February 01, 2013


This Sunday I am {hopefully} teaching a lesson to children about the creation of the earth.
Namely that Jesus Christ, under the direction of Heavenly Father, created the Earth.
I am using Genesis chapter one and discussing the six days of creation.
This is a gentle lesson that will take under 15 minutes to teach... and yet it involves doctrine and belief that have initiated some of the greatest debates in history.

Who are we?  Where do we come from?  Why are we here?

I remember seeking these answers as a young child.  Don't you?  Don't you remember looking at the great sky and asking if God was real?  I even remember reading Dr. Suess' Horton Hears a Who, and wondering if it were possible that there were other worlds out there.  Are we just a speck on the clover of the universe?

Did God create this Earth?  Really?  Can I really, 100% say that I believe in a divine creator?
What about evolution?  Six days?  Is God just a theory that man has created to explain something that we cannot explain?  Does it really matter?  Why does it matter?  How does this belief affect my daily actions?

First, it does matter. 
I thought of bringing with me some cookies wrapped in a box from Jillicious Desserts.  Jill, is a friend of mine from church, who bakes heavenly.  Would it make a difference if I told the kids they would each get one cookie made for them by Jillicious Desserts verses telling them that a few weeks ago I added some flour, some eggs, some vanilla in  bowl and had brought them the cookie that had simply formed?  Does it make a difference knowing that we have a creator that creates with a purpose?  That we are part of a Divine and Eternal plan and that this Earth is a gift to us, not just a happenstance?  YES!!  It makes a difference!!  It makes ALL the difference.  Creation means it was made with a purpose!

Evolution doesn't bother me-- AT ALL!  Someone could look at Jill's kitchen, who did not believe in a creator, and explain Jill's process of baking a cookie.  It might sound like "some flour and eggs and vanilla all came together and mixed in a big bowl, there was a great heat, and boom! cookies!!"  Imagine the theories of "evolution" that could be concocted if one looked through a bakery trashcan.  From oatmeal to cookies, from coconut to macaroons... amazing!  They can find "evidence" of HOW things happened, they could theorize what they think happened, but they can NEVER disprove a divine creator.  You can NOT prove or disprove God.  You can only come to know Him for yourself, or spend the rest of your life eating the great cookies He is placing at your feet without ever knowing how loved you are and never truly thanking the source of all that is good in your life. 

I don't believe the earth was created in six twenty four hour periods.  Ha!  God is very consistent in the fact that the way he tells time is not the way we tell time.  {Ask Abraham's Sarah about God's time table.}  I have no doubt that someday God will teach us how He created the Earth.  Actually, I think we were there.  We watched as Spirits and we were so excited to see the Earth that He was creating for us. 

I'm grateful that Genesis gives us the condensed version... Um, ask a scientist how to "create" a, let's say, heart, or prosthetic leg.  I bet their explanation alone would take BOOKS.  Imagine how heavy our Bibles would be if we had that to carry around.  I'm grateful for the "six days"... and yet I know that God did create every last blade of grass.  I believe that He is continually inspiring men and teaching them how to operate, how to repair, how to mend His creations.  God is the ultimate creator, scientist, inventor and Father.  Creation amazes me and inspires me.  I am so grateful. 

Years ago, I found an old book on the shelf in my in-laws home.  I read this section written by Elder Russell M. Nelson.  Let me tell you about this man.  First, he is a modern-day apostle in the LDS church, one of our 12 apostles.  Second, he used to be one of the most prominent heart surgeons in the world.  He helped to create one of the first machines that made open-heart surgery possible.  He actually operated on a former prophet's heart before he was an apostle.  In the LDS church, we have lay clergy.  Our leaders have all had other jobs, they have families, they do not seek to become pastors or apostles, they are called, by revelation.   I love that this man was a doctor... but he was a holy man.  He was inspired.  God taught him about the human heart and he was able to change the world... today he is a religious leader.  You see, when you know your Creator, you have access to His inspiration and wisdom and it blesses you in all aspects of your life.  I love Elder Nelson.

Sorry, can I tell you one more thing I love about Elder Nelson?  Ok.  One evening Elder Nelson and his wife were folding laundry together while they were watching a movie and Sister Nelson's heart stopped.  He did CPR, but it was no use.  She died, right there, in her husband's arms.  Can you imagine this?  Elder Nelson was a WORLD famous heart surgeon.  He saved many, many people... God blessed him with so many skills and much wisdom... and yet he was helpless to save the woman he loved most in the world.  What a great lesson he must have learned that night.  I imagine this was his Abrahamic trial.  He knew God was real, yet he also knew that God's plan is not always our plan.

I love these words that he wrote about creation.  He is talking about our body here... but, the creation of man is day six! {read one talk where he references this here- Thanks Be to God.}

Each organ of your body is a wondrous gift from God. Each eye has an autofocusing lens. Nerves and muscles control two eyes to make a single three-dimensional image. The eyes are connected to the brain, which records the sights seen.
Your heart is an incredible pump. It has four delicate valves that control the direction of blood flow. These valves open and close more than 100,000 times a day—36 million times a year. Yet, unless altered by disease, they are able to withstand such stress almost indefinitely.
Think of the body’s defense system. To protect it from harm, it perceives pain. In response to infection, it generates antibodies. The skin provides protection. It warns against injury that excessive heat or cold might cause.
The body renews its own outdated cells and regulates the levels of its own vital ingredients. The body heals its cuts, bruises, and broken bones. Its capacity for reproduction is another sacred gift from God.
Be we reminded that a perfect body is not required to achieve one’s divine destiny. In fact, some of the sweetest spirits are housed in frail or imperfect bodies. Great spiritual strength is often developed by people with physical challenges, precisely because they are so challenged.
Anyone who studies the workings of the human body has surely “seen God moving in his majesty and power.”  Because the body is governed by divine law, any healing comes by obedience to the law upon which that blessing is predicated.
Yet some people erroneously think that these marvelous physical attributes happened by chance or resulted from a big bang somewhere. Ask yourself, “Could an explosion in a printing shop produce a dictionary?” The likelihood is most remote. But if so, it could never heal its own torn pages or reproduce its own newer editions!
If the body’s capacity for normal function, defense, repair, regulation, and regeneration were to prevail without limit, life here would continue in perpetuity. Yes, we would be stranded here on earth! Mercifully for us, our Creator provided for aging and other processes that would ultimately result in our physical death. Death, like birth, is part of life. Scripture teaches that “it was not expedient that man should be reclaimed from this temporal death, for that would destroy the great plan of happiness.”  To return to God through the gateway we call death is a joy for those who love Him and are prepared to meet Him. Eventually the time will come when each “spirit and … body shall be reunited again in … perfect form; both limb and joint shall be restored to its proper frame,” never to be separated again. For these physical gifts, thanks be to God!

Yes, I believe in a divine creator.
I believe the story of creation.

God is not just a story that makes me feel good.  He is my creator.  He heals me.  He comforts me.  He teaches me.  He knows me and I know Him.  I learn more about my Father in Heaven each day.  I feel His love.  I see His hand as I see His creations.  I feel God's majesty as I glance across the mightiest ocean and as I feel the soft kicks of the baby in my belly.  (He kicked just as I was typing this paragraph.  This baby in my womb, He knows it too.)  The idea that we are all just here by chance makes my head explode and my soul cringe.  I am not an accident.  I was born with a divine purpose.  My life is a gift and my life has meaning. 

We are not just here on Earth to survive or to find self pleasure... we are here to LEARN and to be TESTED.  We are here to prove to God that even when we can not see Him we will KNOW Him and trust Him and choose Good over Evil.  Someday we will see Him again.  We will remember how He created the Earth and we will remember His love for us.  We will remember every choice we made on this Earth and we will continue to learn from our experience.  We are eternal souls.

Sure, on Sunday I may teach a sweet, 15 minute, lesson on the creation. 
But, this lesson is not something I teach lightly.  It is the CORE of my belief.  It is WHY I live the life I live.  It makes a difference.  It makes a difference to children too.  They need to know who they are and where they come from.  They need to know that they are here by divine design to do a specific work on this Earth.  They need to know that this Earth, and their bodies, are gifts from God, to them. 

Children need to be taught to be grateful for the gifts they are given.  How can they be grateful when they don't recognize the giver?  We are not accidents.  Our choices MATTER!  God loves us and has told us how to be happy her on Earth.  He wants us to remember Him and feel His love.  This Earth is not an accident.  It is a cookie.  A cookie crafted by a master chef, and it is ours to enjoy and care for.  This Earth and this life are gifts.  We shouted for joy at the chance to come here and we can feel joy everyday as we feel God's love surround us.  He is in the Mighty and in the Meek.  He IS real. 

I've pondered this creation story often, in some of my most quiet and holy ponderings.
Why is the creation story so important for us to remember?  I believe it is not only important it is ESSENTIAL because God is calling to us from behind the veil of this life.  He is asking us to remember Him and to remember who we are.  The story of creation reminds us of our eternal purpose.  IF THERE IS A GOD, IF THERE IS A CREATOR THAN OUR CHOICES ON EARTH HAVE PURPOSE AND DIRECTION.  We will choose differently if we are just strolling through life than if we are sent onto a field with direction and purpose.  God wants us to remember WHY we are here and WHOSE we are.  It makes ALL the difference.

Have you seen young children on a soccer field in the middle of a game?  Some of them "get it"  they know they are playing a game, they know where the goal is, and they are at least running in the right direction.  Some kids are born knowing how to dribble and score points.  Some kids are distracted by the dandelions and butterflies.  I've been the mother on the sideline shouting, "Get the ball!  Run!  Look!  This is a soccer game!  You can do it!"  I think we have a Father on the sidelines too.  Sometimes we are distracted by weeds or running in the wrong direction and He is shouting to us, "Remember!!  Remember your GOAL!!"

There are moments when the veil is thin.  Death, birth, times of joy and times of sorrow.  Somehow being surrounded by nature reminds us of His power and our own nothingness.  And yet, in these moments we can feel shadows.  We can hear a voice from the sideline shouting softly to our soul-- I see you!  I know you!  I have a work for you to do!  You are KNOWN, you are MINE and you are ETERNAL.  You have felt this too, or you can if you ask.  He is real.

How grateful I am.  Humbly, eternally grateful.
I am humbled to teach this lesson to my young friends, and happy to believe it with you. 
It is a truth that many of the most intelligent among us do not comprehend.
Don't you just FEEL it?  Don't you just LOVE knowing this is true?
There is a God.  He is our creator.  I know it.
Life is good.


Tiffany said...

This post actually made me tear up tonight... Wow, thank you for recording all of that. Beautifully written! *sigh*

Usually, I'm not a huge fan of bedrest, esp. for you... but if you turn out posts like this from your bed, then, well... hmmm... maybe I DO like you on bedrest! :-)

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