The Mormon doctrine of creation describes how God created the world and everything in it. At first glance it is at odds with the Christian and biblical view of creation, understanding the world to have been organized by God. Mormons agree that "God created the world and everything in it", however they define this differently. The difference hangs on the term "created". Did God create everything from nothing (creation ex nihilo), or did he create everything from pre-existing matter (the LDS view)? The LDS view of creation has many implications in other doctrinal areas, especially those of humanity, God, and Jesus.
 Matter is eternal
Foundational to the doctrine of creation is that matter is eternal. Joseph Smith taught this from the very outset and it has continued to be a widely held belief in the Mormon religion today.
Everything is composed of this 'eternal matter' and thus, this world is eternal, God is eternal, and even humanity is eternal (i.e. having existed forever). Digging deeper, these things are not eternal in that they have always been what they are for all of eternity (e.g. God has always been God, or a tree has always been a tree), instead, Mormonism teaches that they are composed of this eternal matter and were later formed into what they are today. Thus, God is "eternal" because he is composed of eternal matter. This does not mean that he has always been God. Furthemore, humanity is eternal because they are composed of this matter as well, yet, they have not always existed as humans.
- "To create does not mean to make something out of nothing. Such a doctrine is neither scientific nor scriptural. Nothing remains nothing, of necessity; and no power, human or divine, can make it otherwise. Creation is organization, with materials at hand for the process. Joseph Smith's position upon this point, though combatted by doctors of divinity, is confirmed by the most advanced scientists and philosophers of modern times. The dogma that earth was made out of nothing is an attempt to glorify Deity by ascribing to him the power to perform the impossible - to do that which cannot be done. As if Deity could be glorified with anything of that sort, or had need of any such glorification" (Orson F. Whitney, Saturday Night Thoughts, pp.87-88).
 Creation of the universe
Mormon teachings clearly deny the doctrine of creation ex nihilo (creation out of nothing). They claim this is a late development in the theology of the Christian church, believing that Joseph Smith's understanding of eternal matter has more in common with restored Christianity. What is found is a God who did not necessarily create the world and everything in it, but instead organized the world. God found himself in an arena of chaotic matter that had always existed. Realizing this, he chose to organize and order this matter into the world we have today.
 Creation of humanity
The beginning of the creation of humanity does not actually take place on earth. The location is found in the pre-existent life, where heavenly mother and heavenly father procreated and produced spirit children. It is said that we all existed together, making good and bad choices, all of which would have an effect on where we ended up in our lives here on earth (i.e. the second estate).
When God decided to create Adam and Eve, he took his already pre-existent spirit and created his body, thus joining the two together. This is at odds with the Christian and biblical view of humanitites creation which sees God as not only forming the body but also creating the spirit at the very same time.
- See main page: Humanity
 See also
- Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained: An Examination of Creation Ex Nihilo, by James Patrick Holding
- Creation ex Nihilo or ex Materia? A Critique of the Mormon Doctrine of Creation, by Paul Copan
- Is Creatio Ex Nihilo A Post-Biblical Invention? An Examination Of Gerhard May's Proposal, by Paul Copan - Trinity Journal 17.1 (Spring 1996): 77–93
- Hellenism in the Early Church? Refutation of the Mormon Charge
- Mormonism and the New Creationism (pdf), by David H. Bailey
- Creation Ex-Nihilo, FAIR
- Mormonism and Early Christianity: The Nature of God and the Origin and Destiny of Man, by Barry Bickmore (Deals with the doctrine of Creation)