Periodicals; Mormons; Religious thought; Philosophy and religion
Independent national quarterly established to express Mormon culture and examine the relevance of religion to secular life. It is edited by Mormons who wish to bring their faith into dialogue with human experience as a whole and to foster artistic and scholarly achievement based on their cultural heritage. The journal encourages a variety of viewpoints; although every effort is made to insure accurate scholarship and responsible judgment, the views expressed are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of the Mormon Church or of the editors.
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Rees, Robert A.
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120 I Dialogue Senator Tunney states, "cloning of frogs, where a replica of an individual is developed from one of its somatic cells, has already been successful. The technology for the cloning of mammals will be available within 5 years, and, unless research is stopped, the technology for the cloning of human beings might be available within anything from 10 to 25 years." All right, now this is a reported fact. There are very few facts. Of course, this is where I must attempt to rationalize. But I do not know if I have completely—if we consider that animals were placed upon the earth, using the "Zap" idea... The "Zap" idea? In other words, we have the animal, we have the frog and many others, placed directly by God—"Zap"—upon the earth for the benefit of mankind, right? They have a specific regime of reproduction as you and I have. But we have been taught that even the animals have spirits of some sort. Now, if we can develop a frog out of a somatic cell, it is surely not natural, it is not a natural birth. It is not even a birth at all, it is just a growing process. This is one area that there has been a small conflict, at least in my mind. I think you can rationalize each of these. We have not created anything new. We have merely taken the things that have been placed here upon this earth for our use. But there is no reason to assume we cannot clone a human. In other words, eventually we may be able to take a piece of skin off the end of your finger and develop another you out of it. It is not unlikely that we will be able to do this in the next ten to twenty years; it is a complete possibility. Now, how are we going to put a new spirit, an exact you, into this new person? It is something to contemplate anyway. But the second body that was cloned from one of the cells in my skin would be identical to my . . . It would be exactly identical to you. In other words, you will grow to the same size under the same environment—so this raises some questions, you see, and it is not inconceivable that this is a "normal" process, because we don't really know how, at least I don't know how, each individual spirit was formed and we really have not been told this; I think we are not to that point yet. You see, the saving thing for me in this whole thing is that I believe and have been taught that God, the Eternal Father, has all power, and supposedly knows everything. And the only time that He has released this knowledge or given us the opportunity to have it is for our own salvation. If we are to become gods, at least in some stage of development we are going to have to develop this kind of expertise. All right, I don't think that He is going to allow us to develop any further than He wants us to at any particular time in life, if we state it that way. Any time that He wants us to fail in our experiments, He is going to provide this opportunity for us. Any time he wants us to succeed, He's going to allow us to. In other words, I don't think that He necessarily wanted His children in earlier dispensations to have all the information that we have today, the reason being that they could not handle it. Going back to some of your earlier comments about working with different