In a recent post, Mike Parker made the following insightful comment:
“Just because this is God’s Church doesn’t mean that He has revealed all truth, or enforces the correct understanding of every principle. The purpose of the Church is to bring back the authority, ordinances, and revelation necessary to exalt mankind, not to enforce some sort of perfectionist doctrinal kingdom. God reveals just enough to save us, and leaves the rest up to us to sort out for ourselves. Just because the Saints have some beliefs or interpretations that are not “universally true” (whatever that means) does not mean that the Church should be discarded.”
For those of you who expect God to take over the minds of true prophets so that every thought they have is in line with ultimate scientific truth, think again. It wasn’t that way in the Old Testament (Moses, for example, classified bats as birds), New Testament writers did not seem to be up on modern scientific findings about the age of the earth, and LDS Church leaders have sometimes failed to be decades ahead of the scientific community in their assumptions and opinions. Maybe someday the Lord will call “science prophets” to the Church whose job will be to satisfy our scientific curiosity and gratify our desire for impressive miracles by answering anthropological and biological questions in ways that will eventually be verified by scientists (plus a few accredited science prophets on FDA panels could be a huge boon in approving new drugs – could completely eliminate the need for lengthy trials). But for now, the Lord seems more concerned with teaching us to repent and love one another than He is in explaining the details of the Creation or of the genetics of the Americas. Sorry about that. It’s really bad news, actually: it means we’ll have to sort through a lot of things on our own and still exercise faith in the cloudy areas.