Wednesday, February 2, 2011

What is the Age of the Earth?

Many people debate the age of the Earth.  On the one hand you have the scientists, atheists and liberal Christians and on the other hand you have those who accept the revealed word of The Lord. 

Before I clarify any misconceptions take a minute to ask this question; should I trust the scientists who get their information by looking down at rocks and stones or should I trust the prophets who get their information from the Earths creator, even Jesus Christ?

As members of the true church we need not enter into this debate at all.  Our modern day prophets and scriptures are clear.

Let's start with the scriptures.  Please turn to Doctrine & Covenants Section 77.  In verse 6 a question is asked of The Lord with regards to the seven seals mentioned in the book of Revelations.  In verse 7 The Lord answers and says "We are to understand that it contains the revealed will, mysteries, and the works of God; the hidden things of his economy concerning this earth during the seven thousand years of its continuance, or its temporal existence"

Here we have our answer.  The Earth will continue in a temporal (or fallen) state for 7 thousand years.  Before entering its temporal state the Earth was perfect and no death had come upon it.  The fall took place around 4,000 B.C. some 6,000 years ago.  We will soon enter a 1,000 year stage known as 'the millennium' after which the Earths temporal existence will be complete.  Have any of our church leaders confirmed this understanding? Absolutely.

In Doctrines of Salvation Vol 1 starting on page 78 our beloved prophet, seer and revelator Joseph Fielding Smith talked about the aforementioned scripture and the age of the Earth in general.  He stated the following:
"Here is a definite statement by revelation that the Earth will go through 7 thousand years of temporal existence. Temporal, by all interpretations, means passing, temporary or mortal.  This then has reference to the Earth in its fallen state.....when Adam transgressed the law. Before that time the Earth was not mortal any more than Adam was. 
We can hardly be justified in trying to harmonize the days of creation with the extended periods of millions of years according to the reckoning of the so-called scientists."

And there we have it directly from the Lord through scripture and confirmed by his prophet!  Brethren, let us refrain from this debate. Those who accept the theories of men with regards to an old Earth are prone to accept other theories such as evolution that are not in harmony with the teachings of the gospel.


Rich said...

Its interesting that you hold to a young earth and discredit science so quickly. I'm not so sure your leaders agree with you and a careful reading of the very passages you post should tell you that the "temporal" existence of the earth will be the 7000 years. That misses some real key periods, including the period of creation, how long did that take? How long were Adam and Eve in the garden "BEFORE" the fall? I don't recall those being in the scriptures. The periods of creation could have take millions of years as the time this planet was to follow had not yet been established. B H Roberts did write about this and several good member scholars have also discussed this not to mention I recall a certain Apostle that is a geologist. I think until you can dismiss what they have said about the age of the earth I'll take their word over yours.

diogenes said...

uuhh, Rich,

To use a chess analogy, President P. has a Prophet, Seer and Revelator (President Joseph Fielding Smith) and canonized scripture (DC 77) and all you cited was a pawn, BH Roberts, "member scholars" who are not even allowed on the chess board; and some "certain" unnamed apostle. I say President P. has you in checkmate. Sorry. Truth prevails once again.

Rich said...

Great, so teach me the true age of the earth a
then from DC 77. that makes it 7000 years old?

Stake Pres. said...
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Mr. Smith said...

It bothers me when we use "Unofficial doctrine" sources such as Doctrines of Salvation Vol 1 when it suites are argument, but dismiss other sources such as Journal of Discourses or Mormon Doctrine, as "Unofficial" when they do bring up facts or quotes that bring sources of angst or contradict each other. The only doctrinal source you quoted was D&C. You must uphold this standard at all times not just when its convenient or strengthens your argument.

Stake Pres. said...
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Steve said...

Refer to "The BYU Packet" approved by the First Presidency for teaching by all faculty at church sponsored schools and CES. Also refer to the April 5, 1931 memo of First Presidency to the Twelve, the Seventy and the Presiding Bishopric. Also, articles on evolution and the age of the earth in the Encyclopedia of Mormonism were reviewed, edited and approved by the First Presidency.

The Church affirms that Adam was the first of our race and was created by God, but takes no official position on the means creation of Adam's body, nor on the age of the earth.

It is acknowledged that not all has been revealed on these subjects, but that it will be (D&C 101:32-34). In the meantime, we are directed to seek to understand the both revealed doctrine and the record placed by God in the fossil record. There need be no conflict between science and the Church on these issues.

Anonymous said...

Please stop using the name of the church in your blog. You are clearly not a stake president and I am appalled by your alluding to be so. You appear to be a fat little man that has an Amway business looking for chum. In case you are wondering, your very first paragraph out-of-the-gate was condescending and demeaning to every teacher, student, scholar smugly dismissing REAL Latter Day Saints that have dedicated their lives to study of the earth and the universe. Go away and let your live-in companion have time playing slingo!

Anonymous said...

to the disgruntled brother of the ONE true church. it hurts me to read such disrespect towards an anointed servant of the lord. president paternoster has dedicated a significant amount of time with his faith promoting blogs. please pray about his words, and if at anytime you feel any sort of sensation (hot, cold, itchiness, the desire to yawn, or even if your leg falls asleep), then you may know that what stake president paternoster speaks is the truth by the power of the holy ghost. and by the power of the holy ghost, you may know the truth of all things. amen

Ovich said...

Rich, your mistake is you visit the wrong blogs... dogmatism, or assertion without proof, has no place in the Kingdom of God or in the laboratories of science. Many scriptorians and scientists have done a great disservice to honest seekers of truth by dogmatically insisting upon certain private interpretations of limited data". Eric N. Skousen - Ph.D Mechanical Engineering Science and LDS author of "Earth in the beginning" you'll get a more reasoned answer if you read this good book...D&C 88:118

jewelfish said...

Please check official church doctrine as Steve said. You are incredibly misguided. It is sad that you use a title of respect in our religion to publish ignorance.

Unknown said...

As Latter-day Saints we do not throw out the Genesis story—as so many secularists have done—nor do we regard scientists’ honest efforts to learn the truth as the work of the Adversary (though the Adversary does, of course, use those views to fulfill his ends). Instead, we would do better to wait patiently with faith in the scriptures until the Lord fulfills his promise to reveal at the beginning of the Millennium, “things which have passed, … things of the earth, by which it was made,” which, we are assured, will still be part of the “hidden things which no man knew” (D&C 101:32–33).

taken from

Cliff Cummings said...

From the June 1982 Ensign in an article by Elder Bruce R. McConkie comes this statement:

(start of quote) But first, what is a day? It is a specified time period; it is an age, an eon, a division of eternity; it is the time between two identifiable events. And each day, of whatever length, has the duration needed for its purposes. One measuring rod is the time required for a celestial body to turn once on its axis. For instance, Abraham says that according to “the Lord’s time” a day is “one thousand years” long. This is “one revolution … of Kolob,” he says, and it is after the Lord’s “manner of reckoning.” (Abr. 3:4.)

There is no revealed recitation specifying that each of the “six days” involved in the Creation was of the same duration. (end of quote - read the full article for more)

I believe it is more accurate to think of the creation periods as phases or stages, which seems to coincide with what Elder McConkie is saying, but if you search for "phase" or "stage" in the online scriptures you will find that these words were never used in the scriptures. In their place, you can "call your labors the 1st day - call it the sixth day."

Beyond that, an Earth day is defined as 24 hours (the time it takes to rotate once). An Earth year is 365 days (the time it takes to revolve once around the Sun). Since the Sun and the Moon don't show up until the "4th day," what were the first three days? Did the Lord have a stop-watch to time days and years or did He take whatever time was needed to complete that phase of the creation? I can't imagine Christ saying, "C'mon guys, we only have 20 minutes left to finish this 'day!'"

I think we will understand the math (and the Creation) better when we are more perfectly instructed in the afterlife.

Regards - Cliff Cummings

Anonymous said...

Maybe the "Stake President" should see what the official publication of The Church, The Ensign says: "In the Beginning: A Latter-day Perspective" You don't appear to know science nor your religion very well.