There is not enough of the attitude of the sincere investigator among us. When we come into a new field of research that will challenge our due and honest consideration, we should be warned against coming too quickly to a conclusion, of forming a decision too hastily. We should be scientific — that is, open-minded, approaching new problems without prejudice, deferring a decision until all the facts are in.
Some say that the open-minded leave room for doubt. But I believe we should doubt some of the things we hear. Doubt has a place if it can stir in one an interest to go out and find the truth for one’s self. I should like to awaken in everyone a desire to investigate, to make an independent study of religion, and to know for themselves whether or not the teachings of the Mormon church are true.
Faith that goes beneath the surface soil
There are altogether too many people in the world who are willing to accept as true whatever is printed in a book or delivered from a pulpit. Their faith never goes below the surface soil of authority. I plead with everyone I meet that they may drive their faith down through that soil and get hold of the solid truth, that they may be able to withstand the winds and storm of indecision and of doubt, of opposition and persecution. Then, and only then, will we be able to Read Full Post
True science is a discovery of the secret, immutable and eternal laws, by which the universe is governed; and when practically applied, sets in motion the mighty wheels of useful engines, with all the various machinery which genius has invented, or art contrived. It ameliorates the condition of man, by extending the means of intellectual, moral, social, and domestic happiness. [John Taylor, Times and Seasons, vol. 4, pg. 46, 15 Dec 1842].
This system has been going on for 2.5 billion years
Well, now, Brother William, when the house of Israel begin to come into the glorious mysteries of the kingdom, and find that Jesus Christ, whose goings forth, as the prophets said, have been from of old, from eternity; and that eternity, agreeably to the records found in the catacombs of Egypt, has been going on in this system, (not this world) almost two thousand five hundred and fifty five millions of years: and to know at the same time, that deists, geologists and others are trying to prove that matter must have existed hundreds of thousands of years; — it almost tempts the flesh to fly to God, or muster faith like Enoch to be translated and see and know as we are seen and known! [W. W. Phelps, Times and Seasons, vol. 5, pg. 758, 1 Jan. 1844].
God is the dispenser of all truth
The study of science is the study of something eternal. If we study astronomy, we study the works of God. If we study chemistry, geology, optics, or any other branch of science, every new truth we come to the understanding of is eternal; it is a part of the great system of universal truth. It is truth that exists throughout universal nature; and God is the dispenser of all truth. [Orson Pratt, Journal of Discourses, vol. 7, pg. 157, 12 Feb 1860].
Open for us to explore
How gladly would we understand every principle pertaining to science and art, and become thoroughly acquainted with every intricate operation of nature, and with all the chemical changes that are constantly going on around us! How delightful this would be, and what a boundless field of Read Full Post
“Philosophy [nature] is written in that great book which ever is before our eyes – I mean the universe – but we cannot understand it if we do not first learn the language and grasp the symbols in which it is written. The book is written in mathematical language, and the symbols are triangles, circles and other geometrical figures, without whose help it is impossible to comprehend a single word of it; without which one wanders in vain through a dark labyrinth.” – Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)
If you cannot understand nature and the universe without understanding the language of symbols, how can you hope to understand something much simpler like temples, scripture, or gospel teachings? How many feel like they wander in vain through a dark labyrinth?
The study of symbols is unfortunately ignored by many; consequently much thought and meditation, much observation and appreciation, and much enlightenment never happens. Symbols echo the underlying structure of matter and reality. I believe that the foundational principles of all existence, and how the whole functions can be explained in the numbers 1 through 9. I know that may sound like a bold statement but it is actually pretty simple to explain. I’ll have to write about that sometime.
My own personal understanding has been immensely impacted by devoting time to the study of symbols and archetypes. I see everything through a new lens, a lens where everything is important and has meaning and purpose. This in and of itself doesn’t change you, knowledge is essential, but putting it into practical use beyond self-serving intellectual stimulation is the challenge of life.
Here are a few of my favorite resources for those interested in learning more:
I like science, I like the process of discovery both in temporal and spiritual spheres (as we tend to distinguish them).
Understanding will always be limited by knowledge, we can’t understand what we don’t know; those things that lie outside of our perception. But as the scope extends, we can perceive and understand more, “That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day.” (D&C 50:24)
Some things take a looooong time to figure out, and when we do find new answers, they are accompanied by new questions – it never ends. I like the idea that we can explore indefinitely, everyone wants final answers and to put it everything in it’s own little box. More and more, though, I think the thrill of discovery and exploration is often more satisfying than ‘arriving.’
Are we so concerned with understanding everything that we don’t take time to appreciate anything?
We have people sitting on this planet that are ‘bored’ and they don’t realize that they live in this amazing existence filled with vast incomprehensible energy. The same patterns observed in the macro scale can be observed in flowing water, plants, animals, and the human body – these archetypal patterns flow through everything.
If you’re bored, you’re just not paying attention. The ability to observe, to be aware, and to appreciate is truly mind-blowing.
I watched this conference as soon as the videos were published and I enjoyed it quite bit. However, when I was looking for one of these videos on my site the other day, I couldn’t find it. I thought I had posted these videos but apparently I didn’t so here they are! There’s some great food for though and interesting things to ponder.
The Interpreter Foundation sponsored a conference on November 9, 2013, entitled “Science & Mormonism: Cosmos, Earth & Man” in Provo, Utah. It was filmed. Videos of each of the presentations are now available for free viewing on The Interpreter Foundation’s YouTube channel, or here on MormonInterpreter.com embedded below.
Daniel C. Peterson introductory remarks at Science & Mormonism Conference
This is actually pretty amazing and well worth the watch. They’ve apparently discovered this negatively-charged gel-like fourth phase of water that allows it to actually hold an electric charge. Get this, it’s all powered by light.
“I dunno why you always have to be judging me because I only believe in science.” – Esqueleto, Nacho Libre
I love this video, I came across it the other day and it is awesome on so many levels. It was put up on YouTube by Interpreter and if you give it a chance, you’ll hear some really great perspective from some prominent LDS scientists of the day offering some counsel that just as fresh today as it was then.
Accompanying the serious dialogue are a few dramatizations that look like they were right out of an episode of “Leave it to Beaver” which makes the whole thing that much better. I appreciate the fact that this film from around 60 years ago makes more sense than most of what I hear out there today.