“We have enough and to spare, at present in these mountains, of schools where young infidels are made because the teachers are so tender-footed that they dare not mention the principles of the gospel to their pupils, but have no hesitancy in introducing into the classroom the theories of Huxley, of Darwin, or of Miall, and the false political economy which contends against co-operation and the United Order. This course I am resolutely and uncompromisingly opposed to, and I hope to see the day when the doctrines of the gospel will be taught in all our schools, when the revelation of the Lord will be our texts, and our books will be written and manufactured by ourselves and in our own midst. As a beginning in this direction I have endowed the Brigham Young Academy at Provo.” (Brigham Young, Letters of Brigham Young to His Sons, p. 200)President Young saw the dangers of false philosophies and desired Church schools to combat them. The two primary concerns that rested upon President Young from the above statement are Darwinism (Darwinian evolution) and Marxism (socialism/communism). The Presidents of the Church have continually warned of the dangers of teaching that man descended from lower forms of life and President Young was no exception. President Young felt that the theories of Charles Darwin and Thomas Huxley, who was known as “Darwin’s Bulldog” for his advocacy of the theories of organic evolution, were corrupting the youth among the Saints in his day. Because of this, he used his own financial means to create an academy where these false philosophies could be refuted. Additionally, President Young felt that socialism, the political outgrowth of evolution, should also be countered. Currently, there is no institution of higher learning in the world today dedicated to the refutation of these dangerous philosophies using the doctrines of the gospel as contained in latter-day revelation. President Young envisioned schools that fit these criteria:
- False philosophies, including Darwinism and Marxism, should be expressly countered.
- The doctrines of the Gospel, as contained in Latter-day revelation, should be used to counter these false philosophies.
- The primary text of the school should be the standard works of the Church, and no doctrines contrary to the scriptures should be promoted.
- All textbooks or teaching materials would be created by individuals with complete faith in the doctrines of the Gospel as contained in the scriptures and taught by latter-day prophets of God.
- All teaching materials would be manufactured by the Saints assuring that all of the above criteria were met.