Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Revealed Truth and Science Pt 4: Time, Light, Health, and Conclusions!

         Time, according to science, goes in one direction. Although not understood, it is now known to be a relative thing. That is, we measure time by our clocks, but objects moving relative to us will have clocks that measure time more slowly. The faster they are moving, the more slow time becomes relative to us. This concept was first suggested scientifically by Einstein in the early 1900s. The same concept can be found in Abraham 3. (Abr 3:3-10) This was first published in the spring of 1842 in Nauvoo in the Times and Seasons.The Prophet Joseph Smith had little formal education, yet the concepts of relativistic time in this chapter of the Book of Abraham were first discovered scientifically about 65 years later!
          What the revelations teach us about time is that it is measured differently throughout the universe, the one day with God is as one thousand years with man (II Peter 3:8; Abr 3:4). Moreover we are taught that time is only measured unto men (Alma 40:8, Rev. 10:6). From these we can learn that since all things are present before God (Doctrine and Covenants 38:2, 130:7), and God is not constrained by time as are we.

          Science can provide extensive information about light, what it is, how it works, etc. Yet, when it comes time to describe it in detail, science will tell you that it is sometimes found as a particle of light (a photon) and other times we found as a wave. It takes elegant mathematics and impressive theories to correlate these two concepts.
           Revealed truth gives even more added dimensions, suggesting that light "quickeneth our understandings" (Doctrine and Covenants 88:11), is knowledge, truth, spirit and intelligence (Doctrine and Covenants 84:45). So we know from this that light comes in many forms, has great power, can permeate the souls of men, and is a carrier of knowledge and power. In addition, judging from the appearance of the Angel Moroni to the Prophet Joseph (Joseph Smith- History- v. 43), light can also be a transporter of angels- or at least is associated with such transport. Science still has a long way to go in this arena.

          Here we must go to Doctrine and Covenants section 89, where we find that if we eat right, and don't use coffee, tea, alcohol or tobacco, we will have "health in our navel and marrow to our bones..... and shall run and not be weary and walk and not faint." (Doctrine and Covenants 89: 18-20 (Given in 1833))
          Health in your navel. Science has learned relatively recently (within the last 50 years) that alcohol and other drugs can cross the placental membrane deeply affecting fetuses. What does health in you navel mean? I believe it means that we will have healthy babies by restricting our intake of the harmful substances defined in this revelation.
          Marrow to our bones. In the last two decades scientists have come to understand that the entire immune system of the body is dependent upon the health of the bone marrow, where all of the factors needed for the immune system have their start. Bone marrow health is negatively affected by alcohol and tobacco.
          Run and not be weary and walk and not faint. Only in the last few years have scientist found out that a key enzyme in a cascade mechanism needed to provide energy for muscles is made inoperative when caffeine is present. So in the presence of caffeine, the body fails to break down the sugar storage molecules (glycogen) necessary to give us what is often termed, "second wind". Hence if we use caffeine, we run and are weary and walk and faint.

             These are just a few examples to illustrate differences and agreements between science and revealed truth. There are many more that could be discussed in addition. Perhaps the take-home message is that science and revealed truth go hand in hand. The only time there is controversy is when science exceeds its scope or supposed Gospel scholars exceed theirs. From my standpoint, I like to wait and watch. Science keeps coming around with more and more factual material which continues to validate the revealed truths of the Gospel.
              It is my testimony that Gospel truths are eternal, and the more that science prove the facts and unveils the governing laws, the closer these concepts come to harmonize with the Gospel truths.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Revealed Truth and Science Pt 3: Life and DNA


           Science defines a living thing as one that has form, can reproduce itself, can make or break down complex biomolecules and can take energy in one form and make it into another. Although this is a "definition" it is merely a description of the characteristics of living things. It does not really define life. Revealed truht talks about the "breath of life" (Genesis 2:7) which makes the soul composed of the spirit and the mortal body. Body without spirit is dead. The Gospel also speakes of many inanitmate objects having life- for instance the earth (See Moses 6). Scientists have never succeeded in making a living thing from non-living biomolecules. Recently they have made a piece of DNA in the lab (it took 15 years) which was inserted into a cell whose DNA was extracted, and the cell lived and reproduced itself according to the inserted DNA genetic message. However, synthetic biomolecules do not live, in and of themselves. The essence of life remains an unanswered question scientifically.
           From the Gospel's standpoint we are given to understand that Christ is the light and life of the world. (John 1:4, Mosiah 16:9) Yet we do not understand this very essence of life, other than it comes from the Father (the breath of life) and seems to be coupled with light. We are aware that the body without the spirit is dead (James 2:26), so the spirit is essential. But spirit is light (Doctrine and Covenants 84:45), so light and life are coupled very tightly. Yet we (at least I) really don't understand what this light really is.

            Much has been made of DNA testing and typing to provide evidence for relationships between individuals or individuals and forensic evidence. When the markers agre, there is a very high likelihood of an individual's identity and lineage. But when the markers don't match, considerable uncertainty exists. In other words, DNA testing can tell you things that are related rather conclusively, but cannot tell you when they aren't to the same certainty at all. With genealogical relationships, as the number of generations increase, so does the uncertainty in a mismatch. The DNA evidence for native American lineage is one such example. Much evidence accumulated since the first studies which indicated that all American Indians came from the far east has led to serious question about this theory.

Find the refrences to the scriptures right here

Monday, March 28, 2011

Revealed Truth and Science Pt 2: The Universe and Dimensions

The Universe

This is an arena where speculation abounds in both camps. With modern equipment, capable of seeing back into the distant past, science is now secure in the fact that the universe is- and will continue- to expand (only proven 1998); that there at least 10 to the 85th power (10 with 85 0s behind it) galaxies like our Milky Way, each containing an estimated 500 million earth-like planets; and that there are black holes, which appear to be disposals for matter and light. Most recently string theory implies that there are 11 other universes, all of them unseen relative to each other, but with a theoretical capacity to transfer information and matter between them.

The Gospel contains statements of the Savior stating "Worlds without number have I created..."(Moses 1:4-8, 33); that there is a place called outer darkness (Matt8:12; Alma 40:13) where sons of perdition end; and that the creation of new and additional worlds is an eternal process. It is interesting to note that it has only been in recent years that science has developed most of these concepts, which have been found in the scripture for centuries, if not millennia. There is really no conflict in this arena except for how it happens.

One of these is in how long it took to make this earth. Some claim 7000 years, each day of God being 1000 years of man. (IIPet 3:8, Abr 3:4) However, the term in Genesis was not meant to be day in any usual sense. Elder Bruce R. McConkie has written, "But first, what is a day? It is a specified time period; it is an age, and eon, a division of eternity; it is the time between two identifiable events. And each day, of whatever length, has the duration needed for its purposes. ... There is no revealed recitation specifying that each of the "six days" involved in the Creation was of the same duration."(Ensign, June, 1982, page 11) So the creation periods are unknown, and the length of time involved is certainly uncertain, from both standpoints.


Science speculates about other dimensions tan the three with which we are most accustomed. Time is considered the fourth dimension by most. But there are others. Science has theories about hyperspace which give us to understand that higher dimensions can look in on a lower dimension and see everything, but the converse is not true.

Revealed truths have given us to understand similar things. (See Doctrine and Covenants 130:9-10) Although we don't understand this well, there are several scriptures which assure us that "all things are present before mine eyes." (Doctrine and Covenants 38:2; 130:7; Moses 1:8)

To find these Scripture references, go to 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Revealed Truth and Science Pt 1: The Origin of Man

I was thumbing through some old stuff that I've collected and I came across this. It was written by Walter Hill, a very smart man. He wrote "Genetic Engineering: A Primer". Hill, a retired biochemistry professor from the University of Montana blew my mind with this slice of information, so I hope you enjoy! (ps: sorry for typos, I'm copying from paper onto the computer)

Before we can really discuss this area, we need to make a few definitions. These are mine, and may be a bit loose, but they should work for us.
            What is Science?
                       Science is a search for an understanding of the things around us, and understanding of how they work and an effort to define the fundamental laws that make things as they are. It is NOT a search for truth.
              What is Religion?
                        Religion can be broadly defined as man defining his relationship to God, with God revealing the patterns and rules by which God would have man live.
               What is the Gospel?
                         The fullness of the Gospel centers around the fundamental principle that Jesus Christ, our Redeemer, through His infinite power and mercy, provided us a way to meet the demands of justice, through his vicarious sacrifice of Himself, a God, in our behalf.
               What is Truth?
                          Truth is knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come.
                What is Revealed Truth?
                            That truth which is found in the revelations to the prophets.

               Science and religion are really two different paths, asking different questions, and having different expectations. Can the differences of view be reconciled?

I will briefly discuss a few examples:

1. The Origin of Man
              Science would have us understand that man has evolved from a state of disorganization to the present state in a series of progressive steps, any one of which may take an enormous period of time. However, evidence for spontaneous evolution of systems with increasing complexity, or transitions between the progressive states is lacking. But there is abundant evidence for adaptive changes and non-random mutation occurring in a vast array of species and animals. As with most scientific knowledge, this area is in constant change as more evidence appears and understanding increases. The entire theory of how things evolved is still evolving itself. It is based on the premise that man should explain the universe around him (what science does- see definition above) without calling on unseen or unknown (to science) powers. With the vast amount of paleontologival evidence showing great numbers of extinct animals, including hominids, scientists are trying to make a cohesive story of how all of this, and how we, came about. Nonetheless, it is still very much a theory, with many sub-theories or hypotheses yet to be sustained by appreciable evidence.
                Revealed truth teaches us that Man is the offspring of God, initially placed on this earth at an earlier time, with an eternal destiny to become like his Father. The revelations we have do not teach us how all of this came about, do not tell us of the organizational details of the creation, do not state the duration of time taken, and do not specify all of the players involved. While we are given a schematic outline, much is not said, allowing abundant speculation by many. It is often such speculation that runs amuck with scientific theories that are really just scientist speculating on how it all came to be. Conflict only arises when science begins to proclaim its theory as being fact, and religion begins to speculate on the unrevealed details of the creation.

Part 2 next time! (The Universe)
Let me know how I can spice up my blog. Help would be much appreciated!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

What I've learned so far...

Today, I don't really have anything special I wanted to focus on. I just want to write down some things that I have come to learn thus far on my mission. Today is my 1 year mark since I entered the MTC oh so long ago. The crazy thing is that it has just flown by. From my first days in Helena tracting in May when it decides to dump snow all over Elder Conway and I, to going to lessons with Elder Murillo in Greybull where I don't say anything because its all in Spanish. And all the experiences in between have caused me to adapt, grow, and change into the missionary I am now.
And I guess that is something in and of itself. The fact that I have been sculpted into the missionary I am now from the experiences I have gone through. I think that is a good fact of life, that the trials, tribulations, challenges and struggles we have in our lives really shape us. And talking about this reminds me of an experience I had while serving in Helena. We went out to Townsend to be a part of this "Gospel Sing" where different christian congregations get together and sing praises to God. Anyways, the only song I remember from that day was this one titled "The Potter Knows the Clay".

But the Potter knows the clay
How much pressure it can take
How many times around the wheel
‘Til there’s submission to His will
he’s planned a beautiful design
but it’ll take some fire and time
its gonna be okay
‘cause the Potter knows the clay

God has a great plan for us. He knows us individually and knows our wants and needs. He knows when we are hurting. He knows when we need help. And He is always there to listen to us. And I hope that I can "put off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father." (Mosiah 3: 19) And if I can do that, be submissive and willing to submit to God's will for me, then I will become the beautiful masterpiece of a loving God.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Fashion and 8 Track Players

"In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." - Thomas Jefferson
We have a calendar in our apartment and today I just changed it from the month of February to March. The calendar is one that has pictures of beautiful things, mountains, rivers, trees, animals ECT, and it also has a quote. And that is the quote that was for the month of March.
And as I have reflected on it, the quote has really struck me and made me think. To go with the flow in style, but to stand like a rock in matters of principle. I wish we had government leaders who would do that. But that’s beside the point. Because style is constantly changing and new fads are coming out and others fading out, it’s ok for us to move with them. But important things, matters of principle we should stand as a rock. I don't know about you, but for me, this world isn't too hip on having values really. Right now I have the pleasure of teaching this family and they have expressed concerns that they don't like the fact that religious groups don't make a stand because they don't want to offend anyone... And that is something that separates The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints from others, is the fact that we stand for something. There are values and virtues that the world tramples under their feet, saying that they are old fashioned, out-dated, and irrelevant in society today. But that is not truth. Sure, the 8 track player in cars is out-dated, and the CD player is going to be pretty soon, but living a chaste life is not. Living an honest life is not. Being a virtuous person is not.
The morals of society will continue to decay, fashion will change, but the values that strengthen individuals, families, communities, societies, nations, and the world will hold fast and stand strong, and if necessary alone. Because God is the same yesterday, today and forever. Our Heavenly Father loves all of His children and wants nothing more than for our happiness. That’s why He has given us families and the gospel to strengthen us and our families. I know Heavenly Father knows me and answers my prayers. You can too. Just try Him.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Selfless Service

In the world today we are constantly bombarded with quick fix solutions. From adds promoting fast food, to the instant financial solutions, the world has been, is and will continue to give us these quick fix solutions. But are they really gonna work? Are they going to work and help us become happier?
I came across this story and it really struck me.....
The old man shuffled slowly into the restaurant. With head tilted, and shoulders bent forward, he leaned on his trusty cane with each unhurried step. His tattered cloth jacket, patched trousers, worn out shoes, and warm personality made him stand out from the usual Saturday morning breakfast crowd. Unforgettable were his pale blue eyes that sparkled like diamonds, large rosy cheeks, and thin lips held in a tight, steady smile.
He stopped, turned with his whole body, and winked at a little girl seated by the door. She flashed a big grin right back at him. A young waitress named Mary watched him shuffle toward a table by the window. Mary ran over to him, and said, "Here, Sir. Let me give you a hand with that chair."
Without saying a word, he smiled and nodded a thank you. She pulled the chair away from the table. Steadying him with one arm, she helped him move in front of the chair, and get comfortably seated. Then she scooted the table up close to him, and leaned his cane against the table where he could reach it.
In a soft, clear voice he said, "Thank you, Miss. And bless you for your kind gestures." "You're welcome, Sir." She replied. "And my name is Mary. I'll be back in a moment, and if you need anything at all in the mean time, just wave at me!"
After he had finished a hearty meal of pancakes, bacon, and hot lemon tea, Mary brought him the change from his ticket. He left it lay. She helped him up from his chair, and out from behind the table. She handed him his cane, and walked with him to the front door. Holding the door open for him, she said, "Come back and see us, Sir!" He turned with his whole body, winked a smile, and nodded a thank you. "You are very kind." he said softly.
When Mary went to clean his table, she almost fainted. Under his plate she found a business card, and a note scribbled on a napkin. Under the napkin was a one hundred dollar bill. The note on the napkin read...
"Dear Mary, I respect you very much, and you respect yourself too. It shows by the way you treat others. You have found the secret of happiness. Your kind gestures will shine through those who meet you."
The man she had waited on was the owner of the restaurant where she worked. This was the first time that she, or any of his employees had ever seen him in person.
Today i want to relate this story to real happiness. And how we can achieve real happiness through service to others.  
President Thomas Monson said in a recent general conference "Stresses in our lives come regardless of our circumstances. We must deal with them the best we can. But we should not let them get in the way of what is most important—and what is most important almost always involves the people around us."
What is most important are the people around us. If we will give ourselves to selfless service, we will find greater happiness and more fulfillment in our lives. This also reminds me of the parable of the good samaritan... Mitch Albom once said “The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.
When we do this, we will feel our Savior's love in our lives more because we are being His hands on this earth and blessing the lives of those around us. And by doing so we will find greater peace and purpose in our lives!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Footprints in the Sand

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
other times there were one set of footprints.
This bothered me because I noticed
that during the low periods of my life,
when I was suffering from
anguish, sorrow or defeat,
I could see only one set of footprints.
So I said to the Lord,
“You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you,
you would walk with me always.
But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life
there have only been one set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most, you have not been there for me?”
The Lord replied,
The times when you have seen only one set of footprints in the sand,
is when I carried you.”
- Mary Stevenson

I love this poem because we are human and have faults. And in my case, many faults. And we sometimes do not realize what is taking place in our lives when we feel down and alone. He is there to hold us up, to strengthen us and to give us peace.
Life is tough. Just ask my parents. Things happen that can cause so much pain. But the great thing is that Christ has been there, He has felt our pain and knows how to "succor" us perfectly.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


So today we had a kinda disappointing, but strengthening experience. We were at this lady's house and she told us that she has "hit a wall" with the plan of salvation. And the part that she has a problem with is the 3 kingdoms of glory (1Cor.15). So I told her that there are different levels of obedience to God's commandments and that we are placed according to our obedience.
She wasn't really listening i dont think, I think that she was just looking for an excuse to drop us because it war pretty plainly explained... Anyways, she has 2 dogs. And she told us about them and how one of her dogs is well trained. That she can have him repeat a behavior all day and he gets it. That he'll remember and obey. Then she has another dog. And this dog is younger and has a hard time with learning the "rules". So she would help it practice doing things right, but it would just keep on going back to its old habits.
Anyways, she loves both of her dogs equally. She treats them on the same level and expects both of them to obey the rules the same. But when one dog doesn't do what he is supposed to, or behaves against her will, he is corrected and doesn't enjoy the same priviliges and freedoms that the obedient dog does.
This is the same thing with us and our Heavenly Father. There are some people who choose to obey. Who choose to make decisions that make Heavenly Father happy. There are those who willfully submit themselves to Heavenly Father's commands. And it is those who are blessed for their obedience. And are trusted with more than those who are not obedient. And those who are not obedient, who willfully disobey God and He can't and won't reward them for their disobedience.
So my hope is that we can all do our best to obey God and His commandments. And that we can receive all the blessings that He has in store for us, through our obedience to His commands. God loves all of us equally. He wants all of us to return to Him. So lets be obedient and be able to greet His outstreached arms!