Since I had to take my oldest daughter to Utah yesterday and return to Carson City in time to speak in church tomorrow (a round trip of just over 1,100 miles in a total of 28 hours), I didn't write my normal weekend New Year's Resolution Post. Instead, I am posting the outline of my talk tomorrow about "The Creation". (I joked that I was going to guarantee never being asked to speak in my new ward again by talking exclusively about evolution and procreation [making babies], but I decided not to do that. My wife was pleased with that decision.)
I almost always write my talks in concept outline form, think about the outline up until I give the talk, jot down any specific thoughts that hit me while I'm sitting on the stand and then speak about each item in the outline in the talk itself. Therefore, what I am posting now is the outline I will be using. I'm not sure if I will be able to come back and edit to add whatever detail ends up making it into my actual talk, but I would love to hear what any of you would add as detail with regard to any or all of the outline items.
"The Purpose (the Why) of Creation"
1) Intro disclaimer about Science and the "How" of creation - simply to emphasize that I will be talking about the "Why" of creation (the purpose)
2) Define "create" and "creation" - focusing on synonyms in our scriptures that are used in the various accounts ("form", "make", "organize", etc.) -- Discuss concept of "ex nihilo" creation (creating something out of nothing) and how the Mormon view of creation is radically different, in that it is much more about "changing" an existing something and turning it into something else -- explain it as a "creative process" rather than a one-time action -- emphasize the organization of the chaotic into something that was changed in such a way that "it was good".
3) Discuss the order of creation in our scriptures (first spiritual, then physical) and the importance of that order when it comes to the purpose of "The Creation".
4) Quote Moses 1:39 and discuss how God's work and glory are fulfilled through "The Creation" - how the Plan of Salvation is actualized only through multiple creative processes.
5) Quote the verses in Malachi and D&C 2 regarding the spirit of Elijah and explain the meaning of the earth (The Creation) being "wasted" without the creation of a sealing bond across time and all eternity.
6) Discuss the principles and ordinances of the Gospel as the parameters of creation's purpose: faith in the purpose of the creation (an at-one-ment) and repentance (transformative change) as the fulfillment of the purpose - with baptism as an outward symbol of that faith and desired repentance, the Holy Ghost as the guiding light toward the process of repentance and enduring to the end as the patience to continue throughout the divine creative process. Compare that process to the creation of the world - as organizing something good out of former disorganization and even chaos.
7) Discuss the concept of being temples - and how that relates to allowing god to build / create us in such a way that it can be said of us that the kingdom of God is within / among us.
8) Explain Matthew 5:48 in terms of being an progressive creation and becoming a finished, completed, wholly developed "new creature in Christ".
9) Reiterate Moses 1:39 and the stated purpose of creation - NOT to build an assembly line of robots but rather to take caterpillars and turn them into a myriad of uniquely beautiful butterflies.