Of LDS Christianity
Noah the Movie: A Review (Written 4/2014)
For those unfamiliar with the Bible, Noah is an excellent movie with Russel Crowe as Noah, Jennifer Connelly as his wife, Antony Hopkins as Methuselah, and Emma Watson as the wife of Noah's son Shem. Formerly the girl in the Harry Potter series trio, Emma has matured into a beautiful, talented actress placed into a challenging role. The movie solves the biblical problem of how the animals were gathered and housed. The use of the giants and fallen angels mentioned in the Bible to protect the Ark from those not included on the passenger list is especially creative and with very good graphics. Oh, Jennifer is truly special.
But for those knowing Bible details and those believing in the Genesis story of Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah is a travesty. For them, this story is an historical novel and as such must have certain constraints: if the story is about the revolution, the British lose; if it is about the Civil War, the North wins. The Old Testament is not just a series of disconnected short stories. There is a unifying thread that connects them all. In Noah, Hollywood rips that thread out and turns it against itself for no good reason except possibly to insult believing Christians and to deceive those with limited knowledge.
In Genesis, we read: “Noah, and his sons, and his wife and and his sons' wives with him” etc. repeated identically for emphasis five times. In this movie, [besides Noah,] only Shem has a woman on the Ark – newly impregnated for the start of the generations to come. Considering that the Ark contains the entire gene pool for the new world and that Ham's wife is supposed to be descended from Cain, this departure from Genesis is a big deal. And Hollywood makes it clear to Christians that they are being dissed. Twice, in the chaos of departure, women for Noah's younger sons Ham and Japheth are offered. Twice, Hollywood turns the plot against them. The two sons are single on the Ark.
Noah fights with stowaway Tubal-cain, a great leader in the decadent Biblical world of Noah. At a critical moment, Ham kills Tubal. Noah, convinced that God wanted him to kill Shem's child to prevent humanity from polluting the new world again, is confronted - not with the predicted son – but with twin baby girls, presumably the future wives for Ham and Japheth. Imagine having to offer your new babies to the knife of a crazed grandfather, and you see the potential for Emma in this role. As played, Noah, can not kill the babes. In the genealogy of Noah the Movie all of the post flood world is descended from Adam via Shem and no one is descended from Cain via Ham's wife. This leaves Abraham and Sarah and their descendants without the Canaanites to live within and rule over. The Bible stories of this ongoing conflict are completely changed.
Unfortunately, Hollywood lost an opportunity to make Noah a great movie. Ham makes a foray to find a wife in the enemy's camp but fails at the last moment. Imagine instead that Ham succeeds and that the woman he brings back is the loving daughter of Tubal-cain. Tubal's daughter and her slave girl (for Japheth) would have been suitable additions to the Ark. In the Tubal/Noah confrontation, Ham would have had the choice between killing his own crazed father, Noah, or killing Tubal, the beloved father of his wife. In Ham's hand would be the choice to thwart God's will, leaving a world populated only by descendants of Cain, or to preserve God's desired world as told in Genesis. That would have been a movie to remember.
The Logic and Physics
Resolution of the Conflict between Religion and The Theory of Evolution 1/3/17 (Could Noah’s Ark be real?)
There is an apparent conflict between religious doctrine and the Theory of Evolution. Evidence for evolution is irrefutable, but LDS doctrine claims the Earth is 7000 years old, [D&C 77:6] and Eden is now located in Missouri near Adam-ondi-Ahman – at a site now owned by the LDS Church. How can the Earth be only 7000 years old with a Great Flood occurring only 6000 years ago? Certainly, if a Flood wiped out all life on Earth 6000 years ago, people would notice. More importantly, it would take millions of years to regenerate life. And what shall we make of the Penguins?
God speaks to us with His own reference points. For God, matter is ageless; how could He say the earth is 4.8 billion years old? Surely, the temporal duration of Adam's covenant is more important and meaningful to God than the age of eternal matter -- hence the 7000 years stated by Joseph. That is the time from the beginning of the Earthly Covenant with God. God tells us what is important to Him. For a biblical precedent showing how God tells us what is meaningful and neglects that which is not, recall that an angel twice called Isaac 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. But Hagar was of the forbidden Egyptian line and was not able to participate in either the priesthood Covenant or the genealogy. So her son, Ishmael, was not mentioned as Abraham’s son.
Most Creationists maintain that the world was one continent during the time of Adam. Some say that the continents sailed across the seas during or after the flood. Such an event would destroy life on the world from volcanic eruptions. Instead, 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 and his family perceived a flood (which could have been a local event). This would explain the worldwide flood traditions of nearly all societies.
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.
I suggest that The Principle of Least Action and Chaos Theory also apply here. According to these theories, God greatly influences world events using the least possible interference. As an illustrative example, during the Battle of Midway in WWII, we were able to destroy the Japanese fleet, in part, because our reconnaissance aircraft accidentally spotted them. Had our planes not found the fleet (in fact, our pilots could have imagined seeing the ships as in a vision), Japan could have easily prevailed against our navy leaving us with little influence as an eastern sea power and possibly winning their war. That we knew the location of their fleet at that time was a “tipping point” that changed the path of history into something far different than it might have been. History is full of such examples that can be interpreted to show the Work of God.
For more information https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inflation_%28cosmology%29
Theory of God
Conjecture on the possibility that the Garden of Eden is in Missouri
7/15/17. Rev 2/15/2018. Delivered to Gospel Doctrine Class 2/18/2018.
For centuries, the conflict between Evolution and Creationism has forced a choice between science and faith. Noah’s flood is embedded in biblical events and genealogy but is scientifically untenable. In addition, Joseph Smith location of Adam’s birth and death in Missouri further strains credulity. The following scenario removes these three apparent conflicts:
According to scientific evidence, a series of extinction events, named “The Great Dying” took place 252M years ago. The event killed most of earth life. Life took 10M years to recover. http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/extinction_events/Permian%E2%80%93Triassic_extinction_event
In 252M BC, Pangaea was a single land mass containing all of the present continents. According to my conjecture, ~1000 years before The Great Dying, God placed Adam in the Garden in Pangaea. At that time, what was to become Missouri was located in Pangaea at the top of Africa near the equator, a location suitable for naked people. During that 1000 years, Adam and his descendants, developed a language, music, iron, written works and domesticated animals. See Genesis 4:20-22 and https://pages.wustl.edu/mnh/geology-and-geological-history. "Missouri is situated on an ancient geologic structure called the North American Craton..." It is old rock.
Knowing The Great Dying was to come, God told Noah to gather his family and their animals into an Ark which was then closed off and protected from the world events for ~378 days in Noah's time but 252M years in Earth time. Noah perceived the event as a flood - hence the world wide notion of a flood in nearly all creation stories. Time dilation, (a local effect) can explain the difference in the passage of time between the Naoh and Earth. (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_dilation).
Biblical precedent for time dilation can be found in Joshua 10:12-14 describing a time when the sun and moon stood still for almost a day. Actually stopping the earth’s rotation would have serious collateral effects. People would burn, freeze and certainly record the event in their history. Time dilation is more reasonable possible explanation for the earth stopping event. The end of the Noah chapter itself (Genesis 8:6-12) further demonstrates time dilation: an olive tree survived after immersion for a year and provided a leaf to the dove over an interval of a week. This is impossible without time dilation. If the Genesis flood happened, this is a plausible explanation.
During those 378 days, continental drift moved the Garden of Eden to what we now call Missouri. Adam’s birthplace and place of death (Adam Ondi Ahman) went with Missouri as stated by Joseph Smith with doctrine confirmed by the LDS Church. Apparently, the People of the Covenant have been driven out of Missouri twice: first by God and then by Satan (in the person of Governor Boggs). Satan is always the imitator.
The Ark landed in Mesopotamia near Armenia/Turkey. When Noah's families emerged from the Ark, they were so far superior to their primate humanoid competition that they displaced them into obscurity. They quickly founded Ur, Egypt and other "modern" civilizations and started the Iron Age. When Babel destroyed the universal language (to remove obvious evidence of God as required by the Free Agency postulate) and people were dispersed during Peleg’s time, they covered the earth with peoples having very different languages.
According to some, the flood occurred ~2230 BC. This is too late for Egypt's dating. However there is room for some slop since some biblical authorities think the biblical time span is 5500 BC rather than Usher's 4004 BC timeline proposed by most.
Jerusalem 31 degrees 30' N and 34 degrees 45' E.: Jackson Missouri 37.3823° N, 89.6662° W
This conjecture solves the following problems:
It is scientifically possible if you can control time dilation.
It places Eden and Adam’s location in Missouri (an LDS statement) and the Ark in Mesopotamia.
It allows both the Adam and Eve story and evolution theory to be true descriptions of events.
It is consistent with the Bible since everything stated has a biblical precedent.
It preserves the Curse genealogy noted in the Book of Abraham 1:21-26.
It allows the earth to be both 4.8B years old and ~7000 years old (depending on your perspective). For God, it is the years of His children.