Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Intelligence: A Speculation

With my apologies for diverting away from the core principles of the gospel, I spoke this week with a highly educated person on the subject of chemistry. He reminded me of the construction and scope of atoms. In brief, if a person were to model the nucleus of an atom with his fists clenched together, the nearest electron would be about four miles away with nothing, not even air, in between. He went on to say that chemists now believe that even if you were to travel that four miles, and even if you knew where the electron would be, the electron would be gone. That is to say that there is some evidence that electrons are only an idea-- that we are simply the composition of ideas.

This is an abstract, philosophical idea that I initially considered absurd. I'm still not sure I believe it. But what if it were? Whose idea would we be? And what are the terms of that changed existence?

Again, I found this idea hard to believe. But it led me to consider statements the Lord has made about intelligences. There is no evidence that people were 'intelligences' prior to their life in the spirit world, despite the frequent mention of that idea in priesthood meetings worldwide. At best, we can refer to Abraham chapter 3, where the Lord refers to the intelligences of the premortal world but clarifies in the same or following verse that those to whom he was referring were indeed spirits.

Regardless of the form of the people in the premortal meeting mentioned in Abraham, the Lord was referring to them, to many of us, as intelligences. In Doctrine and Covenants 93, the Lord says that the "glory of God is intelligence, or in other words, light and truth." Is that us? Are we the glory of God?

If so, then intelligence would not only refer to our pre-spirit, premortal condition, but it would refer to each of us all of the time. It wouldn't be that we were intelligence, but rather that we are, and we bring glory to God inasmuch as we choose to live a life of light and truth.

I'm not sure how things play out with the chemistry. Perhaps we are a piece of some intelligence, or perhaps that analysis is thinking too much. Thoughts?

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