The Bible vs. Book of Mormon – Origin of the Universe.

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The Mormon View Of An Eternal Universe:

Like we saw with Hinduism, and also with Secular Humanism (5), the Mormon faith runs into problems with its postulation of an eternally existing universe. According to the founder of Mormonism, Joseph Smith, “The elements are eternal. That which had a beginning will surely have an end; take a ring, it is without beginning or end – cut it for a beginning place and at the same time you have an ending place” (1). Further, Smith believed that the materials God organized out of chaos “had no beginning, and can have no end” (2).

This is a claim about the physical universe that is contradicted by modern scientific data. Several lines of data supports the conclusion that the universe once begun to exist, evidence such as from the cosmic microwave background radiation, the receding of galaxies moving away from us, the formation of galaxies and the large scale structure of the cosmos, and that we don’t see any stars older than 13.8 billion years (3). The physicist Paul Davies claims that “the big bang represents the creation event; the creation not only of all the matter and energy in the universe, but also of spacetime itself” (4) whereas atheist cosmologist Stephen Hawking writes that “[A]lmost everyone now believes that the universe, and time itself, had a beginning at the big bang” (6).

The widely published Mormon scholar Blake Ostler explains that “In contrast to the self-sufficient and solitary absolute who creates ex nihilo (out of nothing), the Mormon God did not bring into being the ultimate constituents of the cosmos — neither its fundamental matter nor the space/time matrix which defines it” (7).

The Christian View Of A Finite Universe:

However, rather striking is that the biblical narrative gets this (the beginning of the physical universe & space-time) spot on (Gen. 1:1) even when such knowledge was far beyond what the author of Genesis would have known at the time. Even the physicist Victor Weisskopf once said that “The Judeo-Christian tradition describes the beginning of the world in a way that is surprisingly similar to the scientific model” (8). According to Christian astrophysicist Hugh Ross it was “The Bible [that] was the first to predict big bang cosmology” (9).

Big Bang cosmology has also been used as an argument for the existence of a creator of the universe. This argument, the Kalam Cosmological Argument, is a personal favourite of mine alongside the powerful argument of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. William Lane Craig formulates the argument via the following syllogism (1):

1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause of its existence.
2. The universe began to exist.
3. Therefore, the universe has a cause of its existence.

If point three can logically follow on from the prior two premises then it would make belief in a creator of the universe rationally justified (although there are other arguments for the existence of God that many find persuasive). So, for the Christian it is not only the fact that via an argument big Bang cosmology supports belief in the existence of God but it is also consistent with the very first sentence of the Bible, that “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). However, Mormonism isn’t as fortunate.


1. Smith, J. 1938. Scriptural Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith. p. 181.

2. Smith, J. 1938. Ibid. p. 352.

3. Cain, F. 2013. What Is The Evidence For The Big Bang. Available.

4. Davies, P. Spacetime Singularities in Cosmology in The Study of Time III.

5. American Humanist Association. Humanist Manifesto 1. Available. Quote: “Religious humanists regard the universe as self-existing and not created.”

6. Hawking, S, & Penrose, R. 1996. The Nature of Space and Time. p. 20.

7. Ostler, B. 1984. The Mormon Concept of God in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought.

8. Victor Weisskopf quoted in: The World of Physics (1987). p. 300, 317.

9. O’Niel, T. 2014. Big Bang ‘Gravity Wave’ Discovery Supports Biblical Creation, Say Old Earth Creationists. Available.

10. Craig, W. The Existence of God and the Beginning of the Universe. Available.

8 responses to “The Bible vs. Book of Mormon – Origin of the Universe.

  1. You really don’t understand LDS doctrine if this is your contention. You see, what the ‘Big Bang’ doesn’t address is what happened or existed before that event. You mention a number of things to prove there was a beginning of this universe, (and the LDS don’t say there wasn’t), but you ignore the scientific evidence that matter and energy cannot be created or destroyed, only altered or converted.

    So, if matter/energy cannot be created or destroyed, then where did all the matter and energy that exist come from? The most reasonable answer is that they existed in some form before the Big Bang ever occurred. Joseph Smith described this as “chaotic matter, which is element” (Smith, J. 1938. Scriptural Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith. p. 352.)

    So, even if you believe in the big bang, LDS doctrine is unfazed. Before God organized this universe he had chaotic matter from which to work. Whether you believe the method of creation was the Big Bang or some other method doesn’t matter.

  2. Frankly, proving the ridiculousness of Mormons, particularly for any trust they have in Joseph Smith, can be summarised in three words- “book of Abraham”

    No other world religion I’m aware of, particularly such a large one, is so easily demonstrably false. Can you imagine the repercussions if we found out the holy bible was a collection of ancient recipe books that we’d just been guessing the language for?

    • And this summarizes the limits on anti-mormon debate skills. Rather than actually engage in discussion on the subject divert discussion to as many other topics as possible so as to confuse the issue the is quickly as you can so no one actually sees that nothing you have actually proves anything.

      • Debating skills! I’m sorry, if Christians had a foundational book which had been completely wrongly translated we’d not get of that lightly. You can only debate what is actually debatable…

        • And once again your refuse to actually address the issue at hand. It seems you are unable to counter what I said regarding the article so you try to bring in new topics to distract the discussion and hide the fact that you lack the ability to refute what I said.

          • Fine then. I can see where you’re going with the big bang to be honest. I think it’s consistent with both orthodox Christian doctrine (that the universe had an absolute beginning) and also the LDS doctrine, for the very reason you mentioned.

            I don’t think the big bang itself is the best way to refute LDS doctrine at all. I think there are much bigger hoops you have to jump through in order to trust anything Joseph Smith says as “prophecy”. That fact doesn’t take anything away from your specific logical argument, but frankly what good is a sound logical argument that fits the LDS framework, when the foundations of LDS doctrine can’t be trusted?

            As such I’d suggest that while this is a “new topic”, it’s a much more important one than the big bang, which is better used as a proof of creation and theism generally (since pre -big bang theory, atheists generally believed it inconceivable that the universe was anything other than eternal and static, but seem to have forgotten this..)

  3. Daniel
    I am not necessarily opposed to new topics; just to the use of them to confuse the original topic. I would also say that changing topics is best done by changing threads, preferably with a new article to address the new topic in full.

    I appreciate your response, and if you want to discuss the Book of Abraham than I will write an article about it at my blog ( I decline to do so here because I feel it is not the appropriate place, partly due to the attitude in previous posts here.

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