broader sense as well -- without departing from the foundational idea that God is the Designer?


4/05/2010 07:27:00 PM  
Blogger R. Gary said...


On this blog, you can view man's creation in any sense you wish. But President Monson's comments are not so flexible.

President Monson's comments confirm what the Church has always taught in the past — that the posterity of the brute does not include man, who has no ancestral blood lines that run to beasts.

4/06/2010 03:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love how most church members base their scientific reasoning and logic on quotes. One day I hope to see a church base their science on facts and evidence. The Lord clearly did not use the Bible to teach Science. He never tells us How he created us, he only tells us why. The scriptures are clear that Jesus Christ is the only begotten son of our Heavenly Father. When describing us he doesn't use the word beget, he uses the word create. Two completely different words. Humans beget other humans, squirrels beget other squirrels, dogs beget other dogs, and Gods beget other Gods. We can however create a statue that resembles us in almost every way. Even though the statue may look like us and resemble us we would never be as foolish to say that the statue is a human being. Just like we can create a statue that resembles us, God can create life that resembles him. How does he create such life? Well, according to the many evidences he has left behind like the fossil record, DNA, and dating processes, we can develop such strong evidence that evolution is the means by which God created creatures that resemble him. We can never be as foolish to say that we are sons of God because God never beget us. He only created us in his image. We are however the greatest creation of all and one who is at the highest level of the animal kingdom. We are the creatures who most resemble our Father in Heaven. The whole purpose of this life is so that we can become sons of God. We can receive this blessing because of the atonement made by our savior Jesus Christ. A God, who took the form of a man and showed us how we can become sons of God. Now pleas, I beg that we let Science do it's job at figuring out how we got here, and we will let religion tell us why we are here. I will conclude my comment with a quote from James E. Talmage a geologist by profession and an apostle of the Church. "Let us not try to wrest the scriptures in an attempt to explain away what we can not explain. The opening chapters of Genesis, and scriptures related thereto, were never intended as a text-book of geology, archeology, earth science or man science. Holy scripture will endure, while the conceptions of men change with new discoveries. We do not show reverence for the scriptures when we misapply them through faulty interpretation."

10/07/2010 05:09:00 PM  
Blogger R. Gary said...

Your Talmage quote assigns limited scientific value to Genesis but does NOT say science tells how and religion tells why. The Church does not delineate the roles of science and religion that way. The standard works don't and the apostles and prophets don't either. Man shouldn't arbitrarily stretch the gospel to make it fit current scientific theories.

10/07/2010 06:34:00 PM  

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