God and the Creative Process

The recent Sunstone (Dec 2012) has a wonderful article article about God and the creative process.  It fits in well with my belief of an on-going creation of the earth.  The article by Jackson Harrell is titled:  “Making Meaning as a Mormon Artist.”

The making of meaning through science, art, and literature aligns ideally with Mormon theology.  Our desire to make meaning results from seeing the universe as God does.  He looks at unorganized matter and envisions order.  Then he brings it about.  That characteristic defines him and it should define us.  When we make order in our creative endeavors, we live out “the common Mormon idea that man participates with God in an endless and progressive creative process.” (quote from Sterling M. McMurrin, The Theological Foundations of the Mormon Religion, p. 13.)

And I would add, from an environmental perspective, that man participates with God in the “endless and progressive” creation of the earth herself.

I suggest that the universe is fundamentally absurd, but need not be so.  The universe becomes purposeful when we gather its elements and shape them into created meaning through story and work, art and science, and love.  As long as we value meaning and growth and experience, our work will be consequential and new.  We will not find easy answers or sure paths, only hard processes that must be maintained in an ongoing, living struggle.  Let us do away with the easy answers of absolutist Christianity and its market-driven infiltration into the Mormon culture.  Let us resist the pressures of nihilism that tell the ends of the universe must remain forever absurd.  Mormon theology, if we learn to appreciate it, will show us far-reaching implications for art and letters [and I would add science]–not just as a means to re-present what we already have, but as a way of expanding our understanding, joy, and divinity.

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