Hurricane Utah Adult Religion Class Old Testament: The Creation Week 3, Page 2 © 2014, Mike Parker http://bit.ly/ldsarc For personal use only. Not a Church publication.
These individuals sometimes align themselves with a broader fundamentalist
Christian movement known as ―young
earth creationism‖ (YEC).
Those on the left take a more scholarly approach, and agree with the findings of science that the earth is very old
and, therefore, that the creation accounts are
metaphorical, symbolic, or even ―sacred
Note that this is a
spectrum, which presumes that everyone represented on this chart believes that God played
role in the creation of the earth
there is no atheism here. Although individuals at the scholarly end may believe that God
takes a more ―hands
off‖ approach than those at the traditional end, God does play a
role in all of these explanations. d)
The spectrum approach can also be used to describe various Latter-day Saint views on the creation of human beings:
God waits for undirected evolution to take its course God nurtures and directs human evolution
“Creation science”/ “Intelligent Design”
(old earth, punctuated creations) Adam physically born and brought to
metaphorical) Adam literally created from the dust of the earth
Those on the right side of the spectrum take the Genesis account
: When the
scriptures say ―
God formed man of the dust of the ground
‖ (Genesis 2:7; cf. Moses 3:7; Abraham 5:7), they interpret that to mean that God made Adam‘s body by
gathering a pile of dirt.
Moving to the left we find those who take the Genesis account
, and see it
as a metaphor for another, ―hidden‖ divine creation account.
Among Latter-day Saints, this is often expressed in the belief that Adam was physically born and then brought to this earth.
In this view, Adam‘s creation ―of dust‖ is metaphorical for the birth process (see
Moses 6:59). iii)
Closer to the center are those who believe that God created plants, animals, and man in their current form, fully developed, but that this took place periodically over billions of years. (1)
This is the idea behind so-called
―Intelligent Design Theory‖—
which attempts to put creationism into an old-earth context. iv)
Individuals on the left side of the spectrum accept that evolution is the best way to explain the origins and diversity of life, that human beings are the result of evolutionary development, and that God used evolution to create man by closely directing it
or at least ―kick
Modern scientists calculate the age of earth at 4.54 billion years. See
Calling the creation accounts
is not a dismissive or derogatory way of saying ―it never happened.‖ One definition of myth is ―worldview cast in narrative form.‖ See
One example of a Latter-day Saint who accepted this is 19th-century LDS apostle Orson Pratt, who taught this in many
venues over a period of time. See, for example, ―The Pre
existence of Man,‖
1/4 (April 1853), 57
This interpretation is found in Brigha
m Young‘s teaching that Adam was physically born of a mother and brought to this earth, and that the Genesis account is allegorical, one of ―
the baby stories my mother taught me when I was a child.
Journal of Discourses
). See also