Monday, October 13, 2008

On human origins: We don't know

Last week, SteveP, who writes the The Mormon Organon, led a discussion over at By Common Consent that elicited several comments about the beginning of human life and the origin of Adam's physical body. Ray (#156) asserted "the Church's official position is, We don't know", and queuno (#203) echoed, "the official stance is that we don't know."

In a certain sense, Ray and queuno are right.

As is evident from the Church's formal First Presidency statement on the subject, in this context the word "we" doesn't refer to the Church or its leaders. In this context "we" means all of us—mankind in general—particularly those who search for human origins without the aid of revelation from God:

"Man, by searching, cannot find out God. Never, unaided, will he discover the truth about the beginning of human life. The Lord must reveal Himself or remain unrevealed; and the same is true of the facts relating to the origin of Adam's race—God alone can reveal them." ("The Origin of Man," Ensign, Feb 2002, p.30.)

Science cannot discover the true facts relating to human origins because God alone can reveal them and "science, by definition, deals only with natural phenomena" (The Washington Post, 12/21/2005).

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