I was discussing the issue of evolution and the Creation in a phone call with my mother the other day. I expressed my desire to have more revealed information about the scientific aspects of the Creation, but she wisely pointed out that it might not wise for the Lord to answer many of our questions right now.
She figures that whatever the truth is, it almost certainly will challenge all of our assumptions, whatever they are, and would try the testimonies of the weak and inflexible while giving critics in and out of the Church one more thing to mock.
If the Lord gave President Hinckley a few clear answers to pressing scientific issues like the age of the earth, the processes used to bring the biosphere to its current state, the role of divine intervention in past genetic change, the details of who Adam was and what the Garden of Eden was, the nature of apparent pre-Adamic humans, the history of the rise of multiple races, and just what species of fruit the forbidden fruit was (could it have been the sensuous avocado? or perhaps the tempting pomegranate?), I think most of us would fly to pieces. We would probably all find something to offend us and make us question the Lord and His servants.
I would love more information, but we may need to have faith and patience until the grand era of the Millennium when the Lord will reveal all these things and many more. As the Lord states in Doctrine and Covenants 101:
32 Yea, verily I say unto you, in that day when the Lord shall come, he shall reveal all things—
33 Things which have passed, and hidden things which no man knew, things of the earth, by which it was made, and the purpose and the end thereof–
34 Things most precious, things that are above, and things that are beneath, things that are in the earth, and upon the earth, and in heaven.
35 And all they who suffer persecution for my name, and endure in faith, though they are called to lay down their lives for my sake yet shall they partake of all this glory.
36 Wherefore, fear not even unto death; for in this world your joy is not full, but in me your joy is full.
37 Therefore, care not for the body, neither the life of the body; but care for the soul, and for the life of the soul.
38 And seek the face of the Lord always, that in patience ye may possess your souls, and ye shall have eternal life.
I take it that those things pertaining to how the earth was made will, once revealed, be appreciated as “hidden things which no man knew.” I think that means our guesses and speculations in 2005 are still inadequate, even those made by the most learned among us. But let’s keep learning as much as we can, understanding that science is forever tentative, and that our assumptions and frameworks for interpreting data and scripture may be based on flawed assumptions that may require later revision. If you think you’ve got it all figured out, beware!