In the Mormon church, one of the interesting doctrinal tidbits learned is that there are stars and planets without number. I personally never had a problem accepting this principle. Now the LDS church’s position taken in the 1800′s is looking better since the discoveries of so much more solar systems than ever thought before. Here is the quote from the Pearl of Great Price:
33 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.
Scientists using NASA‘s Kepler, a space telescope, recently discovered six planets made of a mix of rock and gases orbiting a single sun-like star, known as Kepler-11, which is located approximately 2,000 light years from Earth.
“The Kepler-11 planetary system is amazing,” said Jack Lissauer, a planetary scientist and a Kepler science team member at NASA’s Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif. “It’s amazingly compact, it’s amazingly flat, there’s an amazingly large number of big planets orbiting close to their star – we didn’t know such systems could even exist.”
In other words, Kepler-11 has the fullest, most compact planetary system yet discovered beyond our own.
The Kepler telescope can only see 1/400 of the sky and only a small fraction of the planets around the stars it looks at because the orbits aren’t aligned properly. If you account for those two factors, our results indicate there must be millions of planets orbiting the stars that surround our sun.”
Book of Moses
35 But only an account of this earth, and the inhabitants thereof, give I unto you. For behold, 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.
36And it came to pass that Moses spake unto the Lord, saying: Be merciful unto thy servant, O God, and tell me concerning this earth, and the inhabitants thereof, and also the heavens, and then thy servant will be content.
37And the Lord God spake unto Moses, saying: The heavens, they are many, and they cannot be numbered unto man; but they are numbered unto me, for they are mine.
38And as one earth shall pass away, and the heavens thereof even so shall another come; and there is no end to my works, neither to my words.
Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on your view, I could find only one verse in the Old Testament concerning planets. Plenty about stars, but they all referred to fallen stars, the star coming out at Christ’s birth etc.
2 Kings 23:5
5 And he put down the idolatrous priests, whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high places in the cities of Judah, and in the places round about Jerusalem; them also that burned incense unto Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets, and to all the host of heaven.
It seems that most of the doctrine comes from “modern day revelation”, so the Discourses of the General Authorities would be the place to find them. Unfortunately, they are not to be found on the LDS Church website. It’s no wonder though, as it does get them into trouble. They now claim that they are not part of the doctrine of the church. The problem with that is that they were used for years in the Sunday teachings in the wards.
Journal of Discourses, Vol. 1, No. 50 (Life and Death, Etc., Brigham Young, 7/10/1853)
Why cannot we behold all things in space? Because there is a curtain dropped, which makes them out of sight to us. Why cannot we behold the inhabitants in Kolob, or the inhabitants in any of those distant planets? For the same reason; because there is a curtain dropped that interrupts our vision. So it is, some thing intervenes between us and them, which we cannot penetrate. We are short sighted, and deprived of the knowledge which we might have.
Journal of Discourses, Vol. 13, No. 31 (The Gospel—The One-Man Power., Brigham Young, 7/24/1870)
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. It was made to give light to those who dwell upon it, and to other planets; and so will this earth when it is celestialized. Every planet in its first rude, organic state receives not the glory of God upon it, but is opaque; but when celestialized, every planet that God brings into existence.
Journal of Discourses, Vol. 2, No. 24 (Saints Subject to Temptation, Etc., Brigham Young, 4/17/1853)
The phenomena of the motions of the heavenly bodies, and their times and seasons are understood pretty accurately. But who knows what those distant planets are? Who can tell the part they play in the grand theater of worlds? Who inhabits them, and who rules over them? Do they contain intelligent beings, who are capable of the happiness, light, glory, power, and enjoyments that would satisfy the mind of an angel of God? Who can tell these things? Can they be discovered by the light of science? They cannot. Let every intelligent person seriously contemplate this subject.
Journal of Discourses, Vol. 13, No. 26 (Why the Saints Are a Strange People, Etc., Brigham Young, 2/20/1870)
We have embraced all truth in the heavens, on the earth, under the earth, on other planets, and in every kingdom there is in all the eternities. Every truth in every kingdom that exists is embraced in our faith, and the Lord reveals a little here and a little there, line upon line, and He will continue to do so until we can reach into eternity and embrace a fullness of His glory, excellency and power. Who are on safe ground, then? These poor despised “Mormons” are the only people who live on the face of the earth that we know anything of who are on safe ground. Whether the Bible is true or not, no matter.