Organic evolution and how it might either conflict -- or perhaps fit -- within LDS doctrine is something I've pondered and studied a fair amount over past several years. Michael Ash wrote an article for Dialogue which I think is a good place to start for members of the church who might be wondering about the history of the church's position (or non-position) on evolution:
Most of us would like to feel closer to our Heavenly Father. Ask yourself, has it been a long time since I've felt spiritual communication, or spiritual joy? When was the last time you felt his love? Does the Lord desire to speak to us, but we are not able to receive it? Sometimes we go to church, we sit through meetings, even accept and work in our callings, and still don't feel the spiritual blessings. Nephi charged his brothers with being "past feeling"... Does the Lord desire to speak to us, but we are not able to receive it? Is the problem with God, or with us?
I happened to read an article yesterday in the SL Tribune about the history of men wearing & then not wearing beards in the LDS church (of which I am an active member). Interesting article, but it was actually one of the comments that caught my attention. A woman was responding to a faithful LDS man who had said something to the effect of, "Whatever the prophet tells me to do, that's what I will do." To this woman that comment was very scary. She responded by saying "That's insane, I wonder if you realize how dangerous that attitude is".
The Old Testament is replete with references to temples. I’m not a scholar and certainly don’t pretend to understand everything about ancient temple worship, but being an active temple-attending member of the LDS church, when I study the Old Testament, I notice a great many temple references and similarities between what they practiced anciently and what has been revealed to our modern prophets today.
4 And thou [Israel] shalt be brought down, and shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be, as of one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust.
This past year as a Seminary teacher I taught the Old Testament. I thought it might be an interesting and helpful exercise to list and comment on many scriptures from the Old Testament (OT) that reference in some way a latter-day restoration of the gospel, or that seem to support or lend validity to the claims of the Latter-day saints. Where an understanding of the OT verse may be aided by scriptures from the other LDS standard works I will draw on them as well.
The history and details of the man Enoch have been all but removed from our bibles, but through the book of Moses in the Pearl of Great Price (PGP) we gain a greater understanding of him. We come to learn that Enoch was a very significant figure in the early history of the world, on the same level with Adam, Noah, and Abraham. He preached to a wicked people and they repented, he and his people became so righteous that the entire city was eventually were taken up into heaven.
A vast amount of historical time is covered in the small book of Genesis. The first eleven chapters skim over roughly two thousand years of history, until we come to the story of a certain man, Abraham, and his family. Then the book slows down and gets micro-focused. Through Abraham comes Isaac and Ishmael, and then Jacob who’s name was changed by the Lord to Israel. In a very real sense, we could say that bible is the story of the people of Israel, the Lord’s chosen people, the descendants of Abraham.
This is certainly a strange question to ask. I wouldn't even include a reference to this idea except that 2 different people have asked me this same question over the past few months. I can only imagine that somewhere out there, someone got their hands on what they think is a juicy little piece of 'hidden Mormon doctrine' and is spreading it around like they're revealing some great mystery about what Mormon's 'really believe'.
A Catholic friend wrote this question:
If Mormons believe that Jesus is just the son of God and not God, then wouldn't that make you non-Christians since being a Christian is believing that Jesus is God?
This week the Catholic church selected a new Pope. This has generated a lot of public interest on the subject of religion and Catholicism. Ironically, yesterday I heard on the radio a debate about whether Catholics could be considered Christians. A Baptist gentleman was claiming that Catholics are not Christians because they offer prayers to the Virgin Mary and other Saints, and because they believe in 'hard grace' (his phrase). That is, they believe you have to actually keep the commandments and not simply confess belief in Christ. In his view this meant they could not be considered Christians.