Answer: By Brenda**
OK, well let’s start this answer with a confession. I’m a total Trekkie. My favorite Star Trek series were Next Generation and Deep Space Nine. I dream in Sci-Fi; I love to imagine being transported from one part of the globe to another in an instant or take a Caribbean vacation on a holo-deck.
But, do Mormons believe that aliens from other planets visit the earth in spaceships traveling far distances to aid or hinder life on earth? No.
Do we believe there are other worlds out there? Yes, God created them.
In a book of scripture we use, called The Pearl of Great Price, God proclaims:
“And worlds without number have I created; and I also created them for mine own purpose; and by the Son I created them, which is mine Only Begotten.
But only an account of this earth, and the inhabitants thereof, give I unto you. For behold, there are many worlds that have passed away by the word of my power. And there are many that now stand, and innumerable are they unto man; but all things are numbered unto me, for they are mine and I know them.”(Moses 1:33, 35)
Do we believe that earth has been visited by highly powerful and knowledgeable beings? Yes. In the form of God the Father, Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost and, heavenly beings, or angels.
We believe these glorified beings look like us, only more radiant. We believe visitations from these loving yet powerful beings have not ceased, that God lives, and angels still aid the work of God on the earth.
Joseph Smith gave the following testimony after a visitation from God the Father and Jesus Christ.
“I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me….When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!”
And this is Joseph’s testimony of seeing the Angel Moroni, who informed Joseph about the existence of the plates from which the Book of Mormon was translated:
While I was thus in the act of calling upon God, I discovered a light appearing in my room, which continued to increase until the room was lighter than at noonday, when immediately a personage appeared at my bedside, standing in the air, for his feet did not touch the floor. He had on a loose robe of most exquisite whiteness. It was a whiteness beyond anything earthly I had ever seen; nor do I believe that any earthly thing could be made to appear so exceedingly white and brilliant. His hands were naked, and his arms also, a little above the wrist; so, also, were his feet naked, as were his legs, a little above the ankles. His head and neck were also bare. I could discover that he had no other clothing on but this robe, as it was open, so that I could see into his bosom. Not only was his robe exceedingly white, but his whole person was glorious beyond description, and his countenance truly like lightning. The room was exceedingly light, but not so very bright as immediately around his person.
Many others have seen Jesus and/or have been visited by angels. I believe these visitations are evidence of God’s love. These visitations are documented in scripture and in the testimonies of people who have sought out God. While such visitations like these are not common, they are real. Most people on earth have their witness of truth come in simple but powerful ways, such as a feeling of happiness or peace in their soul, a comforting feeling that what they are learning is truth, or tears springing from their eyes when they experience beauty, love, goodness. Although these experiences are less fantastic than a visitation from an angel they are nevertheless ample evidence that God loves us.
Do Mormons believe in aliens? No. But we do believe in truths that are even more fantastic than warp drives and cloaking devices and UFOs. We believe that the Son of God, the Creator of all the universe came to this earth as a tiny babe to redeem the world from death and sin. We believe that the heavens are open, that God communicates to man through living prophets and through the Holy Ghost and yes, through angels. The message brought to us from heaven is that He has created a way for joy and hope in a fallen world and in the one to come.
“Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God; For, behold, the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent and come unto him. And he hath risen again from the dead, that he might bring all men unto him, on conditions of repentance. And how great is his joy in the soul that repenteth!” D&C 18:10-13
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**Please note: The answers in “Ask a Mormon Woman” reflect the thoughts, perspectives, and experiences of individuals. Although here at Mormon Women: Who We Are, we strive to have our content consistent with the Church’s doctrine and teachings, we do not speak officially for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For official information about or from the Church, please visit www.mormon.org or www.lds.org.
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How about an explanation of Kolob please. You may not believe in aliens, but god does live on another planet, right?
Thank you for a wonderful reflection of our beliefs in this regard, and a great answer to a question even my kids ask once in a while! 🙂
Because we believe that both Jesus Christ and God the Father have physical bodies it makes sense in our doctrine that they would have a place of residence. In one book of our scriptures, The Pearl of Great Price, it is recorded that God taught Abraham that Kolob is the star closest to His celestial home. Abraham 3:2-3
While this information is of some interest to members of our faith, we choose to focus our studies on the doctrines that lead us to believing in and following Jesus Christ.
Thanks for asking!
You are so good at this! (We’re trekkies, too.)
I don’t totally agree with Janelle.
I have been a mormon for over 30 years and the first verses I ever read from our canonic books back in 1979 state that we do believe that God has created worlds and POPULATE them with his children.
So, we must conclude that there are other worlds where the children of God currently live and where Jesus is also a Savior for them.
If they are more advance and have more technology that allow them to visit us, we don’t know, if the UFOs are spaceships built by those other children of God living in other worlds, we can not assure. Each of us is free to get his or her personal opinions.
There is no official stand on that matter other than what is clearly stated in our canonic books.
22 And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!
23 For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father—
24 That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, AND THE INHABITANTS THEREOF ARE begotten sons and daughters unto God.
-Doctrine and Covenants, Section 76, verses 22- 24 –
Janelle, we are not alone in the Universe and celestial beings are not the only ones other than us in the universe. If you were not informed before, now you are.
Those scriptures are an important addition to this post. Thank you for sharing them.
I don’t think Janelle is denying or being ignorant of that reality at all. I imagine that without space constraints, she probably would have included those scriptures.
I think her point is that we don’t even need to go into the realm of thinking about UFOs or extra-terrestrial theories. We already *know* through prophetic revelation that other planets and their inhabitants exist. To me, it is enough to know that God is our Father, that He, through His Son, created this and many other worlds.
I think even trying to mix in UFOs to that doctrine is unnecessary if not potentially distracting. To me, the fact that we don’t hear about UFOs in scriptures and from prophets is the very signal that such things aren’t necessary to think about. I think prophets focus on key truths of salvation in the core doctrines of the gospel for a reason. Those truths are sufficient to fill a lifetime of study, pondering, and personal spiritual experience — and are what can bring us to Christ and help us change and grow and progress in our mortal journey.
When I have encountered notions of aliens or UFOs, they usually seem to me to be leading more toward a substitute for spirituality, taking people away from the true Source of truth and saving doctrines. People ache to know if there is life after death, if loved ones who have passed on are alive, if there is more “out there” beyond our own earth, etc, beyond even what space experts can tell us. But in my opinion, looking for strange machinery in the sky or mystic connections to life in the universe won’t really answer the deepest questions of the soul, where the purity of the gospel of Jesus Christ can and will.
But again, the scriptures you have shared are powerful in understanding about the power and glory of our Father in Heaven and of His Son, Jesus Christ. The more we understand about Their natures, the stronger our faith can be.
Thanks for commenting.
Yes, I think that my sentence
Do we believe there are other worlds out there? Yes, God created them.
Would have been better written Do we believe there are other *inhabited* worlds out there? Yes. God created them.
I agree wholeheartedly that God has created and populated other worlds. Isn’t that wonderful doctrine? The idea that there are other worlds populated by sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father who were also created in His image (and thus look like us) is very exciting.
However, I’ve always thought that visitors from other worlds to this planet were restricted to the Creator and the inhabitants of this world (past, present, future.)
I got that notion from this quote:
“We are told by the Prophet Joseph Smith, that, “there are no angels who minister to this earth but those who do belong or have belonged to it.” Hence, when messengers are sent to minister to the inhabitants of this earth, they are not strangers, but from the ranks of our kindred, friends, and fellow-beings and fellow-servants.” Journal of Discourses/ Volume 22 Discourse by President Joseph F. Smith
and from talks like this one: People on Other Worlds by Kent Nielson found on LDS.org
Despite my love for science fiction, I would expect any interactions I have with beings from other worlds to follow the patterns set out in the scriptures and in modern revelation. The most common interaction would be my daily prayers to my Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus Christ.
Now you are talking.
One thing is to create worlds and another one to create them and populate them.
Now we clearly agree that there is human life in other worlds created by our God. This is what God has revealed and it is stated in our official canon (which is the Bible, the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price).
However, the words from our prophet Joseph Smith that you have quoted are not part of our official canon, therefore, they reflect only his personal opinions or understanding of the revelations given to him.
If we are going to hold them as eternal truths, we MUST include them in our canon. As far as we understand Doctrine and Covenants has plenty of room to add more revelations and to canonize whatever doctrine we consider pertinent and pertaining to the kingdom of God.
On the same note, the words from President Joseph F. Smith that you have quoted are only his personal opinions and understanding of the gospel until the day they are included in the canon, as it happened with the Section 138 of Doctrine and Covenants.
Journal of Discourses/Volume 22 and Discourses by President Joseph F. Smith are not part of our official canon. Therefore I don’t have to agree with them.
I highly respect our modern prophets’ teachings but I only consider to be official doctrine what is only included in our official canon. The rest of books only reflect our leaders’ personal opinions and understanding of the principles and revelations of our restored gospel. Also, such respect does not take away any room for disagreement.
As I said in my previous reply. The fact is clear: According to the restored gospel, there is human life in other planets but we are left to make our own conclusions about the UFOs’ reports, since there are no church official stand to this respect.
Sorry I took so long to reply yesterday Charles. I had family stuff to do.
I think this is a great conversation. Exchanges like this show that members of our faith are thinking and considering what is “doctrine” and what that doctrine means to us personally.
The Ask a Mormon Woman feature is an opinion piece responding to questions we receive directly from our readers or questions found in our search term strings. The disclaimer at the bottom of my post read, “**Please note: The answers in “Ask a Mormon Woman” reflect the thoughts, perspectives, and experiences of individuals…..” and my essay does reflect my personal thoughts and perspectives on this topic and should in no way be considered as “official.”
I admit that I form my opinions from material outside of canonized scripture as well as the four books of scripture you noted. I consider sources like Conference Talks, Proclamations, Ensign articles and lesson materials approved by correlation to be authoritative. Both the quote and article I provided can be found on an official source: LDS.org.
Because of verses like D&C 68:4 wherein the Lord is speaking of Apostles and Prophets:
“4 And whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation.”
I think I do take a broader view of what scripture is than just the canonized books of scripture. I put a lot of weight on the words of the Prophets, especially when their words are quoted in official church documents like the Ensign, in approved lesson materials, or on LDS.org. Prophetic opinions that are not used in official church material I still carefully consider, but give less official weight to.
Thanks for giving our readers another perspective on this topic Charles, and for being very clear that we do believe in *inhabited* worlds created by God.
Thanks for your comments.
I fully accept the verse in D&C 68:4 since D&C is part of the Official Canon of the Church, which is according to the spirit of revelation and prophecy, however, not every comment our prophets have said should be considered as revelation, especially when their personal comments were not based on official doctrine. Personal comments or opinions are not revelations from God to the church and we don’t have any obligation to support them as such and there will be always room for disagreement about them.
It is easy to distinguish between a personal comment or opinion from a revelation received by the Holy Ghost, especially it is easy to discern it when we are guided by the Holy Ghost.
I am also fully aware that some teachings in our church meetings, in our approved lesson materials, in the official church magazines and even in the official church website http://www.lds.org contain teachings from books that are not part of the official canon, however, the fact that those teachings are in official publications does not make them official per se. By saying these things I am not saying that those teachings are not true, what I am saying is that they don’t have the status of being official doctrine unless they are part of the four canonic books.
By the way, the article written by Kent Nielson, even based on official doctrine only reflects his personal opinions about extraterrestrial activities and the fact that it is published in the official church website does not make it an official stand about what we believe.
About the revelations inspired by the Holy Ghost given to our early or current prophets, yes, we accept those revelations, regardless if they are recorded in the canon or not, we believe them and hold them as true revelations to the point that they are approved to be in our lesson materials as well, but still they are not part of the Official Canon of the Church which is contained in our four canonic books. And they won’t be official doctrine until they are included in the canon according to the known procedures to canonize scriptures (presented in a general conference and voted by members of the church and included either in D&C or the Pearl of Great Price)
I hope this will clarify my personal point of view.
Another scripture to consider on this topic is the following:
“there are no angels who minister to this earth but those who do belong or have belonged to it. ”
– Doctrine and Covenants 130:5
This simple scripture to me could shed some significant light on this topic.
just a thought to add intro the mix here
the saviour said in – John 10:16
“And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.”
now this is commonly percieved as the gentiles or in the book of mormon we learn that the other sheep are the peoples of the american continent
but lets take this a step further…. the saviour spoke of other worlds which he has made – there fore would not these other worlds also be populated by “OTHER sheep??””
I would give that a resounding YES!!!
DO MORMONS BELIEVE IN ALIENS?
Let me just clarify, while the church leaders as far as I know have never said we believe in “little green men”,
My understanding of this is we have said that Latterday Saints believe that other worlds have been and will continue to be created and these are (and will be) populated by our brothers and sisters, and our own spirit children …. therefore technically one could claim that we DO indeed believe in ALIENS! that is life that is ALIEN or foriegn to our earth and concept of space/time.
D&C 76: 24
24 That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God.
D&C 93: 10
10 The worlds were made by him; men were made by him; all things were made by him, and through him, and of him.
Great discussion and I know I’m a year late to it, but I just posted this exact same Q&A this morning along with a couple amazing astronomy videos that show the vastness of God’s creations and how out of it all, we are so important to him. If you’d like to see them you can visit this link: http://meetsomemormons.com/do-mormons-believe-in-aliens/
When I did a search this afternoon and found your post I had to laugh since I started off my post with being a Trek fan. 🙂
Also, I need to thank Charles for the D&C 76 quote above. I didn’t have that one included in my post at first so I added it in. Thank you for posting it here.
Great Discussion. I just found this as I was researching information for my Blog about the book Deceptions of the Ages “Mormons” Freemasons and Extraterrestrials written by Matthew Heines where he explains the link between the Saints and the Extraterrestrials. The fact that Mormons are the ONLY christian sect that openly accept that Jesus was an Alien. Great read.
While I am not a Mormon, I believe that without further commentary, the Moses passage could be offered as evidence for the existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life. If a world passed away by the word of his power, does that mean it was judged? Another possibility is that a world was destroyed as part of the normal course of stellar events.
In the early 20th century, astronomers discovered a “life cycle” of stars, as it were. Many stars like our sun become red giants as part of this life cycle, destroying whatever planets they had in the process. Given the vast number of stars in the universe, a planet is being destroyed by a star somewhere as you read these words. There are many stars which once had planets, but no longer have planets. Van Maanen’s Star, 13.9 light-years away, is an instance of this.
I am here to declare that the God who created worlds without number is the God of a billion billion billion races and more, a God with a plan to save every individual of every race.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Douglas.