I look at such ideas as a way to expand possibilities and learning in my
own life. Joseph F Smith said it should all be considered scaffolding
used to help build the actual building of true knowledge. Since we don't
have exact information on how long the creation took for example, we
really don't know what the exact process is that God used. So, we can
often get the same uncertainty in the scriptures as we find in science.
I don't turn away from science. I use it as scaffolding to help me learn
to understand the things in this world. I understand that it is based
upon theory, so it doesn't phase me when it blatantly contradicts the
scriptures. I know there will be unanswered questions. Rather than run
away from it, I do as JFS suggested, and use it all as possible
scaffolding. God doesn't condemn us for keeping an open mind on
non-doctrinal things. Now, we could argue on what denotes "doctrine",
however as individuals we each must make that determination for
I think there are too many members who run away from learning, because it
would force them to consider new ideas that may help them accept the
gospel on a higher level. I don't consider you one of those people, John,
otherwise you wouldn't be on these lists discussing such things.
An example: are the proper names for Jesus and God really Jehovah and
Elohim? They have been standardized as such in the church for about 80
years (since 1919). However, in Joseph Smith's day, the name Jehovah was
a title that was used interchangeably for Father and Son (see how Joseph
used Jehovah in the Kirtland dedicatory prayer, DC 109). Most members
never learn that God truly is nameless, as no name can contain all He is.
The most we can do is use name-titles to describe him.
I love science, as someday I will have to use it (along with math,
language, art, etc) to form my own worlds. Developing and testing
theories helps me to develop my critical thinking skills. These I believe
are necessary to recognize truth from error, but also to help me in
problem solving (which God obviously does much of). So, even though
science may be far fromthe truth in some areas, accepting some ideas as
theoretical scaffolding allows me to use those theories until a greater
truth is found.
Gerald/gary Smith gszion1 @juno.com http://www
"No one is as hopelessly enslaved as the person who thinks he's free." -
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
> Part of the reason I turned away from science to religion is because I
> despaired of learning anything with any certainty when the foremost
> authorities in almost every field disagree with fellow scientists about
> really basic things. I have a real need for at least some questions to
> have conclusive answers. Otherwise, life is just a constantly changing
> dream bound by no laws and consequently all over the map. I know very
> little "for sure," but what little I do know I have learned from the
> scriptures, the modern prophets, and the testimony of the Holy Ghost.
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