Most students who come to Brigham Young University are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—that much they have in common. Still, their levels of faith, testimony, and gospel knowledge vary, as does their knowledge and understanding of science. Few have ever directly confronted the questions that bring science and religion into the same arena. Once here, they eventually face those issues.
No religion has an easier time harmonizing the theories of science with religious faith than the LDS church does. President Brigham Young explained the relationship of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with science in these ways:
“[The LDS] religion is simply the truth. It is all said in this one expression—it embraces all truth, wherever found, in all the works of God and man that are visible or invisible to mortal eye.”1
“If you can find a truth in heaven, earth or hell, it belongs to our doctrine. We believe it; it is ours; we claim it.”2
“[The LDS religion] embraces every fact there is in the heavens and in the heaven of heavens—every fact there is upon the surface of the earth, in the bowels of the earth, and in the starry heavens; in fine, it embraces all truth there is in all the eternities of the Gods.”3
“In these respects we differ, from the Christian world, for our religion will not clash with or contradict the facts of science in any particular.”4
We sometimes refer to eternal truths in a religious context, but truths are not limited to topics generally recognized as belonging to religion. Truths are things as they really are, irrespective of how we think they are. They do not change over time, with varying circumstances, or in any other way. They are not affected by popularity or lack of popularity: “Truth is knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come” (D&C 93:24).
Science and religion both seek after truth. When they reach their common destination, they are in perfect agreement with each other. During the journey though, people can feel caught in an uncomfortable void between faith in science and faith in religion. Unfortunately, this leads some to abandon either science or religion in an attempt to eliminate the conflict.
For students, there is nowhere better to confront and learn to deal with the questions shared between science and religion than in the College of Life Sciences at Brigham Young University. This will become more apparent as you read the following pages.
1. Young, B. 1863. “Tithing–Building Temples, Etc.” Journal of Discourses 10:250.
2. Young, B. 1870. “Truth and Error” Journal of Discourses 13:335.
3. Young, B. 1862. “Eternal Punishment–‘Mormonism,’ &c.” Journal of Discourses 9:149.
4. Young, B. 1871. “Attending Meetings–Religion & Science–Geology–The Creation.” Journal of Discourses 14:115.