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Friday, March 11, 2011

The Creation(s)

So what really IS the creation story that my Christian religion wants me to believe?  As it turns out, there are really several stories of the creation in the scriptures -- all "true", of course.  I am a product of public schools in Idaho -- but I also spent about 10% of my learning time at home or at church in scripture and religious study.  So I was taught two stories about how everything came to be and was cautioned by my most loved teachers not to trust so-called educational learning by failing to also trust in God [really 3 "Gods", but that is a different story].
"In the beginning, God created"
Even if we were to accept the idea that all things were created in a time period longer than 6 [or 6,000 years] days, the story of creation in the Bible (and in LDS temple ceremonies) is all wrong and chuck full of inconsistencies.
"The" creation is really a misnomer, as there are actually MANY creation stories, all of which came down from word of mouth in various cultures. http://www.magictails.com/creationlinks.html
Since I was born into a loving, believing Christian family, I was taught the Old Testament story of Creation, supplemented by "Mormon" scriptures from a book called the "Pearl Of Great Price" that Joseph Smith claimed to have translated from Egyptian papyri. (The Mormon scripture adds celestial bodies to the normal sun, moon and stars and sets their importance based on their rotation -- but that also is a different story).
     I don't wish to be a modern-day Galileo in fighting any church or set of religious leaders, but the knowledge base of modern education still set what I was taught at church and at home at odds with what is taught by modern science.  My first real confrontation with this was during my first LDS temple session where I was given the chance after the original educational period (called the "endowment" by LDS leaders) to ask questions of church leaders.  The official that day was Joseph Fielding Smith, one of the church's leading  apostles.  I asked him about the literalness of the story of Noah's flood -- and loading all the animals into the ark.  (Joseph Smith taught that Noah and Adam were literal people who had pivotal positions in LDS -- and world -- history)  As could be expected, I was put down emphatically by this church leader.  He added something like, "And unless you also believe this, you have no business going on a mission".  [I was preparing for a Mormon mission at the time]
     So, with that rebuke, I resolved to TRY to believe what I felt in my heart was "true" and resolved to lower my skeptical profile as much as I could.  [I also concluded that it is safer to hope, trust, have "faith" and obey than it is to think for myself]

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