Saturday, October 27, 2012

Saturday So What: The evolution of God

Caution: This post reflects my own personal views and does not necessarily reflect the other MMWs or the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
New SVG image The discussion at my house lately has become very much, So What to do about God? My husband and I view the topic a little differently. Though we were both raised Mormon, my husband has opted to take a more agnostic view towards God. He is a scientist and has trouble logically reconciling God and the natural laws of the universe. His attitude for the past 10 or so years has been one of  "I really hope there is a God, but I doubt it".

For my part, I like to consider myself an intelligent, rational woman. Like my husband, I too am extremely logical. My thoughts on God have evolved over time -- from a blind faith and literal Genesis interpretation to a more personal understanding of Heavenly Father and all his creations, rooted in doctrine as well as science. Evolution DID happen. Evolution STILL happens. Fossil records and DNA evidence are irrefutable -- even BYU teaches it. (That's where I learned to love the subject) Millions and millions of years ago, chimps and humans had a common ancestor. That does not mean humans were ever chimps. Or that chimps will ever be humans. That also doesn't mean that God was absent in the process. 

Yes, I can believe in evolution and God. A God that created the universe, surely had to build the laws on which it exists. As humans, we do not start as perfectly formed beings. We begin life as a sperm and an egg, a compilation of cells and chromosomes. The embryonic process to becoming a recognizable humanoid is a bit faster than evolution, but it is still a process. Perhaps God gave birth to his ideal human form in the same way. Starting out as a collection of single cells. The process of evolution might be a mere day to the Lord, as opposed to the eons we see it as. 

A lot of wonderful Mormons and Christians disagree with me about the whole evolution thing. And that's okay, everyone is entitled to believe whatever they choose. And so far, in my marriage, my husband and I have approached it much the same way --  agree to disagree. But now we have kiddos. What are we going to teach them?

This is the crux of what we are struggling with.  Lest you get the wrong idea, my hubby is awesome, and has no problem with the fact that I take my kids to primary. But they are going to get bigger and smarter. One day they are going to ask their daddy why he doesn't go to church and if he believes in God and Jesus Christ. What should he say? And what if, when they are old enough to take Jr High science, they learn about evolution and come to the same conclusion that my husband has -- as opposed to the one I have?

Thoughts or advice anyone? Mormons and evolution, or raising kids with one active parent... I will take any  experiences you are willing to share. 

Other posts by Betsy this week: The Courage to Start and The Skank-ification of Halloween


  1. I'm in a similar situation to yours, though it's just organized religion that's the debate, not God. My hubby & I have talked about it a lot. The kids could agree with one or the other of us or neither!

    It's not an issue yet since Chiquita is so little but the main thing we've decided is that we want her to thoroughly study these questions of God, religion and the LDS church. As her parents I want to make sure that I've given her enough information for her to make an informed decision about her beliefs. I don't want her to leave home before she challenges how she was taught. I also want to be sure I ask her enough questions that I understand what she believes and why.

  2. I don't have much to say except that I think that you are such brave women to be staying strong in your testimonies! I know that your children are so grateful for all you do.

  3. I think there are some wonderful books by LDS scientists that articulate this conflict so well. You have articulated it well. I have not read any of these books but President Eyring's father comes to mind as a renowned scientist and believer. Not sure if he tackled this topic in a book but it is worth looking into. I certainly know that to believe requires faith and that I will not understand everything perfectly at this time but line upon line and in the eternities the mysteries are unfolded.

  4. The book is called Mormon Scientist by Henry J. Eyring.

  5. Yeah...I'm in the same boat. It sounds like you're a little further down the path than I am with your kids.

    One of the things that keeps my faith going is the thought that science can't really test God. Science can test some claims of religion, but it can't test faith and it can't either prove or disprove the existence of God. I'm fine with that. I feel free to disregard the claims of religion that are in direct conflict with science, which sometimes makes it feel like my religion is going to get hacked down to the nubbins, but then those nubbins are still there, holding the shoes together. I can only hope my kids find as much value in their little bits of faith that they're willing to hold on to the rest of it.

    Good luck to you and your family.

  6. Thanks everyone. I'll just keep chugging along and try to keep my hubby with us. Darn this whole free agency thing!

  7. I believe the same as you. We don't have all the knowledge of how God created the world, but He did create it, and we will come to know how to create worlds one day too. I guess, the main thing is, keep letting them go to primary, keep a home of love, let them feel and learn to recognize the spirit and the existence thereof. Because that IS present and can be felt when you seek it. You can't explain everything, but you can teach them to pray, you can teach them how to recognize truth. Everyone will need to one day discover if they believe in God, in Jesus Christ, in the plan... but the tools are there to help you decide. As long as they learn that not all answers can be given now, but one day we will have all answers, that can help. That's why we are here, to be tested to see if we will follow God, without a perfect knowledge of all things. Even scientist don't understand all things, and sometimes, they too, make different conclusions after discovering new data, because they don't have perfect knowledge of all things. It's good to be smart, and to learn as much as possible, it's encouraged in the gospel to be knowledgeable. But there is also caution given for that as well, "Because ye are learned, ye think ye are wise." A scripture that has kept me in check... I don't have all the answers, and won't ever have all the answers, until Christ comes again, there is peace in knowing that I will one day know everything, and for now, that is good enough for me. There is no scientific proof that He exists, but there isn't any proof to show that He doesn't exist either! So hang in there, and good luck!

  8. My husband isn't active either, we believe the same as you do regarding evolution but questions will come regarding gospel topics and you and your husband need to be prepared to answer them. we decided we are going to take that opportunity to talk to them about agency and testimony.good luck it can be hard sometimes,but how blessed we are to have loving and supportive husbands.



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