The prophets teach that God is all powerful. I accept, believe, and know that to be true. This means that God has all power that there is, but it does not mean that He has power that does not exist. God does not have power to create something out of nothing, ex nihilo. He does have power to make something a greater, more useful, more organized something.
This is the true notion of creation, taking elements and substances that have always existed and organizing them into things more complex, greater, better, more useful. When God created the earth, He took matter and elements that already existed—that always existed—and formed them into this globe, this planet.
This doctrine, by the way, avoids the silly “logical conundrum” that some supercilious atheists have liked to raise against the concept of an all-powerful God. One of their posers used by some in an effort to perplex believers in the Almighty is the question, can an all-powerful God create a rock too heavy for Him to lift? The inspired response to this question (that does not merit serious response, because it is not a serious inquiry) is either or both of two answers. One, no, He cannot do what cannot be done. Two, all matter already exists, and none of it is too great for Him to handle.
(First published August 31, 2008)