Near the end of the Book of Revelation in the New Testament, John writes that
...I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.Could it be, metaphorically, that we are the books that John saw being opened? Do our actions in this life make an imprint on our beings? I think so. What about our thoughts and our feelings? Most definitely.
DNA is distinguishing characteristic between living and non-living things. DNA "provides the information necessary to take a bunch of lifeless chemicals and turn them into an ordered, living system".
With these thoughts in mind, I found it interesting to read the following definition of DNA from the book Evolution and Mormonism: A Quest for Understanding:
The nucleus [of each cell] may be thought of as a library containing hundreds of books (the DNA) with information about the cell, including much of its structural and functional information, that will be passed on to the next generation. ...This recorded history has been stored in the cell's library for thousands of generations, just waiting to be read and comprehended. (p. 103. Emphasis added.)Charles Darwin taught that life is changed over the eons of time by natural selection, but he also recognized that it can be changed by artificial selection as well. More than any other creature, man can change the course nature will take, by "artificially" selecting or determining
More than any other creature, man can change the course nature will take, by "artificially" selecting or determining the contents of his or her own character. And thus, by our own selection, we determine our own nature.the contents of his or her own character. And thus, by our own selection, we determine our own nature.
In The Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ, Alma implies that there exist various "states of nature", and that we create the one that we are most comfortable in.
For our words will condemn us, yea, all our works will condemn us; we shall not be found spotless; and our thoughts will also condemn us; and in this awful state we shall not dare to look up to our God; and we would fain be glad if we could command the rocks and the mountains to fall upon us to hide us from his presence.Along these lines, also in The Book of Mormon, the prophet Mormon draws an interesting distinction. Because we have determined our own natures, God will ultimately allow us to enjoy the fruits of that determination.
ye would be more miserable to dwell with a holy and just God, under a consciousness of your filthiness before him, than ye would to dwell with the damned souls in hell.Because our nature is affected by our desire and our behavior, I wouldn't be surprised if our DNA is affected by them as well. I think this is what Alma meant when he taught his son, Corianton, about the law of Restoration.
Therefore, all things shall be restored to their proper order.Initially, our DNA is handed down to us from all the generations of our ancestors. Each has imprinted in some small way their contributions to our makeups. That's why we look like them, act like them, and have the same physical maladies as them. That's probably why, in many cases, an adopted child takes on the behavioral characteristics of biological parents it never even knew, rather than the opposite characteristics of the parents who reared the child.
...is the meaning of the word restoration to take a thing of a natural state and place it in an unnatural state, or to place it in a state opposite to its nature?
...this is not the case; but the meaning of the word restoration is to bring back again evil for evil, or carnal for carnal, or devilish for devilish—good for that which is good; ...just for that which is just; merciful for that which is merciful.
Therefore, my son, see that you are merciful unto your brethren; deal justly, judge righteously, and do good continually
For that which ye do send out shall return unto you again
Thanks in part to our ancestors, because of the propensity in nature toward mutation, none of us can help but be something of a spiritual and physical mutant. Fortunately, God has the ability to sort all of this out. After all, he gave us the gift of His Only Begotten Son.
Just as important, though, is the fact that we have to "artificially select" for ourselves the nature (or the desire) to appreciate that gift, because God will not force us to accept it. Each of us has the ability to choose, despite our original nature, what will be written in our DNA--our book of life.
When it comes time to be judged, will we have written our book such that our nature is akin to the nature of God? Will our DNA have become imprinted by our "artificial selection"--our desire--to become like him?
That can only be for us--as individuals--to decide.