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Question

 

Gramps,

We know that there were dinosaurs and carbon testing puts them at millions of years ago.   How do they fit in with the churches teaching of Adam and Eve being the first people on the earth, and the flood where all life except those on the ark were destroyed. .
Jane

 

Answer

 

Dear Jane,

The scriptures and Church doctrines allow plenty of room to believe in dinosaurs, even from millions of years ago.

Jeffrey R. Holland recently wrote an article alluding to this subject called “Where Justice, Love, and Mercy Meet“.  In this article, Elder Holland affirmed that LDS doctrine holds that Adam and Eve actually existed and fell from an actual Eden.  Nevertheless, Holland said,

“I do not know the details of what happened on this planet before that”.

A February 2016 article in the Church magazine, the New Era, states that

“The details of what happened on this planet before Adam and Eve aren’t a huge doctrinal concern of ours.  The accounts of the Creation in the scriptures are not meant to provide a literal, scientific explanation of the specific processes, time periods, or events involved.”

Interestingly, a close reading of the Book of Genesis can show where dinosaurs may fit in.  In Genesis 1:21, it is said

“And God created . . . every winged fowl after his kind”.

God does not create man until verse 27, implying that God may have created man much later (with the understanding, as stated above in the New Era article, that the “days” in Genesis denote an unspecified period of time rather than 24 hours).  It should be noted that most modern biologist consider birds to be a type of dinosaur, so perhaps the Book of Genesis is alluding to the creation and existence of dinosaurs well before Adam and Eve came along.

To sum up, while various members of the Church may have various opinions regarding dinosaurs, there appears to be nothing in Church doctrine saying that one cannot believe that science is correct about dinosaurs and that they really did exist millions of years ago, before Adam and Eve.

 

Gramps

 

 

 

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