The debate over the true origin of man has been going on for centuries and maybe even millennia. In today’s world, how we came into being is divided into two basic camps or major points of view.
On one hand, there is the group that says we evolved slowly over eons of time from a one-celled creature that came ashore from the oceans billions of years ago. Gradually, that creature evolved or grew upward, step-by-step, through all phases of development and became the men and women we are today. There are many sources of evidence that might suggest this to be true, at least in part. Numerous museums and universities are filled with archaeological remnants of species and findings from the past that are purported to give proof to this theory of biological evolution. But no archaeologist or anthropologist can really prove, without doubt, that this theory is unequivocally true.
On the other hand, there are those who live by faith and accept the definition, though very basic, that man is the creation of God as stated by Moses when he wrote, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” (1 Genesis 1:27)
Surely, there is much more to be learned before either theory can be accepted as totally true or that a combination of the two satisfies our quest. Men will continue digging in the ground to find more physical proof to support their theories that we came about in a natural, self-guided manner without the interference from God or any other outside directing forces.
The faithful, however, quietly wait until the coming day when the Lord will reveal to us the workings of our all-wise Father in Heaven regarding our creation. He is testing our patience and faith now by not revealing too much on the subject. But someday, He will explain all He has done to create us “in his own image.”
While we wait to have all the missing blanks filled in concerning our creation, it would do us well to consider an old Jewish tale of two brothers who spent their entire life living in the city, never once going out into the countryside.
One day, one of the brothers out of curiosity said, “It’s time for us to see what there is outside our home. It might prove interesting. We might even enjoy such an outing.”
So they began their expedition by hiking out on an old country road. They were amazed at the beauty all around them that they had never seen before. For the first time, they saw beautiful trees, streams and rivers, all sorts of flowers, and rich, fertile fields running as far as the eye could see.
After a while, they turned to see a lovely fenced-off field filled with grass and wild flowers. As they watched, an old man entered the field with some sort of steel implement. He climbed up onto it and had his horse pull him back and forth over the field. As they looked on, the young men were aghast—the old man was destroying all the grass and flowers! Back and forth, he rode, over and over again. When he finished, there wasn’t one blade of grass or a single flower left. They saw only a dirty gray field with small rocks and clumps of dry ground. All the beautiful things had been destroyed.
The two brothers were very upset. One said to the other, “Look at what that stupid old man has done. He has destroyed everything.”
As they continued to watch, the old man came back into the field holding a large bag of what looked to be grain over his shoulder. He reached into it and started to throw it all over the field. This incensed them even further. One brother cried out, “Not only has he ruined the field, but now he is throwing perfectly good grain away! I have had enough. I am going back home.” He stamped his feet, turned around, and huffed his way back home.
The other young man found the old man’s behavior very interesting, and was eager to see more, so he stayed in the country a season. As time passed, he saw something wonderful happen to the once “ruined” field. Slowly, it came back to life. It was now covered with beautiful and tall grass. Excited, he ran to get his brother again to share in this change with him. They both marveled at the new growth until the farmer returned with a scythe in his hand. All at once, he thrust it into the new grass. Before long, he had cut every blade down.
The impatient brother cried out once again. “There that fool goes again! He has destroyed the beautiful field a second time. Now I really have had enough of this stupid old man. I am going home again and hope never to return.”
Again, the other brother remained to see what would happen next. He saw the farmer carefully rake up all the grass and bundle it. He then took it to a building not far away. There, he beat it with a heavy stick until it was divided into two parts: the chaff and the grain. He blew away the chaff and bagged up the remaining grain. The old man had been growing wheat. He bagged up enough grain to fill his whole wagon and left for home.
Suddenly, it all became very clear to our young man. He cried out, “How naive and ignorant we have been! This good old farmer by his labor, wisdom, and faith has turned one bag of wheat into a hundred bags for his family. He never destroyed the field but used it for his benefit.” As he rejoiced at what he had learned, he ran back to the city to tell his brother all about this now wise old farmer.
The time will come when all of our questions on the origin of man will be answered. Everything will fall into place. At present, we have only bits and pieces of knowledge about our creation. We will feel as humbled at the answers to our questions as these two young men were about the origin of the wheat.
God the Father has said, “For behold this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” (Moses 1:39)
When we grow enough spiritually to grasp the depth of love that our Father in Heaven has for us, He will reveal all the missing pieces we need to have a perfect understanding of the story of our creation. Everything will fall into place and at last we will know the true origin of man.
By George Domm
George Domm was born and raised in upstate New York around historical LDS sites such as the Hill Cumorah and Palmyra. He was very familiar with the Church long before he was baptized in 1959. Soon after joining, he found himself serving a full-time mission for the Church in Berlin, Germany. That was his first of four missions! George currently lives in American Fork, UT with his wife, Margaret, and busies himself trying to keep up with their 11 children and 42 grandchildren. He loves to do family history and play golf with "all the old men in our neighborhood." His goal is to one day shoot his age, 74.