I believe in power outside of my own. I believe in divine power. There are organized elements put into motion that defy our own finite minds and limits, from the complexity of the single atom to the vastness of the ocean waves and currents. As we believe and have hope in those things beyond our control—belief and hope in divine power and divine help—and as we cultivate those feelings, that is when science and spirituality collide.
Spiritual power is divine power. Having hope in the unseen is the basis of faith. Faith can help us heal and give us emotional, mental, and psychological peace. There is real science in believing in the divine and hoping or believing that God can help us.[i] And He can. I believe that God is the best Scientist, and His Son is the Master Healer, the Great Physician. In addition to science and the elements and laws He created and controls,[ii] I am confident God is real and exists for at least two reasons.
Infinite Space and Divinity
First, I am compelled to believe in God because how else could “worlds without number”[iii] have been created? Scientists have not even seen the end of space. Indeed, there is no end to matter nor to space.[iv] Peering briefly into space gives me a feeling of infinitesimal awe. I know nothing, nor does the most brilliant man, not compared to Him who comprehends and knows all things.[v] Mankind is nothing, which thing Moses learned after he stood in the presence of God.[vi]
I believe that this earth and all space, stars, and planets could not have just appeared. The axis of the earth and the distance of the earth to the sun has to be just right or the earth would not be fit for life. Not only that, but the air and gravity and water had to be just right for us to live and develop. I believe as King Benjamin taught in about 124 B.C. that God “created all things, both in heaven and in earth.”[vii] And I believe what the prophet Alma taught about 50 years after that when he said, “all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and it’s motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator.”[viii]
In addition to the planets, stars, and the miracle of birds, and mammals and fish and plants, etc., there is a miracle in human life. Human life itself is miraculous. Then-Elder Russell M. Nelson, a former medical doctor and researcher by profession, once said, “Anyone who studies the workings of the human body has surely ‘seen God moving in his majesty and power.’” He went on to say, “Yet some people erroneously think that these marvelous physical attributes happened by chance or resulted from a big bang somewhere. Ask yourself, ‘Could an explosion in a printing shop produce a dictionary?’”[ix]
Another time, while speaking of the divine creation, President Nelson said, “I testify that the earth and all life upon it are of divine origin. The Creation did not happen by chance. It did not come ex nihilo (out of nothing).”[x]
Evil and the Devil
Second, I believe in God because I believe in the devil. Satan is real. Lucifer would have you believe he doesn’t exist.[xi]I have witnessed horrific evil in my life. As a military veteran and retired police detective, I have seen plenty of wickedness and debauchery. I have seen man’s inhumanity to men…as well as to women and to children. I have seen what happens to people when they subject themselves to substances and addictions or when they give in to their carnal and devilish side. I have seen otherwise good people make mistakes, and on the other hand, I have seen evil—evil that most people will never experience, see, understand, or be subjected to, thankfully.
Satan knows how important we are in our Heavenly Father’s plan. He knows how important families are and how important our bodies and minds are. He doesn’t have a body. He is jealous of us. He can never procreate. To keep us from progressing, he deliberately attacks the most innate, intimate, and important parts of our lives. He attacks that which can bring us joy and turns it instead to misery. This, of course, hampers our ability to find peace and joy now and in the future unless we change. Being “carnal, sensual, and devilish, [we] are shut out from the presence of God”[xii] unless we repent and change.
The devil influences us in ways that make us destroy ourselves and others around us. Why? Because he wants us to be as miserable as he is.[xiii] Satan, the father of lies and misery, wants to destroy our souls.[xiv] That is one of the reasons that prophets boldly testify against perversions, lust, “and every kind of sin, telling [us] the awful consequences of them.”[xv]
Now, just as the earth and all things upon it were not created by accident, God’s greatest creation—His children, you and me—were not created accidentally. Some scientists estimate the odds of you being born are somewhere in the realm of one in four hundred million, yet we’re here. After observing those figures, one talented author pointed out, “You are more than a miracle, you are a miracle on the spectrum of unlikely miracles.”[xvi]
God has created you through divinely appointed means.[xvii] You are a very important person. In fact, “Every person we meet is a VIP to our Heavenly Father. Once we understand that, we can begin to understand how we should treat our fellowmen,”[xviii] as well as how we should treat ourselves. You are important. You are valuable, and Satan knows that, too. He will try to destroy you, but there are many people rooting for you and praying for you. There is help, and there is hope.
In conclusion, the world is so big and yet so small compared to the solar system, and the galaxy, and the universe. Think of it, God “has created numberless cosmos and populated them with worlds, yet you and I can talk with Him personally, and He will ever answer.”[xix]
Additionally, “There is no problem which you cannot overcome,” said Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Especially when we rely on divine help and through spiritual and scientific means. I’ll end on these final words of Elder Holland’s: “However late you think you are, however many chances you think you have missed, however many mistakes you feel you have made or talents you think you don’t have, or however far from home and family and God you feel you have traveled, I testify that you have not traveled beyond the reach of divine love. It is not possible for you to sink lower than the infinite light of Christ’s Atonement shines.”[xx]
The opinions expressed herein are solely that of the author, Jeffrey Denning, and are not necessarily the opinions of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
[i] Newberg, A. & Waldman, M. R. (2009). How God changes your brain: Breakthrough findings from a leading neuroscientist. Ballantine Books.
[ii] Doctrine and Covenants 130:20-21.
[iii] Moses 1:33, 35.
[iv] Hymns. (1985). If you could hie to Kolob. no. 284. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
[v] Doctrine and Covenants 88:41.
[vi] Moses 1:10.
[vii] Mosiah 4:9.
[viii] Alma 30:44.
[ix] Russell M. Nelson, “Thanks be to God.” April 2012. https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/2012/04/thanks-be-to-god?lang=eng
[x] Russell M. Nelson. “The Creation.” July 2000. https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/liahona/2000/07/the-creation?lang=eng
[xi] 2 Nephi 28:22.
[xii] Moses 6:49.
[xiii] 2 Nephi 2:27; 9:9.
[xiv] John 8:44; Doctrine and Covenants 10:22.
[xv] Jacob 3:12.
[xvi] Holiday, R. (2021). Courage is calling: Fortune favors the brave. pp. 180-181. Penguin Random House.
[xvii] “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.” (1995, November). Ensign, 25, p. 102.
[xviii] Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “‘You Are My Hands’,” Liahona, May 2010, 75.
[xix] Richard G. Scott, “Using the Supernal Gift of Prayer,” Ensign, May 2007, 8–11.
[xx] Jeffrey R. Holland, “The Laborers in the Vineyard,” April 2012.