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What Do Latter-day Saints Believe About Aliens?

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The question of if we are alone in the universe has fascinated humanity through the ages. For members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, our doctrine answers with a resounding “No!” But does this mean we believe in aliens as the world often defines them, with little green men in flying saucers? Not necessarily. Keep reading to learn more about what Latter-day Saints believe about aliens.

“Worlds Without Number”

The scriptures clearly point us to a vast universe filled with heavenly creations. In the Book of Moses, we read, “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. Just a few verses later, the Lord continues, “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.”

Jehovah Creates the Earth (Jesus Christ Creates the Earth and the Heavens)
Art by Walter Rane

Worlds existed before ours and other worlds will be formed after ours is gone. The question, though, is are these worlds inhabited? When we understand the nature of God and His ultimate purposes, we can safely say that many of these worlds are the home to our Heavenly Parent’s beloved creations, including other spirit children.

Brother Kent Nielsen shared these thoughts in 1971, as the world became gripped with space exploration. “The great hope of the gospel for us is that we may come to a oneness with our Lord and our Father and partake of this same work and glory and godhood. Being joint-heirs of all that the Father has, we may then look forward to using those powers to organize still other worlds from the unorganized matter that exists throughout boundless space.”

What Do We Know About These Worlds?

Other worlds exist, to be sure, but what do we know about them? Are they exactly the same as ours? Where are they?

Brother Nielsen continued, “If we assume a uniformity in space and time so complete that we picture the whole universe—past, present, and future—as being subject to the same order that God has given our temporal world, we fail to understand the potentially rich variety of other types of laws that God has given to other worlds. Many of these worlds have passed to a higher state of existence than our own.”

In the Doctrine and Covenants, the Lord tells us that there are bodies celestial, and bodies terrestrial, and bodies telestial. We also know that there are phases to creation, a process we do not fully understand in our mortal view. It stands to reason that multiple worlds exist in varied phases and states of glory.

What Do We Know About Inhabitants in Other Worlds?

What we know about God’s other creations comes from what we know about Him and what we know about ourselves. We were made in the image of God. God and Jesus Christ have perfected, exalted bodies of flesh and bone.

Brother Nielsen wrote, “There is nothing more fundamental in God’s revelations than the basic premise that we are of the race of Gods. We are of his species. God looks like us. We look like him. He has two arms, two legs, a head—indeed, Jesus said, ‘If ye have seen me, ye have seen the Father.’ Obviously, God’s sons and daughters would be of his species, would resemble him.”

Now, is it possible that other creations exist in a form we don’t fully understand? Absolutely! However, we do not have information about these beings or their role in God’s eternal plan.

Heavenly Visitations

First Vision
Art by Jon McNaughton

We believe in angelic ministrations! The idea of beings from other heavenly spheres and realms visiting and interacting with humanity is not foreign to any believing Latter-day Saint. In fact, our doctrinal theology depends on it. From the First Vision where God the Father and Jesus Christ visited Joseph Smith, to the heavenly manifestations at the Kirtland Temple dedication, to the private miracles that continue today, we believe beings are able to visit Earth and help fulfill God’s everlasting will.

Speculation from Leaders

It’s important to note that no church leader, acting under their prophetic call, has made an official statement about extraterrestrial beings. However, early leaders speculated about potential life in the universe.

Brigham Young made remarks centered on the idea that truths that may seem new or strange are often mocked and that none of us know very much about the universe.

He then said, “Who can tell us of the inhabitants of this little planet that shines of an evening, called the moon? When we view its face we may see what is termed “the man in the moon,” and what some philosophers declare are the shadows of mountains. But these sayings are very vague, and amount to nothing; and when you inquire about the inhabitants of that sphere you find that the most learned are as ignorant in regard to them as the most ignorant of their fellows.”

He also spoke on inhabitants of the sun, saying, “So it is with regard to the inhabitants of the sun. Do you think it is inhabited? I rather think it is. Do you think there is any life there? No question of it; it was not made in vain.”

These views were made as an opinion and there is no evidence that these statements were ever considered doctrinal or used to teach doctrine.

God is in Control

While there is much we don’t know about God’s other creations, we can take comfort in knowing He is in control. We are in His hands and this earth was made to bring about the exaltation of His beloved children. We need not fear if we hold tightly to the promises and assurance of a loving God who invites us to walk the safety of the covenant path.

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Aleah Ingram
Aleah Ingram
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.

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