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Do you have any references to support the idea that our Father in Heaven has to obey “laws of physics” even when performing miracles?



Dear Barney,

I have written elsewhere on my belief that physical laws match the kingdom associated therewith. That is to say, a celestialized world follows celestial physics and is subject to those laws, while telestial worlds (like this earth) follows telestial physics and is subject to those laws. With this in mind, there’s no reason why God should have to follow telestial physics when interacting with our fallen world.

That being said, God does not do for us what we can do for ourselves (see the example of Lazarus getting raised from the dead), and some have applied this principle to our laws and miracles as well. C.S. Lewis (in Miracles) was of the opinion that when God performed a miracle, He did so supernaturally (that is, “above nature”, or with “higher” (celestial) physics), and then let our physics run their course. For instance, the virgin birth only required a miraculous conception, but our telestial laws could then take their course through gestation and the birth of our Savior.

Others, who are not so distinctive with physical law as I am, simply state that God works through natural laws, but we have yet to discover what those laws are. For this, they sometimes cite Arthur C. Clarke’s argument that “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Imagine introducing Joseph Smith to one of our modern phones with their video capacity. How would he compare it to his own seerstone? Our own bible dictionary states on the subject, “miracles should not be regarded as deviations from the ordinary course of nature so much as manifestations of divine or spiritual power. Some lower law was in each case superseded by the action of a higher.”

Along similar thoughts (though not fully expressed), Elder Talmage places God the james_talmageFather within our own physical space. “His person cannot be in more than one place at one time.” He further adds, “we are compelled to accept the fact of His materiality,” and accepting this form necessitates “definite proportions and therefore, … limited extension in space” (Articles of Faith, page 42). Notwithstanding this obedience to our telestial, physical laws, Elder Talmage still confesses with faith “beyond and above nature, is nature’s God” (ibid, pg 33).

Traditional Christianity also places God above nature (while allowing His spirit to permeate it). There is room in our scriptures for this belief as well, although the notion that God exists within our universe maintains popularity.

In short, there is no well-defined, clear-cut definition of God’s physical laws. We have his moral laws. If we obey those, He will reveal more and more to us that we may live even as He does.


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