Filed under: Mormon Doctrine, News & Politics
Today on CNN.com there was an article about life on other planets.
As NASA prepares to hunt for Earth-like planets in our corner of the Milky Way galaxy, there’s new buzz that “Star Trek’s” vision of a universe full of life may not be that far-fetched. Pointy-eared aliens traveling at light speed are staying firmly in science fiction, but scientists are offering fresh insights into the possible existence of inhabited worlds and intelligent civilizations in space. There may be 100 billion Earth-like planets in the Milky Way, or one for every sun-type star in the galaxy, said Alan Boss, an astronomer with the Carnegie Institution and author of the new book “The Crowded Universe: The Search for Living Planets.” (http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/space/02/25/galaxy.planets.kepler/index.html)
According to the Catholic church, a long time ago, the earth was the center of the universe, and Galileo Galilei has a hard time trying to tell the Pope that probably that was not true.
Once it became clear that the Earth was merely one planet amongst countless bodies in the universe, the extraterrestrial idea moved towards the scientific mainstream.
In wikipedia we read that
The Catholic Church has not made a formal ruling on existence of extraterrestrials (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extraterrestrial_life).
What about other religions? Again, I read in Wikipedia that
Authors of Jewish sources also considered extraterrestrial life. The Talmud states that there are at least 18,000 other worlds, but provides little elaboration on the nature of those worlds, or on whether they are physical or spiritual…
Within Islam, the statement of the Qur’an “All praise belongs to God, Lord of all the worlds” indicates multiple universal bodies, and maybe even multiple universes, which may indicate extraterrestrial and even extradimensional life…
According to Hindu scriptures, there are innumerable universes created by God to facilitate the fulfillment of the separated desires of innumerable living entities. However, the purpose of such creations is to bring back the deluded souls to correct understanding about the purpose of life. Aside from the innumerable universes which are material, there is also the unlimited spiritual world, where the purified living entities live with perfect conception about life and ultimate reality.
And, behold, thou art my son; wherefore look, and I will show thee the workmanship of mine hands; but not all, for my works are without end, and also my words, for they never cease…
And he beheld many lands; and each land was called earth, and there were inhabitants on the face thereof…
And worlds without number have I created; and I also created them for mine own purpose; and by the Son I created them, which is mine Only Begotten..
But only an account of this earth, and the inhabitants thereof, give I unto you. For behold, there are many worlds that have passed away by the word of my power. And there are many that now stand, and innumerable are they unto man; but all things are numbered unto me, for they are mine and I know them (Book of Moses, 1:4;29:33;35)
Since the beginning Mormon theology has been clear about the existence of other worlds and other people. However, since they are all sons and daughters of God, I strongly doubt that they will look like some of those strange extraterrestrial in “Star Trek”. Moreover, based on this last verse, I suppose that we will never be able to find them, until at least the beginning of the Millennium, after the Savior will come back on this earth. Then He will probably reveal all that we need to know about life on other plantes.
Filed under: Mormon Families, Mormon Temples
A few weeks ago I went to the Draper temple open house with my three kids (those who still live at home, since the oldest is now serving a mission). It was a very nice experience to go through those rooms with them. I have been in many Mormon temples already, and therefore, in spite of the small differences found in each temple, nothing was particularly new to me.
However, it was different for my kids, who had only been inside a temple to perform baptisms for the dead, and therefore they were only familiar with the area of the temple where those baptisms are done.
I noticed how curious they were, and how that visit helped them to feel, at least in part, the great spirit of a Mormon temple, where ordinances for the living and the dead are performed daily, after the temple is dedicated.
It is really a good opportunity for us to take our children, or our friends of other faiths, to see those temples, before they are dedicated, so that they too can feel that great spirit and become a little more familiar with this most important aspect of Mormonism.
The general public is invited to tour the new Draper Utah Temple during the open house, which will be held Mondays through Saturdays from January 15 to March 14. Reservations are required and are available free of charge.