In the Beginning was originally inspired by a joke a friend of mine, Quentin Marley, told me in college. He claims to have created the joke himself, and this is an embellished version of it told in my words. It’s been over thirty years since he told it to me and I certainly can’t remember it the way he told it.
Moses is kneeling in front of the burning bush, papyrus and stylus in hand, or with whatever medium and writing instrument he used to write Genesis, and he asks God how He created the universe. According to LDS doctrine (in the Pearl of Great Price), God basically tells him he’s not going to tell him anything about the universe, but just about the planet he lives on now. By the way, that’s one of the reasons I don’t believe as many people do that Genesis is about the creation of the universe. I believe it is only about the creation of our world. But back to the joke:
Moses: So, Lord, how did you create the world?
God: Well, Moses, what understanding do you have of quantum mechanics?
God: No quantum mechanics? Any subatomic physics?
Moses: What are you talking about?
God: Electromagnetism? Tectonic plate geology? Animal zoology? Do you understand any of these things?
Moses: Lord, I am but thy humble servant and these words are meaningless to me.
God, sighing: I said, Let there be light, and there was light.
Moses, scribbling down the notes that would become Genesis: Now you’re talking, Lord.
Don’t get me wrong. I think Moses was a pretty smart guy. But he didn’t have access to the scientific knowledge we have today. He didn’t even have Wikipedia!
Watch for In the Beginning, due out in March!