Friend to Friend: How Life Began


How Life Began

Elder Mark E. Petersen

Great things are happening these days, both on Earth and out in space. They seem to be the fulfillment of prophecies made long ago as recorded in the Bible. The Lord said through the prophet Joel that in the latter days He would pour out His spirit upon all flesh with the result that there would be wonders both in heaven and on earth. (See Joel 2:28–31.)

Many miraculous things have taken place in recent times. Among them are the medical discoveries that have eliminated some of the diseases and plagues that killed thousands of people years ago.

The development of computers has been another achievement that is making great changes in the lives of all of us.

Among the marvels we have seen in the skies are the rockets that have been sent to the moon and to the planets far away in our solar system. Think what a marvelous thing it is to send a mechanical device out to the planet Jupiter 391 million miles away where it takes pictures and sends them back to Earth! The same procedure was used in exploring Saturn, and through those photographs sent back to Earth over 794 million miles away, astronomers have learned for the first time what constitutes the rings about that mysterious planet.

Another miracle of modern research happened when a rocket was sent to the planet Mars, where a robot dug up soil samples, ran them through chemical tests, and then reported back to Earth the contents of those samples. The advance of modern science has truly gone beyond the imaginations of men who lived only a few years ago.

Efforts were made to see if there were microscopic life on Mars, not whether little men were walking about there. Actually the scientists were trying to find out how life began. They wondered if it could have developed from an unusual combination of certain acids, proteins, and other ingredients in the soil. However, it was determined that no such life exists on Mars, nor was there any evidence showing how life began.

When scientists made similar studies on Earth, the result was the same. And why? Because life only comes from already existing life! But where does life really come from? It can only come from God. He is the Creator, and He alone can make life. And this He did—all life!

When we study astronomy and see the countless stars and planets in the heavens, and when we discover the precision and complete order that abides there, we know that only God could make such a plan possible.

All the experiments of men seeking to create life in any form have failed, because God has reserved to Himself the right and power to make life.

He created all things in spirit form before he placed them on Earth in mortal form. All life had a preexistence. We humans did also, and we truly lived with God our Heavenly Father. We are actually His spirit children.

Since we are His spiritual offspring, as the apostle Paul said, He did not create us in the same way He did other life forms. We came into being by birth and are in the image and likeness of God. And God is our Heavenly Father. It is natural for children to grow up in the likeness of their parents.

When the earth was created for us to live upon—and that is why it was organized in the first place—God provided physical bodies for all the spirits He had made during the preexistence. He then sent those spirits who did not follow Satan to earth to occupy mortal bodies according to the form and shape of each particular spirit.

The Lord told the Prophet Joseph Smith about the creation of man and beasts and birds and creeping things, saying that “that which is spiritual [is] in the likeness of that which is temporal; and that which is temporal [is] in the likeness of that which is spiritual; the spirit of man [is] in the likeness of his person, as [is] also the spirit of the beast, and every other creature which God has created.” (D&C 77:2.)

That is why cows are always cows, horses are always horses, birds are always birds, trees are always trees, and human beings are always human beings. The Creator made all living things that way in the preexistence and designed physical bodies to fit the spirits as He sent them here to Earth.

And who is this great Creator? The scriptures tell us that Jesus Christ, our Savior, was the Creator under the direction of Heavenly Father: “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” (John 1:3.)

[illustration] Illustrated by Merrill Gogan