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This may be related to a previous question about the first god who began eternal progression. This is something I've really been wondering for a while.

If the Almighty God began life as a man, he must have been part of this universe. As part of this universe, it would've been impossible to create the universe--since that requires a deity that it outside the universe.

Do Mormons believe that the universe existed before God? Or that God existed as God before the universe began (and therefore is one who didn't ascend to godhead, but was always a deity)?

In essence, either the universe always was and there was a first god who created everything (related to this question) or there is a god who existed, as god, before the universe. Yet the Mormons teach that God was once a man. So, who created the universe?

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This is so closely related to the other question that the same answer applies, without any adaptation or modification. –  Mason Wheeler Nov 30 '11 at 16:16
I just read Mason Wheeler's answer on the linked question and I second his answer on that for this one. –  Matt Nov 30 '11 at 20:02
Actually, after having created an answer for both of these questions, I realize that they are quite different. There is a related concept (the eternal nature of the universe and matter), but good solid answers are quite different. –  Richard Dec 5 '11 at 20:21

2 Answers 2

up vote 16 down vote accepted

Mormons do not believe in creation ex nihilo, as traditional Christian doctrine does. So to ask who created the universe in Mormonism is asking the wrong question.

Rather, Mormons believe that god arranged pre-existing matter in creation. The matter always existed; creation was an act of organizing the matter.

From Ancient Views of Creation and Doctrine of Creation Ex Nihilo by Stephen D Ricks:

To these should be added his[Josephs Smith's] powerful rejection of creation ex nihilo ("from nothing")—according to which doctrine God alone is eternal and uncreated while matter is not—and his affirmation of creation from preexisting matter.

Abraham 3:24 in the Pearl of Great Price confirms the Latter-day Saint belief in creation from preexisting matter: "And there stood one among them that was like unto God, and he said unto those who were with him: We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell."

This is a clear distinction between the beliefs of Joseph Smith and conventional Christianity. Mormonism affirms that physical material is eternal and organized by God; conventional Christianity affirms that God is eternal and that He created the physical world out of nothing.

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Nice answer! Welcome to the site! –  David Stratton Dec 2 '11 at 4:39
Welcome to Christianity.SE. –  Caleb Dec 2 '11 at 8:09

Mormons believe that, in general, the universe was created. That there was a creator and that the creation story was handed down by the one true God to Moses.

Beyond that, it is considered a mystery.

Brigham Young once said:

As to the Bible account of the creation we may say that the Lord gave it to Moses. If we understood the process of creation there would be no mystery about it, it would be all reasonable and plain, for there is no mystery except to the ignorant.
John A. Widtsoe, Discourses of Brigham Young (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1978, p. 259)

So, the one true God could not have been the creator of the universe. Exactly who created the universe or how it was created is left as a mystery.

Having said this, it is noted that while God did not create the universe, he did create mankind and the earth. As such, he is still the Creator, just not the creator of the universe.

There is a article regarding the Mormon doctrine of creation, written by James Talmage.

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"So, the one true God could not have been the creator of the universe." I don't understand how you come to that conclusion. –  JustinY Dec 1 '11 at 16:45
@JustinY If the one true God was once a man, that means he was part of this universe, as a human, after its creation. The one true God didn't start as a deity (per LDS beliefs) but as a man who ascended into deification. Once he became God, he created the world and man and everything else. (This is different than the majority of Christian doctrines.) –  Richard Dec 1 '11 at 16:48
@Richard Your assertion rests on the premise that this universe is the only one. Our modern day understanding of mathematics and physics indicate there could be many other universes. This one is certainly bound by time, but in Moses 1:6 we read that God is not. If the one true God was once a man, that does not mean it happened here in this universe, just that it happened. –  HTG Dec 13 '11 at 22:36

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