Hi My name is Sarah. I was on your website and was wondering if you could answer some questions I had. I’ve been studying Mormonism now for about 6 months (I am currently a Catholic) and really enjoy it but am confused by some of its teachings. One in particular is the teaching that God doesn’t have the power to create ex nihilo. If God just organizes elements and doesn’t have the power to create them and has to recycle them doesn’t that demote him in so many ways?? I love so much about the Mormon church but am shocked and hurt that they would teach that he doesn’t have the power to do something. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your time.
The Mormon Church doesn’t actually preach limitations of any sort on the abilities, or the majesty, or indeed the omniscience, omnipresence or omnipotence of God. However, concerning the creation of anything out of nothing is a ridiculous notion. God is not a magician, and there is no need for display of any such thing as illogical power. The fact is that the universe is limitless, it is non-ending, infinite in its extension. There is no need to create matter out of nothing because there is an unlimited supply.
The creation process is indeed an organization process. To take unorganized matter and from it create a world defies scientific logic and reasoning, and clearly demonstrates the omniscience of God. If I may, let me go into some detail on this point to demonstrate its high significance. There are two predominant scientific theories regarding the creation of planets, such as our earth. One theory embraces the concept of catastrophism, that planets are created by collisions of two celestial bodies. This theory has its difficulties because no one can explain how, if such a catastrophic event were to occur in a solar system such as ours, the sun, being a gaseous body could hardly produce a hard impact with a rocky body and then have that rocky body end up in an orbit around the gaseous body. It would either coalesce or fly off into space. No explanation has yet been given as to how one body could be brought into the vicinity of another such body so that the one rotates around the other.
The other theory embodies the concept of uniformitarianism–that inter-spacial gaseous matter gradually coalesces by mutual attraction until gas clouds and eventually solid bodies are formed, that somehow (not yet explained) end rotating around a more massive body. In the first place, gaseous matter in inter-stellar space cannot coalesce at all. The gravitational attraction between free atomic particles in space is far too small to overcome the relative velocities between any two such particles. They will simply continue in their trajectories with only the slightest of perturbations from the gravitational forces of other nearby atomic particles. They will never coalesce.
So the mystery of the formation of planets and their revolving around a sun remains an enigma to science, and can only be explained by the intervening hand of God, who created them and placed them there. Let me quote to you the very word of God concerning this subject. This quote is found in the Mormon scripture, the Doctrine and Covenants 88:40-47.
For intelligence cleaveth unto intelligence; wisdom receiveth wisdom; truth embraceth truth; virtue loveth virtue; light cleaveth unto light; mercy hath compassion on mercy and claimeth her own; justice continueth its course and claimeth its own; judgment goeth before the face of him who sitteth upon the throne and governeth and executeth all things.
He comprehendeth all things, and all things are before him, and all things are round about him; and he is above all things, and in all things, and is through all things, and is round about all things; and all things are by him, and of him, even God, forever and ever.
And again, verily I say unto you, he hath given a law unto all things, by which they move in their times and their seasons;
And their courses are fixed, even the courses of the heavens and the earth, which comprehend the earth and all the planets.
And they give light to each other in their times and in their seasons, in their minutes, in their hours, in their days, in their weeks, in their months, in their years–all these are one year with God, but not with man.
The earth rolls upon her wings, and the sun giveth his light by day, and the moon giveth her light by night, and the stars also give their light, as they roll upon their wings in their glory, in the midst of the power of God.
Unto what shall I liken these kingdoms, that ye may understand? Behold, all these are kingdoms, and any man who hath seen any or the least of these hath seen God moving in his majesty and power.