Thoughts on Just About Everything

I have a TON of ideas for blog posts, but it usually takes a long time to write one and get it out to the internet. And you know, with COVID-19 and the end of the world fast approaching, there’s not a ton of time. So I thought, “Why don’t I just dump most of my ideas/musings in one post and get them out there?” And so that’s what I did and that’s what this is. 

Now, this doesn’t mean that I won’t still be writing blog posts. I definitely plan on continuing to write about all the things I’ve listed below. This is just a little intro to the bulk of my future posts.

It’s a list with a collection of my thoughts on science and religion and how they can go together, spread out over multiple topics. But now here’s your chance to share your thoughts about this stuff too. Feel free to leave comments in the comment section below. I’d love to hear what you’re thinking!

  1. God is timeless and the past, present, and future are all “present before” Him. This can help explain a lot about how He can do what He does and why six days of creation can be as long as it needs to be (i.e. billions of years).
  2. Stars are symbols of Jesus Christ. Massive stars create elements in their cores, and then they die. It’s in their deaths that even more elements are created and things like planets and life become possible. We are here because a star died for us, just like we are here because a God died for us. I have yet to find a more beautiful or compelling symbol in the universe for the Savior than the stars.
  3. According to the scriptures, The earth is destined to become a globe of glass like crystal and fire, whereupon celestial inhabitants will live and use it as a Urim and Thummim. According to science, the Sun is destined to become a white dwarf, destroying Earth in the process. Is this future white dwarf the promised celestialized Earth? I assume some pieces of the earth as it’s consumed by the expanding, red giant sun would end up sinking down to the core. But I don’t know for sure if it would.
  4. On 5 January 1841, Joseph Smith said that the earth was formed from other planets that were broken up and made into ours. The current theory for how the planets formed was from exploded star dust turned to planetesimals, turned to protoplanets, which after a period of colliding, breaking apart, and mixing with each other formed the earth. So yeah, the earth really did form out of pieces of other planets, just like Joseph said. He was so right about this—how in the world did he know?!
  5. Let’s talk about the theory stemming from Joseph’s statement above that dinosaur fossils came from other planets. It’s not a good explanation of how the fossils got there. Where did this theory come from? People think this theory was Joseph’s, but he said nothing about fossils. It was a later interpretation that is still propagated today to refute an old earth. I contend that Joseph had nothing to do with it.
  6. I wonder what a debate between Ken Ham and Joseph Smith would be like. I have a collection of quotes from both men on a number of different topics that I will share soon. I think when you see how different Joseph believed than Ham, you’ll see just how close Joseph gets to the truth (and how far Ham gets from it).
  7. How would Joseph Smith fair in a debate against some of the most militant atheists out there? This will be like the Ken Ham one, except Joseph will be going against people who Ken Ham disagrees with. I think it’s important to show that Joseph’s ideas kind of find a middle ground between atheists and YECs.
  8. My Kolob theory: I think we are made out of Kolob. I think Kolob was an ancient massive star (perhaps the first in the universe) that went supernova and created and made the elements from which you and I and the earth are made. And that’s how the star still “governs” the Sun and Earth today–through the course of physics since Kolob’s supernova and nucleosynthesis. The question is not “Where is Kolob?” but “When was Kolob?” Also, Kolob could be a star that collapsed into the black hole which created the universe. Or Kolob could be a star that became a black hole that shot out energy which started the creation of the Sun and solar system.
  9. The hymn “If You Could Hie to Kolob”, and how it could support the idea that Kolob is in the deep past of the universe, and is possibly the first star ever formed. To me, it sounds like “hie-ing” to Kolob is a traveling back in time to the slice of spacetime that contained the star. “Where space did not extend” sounds like the period after the Big Bang when the universe was still small and had yet to expand much.
  10. Could God be a five-dimensional (or higher) Being? That could explain how He can stand in the air, enter rooms with no openings, appear and disappear out of nowhere, speak to our insides, see everything, be timeless, etc. Scientists and mathematicians say that a 5th dimensional creature could do all of these things. Why not God then?
  11. I think the Spectrum of Intelligences (see Abr. 3) can explain a lot of things. It could be the reason for an old earth, the branching diversity of life, dinosaurs, extinct animals, etc. Let’s dive into those because I’m a huge fan of the Spectrum of Intelligences.
  12. If Joseph Smith could see anything he wanted to in his seer stones, then is it possible that he saw things concerning how this earth and the creatures upon it came to be? Basically, we say that Joseph couldn’t have known about natural selection because he died before Darwin revealed it, but with his seer stones, Joseph could’ve indeed known more than we give him credit for. Not saying that he did; just saying what if?
  13. The HR diagram is considered one of the most important images in astronomy. It shows how stars exist on a spectrum according to size, brightness, mass, etc. Abraham learned that the stars exist on a spectrum. How significant is it that Joseph Smith got this right long before the HR diagram was discovered?
  14. The solution to Book of Mormon and DNA controversies is evolution. Whatever DNA Lehi had when he got to the Americas, it probably wouldn’t have lasted long here because natural selection would favor the traits of the natives who had lived there for thousands of years already. Therefore, it would be super hard to find Lehi’s DNA after just a few generations. How cool is it that natural selection (evolution) is the solution to this apparent problem with the Book of Mormon? I think it’s rad–mostly because a lot of members think evolution can’t be compatible with our faith, yet it helps explain the Book of Mormon.
  15. Did God start the Big Bang? You can flip a coin and land on tails every single time if the initial conditions are right. What if God set the initial conditions of the Big Bang just right so that the resulting universe, earth, and life would create themselves? In Abraham 4, it does sound kind of like the universe is creating itself. Remember, they have to wait for it to obey.
  16. Is God even the Creator of the universe, or did He live a mortal life in this very universe? Although I don’t think that an infinite and eternal universe is a requirement in Mormon theology, I do find it intriguing that God could have lived mortally long ago on a planet in a far-away galaxy out there. Maybe even one we can see with our telescopes now. Nevertheless, I do think that God created the universe and lived in another (parent) universe.
  17. Whether you’ve noticed or not, Joseph Smith talked about exoplanets… a lot. And not just lifeless worlds out there around other stars, but warm extrasolar planets teeming with diverse, alien life forms. Astronomers today talk about exoplanets with life like this. How significant is this? Why was Joseph so into it? Seriously, this is one of my top evidences that Joseph Smith was a prophet.
  18. I want to talk more about the Noble and Great Ones from Abraham 3, and what they might mean. I think we are all part of the Noble and Great Ones, and that we, at our high position on the Spectrum of Intelligences, are able to accept the gospel and become like God. Was Adam just the first of the Noble and Great Ones to come to the earth?
  19. I don’t think Joseph Smith taught spirit birth like we understand it in the Church today. I think that’s important because it becomes way easier to reconcile evolution with our religion when you see our relationship to Heavenly Father as more of an adoption than a literal descendancy. That’s my opinion anyway. Joseph Smith said that God found Himself among spirits less intelligent than Himself and decided to organize them and give them laws so that they could advance like He had. 
  20. Let’s talk about D&C 19, 76, and 132. Atheists are not going to burn in hell forever. According to the revelation on the Three Degrees of Glory, no one but the sons of perdition will. This alone puts Mormonism in a comfortable place between atheists and YECs.
  21. What if all the scientific evidence we could muster pointed to an earth that was only about 6,000 years old? Let’s go on a little thought experiment adventure and see what the ramifications of such a universe would be. It may surprise you. I mean, I say may, but I haven’t quite thought it all out myself…. I guess we’ll see what happens.
  22. I want to compare Joseph Smith with the Millerite movement, and Ellen G. White, and the YEC movement after that. Joseph gets new scripture in 1842 that seems to imply an old earth and creation by natural processes, whereas Ellen G. White has a vision in the 1860s that cements her position that the earth was created in 6 literal 24-hour days.
  23. Was Joseph Smith a concordist? In other words, did he believe that the creation account in the scriptures needed to correctly describe natural history? If not, why did he make the changes he did to the creation account in Abraham 4?
  24. Timeline of Joseph Smith’s statements on animals having spirits or intelligence, overlayed with the timeline of philosophers’ statements on the same subject. Was Joseph strange for his time in believing that animals had spirits and intelligence?
  25. Timeline of the Roberts vs Smith vs Talmage debates in the 1930s. It’s a fascinating story.
  26. Did the right combination of scientists in the Quorum of the Twelve in 1930-1931 prevent the Church from taking an official anti-evolution stance?
  27. There are a ton of things we can learn about Christ by studying the creation of the universe. I want to go through each of the days of creation and talk about what symbols of Christ they contain and what they can teach us about the Savior.
  28. Although many would disagree with me, I do not think that LDS theology requires that the universe has always existed and will always exist. My reasoning has a lot to do with timelessness and the current predictions for how the universe may end someday (in the far future).
  29. I want to comment on the Feb 2016 New Era article about dinosaurs. 
  30. I want to discuss the Promethean Adam hypothesis and what I think about it.
  31. I read an article once that Joseph Smith’s brown seer stone was likely a gizzard stone in a dinosaur. I want to explore this a bit more. Could it have been inside a pterosaur or a crocodilian? How about a synapsid? Let’s talk about the possibilities, because it’s pretty cool to think that the stone that Joseph may have used to translate the Book of Mormon spent some quality time (millions of years ago) in the gut of a Mesozoic tetrapod.
  32. We should talk about the scientific method and how what the Lord asks us to do in order to find truth is not too far off from the scientific method.
  33. Polygamy is a hot topic, but I want to know what other animals live in polygamous relationships. Did our ancestors?
  34. I think Adam was a normal Homo sapien who was called of God to be the first prophet and first patriarch of God’s children. I think he was given the gospel and Priesthood and told to seal up fellow human beings for salvation to create a family, be it of blood or adoption. I think the sealing adoptions of the early Church, and the anxiousness of people to be sealed to Joseph Smith, can shed some light on Adam. What if it was the same for him? What if his job was to seal as many people to him as would accept the gospel, and thus become their adoptive father, “the first father, or first patriarch”, as Abraham puts it?
  35. Joseph taught that your reckoning of time depends on which planet you live on. Einstein discovered the same thing with relativity. Time passes differently here on earth than it does on a different planet elsewhere in the universe, due to relative velocity and gravity wells. How did Joseph Smith know this several decades before Einstein was born?
  36. The meteor shower of 1833, which Joseph Smith may have prophesied of, is interesting. I want to learn more about this. Also, when Joseph or the scriptures prophesy of stars falling to the earth, they’re not wrong. Yes, meteorites are not stars on the surface, but they are made of atoms that were once in stars. They are stardust. So, in a way, the prophecies are right–stars really are falling out of the sky.
  37. One thing I’ve learned from studying Church History and evolution is that there is ALWAYS more to things than you initially think. There is always more nuance. For example: It’s not that the Book of Abraham can’t be found on the extant papyri, it’s that maybe Joseph Smith translated in a different way than we assume. I think the more we learn about the nuances, the stronger our testimonies become.
  38. Abraham 4 describes how the Gods “prepare” the earth to bring forth the diversity of life. I want to discuss how the mass extinctions of Earth’s history are exactly the “preparations” we needed to make us and all the life we see around us.
  39. I want to go through all of the days of creation and compare them more deeply with natural history. How were birds and whales really created? How did humans come about? How can Day 4 of creation be a thing?
  40. D&C 77:6: I don’t think this verse about the 7,000 years of Earth’s “continuance” or “temporal existence” requires that the earth is only about 6,000 years old. Not at all. Let’s explore what “continuance” means, or “temporal”, and how it may actually imply an older earth anyway.
  41. How significant is it that the Book of Abraham calls the periods of creation “times” instead of “days”?
  42. Timeline of thought on the age of the earth, with Joseph’s (Abraham 4) “times” of creation inserted at the publication of the Book of Abraham. 
  43. W. W. Phelps and his 2.555 billion years statement. What was the earth like 2.555 Ga? What changes were happening? Anything significant to make a new “world” or “system”? One thing that jumps out at me is that the Great Oxygenation Event occurred around 2.5 Ga, and this is where oxygen-using organisms became a thing. We’re oxygen-breathers, and are descended from things that were alive during that time as a new “system” of respiration was born. Any connection there?
  44. The super-long lifespans of the Patriarchs as recorded in the Bible is a pretty extraordinary claim. I’ve heard it said that modern revelation supports their old ages because they are repeated in the Book of Moses and in D&C 107. But, D&C 107, after reciting their ages, says that all these things were written in the Book of Enoch and will be testified of in due time. Now, like D&C 7, which was a document Joseph Smith translated, but didn’t have, could it be that the writer of the Book of Enoch (this portion of which Joseph translated, but didn’t have) recorded these lengthy death ages, but that they aren’t necessarily how long these great men actually lived? Yeah, they are recorded to be this long in the Book of Enoch, but that doesn’t mean that they actually lived that long in real life. I think D&C 107 could be a clue.
  45. I want to explore the possibility that Adam, Enoch, and Noah, and those in between them lived farther in the past than 4,000 BC and onward. There are great floods that actually happened in history, but predate 4,000 BC. Could it be that Noah was a part of one of these floods, and that his story was embellished to the point we have it today? Is Adam, the Ancient of Days, older than we think he is? Nephi did say that the prophets testified of Christ “many thousands of years before his coming”. Four is a few, but not “many”.
  46. PSA: Pterodactyls are not dinosaurs. And not all pterosaurs are pterodactyls. These are things the world needs to know. 
  47. How studying evolution strengthened my testimony of Joseph Smith: I want to tell a bit about my science journey, and how I became the writer of this very unofficial blog. 
  48. I like to read, so I think I’ll talk a bit about some of the top ten science/LDS books I’ve read recently–the ones that have helped me reconcile the two together. The more sciencey stuff I read, the more convinced I am that the Church is true.
  49. One thing that bothers me about our culture is that predators, be they dinosaurs or lions, are almost always viewed as the “bad guys”. That shouldn’t be the case. We shouldn’t villainize them for doing EXACTLY WHAT GOD CREATED THEM TO DO! I’m here to tell the world that meat-eating dinosaurs can be good guys too.
  50. Radiometric dating and what Henry Eyring had to say about it. How it works and why it’s trustworthy when dating rocks and fossils.
  51. The story of the Jaredites has a lot of similarities with the story of Noah’s ark. Could it be that Noah’s story was really one like the Brother of Jared, a man who was led to a promised land, built a boat, took his family and some useful animals with him, and started a new life somewhere else? If so, maybe the story of Noah was embellished by his descendants and his journey was adapted to fit the giant flood stories people told everywhere.
  52. I have a lot more little clues from scripture and Church History that maybe Noah’s Flood was local. I also have some to support that Adam wasn’t the first human being on the planet. I hope to write posts about all of those.
  53. The Third Beast in the Book of Revelation has the face of a man. I’m guessing he was humanoid in appearance. Prehistory is littered with a cast of hominids, creatures who looked kind of like men, had faces like men, but weren’t Homo sapiens. Joseph tells us that the Third Beast was from another planet. What does science say about the evolution of humanoids on other planets? Is it likely? Is it possible?
  54. I want to explore how similar the diet of Paleolithic people was to the guidelines given in the Word of Wisdom. Paleo people ate meat, but not all the time, and only had vegetables and fruits and nuts to eat. They didn’t have processed foods. They didn’t have sugary things or very many grains or carbs. How does it stack up with the Word of Wisdom, and is the Word of Wisdom a reflection of how our ancestors ate? Surely, God would know what foods are best for human beings. Could the WoW be evidence that God created humans (and all other things) with evolution?
  55. I think I heard somewhere that the Book of Moses was kind of different (or received differently) than the rest of the JST. Is this true, and why? Was it more of a document that Joseph saw in vision and translated to English; or was it just an inspired rewording of the Genesis in the Bible that Joseph had? If it was different, I think it might clear up some issues with how we know the Bible was constructed; but I’d have to do a lot more research on that topic to really write coherently about it.
  56. I suppose I’m a theistic evolutionist, but I want to know which kind of theistic evolutionist I am. I’m sure there are a few different varieties. Which one do I align closest to?
  57. I want to explore the Adam-God Theory and how it could or couldn’t fit with evolution. From what I’ve heard, it requires a very special creation of Adam, which wouldn’t necessarily square well with evolution. But there are aspects of it that are intriguing.
  58. There was an article in the Huff Post about what the Genesis creation account got right and wrong about natural history. Funny enough, the Book of Abraham creation account can fix every single one of the things that Genesis got wrong. I want to compare Abraham 3 with this Huff Post article to show how cool Joseph Smith was.
  59. Joseph Smith accepted a spheroidal earth, rejected the pseudo-science of phrenology, and even produced some creation scriptures that sounded a lot like natural selection. He said one grand fundamental of Mormonism was to accept truth, wherever it comes from. He died in 1844. Would he have accepted the theory of evolution, if the evidence could have supported it?
  60. In the Book of Moses, Moses sees a vision of a bunch of lands called earth with a bunch of inhabitants, and he’s like, “Whoa, who are these people, and why did you make them?” And then the Lord says, “For mine own purpose have I made these things, and it remaineth in me.” And then Lord says, “I’ve even made worlds without number for my own purpose.” Some people think that “lands” means other planets, but I think it means other places on earth that Moses didn’t know existed. And if this is the case, then Noah’s flood was probably local and, to Moses’ astonishment, didn’t kill all these people living happily on other “lands”. 
  61. Someone recalled Joseph Smith saying that Noah built the ark somewhere in or near modern-day South Carolina. If this is true, Noah was close to the coast, and it would’ve been real easy for a tsunami or a river flooding to make a LOCAL flood from which Noah could have saved a few people and animals.
  62. In the Book of Moses, Enoch talks about the “sea east”, which could present some problems for a global flood. Many people believe that Pangaea didn’t separate until after the Flood. But, Enoch saying there was a sea east–and remember, he was probably in America–lends support to the idea that Pangaea separated hundreds of millions of years ago and the Flood had nothing to do with it.
  63. “What was the purpose of the dinosaurs?” That’s a question I’ve heard people in the Church ask. I think the answer is simple: To live their lives, reproduce, and be happy; to fill the measure of their creation. Despite what we anthropocentric creatures may think, it didn’t really have anything to do with us. It’s because dinos were intelligences that needed bodies too.
  64. This may be super dumb, but it looks like there’s an image of a theropod dinosaur in Facsimile 2. What did dinosaurs look like in the minds of the people of the early 1840s?
  65. Apparently Brigham Young met with the famous “Bone Wars” paleontologist O.C. Marsh in 1873. I want to know and write about this meeting and what went down. A prophet meeting a paleontologist.
  66. Do animals know who their God is? I’ve read some pretty cool stories about animals. Whales seem to be obsessed with human hands. Chimpanzees may have some sort of religion. Maybe they know more than we think they do.
  67. Humans anthropomorphize. Do whales ceteaceapomorphize?
  68. President Eyring was alluded to a time when his father, Henry Erying, asked him for advice on a paper dealing with the age of the earth. I want to explore this and find out what this was all about.
  69. Joseph Smith and Charles Darwin were contemporaries. I want to compare their life timelines and see how the big events line up. Both were visionaries who introduced truth into the world starting with controversial and revealing books–one about religion, the other about science. It’s actually pretty cool once you compare these two, influential, 19th-century men. They have a lot in common, surprisingly.  
  70. After the Joseph Smith and Darwin comparison, I want to get into their predecessors. Who shaped religious thinking that ultimately brought about Joseph, and who paved the way scientifically to facilitate the discovery of natural selection?

Sources and Notes

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