Many scientists believe that there is intelligent life on other planets. For scientists the presence of intelligent life on other worlds is a matter of numbers. With billions of other planets in our galaxy and other galaxies, there has to be intelligent life on at least some of them, even if that life evolved by chance.
Scientists have a strong ally in their belief of extraterrestrial life: Latter-day Saints. Mormons and scientists may disagree on how intelligent life arose (scientists: chance events; Mormons: divine events), but they certainly agree that there are many other worlds populated with intelligent beings.
According to non-religious scientists life evolves by chance. This means that there are many worlds capable of harboring intelligent life, but they lack intelligent life because the chance events needed to create intelligent life have not occurred and may never occur. Just one disturbance in a sequence of delicate events needed to turn a primordial soup into a bipedal human can disrupt the whole process.
So how many worlds are there with intelligent life on them? According to Mormons, more than you or I can count. The Lord has said that there are worlds “worlds without number.” That’s a lot, eh? If there are so many other worlds with intelligent life, why haven’t we been able to make contact with them? 58% of people in the YouGov survey agree that extraterrestrials are too far away to contact earth, and they are probably right.
Why are inhabited planets so far away from other inhabited planets? I don’t know, but think for a moment what it would be like to contact intelligent beings on other planets. If we contacted a mortal world like ours we might compare notes about the nature of deity. If we contacted post-mortal telestial world might they warn us of the consequences of bad choices. If we contacted a post-mortal celestial world they might tell us about the wonders of Heaven. Communication between worlds would be disruptive to God’s purposes. It might undermine the responsibility to rely on faith, to earnestly seek the Lord through personal humility and prayer.