Sunday, October 11, 2009

DNA and the Book of Mormon

From time to time people ask me about the DNA and the Book of Mormon controversy.

My short answer to people usually has to do with the absurdity of taking modern science seriously when the scriptures are so clear about how sinful and evil it is to put our trust in the arm of flesh.

Years ago I worked for a company that provided very sophisticated medical technology to hospitals. At a conference I attended, I remember sitting in a meeting where one of the researchers for a large medical equipment manufacturer stated that medical knowledge was doubling every four years and that every four years they new research determines that about 20-40% of what they had previous assumed as being truth is proven to be erroneous.

In a video I recently watched I was impressed with an acknowledgment by William Tiller who said,

"Science doesn't give you truth, all it can determine is internal self consistency... that's all science can do" (10:05 into the video)

Although putting ones trust in the arm of flesh covers a broad spectrum, with following true or false prophets BLINDLY at the top of the list, I believe it also has reference to basing doctrinal and spiritual truth on the suppositions proposed by modern day science.

The acceptance of worldly learning by those who believe they are wise, even when it contradicts the holy word of God is a great sin .

I would submit to you that there is very little if any place for modern science in the quest for true, undefiled religion because spiritual gnosis cannot be obtained from science.

I believe God has given literate people all of the resources they need to prayerfully SEARCH the word of God and obtain the spiritual knowledge necessary to make the right decisions, enter into covenant with the Lord and eventually part the heavens when the fulness of the gospel is on the earth.

When it is not, there are usually still sufficient resources for us to search is word, pray, ponder and follow the light we have been given and thus be justified according to the time we live in and the amount of light available.

I acknowledge that modern inventions have been inspired of God and they play an important role in dispersing the written word.

The printing press was critical in bringing about the reformation.

Although I personally use computer and software technology to speed up my searching, I know that it can be done without technology, and frankly, if I didn't use technology, I would probably be forced to memorize passages instead of using my computer as my memory.

It has become a technological crutch that I have come to rely on.

I believe anyone with the believing blood of Israel in them who prayerfully studies and searches the scriptures with a prayerful heart under the influence of the Holy Ghost will uncover the magnificently deep and mystical teachings of the prophets in the four standard works and find them to be profoundly congruent with multiple levels.

Beyond that, knowledge from modern science is more of a hindrance than a blessing in the salvation of souls.

We can all experience the illuminating and testifying powers of the Spirit of Christ and the Holy Ghost without the need for modern science to dictate why historical events did or did not take place or why a doctrine is true or false.

Therefore, the thought of paying serious attention to what modern science has to say about anything, in such a way that it would affect ones testimony is beyond ridiculous to me.

When people start speaking of carbon dating, or archeology or DNA, as if the evidence it provides is reliable enough to base the eternal welfare of ones soul on, it just doesn't register with me...

Those of us that have spent years searching God's word and basking in the warmth of the Holy Spirit, have a gnosis that transcends the worldly learning of modern science. We just don't find it relevant at a level where it could ever come close to affecting our testimonies as long as we keep out hands firmly attached to the iron rod.

True religion and the mystery of Godliness and the spiritual dimension that is attainable by believing in God and taking his word literally, has never made sense to many of those who are highly educated in what Brother Brigham used to refer to as the schools and universities of the Gentiles.

The following statement is attributed to him. I recall reading it years ago in the Journal of Discourse but I cannot find the exact reference now,

"The four pillars that uphold the devil's kingdom are doctorcraft, lawyercraft, priestcraft and kingcraft." (Journal of Discourses).

I would submit that the foundation on which those four pillars rest is teachercraft in our modern gentile educational system.

It is our modern education system that cultivates the "crafts" that Brigham despised so much.


, n.

2. Cunning, art or skill, in a bad sense, or applied to bad purposes; artifice; guile; skill or dexterity employed to effect purposes by deceit.

The chief priests and scribes sought how they might take him by craft, and put him to death. Mark 14.

While scientific evidence is not the foundation upon which a spiritual testimony can be based, it does play a valid role in many facets of our society today including the legal system that we have come to love so much (lawyer-craft)

Ironically, it was the desire to circumvent the teachings and biases of our Babylonian school system that inspired the inception of Brigham Young University, a school that recently tried to silence and then distance itself from a professor for trying to present evidence that would suggest the possibility that there might be a cover up, possibly leading to the conclusion that conspiratorial traitors within our government might have been involved in, or run interference for those who might have orchestrated a false flag terrorist event.

Brigham may well have inherited his disdain for lawyers, doctors, priests and politicians from Joseph Smith.

Joseph Smith recognized the growth and progress that came from his life of adversity and likened himself to a rough stone while publicly acknowledging his dislike for secular priests, lawyers, doctors, editors and others educated in those crafts by the worldly educators.

The only polishing I get is when some corner gets rubbed off by coming in contact with something else, striking with accelerated force against religious bigotry, priestcraft, lawyer-craft, doctor-craft, lying editors, . . . backed by mobs, blasphemers, licentious and corrupt men and women--all hell knocking off a corner here and a corner there. Thus I will become a smooth and polished shaft in the quiver of the Almighty. [Teachings, p. 304]

Having finished my little rant, I will say that from time to time I do enjoy watching the jousting between LDS apologists and anti-Mormon scoffers as the declarations from both sides often relies so heavily on the current assumptions made by modern science.

I recently enjoyed viewing this interview with Steve Smoot regarding the DNA issue. The tail end of the previous video (#10) has some interesting info pertaining to the topic as well, including the curious useage of the french word adieu in the Book of Mormon.


By the way, I am not saying that there is not a place for religious apologetics and for addressing the claims of science.

I think that those who are weak in the faith can be sustained and buoyed up for a time until they get to a level where they no longer need to function on borrowed light and their doubts based on supposed circumstantial evidence fades and the spiritual message of the gospel from God's WORD becomes that dominate light.

I am also not suggesting that highly educated people are categorically evil or that they categorically don't view the gospel through spiritual eyes.

I do believe that secular learning takes its toll on the faith and spirituality of many people that are initiated into the system... but not all.

There are few people I respect more than the ones I have met that come from highly educated backgrounds yet have managed to retain their childlike faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

These people are amazing to me. They process huge amounts of information that enables them to earn a living in todays modern world yet they continue faithfully believing and hanging on to the iron rod and search the scriptures deeply and often, not because they are obligated to teach a lesson in church, but because they are internally motivated to feast on the word of God.

I am aware of several readers and contributors to this post that are amazingly childlike and believing despite the education that have acquired.

On of them is a highly trained health care professional who continually testifies of Christ to the patients he treats.

We also have a scientist and also an engineer who both continually feast on the simple gospel of Christ and who provide lots of insight and critique to these posts.

I have huge respect for these people because their secular education and worldly learning are only a means to an end and have not adversely affected their spiritual progression.

Nevertheless, I consider these unusual and amazing people to be exceptions to the rule.

The teachings of Babylon have taken their toll on many people who have lost their faith as a result of their schooling.


NEPT said...

Great post, Watcher. One thing that has become blatantly clear to me is that the whole quest for DNA evidence (or lack thereof) has reached a new level of futility. How do you compare DNA from blood lines that are hidden from the world? Good luck trying to find similarities, much less identity, between native Americans and the "Jews" of the state of Israel. The fallacy in the previous statement will be evident to all those who have followed this blog long enough.

Anthony E. Larson said...

You may be interested in my take on this topic. It wholely supports and further informs your thesis.

Someone who is watching said...

Thank you for visiting Anthony.

I look forward to reading your article!