Did Jesus Create Every Thing Out of Nothing?

I never really had an interest in art until I found a medium I fell in love with—glass. Once I began working with all the delectable colors and textures of glass I was hooked. My passion for creating glass art has been a part of my life for over twenty-three years now. It became such a passion that when I lived in Virginia I converted my bedroom into a work studio. It was the only space I had available so I got rid of my bed and slept on a mattress that could be moved into a closet during the day. My love for working with glass quickly evolved into a business and I began doing commissioned windows and teaching classes. I absolutely love making glass panels that are uniquely my own creations—using my own design as well as picking out which glass to use.

What is interesting is that once I am finished with the piece I have created, I have no more interest in it. In fact, I only have one panel on display in my house and that is one I made for my oldest daughter who doesn’t have any place to keep it.

Reading the Old Testament Gospel Doctrine Lesson: “The Creation” caused me to think about the comparisons between how I “create” my glass art with how God “created” our world. I realized that as an artist, the way I “create” art is similar to Joseph Smith’s explanation of how God “created” the earth. When I “create” a piece of glass art I am really just “organizing” already existing materials into an original piece of art. I pick out specific glass, cutting it into the shapes I desire; and then use foil and solder it all together into its final form. According to LDS doctrine, this is exactly how God “created” the world we live on:

“Was the earth created out of nothing? (See Abraham 3:24; 4:1.) The Prophet Joseph Smith said: “The word create came from the [Hebrew] word baurau which does not mean to create out of nothing; it means to organize; the same as a man would organize materials and build a ship. Hence, we infer that God had materials to organize the world out of chaos—chaotic matter” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 350–51).”

When I was LDS I never questioned the LDS belief that God used already existing materials to organize the world—that He didn’t create “every thing” out of “nothing”. At the time, I certainly didn’t realize how this false teaching was merely one of many that diminish the amazing power of our God. Today, I am so thankful that my eyes have been opened to the truth. And, I am especially thrilled with some of the new passions God has given me. My love for creating glass art pales in comparison with my passion for studying God’s Word and sharing His truth with others. My God is the love of my life and every time I read scripture He speaks to me personally. If there is something that God wants me to understand, I trust that I will find the answer in His Word.

What did our loving God reveal to us in scripture about creation? Did Jesus merely “organize” already existing material when our world was created, or did He create “every thing” out of “nothing”? Digging into scripture to find the answer to these questions has thrilled me. Doing so has reminded me of just how amazing and powerful my Lord is.

God’s Word testifies that Jesus created “every thing” out of “nothing”—everything visible and invisible! Speaking of Jesus, the Apostle Paul wrote:

“For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist” (Colossians 1).

The Apostle John’s testimony verifies Paul’s: “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” (Revelation 4:11)

Just look around you to see a glimpse of the world’s most amazing artist. It is a blessing to know how glorious Jesus is. When He created our world, He did so out of nothing—merely by speaking. When I “create’ a piece of art, I have to use materials that someone else has made; out of materials that were originally created by Jesus.

By far the most comforting aspect of our Savior is that unlike me, He didn’t loose interest in His creation once He was finished. The Apostle John revealed Jesus’ testimony:

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Believe it, and receive it!

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Was God once a “created” man?

We live in a society where sexual immorality is increasing. Not only are people unfaithful to their spouses, homosexuality is a major issue and pornography is rampant. Members of the LDS Church are not immune to these sexual sins. A simple google search on the words: Gay LDS, LDS pornography or LDS sexual abuse will bear this out. I myself was sexually abused as a child and I know many other Mormons and ex-Mormons who were.

I have often wondered why sexual abuse, homosexuality and pornography are so prevalent within a Church which focuses so much of its teachings on being morally clean. I’ve also wondered why our society has so quickly deteriorated into one focused on sexual perversions. I discovered one possible explanation during a Bible Class on the book of Romans.

In Romans, Paul tells us that people who worship the “creature” and not the “Creator” have been turned over to vile passions and uncleanness:

“For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four footed beasts, and creeping things.”

“Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature” (1:20-26)

What Paul is saying is that anyone can look around at what God has created and know that there is a powerful God who created everything! Because of this, if someone doesn’t worship God, “they are without excuse”. And, these passages show there can be an earthly consequence for worshiping “the creature more than the Creator“. Paul explains that in some instances, God gives these people up to immoral acts through the lusts of their hearts. Many people today do not worship God and instead, choose to worship something that God has created.

Reading the Gospel Doctrine Lesson this week about the First Vision reminded me of what I had learned while studying Romans. The Lesson claims that Joseph “learned more of the nature of God the Eternal Father and the risen Lord than all the learned minds in all their discussions through all centuries of time”. From Gospel Principles, page 305, we read where Joseph taught that by nature, God is actually a “creature” and not the Creator! He says:

“When you climb up a ladder, you must begin at the bottom, and ascend step by step, until you arrive at the top… This is the way our Heavenly Father became God. Joseph Smith taught: “It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the character of God. … He was once a man like us; … God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ himself did”.

Joseph’s teaching that God used to be a man never really bothered me as a Mormon. But now that I know God as the creator and have studied His Word, I realize how false this teaching is! Joseph’s words elevate man and lower God! He makes God a mere creature, something created, and not the Creator!
Joseph “changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man”.

My God—the God of Abraham and the God of the Bible; has never been a sinful corruptible man!

Compare Joseph’s words with the Prophet Isaiah’s, who testified that God has always been God:

“Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.” (Isaiah 43:10) and “I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me” (Isaiah 45:5).

I don’t know whether Mormons who are sexual abusers, homosexuals or into pornography are suffering the earthly consequences for worshiping the creature and not the Creator. But I do know one thing for sure. Joseph revealed that God was once a created man who sinned, just like you and me. My God, the God of the Bible, is the Creator of all things and has never been sinful!

This Almighty God sent His Son to pay for all sins—including sexual sins and worshiping the created. His action demonstrates His infinite love for you. He is calling for you to turn to Him to be healed. Please, don’t reject this amazing God of love, who has always been God. God is the only true God! He is the Creator and not a mere creature!