Of LDS Christianity
Abstract 11-11-15 (Revised 5/6/16)
I describe scenarios consistent with current scientific knowledge, scripture and LDS teachings that explain much of today's events. These include events at the Grand Council in the Pre-existence, the meaning of God's curses on Adam and Eve at the Fall, the reasons for Atonement and Baptism, and a hypothesis removing the conflict between creationism and evolution. I suggest that the battle between Good and Evil is ongoing and that the end result depends on us and is yet to be determined. The "Black Hole War" comment is near the end. Finally, I present an inconvenient fact that contradicts my entire scenario.
Curses and Covenants: The Glory of God is Intelligence
Impressed by a love of God and the logic of Baptism for the Dead, I was baptized into the LDS church as a graduate student in physics. Physics deals with the fundamental laws of nature including the origin of man and the universe. I joined in spite of the LDS doctrine that Adam and Eve were real people and not fictional characters in an allegorical tale. I took a leap of faith. I am thankful that I did.
Speaking as a member of this ward, I am told that we are Children of God, in the image of God and members of an eternal family. Our Heavenly Parents loved us as we love our children on earth. “As man now is, God once was:” “As God now is, man may be.” [Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Lorenzo Snow, Ch 5] God has a physical body. Spirits are a finer type of matter but more fine or pure” (and so the laws of physics may apply). [D&C 131] By proper authority, we must be baptized to be saved and married to be exulted. Stories in Genesis of Adam, Eve, Noah, and the Flood are literally true. Earth and mankind is 7000 years old. [D&C 77:6] The Garden of Eden is near what is now Jackson, Missouri. [D&C 107:53-57]
Speaking as a physicist, I am told that we are mostly space surrounded by a electron force field. Space is not empty but is a seething mass of virtual particles flashing in and out of existence. Space has 9 dimensions not 3. Perception of time depends on the observer. Matter and energy are simultaneously waves and particles in multiple locations and can tunnel through walls. The universe is random, uncertain, entangled and 95% of it is unseen and unknown. Our universe is 13.7 billion years old. The Earth is 4 billion years old. Mankind is the end result of millions of years of evolution.
Our Church and science do agree that matter, energy, and information are equivalent, eternal, and can not be lost – just reorganized (transformed in scientific language). This is a recent scientific discovery [Leonard Susskind “Black Hole Wars”] but it was stated by Joseph Smith 180 years ago. If energy and matter are eternal, his further statement that spirit is matter [D&C 131] means we are beings of energy and part of an unseen eternal society.
Our Church teaches that God organized the Earth, creatures, and mankind from spiritual material in a Preexistence before he made this physical world. [Moses 3:5] Mankind's souls were made in their image – male and female. “Every spirit of man was innocent in the beginning”. [D&C 93:38] We were created intelligent with the potential to be divine. [Lorenzo Snow, Ch 5] But, as our souls developed randomly and obtained self awareness, our natures began to diverge according to our choices. When Father convened the Grand Council, our souls had fully matured. We had memories, personalities and projected our image to other spirits. We had friends, formed societies and families. We talked, played, and argued. There were Great Leaders such as Jesus, Lucifer, Michael, and Jeremiah. [Jeremiah 1:5]
At Grand Council, we were told of the Plan of Salvation for our entry into the physical world on Earth. Behind a veil of forgetfulness, we would be tested. For the first time, we would experience pain, choices with consequence, and sin. Sin would be unavoidable. Justice would require repayment either by us personally or by a Redeemer – someone without blemish. [1 Peter 1:19] In the Council, we were asked to ratify the selection of this Redeemer and covenant to come to Earth with Him. Since Jesus held the birthright and had created our Paradisaical World, His selection was expected. Jesus said “Send Me”, but Lucifer offered another choice. He said “Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor.” [Moses 4]
Examine those words: If I said “the Titanic has sunk and not one soul was lost”, you would say what a miracle. If, however, I said “the Titanic has sunk and one soul was not lost”, you would say what a tragedy. With the additional promise “I will redeem all mankind... And surely I will do it”, those wishing to return to The Father, saw an easy way to avoid the pain of this world. Though true, Lucifer's words were deceptive – as were his words to Eve “ye shall not surely die”.
How would Lucifer's plan work? Slightly change Lehi's vision of the Iron Rod. At birth, Lucifer would handcuff each of us to the Iron Rod. Chained to the Rod, we would proceed to the Tree of Life with neither sin, pain, nor scorn. No river of filth; no building on the hill. Without sin, we would all be redeemed. Without sin, the Atonement would be a coronation. Without experience with free will, and life itself, we would not be Children of our Father. We would be as worker bees to Lucifer's queen.
Many spirits were reluctant to leave Heaven for Earth. We were afraid of pain, choices and danger. Since God had given us free agency, He let us chose – between the easy way to Earth with Lucifer, or the hard way with Jesus. In the ensuing confusion, cowardice, and deception, one third of the spirits chose to covenant with Lucifer, not Jesus. These are they who did not keep their First Estate.
How do spirits communicate? Since spirits cannot affect physical matter, [D&C 129] they have no sight, hearing, touch, smell or taste. Spirits have no reflection, cast no shadow, and take no selfies. Instead, they project a mental image into our minds as though they were with us. Some examples are: the blindness of Saul on the road to Damascus, Zachariah's loss of speech, the blindness and forgetfulness caused by the angels at Lot's house, and Nephi's success in killing Laban. All of these deceptions are possible with telepathic power. My family history gives two more examples.
On Earth, we are shielded from our complete memory and telepathic power by that veil which protects our free agency. We recognize some residual leakage as our “Sixth Sense”. We explore it with scientific experiments like “Remote Viewing” [Puthoff, 1995]. When the veil is lifted and all memory is perfectly restored along with telepathic communication, it will be as if we shall shout our sins from the rooftops. Then, we will all know that God is loving, merciful and just. On our freely given invitation, both good and evil spirits can affect our thoughts and actions. Evidence of this is when people kill for greed like Cain and an oath like Lamech and become Master Mahan. [Moses 5] Whether they know it or not, they are in league with Satan. This is Satan's world of deception. His doctrine mimics but can never be the true doctrine of The Father. By their fruit, you shall know them. There can be no perfect counterfeits.
And so, we came to Earth hoping to return to God in perfection but knowing we would fail and require redemption. Jesus had made all creatures and man from the dust of the Earth. He could give them life and the ability to cooperate, communicate and learn from each other. But only the Father could give intelligence and life to man. Only He could give us the capability to know good and evil, to accept or reject sin. Only He could give us standing to be like him, to become heirs of God and joint heirs of Jesus, and to make covenants with Him and with the Celestial Community beyond.
As planned, Adam transgressed the Law with his Priesthood and reaffirmed our preexistent covenant on Earth for all of us. Adam and Eve's eyes were opened so they knew good and evil. [John 9:41] Their transgression of itself was not a sin. Sin is an intentional, malicious act to limit the Free Agency of yourself or another in violation of the covenant we made in the Preexistence. Only in our physical bodies, can we sin and have dominion over all creatures and Satan. That is why Cain, with the covenant and a body, is called the father of Satan's lies. [Gen 1:26. Moses 5:23-25] Satan is not God's enemy, he is our enemy. Satan has no standing with the Father.
After the Fall, God cursed us, saying: [Moses 4: 20. Compare Genesis 3:14] “And I, the Lord God, said unto the serpent [for Satan spake by the mouth of the serpent]: Because thou hast done this thou shalt be cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life;  And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, between thy seed and her seed; and he shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”
We are not talking about baby snakes here. The serpent's seed are those that covenanted with Lucifer at the Grand Council. The woman's seed are those that covenanted to follow Jesus. The bruising is the ongoing earthly battle between Good and Evil. We are the dust he shall eat in this world for as God said later to Adam, [M 4: 25. G 3:19] “for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return”. From this point on, our brother Lucifer is Satan. He and his seed are our enemy. We are their lawful prey. Since spirits have only telepathic power, they feast on our emotions – fear, hate, wrath, etc. As we look at world events and history, we should remember Satan feeds on our misery and despair. Satan is our parasite.
[Moses 4:22. Genesis 3:16] “Unto the woman, I, the Lord God, said: I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception. In sorrow thou shalt bring forth children, and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.”
Considering that Eve started the whole process and forced Adam to violate a commandment with his Priesthood, she merited very few words. Why? She had no authority to transgress God's Law.
 “And unto Adam, I, the Lord God, said: Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the fruit of the tree of which I commanded thee, saying—Thou shalt not eat of it, cursed shall be the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life.  Thorns also, and thistles shall it bring forth to thee, and thou shalt eat the herb of the field.  By the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, until thou shalt return unto the ground—for thou shalt surely die.”
With this, God forced us from the Paradise created by Jesus out into the present world of sorrow given to Satan. God changed the world for our sake, to protect us – not because of us. We became mortal. We would be born innocent but not equal since we would keep our preexistent attitudes.
 “Unto Adam, and also unto his wife, did I, the Lord God, make coats of skins, and clothed them.  Therefore I, the Lord God, will send him forth from the Garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken;”
Father sent us into the world clothed and with seeds to till the ground. Like any proud parent, He wished us well. We became not only hunter gatherers but also farmers with intelligence and tools.
Then, Father sealed his curse on us, saying:  “For as I, the Lord God, liveth, even so my words cannot return void, for as they go forth out of my mouth they must be fulfilled.”
As the descendants of Adam and Eve, we are doubly cursed. When we sin, we have no way back to Father except for the path provided in the Plan of Salvation and this Higher Law. An offense against God's Law by the Authority of the Priesthood must be satisfied either by the offender himself or by a person without blemish offered in his place. This required sacrifice is the reason for the selection of a Redeemer in the Grand Council. He is the Anointed One,. There can be only one Only Begotten. Satisfaction of the curse on Adam and the Earth and our salvation now depends completely upon Jesus.
The Old Testament makes prophesies, provides histories of the societies and gives the genealogy of Jesus. It also defines the requirements for such a Sacrifice. [Ex 12:5] It gives examples like Issac and the temple sacrifices by the Levites. The Redeemer must be without blemish, from the line of Judah and not related to Cain. Jesus' virgin birth removed the link to Adam. His baptism by John removed the link to Eve. Jesus became the required sacrifice without blemish. The New Testament details the actual Sacrifice of Jesus. The Lamb of God was fully aware, willing, and could withdraw at any time.
Jesus had another task. He had to establish a church society to provide the baptismal infrastructure required by each of us. Jesus said, “believe and be baptized and be saved: believe not and be damned”. [Mark 16:16] By baptism we are “born again” and washed clean from the blemish on Eve. We must be baptized willingly in full knowledge of the process. That is why we do not baptize infants, why we baptize all the dead in our temples, and why each of us, alive or dead, must accept our own baptism.
Are there unbaptized infant children in the Celestial Kingdom? Probably not. President Joseph F. Smith reported: “Joseph Smith taught the doctrine that the infant child that was laid away in death would come up in the resurrection as a child; and, pointing to the mother of a lifeless child, he said to her: ‘You will have the joy, the pleasure and satisfaction of nurturing this child, after its resurrection, until it reaches the full stature of its spirit.’.. [Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, Ch 14, 176–178] Innocent children will be part of the First Resurrection and raised by their own parents or by others during the Millennium. Each child will choose for itself whether to be baptized when it matures in this world. All of the ordinances – baptism, sealing, marriage will be done in our temples by those in authority. The Millennium is the Great Sorting Out where we shall find our own. Since only the LDS priesthood may perform all requested ordinances for the dead, the LDS Church must endure to the end.
Who will perform the Millennium temple ordinances? A clue is found in John 4:2. “Jesus baptized not, but His disciples did”. Certainly, Jesus had the authority to baptize. But He was not of this world. Likewise, those resurrected will not be this world. Every Millennial ordinance must be accomplished in our temples by those of this world for there are no baptisms or marriages in heaven. [Mark 12:25] Only we, the mortal priests of Ephraim with the birthright of Joseph, will do temple ordinances then just as only the descendants of Aaron and other Levites did sacrifices in that dispensation. [Matt 16:19,18:18]
A prediction: Knowing that Baptism for the Dead is the only way that the dead of all the world may be saved, Satan will attempt to destroy our temples. This may be the reason for the growth of Islam, ISIS, the weakening of Christianity and coarsening of our society. There are many scenarios for Satan to remove the temples in the latter days. I expect little help from our non LDS brethren. [1 Nephi 14:10]
There is an apparent conflict between religion and evolution. Evidence for evolution is irrefutable, but LDS doctrine claims the Earth is 7000 years old, [D&C 77:6] and Eden is in Missouri near Adam-ondi-Ahman. Surely, the temporal duration of Adam's covenant is more important and meaningful to God than the age of eternal matter -- hence 7000 years. For a biblical precedent showing how what is important to God is stated, recall that an angel twice called Issac Abraham's “only son” [Gen 22:12,16] even though Abraham's first genetic son, Ishmael, was born outside the covenant 13 years earlier by wife Hagar.
Hypothesize* that Eden was actually located in Pangaea 252 million years ago. After 1000 years, God gathered Noah and his family into the Ark and removed them from the Earth before the “Great Dying” – a catastrophe which killed almost all life on earth. For Biblical precedent recall the removal of Enoch. Inside the Ark, Noah perceived a flood – hence the worldwide flood traditions.
Outside the Ark, millions of years passed, dinosaurs and humanoids evolved leaving their fossils. The continents slowly migrated to their present locations leaving Eden in Missouri. After 378 days, Mankind emerged on Mt. Ararat as a modern society with seeds, domesticated animals, metal skills, [Gen 4:20-22] and a complex language.[Gen 11. Moses 5. 6:5] We were then divided by the language confusion of Babel and the land allocation agreement made during Peleg's lifetime [Gen 10:25].
With God”s blessings of intelligence and the womb, we quickly spread across the globe displacing the other humanoids. By 3300 BCE. we built the first cities like Memphis and Uruk. Early Jericho and the Ubaid period are evidence of other humanoid's primitive development.
Ever wonder why all the evidence of a real civilization is in or after the 4th millennium BC? The residents of the Ark landed on Mt Ararat in Mesopotamia and started the Bronze age.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ * The passage of time at different rates for different observers is well known in physics. Time passage depends on factors such as speed and gravity. The Big Bang Theory requires a period of "cosmic inflation" to match observed data. In this period, lasting 10^-33 seconds, the universe grows from a point to a meter radius. This postulated growth of 10^33 meters/second is a factor of 3x10^24 greater than the speed of light (3x10^8 m/s) which is taken as the maximum allowed velocity of mass. The time dilation factor I assume in the Ark is only 2.5x10^8. My point here is that physicists postulate whatever is required to match observed data. What I have assumed.seems reasonable given the power of God and common practice in physics.
For more information https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inflation_%28cosmology%29
An Inconvenient Fact
The Latter-Day Saint faith requires belief that all humans are descended from Adam and Eve, that Jesus is the Lamb of God designated in the preexistence as a sacrifice for the sins of the world, and that baptism is a required ordinance for entrance into the Celestial Kingdom.
LDS prophet, Joseph Smith maintained that the Garden of Eden is now located in Missouri and the Earth is less than 7000 years old although Pangaea existed 250 million years ago.
I argued that these statements could be true, if time advanced differently on Pangaea and the Ark and that the Noah's family on the Ark started the Bronze age and displaced the stone age people who were not part of the covenant with Jesus and not descended from Adam and Eve
It seems well documented that Australian Aborigines have a history far older than the 7000 years allowed by the Prophet and that they are capable of mating with descendants of Adam to produce healthy and competitive humans. The problem is that these souls have no part of the curse on Adam and need not be saved or baptized. Can they enter the Celestial Kingdom?. Either their ancestors can enter with them unbaptized or they can not – either state is a violation of my previous assumptions relating the the difference between man and creatures. The Bible says they were separate types of spirits.
I could offer explanations based on assumptions about multiple Gods, Satan's deceptions, multiple Edens, etc., but these would be spinning fairy tales on spider webs. Therefore, I end my speculations about the significance of Adam and Eve and their covenants with God. The LDS faith and the Prophet's statements may be true, but my effort to find a plausible way to combine it with logic and evidence has failed. That may be my failure, not necessarily an error of the faith. However, I can not find a scenario for a path to an afterlife that is consistent with the scriptures, their spiritual effect on humans, my observations of world events and the Arrernte People
One more thing. The New Testament is not an instruction to struggle with the evil in each one of us. It is an instruction to be born of water and be baptized. The only Church that claims that power for all of God's children is the LDS faith. So there is still justification for my faith even as I think about ways to explain the contradiction of the Arrernte People. Are they descendants fron the Ark? Are they part of the covenant with Jesus? Do they need to be baptized? Are they a separate group on the path to the Celestial Kingdom? The Arrernte People certainly are not creatures.
Theory of God
Comments on your book, “The Black Hole War: Circa 3/2015
Professor Leonard Susskind
Felix Bloch Professor of Theoretical Physics
Director, Stanford Institute for Theoretical Physics
450 Serra Mall,
Stanford, CA 94305
Dear Professor Susskind,
First, some comments on your book, “The Black Hole War”, then, some things you probably don't know and finally, a physics question.
Your book indicates that a discrete boundary layer exists at the Schwarzschild radius (SR) that contains a thermally destructive layer one Plank length thick. You use the escape velocity expression and the speed of light to calculate that radius. As you are aware, this escape velocity expression calculates velocity required to reach an infinite distance from a starting point. Since no one is at infinity, and there is intervening matter, how can you define the location of the SR to an accuracy of a Planck length?
An observer located at closer range would be able to see photons from below the SR. From his point of view, the SR horizon would always be located some distance away. Imagine that a second astronaut, Ted, had followed Alice towards the singularity. Ted could see Alice and, since you could see Ted before he crossed the SR, he could relay to you what had happened to Alice. So you could determine Alice's fate by observation and hearsay from Ted.
It is also possible to imagine that Alice can return to you from behind the SR. A massive singularity (1.5 x 10^12 solar masses) provides a 1g acceleration at your SR. In that case, Alice would be able to go behind the SR and return to you by enduring a mere 2g acceleration. It is hard to imagine that she would be destroyed by that journey or by an attack of Planck based thermal energy.
Total Energy is a better conservation metric than escape velocity to infinity. All of space is filled with a nonzero waveforms representing virtual energy (photons, particles) varying in magnitude according to the Uncertainty Principle. Gravity would provide negative potential energy. A virtual pair might be realized anywhere with a wavelength characteristic of its kinetic energy. Imagine a virtual photon pair behind your SR with momentum toward and away from the singularity. If the away photon encountered a realized particle and itself was realized, this would be a method for spontaneous radiation carrying energy beyond the SR. Since the SR surface depends on the observer, this could happen anywhere - not just on a specific discrete surface. If there is no discrete surface, I find it hard to imagine Alice destroyed by it. Also, Alice's time never actually stops. It just slows down forever with the (1-[v/c]^2)^1/2 factor – although you may have omitted this complication in a lay book.
Those virtual photons realized at a greater distance from the singularity would have a greater total energy than those realized closer since they would have less negative potential energy. The realized low energy photon that the emperor detected may not have been a high energy photon near Alice. It may never have been near Alice: it may have been realized some distance away from Alice out of the zero point energy field. The photon did not exist until it was realized; before that, it was only a waveform. There was not necessarily ever a high energy photon near Alice (although an actual photon detected by the Emperor would have had a high energy near the SR and could have roasted Alice).
Maxwell's equations deal with a three dimensional volume but their value inside that volume is determined by the boundary conditions on the volume surface. Isn't that the holographic principle? Again, the volume surface could be anywhere.
The Unrue temperature and Hawking's temperature for a black hole are the same with g at the SR replaced by a for acceleration. If these two expressions were derived by independent methods, this seems a good demonstration of Einstein's Equivalence Principle.
Is it possible to use the nine dimensions of String Theory to explain three dimensional Dark Energy expansion just as you used the pollywog lake drain to explain the expansion in one dimension?
Since I have no working knowledge of String Theory, and am not a theoretical physicist, I suspect you probably know all of this and/or I am hopelessly confused. So there is no need to answer these questions. But, here is something you probably don't know. It relates to the Mormon you encountered in the cathedral and your comments on his strange faith while equating its strangeness to your faith in this weird physics. (BTW, It is dangerous to publicly comment on someone's faith: the person of faith you ask has too much invested in his faith for a rational discussion and internet information about religion is almost always biased.)
Joseph Smith, the LDS founder, also said "The spirit of man is not a created being; it existed from eternity, and will exist to eternity. Anything created cannot be eternal; and earth, water, etc., had their existence in an elementary state, from eternity". (Joseph Smith, in HC 3:387). "Now, the word create…does not mean to create out of nothing; it means to organize; the same as a man would organize materials and build a ship. Hence, we infer that God had materials to organize the world out of chaos-chaotic matter, which is element…. Element had an existence from the time [God] had. The pure principles of element are principles which can never be destroyed; they may be organized and reorganized, but not destroyed. They had no beginning and can have no end" (HC 6:308-309).
This seems to be a statement of energy/information conservation. LDS doctrine teaches that God organized (not created) our spirits in a Preexistence much the same as our parents organized our physical bodies from earthly materials. It also teaches that God is a spirit combined with a resurrected physical body. He lives in His Society on a physical planet, Kolob. Presumably, He has a complete knowledge of the laws of physics.
So, here is the physics question. LDS doctrine holds that there are three heavens each having different glories (or potentials) for their inhabitants. All of us are to be resurrected into one of these three heavens according to our worth. (Jews also believe in a resurrection.) Some of us will see and speak to God and become like Him implying that each of these three heavens has three dimensions. Is it possible to partition the nine dimensions of String Theory math into three intertwined worlds, each having three dimensions? If these worlds had the capacity to interchange themselves “in the twinkling of an eye at the last trumpet”, this would explain the mechanisms of the “Fall” in Genesis and the Resurrection of the Dead. In other words, is there room for the God of Abraham to live in the physical world of String Theory? If any theory of physics has the potential to discover God, it would be Cosmology.
“We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special.” -- Stephen Hawking.
Perhaps, We are the Children of God. Blockbuster movies have been based on lesser scenarios.
The Logic and Physics