02) OFFICIAL POSITION: Does the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have an official position regarding the theory of organic evolution?

Commentary

Author: James F. Stoddard III and L. Hannah Stoddard

Please see Gary Shapiro’s excellent blog for additional information on this topic.

Doctrine for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not for any individual to declare apart from the President of the Church. Therefore this website makes no attempt to declare the position of the Church, but rather to make resources available to individuals who desire to know the mind of the Lord as declared by prophets on this vital subject. There are many statements which are included in the scriptures and which have been made by the Presidents and the First Presidency of the Church. Some of these have been compiled here.

The February 2002 Ensign seems to make it very clear what the official position of the Church is on evolution. In this issue the 1909 First Presidency statement on organic evolution was reprinted with this header:

“In the early 1900s, questions concerning the Creation of the earth and the theories of evolution became the subject of much public discussion. In the midst of these controversies, the First Presidency issued the following in 1909, which expresses the Church’s doctrinal position on these matters. A reprinting of this important First Presidency statement will be helpful as members of the Church study the Old Testament this year.”  1

darwin.jpg

This First Presidency Message was given in response to the events surrounding the one hundred year anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth in 1809. One such event occurred on June 22, 1909. After two years of preparation, scholars and dignitaries met for a three-day celebration at Cambridge University to honor the centennial of the birth of Charles Robert Darwin. During these proceedings, presentations were delivered from leading delegates of prestigious universities, colleges and academies. The presentations focused on Darwin’s life, thought and rapidly growing influence in the world, both in scientific and in religious thought. These are excerpts from one of the presentations given at this commemoration:

“Darwin felt to the full all the ignorance that lay hidden under specious phrases like ‘The Plan of Creation.'”

“It is interesting to note that the very word ‘Creator’ has nowadays almost passed into the region of mythology.”

” . . . The Temptation . . . The confusion of tongues at the tower of Babel . . . The doctrine of Original Sin . . . The Virgin Birth . . . Vicarious Atonement, and the Resurrection . . .”

“It is hard for the present generation, unless their breeding has been singularly archaic, to realize that these amazing doctrines were literally held and believed . . .”

“It is the doctrine of evolution that has made this outlook possible and even necessary.” 2

Darwin’s work was quickly becoming a standard in biology, anthropology, geology and other branches of science. Additionally, these concepts were increasingly being applied to history, theology, philosophy and other social sciences.

Austrolopithecus_africanusAt the time of the 1909 anniversary of Charles Darwin, President Joseph F. Smith and his counselors in the First Presidency felt concern with the acceptance of evolutionary thought which clearly opposed the teachings found in the scriptures. The 1909 Presidency statement referenced above was their response. This statement proclaims clearly that the evolutionary assumptions that man descended from a lower order of animals and is not the physical descendant of God are “the theories of men” and that the truth on these matters can only be known by the Lord through revelation.

“Man, by searching, cannot find out God. Never, unaided, will he discover the truth about the beginning of human life. The Lord must reveal Himself or remain unrevealed; and the same is true of the facts relating to the origin of Adam’s race—God alone can reveal them.” 3 4

This message also teaches that “it is our duty” to receive what the Lord has revealed on this subject. What has the Lord revealed? It is surprising the breadth and depth of revelation that has been given. In this referenced 1909 Presidency statement the truth about the origin of man and this earth is clear:

“It is held by some that Adam was not the first man upon this earth, and that the original human being was a development from lower orders of the animal creation. These, however, are the theories of men. The word of the Lord declares that Adam was ‘the first man of all men’ Moses 1:34.” 5

In other words, the philosophy that man descended from lower forms of life is one of the false theories of men. Opposing this worldly wisdom is the pronouncement of prophets that man is a child of God, both directly in the spirit body and lineally through the physical body.

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, basing its belief on divine revelation, ancient and modern, proclaims man to be the direct and lineal offspring of Deity.” “ 6

The word of the Lord is very clear and unmistakable. Also, note that this Presidency message is in perfect harmony with the other statements made by Presidents of the Church before and since.  The one person on earth possessing the keys to declare doctrine for the Church is the President of the Church. Note these words from President Ezra Taft Benson:

“As a Church we sing the song, ‘We Thank Thee, O God, For a Prophet.’ Here then is the grand key: follow the prophet. And here now are fourteen fundamentals in following the prophet, the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

First: The prophet is the only man who speaks for the Lord in everything. In section 132, verse 7, of the Doctrine and Covenants the Lord speaks of the Prophet–the President–and says: “There is never but one on the earth at a time on whom his power and the keys of this priesthood are conferred.” Then in section 21, verses 4-6, the Lord states: Wherefore, meaning the church, thou shalt give heed unto all his words and commandments which he shall give unto you as he receiveth them, walking in all holiness before me; For his word ye shall receive, as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith. For by doing these things the gates of hell shall not prevail against you.

Did you hear what the Lord said about the words of the prophet? We are to ‘give heed unto all his words’–as if from the Lord’s ‘own mouth.’ “ 7

ezrabenson.gif

President Benson noted the importance of giving heed to the words of the Presidents of the Church. At times it is inferred that unless something is stated in an official First Presidency message there is no need to heed the words or take them seriously. If this is the case why even attend general conference. Official proclamations and statements are rare. If that is all that should be considered why does the President speak at all? The true doctrine was declared by the Lord in the Doctrine and Covenants.

“And whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation.” D&C 68:4

The Lord here declares that the test of his word is that it is declared by His Spirit. This places the responsibility upon the individual to live in tune with the Spirit to know that the Lord is speaking through His appointed servants.

Another test is the Law of Witnesses. When Prophets speak, their word is generally accompanied by witnesses. President Joseph Fielding Smith testified:

“The Lord says: ‘Wo be unto him that rejecteth the word of God’ –as it comes to us through two, three, or eight witnesses. And that witness will stand against the world at the last day . . .” 8

This FAQ compilation contains the combined witnesses of nearly every President of the Church in this dispensation as to the danger and error in believing in and promoting the false principles in Darwinian evolution. If woes are pronounced upon those who reject the witness of two or three, what is the standing of those rejecting more than a dozen?

In addition to the First Presidency statements, the words of the Brethren as they speak while moved upon by the Holy Ghost and the testimony of combined witnesses, we also have the testimony of the Holy Scriptures. The scriptures are the foundation for doctrine in the Church, not the opinions of any man. The Lord declared:

“Thou shalt take the things which thou hast received, which have been given unto thee in my scriptures for a law, to be my law to govern my church.” D&C 42:59

The scriptures are the foundation for doctrine. When the scripture committee, headed by Thomas S. Monson, Boyd K. Packer and Bruce R. McConkie completed the new edition of the scriptures it contained this passage under the Fall of Adam:

BIBLE DICTIONARY
Fall of Adam

The process by which mankind became mortal on this earth. The event is recorded in Genesis 2, 3, 4 ; and Moses 3, 4 . The fall of Adam is one of the most important occurrences in the history of man. Before the fall, Adam and Eve had physical bodies but no blood. There was no sin, no death, and no children among any of the earthly creations. With the eating of the “forbidden fruit,” Adam and Eve became mortal, sin entered, blood formed in their bodies, and death became a part of life. Adam became the “first flesh” upon the earth (Moses 3:7 ), meaning that he and Eve were the first to become mortal. After Adam fell, the whole creation fell and became mortal. Adam’s fall brought both physical and spiritual death into the world upon all mankind (Helaman 14:16–17 ).

The fall was no surprise to the Lord. It was a necessary step in the progress of man, and provisions for a Savior had been made even before the fall had occurred. Jesus Christ came to atone for the fall of Adam and also for man’s individual sins.

Latter-day revelation supports the biblical account of the fall, showing that it was a historical event that literally occurred in the history of man. Many points in latter-day revelation are also clarified that are not discernible from the Bible. Among other things it makes clear that the fall is a blessing, and that Adam and Eve should be honored in their station as the first parents of the earth. Significant references are 2 Nephi 2:15–16 ; 2 Nephi 9:6–21 ; Mosiah 3:11–16 ; Alma 22:12–14 ; Alma 42:2–15 ; D&C 29:34–44 ; Moses 5:9–13 .

While the Bible Dictionary is not “canon,” this passage sums up what the scriptures teach about the true origin of man and the beginning of life on this earth. The scriptures are the word of the Lord and can be trusted. Please see the introduction to this compilation for emphasis of this truth. The scriptures contain the doctrine of this Church. Another passage in the Bible Dictionary adds more emphasis to the doctrine that there was no death on this earth prior to the Fall:

BIBLE DICTIONARY
DEATH

Two kinds of death are spoken of in the scriptures. One is the death of the body, which is caused by the separation of the body from the spirit; i.e., “The body without the spirit is dead” (James 2: 26 ). The other is spiritual death, which is to die as pertaining to, or to be separated from, righteousness – to be alienated from the things of God (Alma 12: 16, 32 ; Alma 40: 26 ). Both of these deaths were introduced into the world by the fall of Adam.

Latter-day revelation teaches that there was no death on this earth for any forms of life before the fall of Adam. Indeed, death entered the world as a direct result of the fall (2 Ne. 2: 22 ; Moses 6: 48 ).

The scriptures truly cut through the wiles of the devil and the false philosophies found in the world today. The Bible Dictionary also teaches that Adam was the first man and that he spoke with a perfect language:

BIBLE DICTIONARY
ADAM

The name Adam is given to the first man of the human family on this earth as cited in the account of the creation in the books of Genesis, Moses, and Abraham, and in many instances in the New Testament, Book of Mormon, and Doctrine and Covenants. From these scriptures we learn that Adam is the father and patriarch of the human race on the earth.

From latter-day revelation we learn that Adam had a pure and perfect language that was both written and spoken (Moses 6: 5–6 );

In addition to the scriptures clarifying the truth that Adam lived as a real person and was involved in a literal Fall rather than developing from lower forms, the scriptures also clarify the reality of Eve:

BIBLE DICTIONARY
EVE

The name given in Genesis 2: 21–22 ; Genesis 3: 20 to the first woman; see also Genesis 3 (cf. 2 Corinthians 11: 3 ; 1 Timothy 2: 13 ); Genesis 4: 1, 25 . The name means “the mother of all living” (Moses 4: 26 ; cf. 1 Ne. 5: 11 ). She was the wife of Adam and will share eternal glory with him. Eve’s recognition of the necessity of the fall and the joys of redemption is recorded in Moses 5: 11 . Latter-day revelation confirms the biblical account of Eve and gives us an awareness of her nobility.

Each of these scripture chains entirely refute Darwinism and the so called “facts” sometimes portrayed as modern science. The reference under Genesis also adds further weight to the truth of these doctrines:

BIBLE DICTIONARY
GENESIS

A Greek word meaning origin or beginning. In the book of Genesis we find an account of many beginnings, such as the creation of the earth, the placing of animals and man thereon, the introduction of sin, the revelation of the gospel to Adam, the beginning of tribes and races, the origin of various languages at Babel, . . .

1. Adam (chs. 1 – 3 ). The creation and early history of the world; all mankind as yet one family.

2. Noah (chs. 4 – 9). The line of Cain branching off; while the history follows the fortune of Seth, whose descendants are traced in genealogical succession as far as Noah, whose history is followed up to his death.

3. Abraham. (a) The peopling of the whole earth by the descendants of Noah’s sons and the diffusion of tongues at the tower of Babel (Genesis 11: 1–9 ).

Darwinists and Neo-Darwinists mock all of these literal occurrences. They ridicule the Creation by God, the literal Fall, the perfect language of Adam revealed by God, the literal universal Flood and the peopling of the entire earth by only eight souls after this worldwide Flood. The common thread of Darwinism is a rejection of these foundations in scripture. For evidence of this, search these blogs and links:

http://sciencebysteve.net/

http://www.mormonfortress.com/evolution.pdf

http://mormonevolution.blogspot.com/

http://evolution.nfshost.com/

http://en.fairmormon.org/Death_before_the_Fall

http://en.fairmormon.org/Global_or_local_Flood

http://en.fairmormon.org/Procreation_before_the_Fall

http://eyring.hplx.net/Eyring/faq/evolution/Jeffery-SSE.html

http://www.dhbailey.com/papers/

Again the common thread of all of these writings is a rejection of the clear scriptural teachings and witnesses of the Prophets of God. Regardless of the number of individuals who fight against the word of God, President Joseph Fielding Smith taught this clear principle:

“It makes no difference what is written or what anyone has said, if what has been said is in conflict with what the Lord has revealed, we can set it aside. My words, and the teachings of any other member of the Church, high or low, if they do not square with the revelations, we need not accept them. Let us have this matter clear. We have accepted the four standard works as the measuring yardsticks, or balances, by which we measure every man’s doctrine.” 9

Is the true testimony of this work in the fact that all of the above prophetic witnesses are in perfect harmony on this subject?

Prophetic Statements

Note: All statements in this section were given by Presidents of the Church while serving in that office. This is not an exhaustive list, but contains a sampling of selections.

First Presidency

View the 1909 First Presidency Message.
View the 1925 First Presidency Message.

#1:

“Our father Adam—that is our earthly father—the progenitor of the human race of man, stands at the head being ‘Michael the Archangel, the Ancient of Days,’ and…was not fashioned from earth like an adobe but begotten by his Father in Heaven.” President Joseph F. Smith, President Anthon H. Lund, and President Charles W. Penrose. 10

#2:

“Man, by searching, cannot find out God. Never, unaided, will he discover the truth about the beginning of human life. The Lord must reveal Himself or remain unrevealed; and the same is true of the facts relating to the origin of Adam’s race—God alone can reveal them.” 11  12

#3:

“It is held by some that Adam was not the first man upon this earth, and that the original human being was a development from lower orders of the animal creation. These, however, are the theories of men. The word of the Lord declares that Adam was ‘the first man of all men’ Moses 1:34.” 13  14

#4:

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, basing its belief on divine revelation, ancient and modern, proclaims man to be the direct and lineal offspring of Deity.” 15  16

#5:

The February 2002 Ensign seems to make it very clear what the official position of the Church is on evolution. In this issue the 1909 First Presidency statement on organic evolution was reprinted with this header:

“In the early 1900s, questions concerning the Creation of the earth and the theories of evolution became the subject of much public discussion. In the midst of these controversies, the First Presidency issued the following in 1909, which expresses the Church’s doctrinal position on these matters. A reprinting of this important First Presidency statement will be helpful as members of the Church study the Old Testament this year.” 17

Joseph Smith

#1:

“… the voice of reason, the language of inspiration, and the Spirit of the living God, our Creator, teaches us, as we hold the record of truth in our hands, that this [that mortality is the only life] is not the case, that this is not so; for, the heavens declare the glory of a God, and the firmament showeth His handiwork; and a moment’s reflection is sufficient to teach every man of common intelligence, that all these are not the mere production of chance, nor could they be supported by any power less than an Almighty hand; and He that can mark the power of Omnipotence, inscribed upon the heavens, can also see God’s own handwriting in the sacred volume: and he who reads it oftenest will like it best, and he who is acquainted with it, will know the hand wherever he can see it; and when once discovered, it will not only receive an acknowledgment, but an obedience to all its heavenly precepts.” 18

#2:

“The world has had a fair trial for six thousand years; the Lord will try the seventh thousand Himself;” 19

#3:

“God has made certain decrees which are fixed and immovable; for instance—God set the sun, the moon and the stars in the heavens, and gave them their laws conditions and bounds, which they cannot pass, except by his commandments; they all move in perfect harmony in their sphere and order, and are as lights, wonders, and signs unto us. The sea also has its bounds which it cannot pass. God has set many signs on the earth, as well as in the heavens; for instance, the oak of the forest, the fruit of the tree, the herb of the field—all bear a sign that seed hath been planted there; for it is a decree of the Lord that every tree, plant, and herb bearing seed should bring forth of its kind, and cannot come forth after any other law or principle.” 20.

#4:

“The Priesthood was first given to Adam. . . . He obtained it in the Creation, before the world was formed, as in Genesis 1:26, 27, 28 . He had dominion given him over every living creature. . . . Daniel in his seventh chapter speaks of the Ancient of days; he means the oldest man, our Father Adam, Michael, he will call his children together and hold a council with them to prepare them for the coming of the Son of Man. He (Adam) is the father of the human family, and presides over the spirits of all men, and all that have had the keys must stand before him in this grand council. . . . Adam delivers up his stewardship to Christ, that which was delivered to him as holding the keys of the universe, but retains his standing as head of the human family.

The spirit of man is not a created being; it existed from eternity, and will exist to eternity. Anything created cannot be eternal; and earth, water, etc., had their existence in an elementary state, from eternity. . . . The Father called all spirits before Him at the creation of man, and organized them. He (Adam) is the head, and was told to multiply. The keys were first given to him, and by him to others. He will have to give an account of his stewardship, and they to him.” 21

#4:

“He [Joseph Smith] taught us that God was the great head of human procreation, was really and truly the father of both our spirits and our bodies; that we were but parts of a great whole, mutually and equally dependent upon each other, according to conditions. And in our love of God we show, as do the members of our bodies, a greater love and protection for our head.

You will not forget that the march in science has in many things reversed the world’s thought, changed its “modus” and almost its face, and in fact, exploded the dogmas of outside theology. The keys to all this knowledge were first committed to the Prophet Joseph, as a part of the gospel, for the world’s benefit, for all of which he was derided. He was the first to teach in this age “substantialism,” the eternity of matter, that no part or particle of the great universe could become annihilated or destroyed; that light and life and spirit were one; that all light and heat are the “glory of God,” which is His power, that fills the “immensity of space,” and is the life of all things, and permeates with latent life, and heat, every particle of which all worlds are composed; that light or spirit, and gross matter, are the two first great primary principles of the universe, or of being; that they are self-existent, co-existent, indestructible, and eternal, and from these two elements both our spirits and our bodies were formulated.

He taught that all systems or worlds were in revolution, the lesser around the greater. He taught that all the animal kingdoms would be resurrected, and made us understand that they would remain in the dominion of those who, with creative power, reach out for dominion, through the power of eternal lives.”  22

Brigham Young

#1:

“How often we hear men philosophize about what would have been suppose we had not been here, and suppose the earth had not been made, and suppose Adam had not come into the garden of Eden, and suppose he had not sinned, what would have been the condition of the world! Always arguing from false premises, and on a false foundation. Facts are facts, and we might as well argue that there is not a railway across this continent to carry the people and goods as to argue that Adam was not in the garden of Eden, that he did not fall, that sin is not in the world or that Jesus is not the Christ. The negative of these propositions is hard to prove, but the affirmative is easy to prove and comprehend, and easy to understand and live by.”  23

#2:

“In the infancy of creation the human family commenced down at the bottom of the ladder, and had to make their way upward. How small and frail that commencement looks now; why it is considered almost beneath the notice of the wise of this day to talk of the intelligence of our First Parents. When they waked from their sleep and found themselves in a state of nudity, we are told that they hid themselves, because they were ashamed and mortified and did not wish to expose themselves when the Lord came along And he picked some fig leaves—what a simple idea! He picked some fig leaves and sewed them together and made aprons of them. I do not know whether he used scissors or His penknife for the cutting out of the garments, or what kind of a needle and thread He used, but he made aprons for the whole human family—Adam and Eve! What a simple idea! It is beneath the notice of the mechanic or artist, or the science of the world now-a-days. Yet simple as it seems now, the Lord had to reveal to our first parents the modus operandi of the manufacture of an apron of fig leaves. And when they wanted a little copper made up, after having found the ore, the Lord had to come along and show them how to do it; and how to manufacture the iron. How simple this is! It is beneath the notice of the intelligence and science that are in the world now; the scientific men of the present time say those were the days of ignorance. Yes, that was in the period of the childhood of the human family, in the infancy of the world. But what does it manifest unto us? Why that there is a Being superior to man, and though we may not know the place where He resides, He has come along occasionally and shown His creatures how to make and work up brass, iron, copper, and in fact has revealed to them everything they know at various stages of their development and progress.

The people of this day think they know more than all who have preceded them—that this is the wisest generation that ever did live on the earth. Perhaps it is in worldly things, and in some of the arts and sciences it may be; but there is no question that many things of great worth known anciently have been lost. Archaeological developments and investigations bring to light facts in the mechanical arts which set at defiance the skill of the world in our day. For instance, where is the mechanic now, who can sharpen copper so that it would shave the beard from a man’s face, or chop timber like an axe made of steel? The skill to do that is not in existence now; yet it once was, and many other arts, revealed to man anciently, have been lost through the wickedness of the people.” 24

#3:

A false principle, a false theory, whether in mechanism or philosophy, requires much argument and superior talent to sustain it, but when the truth is presented it commends itself to the understanding of the people so readily that it requires no great amount of learning to substantiate it, nor much skill to declare it to the honest who want truth, and it remains firm and sound. 25

John Taylor

#1:

All the works of God connected with the world which we inhabit, and with all other worlds, are strictly governed by law…the animal and vegetable creations are governed by certain laws, and are composed of certain elements peculiar to themselves. This applies to man, to the beasts, fowls, fish and creeping things, to the insects and to all animated nature; each one possessing its own distinctive features, each requiring a specific sustenance, each having an organism and faculties governed by prescribed laws to perpetuate its own kind. So accurate is the formation of the various living creatures that an intelligent student of nature can tell by any particular bone of the skeleton of an animal to what class or order it belongs.

These principles do not change, as represented by evolutionists of the Darwinian school, but the primitive organisms of all living beings exist in the same form as when they first received their impress from their Maker. There are, indeed, some very slight exceptions, as for instance, the ass may mix with the mare and produce the mule; but there it ends, the violation of the laws of procreation receives a check, and its operations can go no further. Similar compounds may possibly be made by experimentalists in the vegetable and mineral kingdoms, but the original elements remain the same. Yet this is not the normal, but an abnormal condition with them, as with animals, birds, etc.; and if we take man, he is said to have been made in the image of God, for the simple reason that he is a son of God; and being His son, he is, of course, His offspring, an emanation from God, in whose likeness, we are told, he is made. He did not originate from a chaotic mass of matter, moving or inert, but came forth possessing, in an embryotic state, all the faculties and powers of a God. And when he shall be perfected, and have progressed to maturity, he will be like his Father—a God; being indeed His offspring. As the horse, the ox, the sheep, and every living creature, including man, propagates its own species and perpetuates its own kind, so does God perpetuate His. 26

Wilford Woodruff

#1:

We acknowledge that through Adam all have died, that death through the fall must pass upon the whole human family, also upon the beasts of the field, the fishes of the sea and the fowls of the air and all the works of God, as far as this earth is concerned. It is a law that is unchangeable and irrevocable…The Savior himself tasted of death; He died to redeem the world; His body was laid in the tomb, but it did not see corruption; and after three days it arose from the grave and put on immortality. He was the first fruit of the resurrection. 27

Lorenzo Snow

#1:

I believe that we are the sons and daughters of God, and that He has bestowed upon us the capacity for infinite wisdom and knowledge, because He has given us a portion of Himself. We are told that we were made in His own image, and we find that there is a character of immortality in the soul of man. There is a spiritual organism within this tabernacle, and that spiritual organism has a divinity in itself, though perhaps in an infantile state; but it has within itself the capability of improving and advancing, as the infant that receives sustenance from its mother. Though the infant may be very ignorant, yet there are possibilities in it that by passing through the various ordeals of childhood to maturity enable it to rise to a superiority that is perfectly marvelous, compared with its infantile ignorance. Why and how is it that this is accomplished? Because it possesses the susceptibilities and the capabilities of its father. So in regard to ourselves. There is a divinity within ourselves that is immortal and never dies. Thousands and thousands of years hence we will be ourselves, and nobody else, so far as our individuality is concerned. That never dies from all eternity to all eternity. 28.

Joseph F. Smith

#1:

God the Father and Jesus Christ the Son…cannot be any other than themselves. They cannot be changed; they are from everlasting to everlasting, eternally the same; so it will be with us. We will progress and develop and grow in wisdom and understanding, but our identity can never change. We did not spring from spawn. Our spirits existed from the beginning, have existed always, and will continue forever. We did not pass through the ordeals of embodiment in the lesser animals in order to reach the perfection to which we have attained in manhood and womanhood, in the image and likeness of God. God was and is our Father, and his children were begotten in the flesh of his own image and likeness, male and female. There may have been times when they did not possess the same intelligence that they possessed at other times. There are periods in the history of the world when men have dwindled into ignorance and barbarism, and then there were other times when they have grown in intelligence, developed in understanding, enlarged in spirit and comprehension, approaching nearer to the condition and likeness of their Father and God. 29

Heber J. Grant

Note: President Heber J. Grant issued an official First Presidency Message in 1925 entitled, “Mormon View of Evolution.” To view, [click here].

George Albert Smith

#1:

The Holy Bible contains the advice of our Heavenly Father, and I accept without mental reservation the statements made in Genesis, chapters 1 and 2, that in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth and every living thing that has inhabited the earth, including man.

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it. Genesis 1:27, 28.

These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens. And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. Genesis 2:4, 5.

This was all a spiritual creation. Then follows the physical creation.

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Genesis 2:7.

It was in the plan of our Heavenly Father that every living thing that he created should each reproduce after its kind. Adam and Eve were the children of God; they were our first parents, and every human being that has lived upon the earth descended from them. God gave them their agency to decide for themselves in all matters and held them responsible for their conduct. They received their instructions in the Garden of Eden from our Heavenly Father and those teachings were preserved for succeeding generations. 30

#2:

I said to a man one day, ‘You can find out all about your ancestors if you will go with me to the Genealogical Library.’ He said, ‘I don’t want to know anything about them.’ I wouldn’t either if I thought my ancestors could be traced back to an orangutan or a baboon. But like William Jennings Bryan [stated], ‘Those who have any pride in that kind of ancestry will not connect me with their family tree.” 31.

#3:

Note: This first quote was given by President Smith at the General Conference in October 1925. This immediately followed the Scopes Trial and President Smith’s remarks accompanied the things President Heber J. Grant said in the same conference about William Jennings Bryan. Here is what President Smith taught:

Man did not come from a lower order of life. I am grateful that in the midst of the confusion of our Father’s children there has been given to the members of this great organization a sure knowledge of the origin of man, that we came from the spirit world where our spirits were begotten by our Father in Heaven, that he formed our first parents from the dust of the earth, and that their spirits were placed in their bodies, and that man came, not as some have believed, not as some have preferred to believe, from some of the lower walks of life, but our ancestors were those beings who lived in the courts of heaven. We came not from some menial order of life, but our ancestor is God our Heavenly Father. I am grateful that we are not laboring under a handicap such as I feel that some men are who feel that they have grown up and evolved from some unknown condition; but, on the contrary, standing as we do, facing the problems of life, believing as we do that we were first created in the image of God.” 32. 33

#4:

(Comments in response to the Scopes Monkey Trial) Man did not come from a lower order of life. I am grateful that in the midst of the confusion of our Father’s children there has been given to the members of this great organization a sure knowledge of the origin of man, that we came from the spirit world where our spirits were begotten by our Father in Heaven, that he formed our first parents from the dust of the earth, and that their spirits were placed in their bodies, and that man came, not as some have believed, not as some have preferred to believe, from some of the lower walks of life, but our ancestors were those beings who lived in the courts of heaven. We came not from some menial order of life, but our ancestor is God our Heavenly Father. I am grateful that we are not laboring under a handicap such as I feel that some men are who feel that they have grown up and evolved from some unknown condition; but, on the contrary, standing as we do, facing the problems of life, believing as we do that we were first created in the image of God. 34  35

David O. McKay

#1:

Youth need religion to comply properly with the purposes of creation. There is a purposeful design permeating all nature, the crowning event of which is man. Here, on this thought, science again leads the student up to a certain point, and sometimes leaves him with his soul unanchored. For example, evolution’s theory of the creation of the world offers many perplexing problems to the inquiring mind. Inevitably, a teacher who denies divine agency in creation, who insists that there is no intelligent purpose in it, undoubtedly impresses the student with the thought that all may be chance. I say that no youth should be left without a counterbalancing thought.  36

#2:

There is a perpetual design permeating all purposes of creation. On this thought, science again leads the student up to a certain point, and sometimes leaves him with his soul unanchored. Miliken is right when he says “science without religion obviously may become a curse rather than a blessing to mankind; but science dominated by the spirit of religion is the key to progress and the hope for the future. ” For example, evolution’s *beautiful theory of the creation of the world offers many perplexing problems to the inquiring mind. Inevitably a teacher who denies divine agency in creation, who insists that there is no intelligent purpose in it, will impress the student with the thought that all may be chance. I say that no youth should be so left without a counterbalancing thought…

…In the Brigham Young University and every other Church school the teacher can say “God is at the helm.” God is the Creator of the earth. He is the Father of our souls and spirits. No question about it. You have your testimony (if you haven’t you shouldn’t be on the faculty) that God lives and that Jesus is the Christ, and the purpose of Creation is theirs…

…The world needs religion, TRUE religion. It’s the world’s greatest need, and the responsibility of proclaiming that need and supply it rests upon The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; and every student in the Brigham Young University should be imbued with that truth, and be inspired with a desire to proclaim it. God help us to teach the true religion as revealed in this dispensation by the Lord Jesus Christ to Joseph Smith.  37

President McKay did not use the word “beautiful” when repeating this statement in General Conference raising question of the accuracy of this transcript. Additionally, the word “beautiful” does not seem to flow with the surrounding context.

Joseph Fielding Smith

#1:

As President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, President Joseph Fielding Smith said: “What I have taught and written in the past I would teach and write again under the same circumstances.” 38

The following statements were given before his service as President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, yet they are included here because of the above statement as well as the fact that Selections from Answers to Gospel Questions [Salt Lake City: The First Presidency, 1972] was the 1972-73 Melchizedek Priesthood manual while Joseph Fielding Smith was serving as President of the Church.

#2:

We now come to this vital point. My fellow believers in the mission of Jesus Christ, in Joseph Smith and the restoration of the Gospel, as I have said, you are entitled through faithfully keeping the commandments of the Lord, to individual guidance. It is your right under these conditions to know the truth which makes us free. You cannot be a true member of the Church and reject Jesus Christ. You cannot be a faithful member and reject the scriptures—Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price—for these are the standards of our faith. If you accept them you cannot accept organic evolution, for they are diametrically opposed. 39

#3:

These theories [of organic evolution] taught in our schools should be taught only as theories for they can be nothing more. Unfortunately as previously said, they are presented by many instructors as though they were well established facts, with a positive assurance that belongs only to established truth. Between belief in God and the fact that he has directed and does direct his servants by revelation, vision, and personal visitation, and the theories based on organic evolution, there is a gulf that can never be bridged. These theories are man-made deductions but the testimony of the prophets are actual facts, attested by sufficient witnesses, according to the decree of the Almighty, and thus it becomes incumbent upon every soul unto whom these testimonies come to carefully weigh them in the spirit of humility and prayer by which the knowledge of the truth may be received, and then accepted. 40

#4:

. . . so they guess that once many millions of years ago, life must have come on the earth spontaneously. They have no proof, they can discover no proof, and before any court where justice is dispensed and evidence is required, their case would have to be thrown out of court. In all seriousness, their case has been thrown out of court before the Just Judge who rules both on earth and in the heavens; and the day is not far distant when the advocates of this pernicious doctrine will have to answer for the countless souls they have blinded by their craftiness and turned away from worshiping the Living God! 41

#5:

I repeat that if the doctrine of organic evolution were based in truth, there would be no need to search the world over for the remains of “missing links.” The world would be full of them. They would be walking our streets, and as William Jennings Bryan has said, the hypothesis of evolution “would find support on every foot of the earth’s surface.” As it is, the advocates of this pernicious theory go to the most ridiculous lengths and resort to the most absurd conclusions based on imaginary discoveries and fables. They are possessed with imaginary minds and when the facts fail them, as the facts always do, they can create species and groups and supply missing parts which in their imaginations disappeared millions of years ago.

It is unnecessary to continue this phase of the subject more than to say that in all of these “finds” the wish has been father to the thought, so overly anxious have these “discoverers” been to find some connecting links between man and the lower animals that would give evidence of a common origin. These “missing links” have not been forthcoming and the plotters have been forced to resort to fraud and deception to bolster up their futile attempts to prove a Satan-inspired cause, the real purpose being to destroy faith in God. Verily the words of our Lord are true and made manifest in this last dispensation with confirmation in the actions of men: “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deed should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. 42

#6:

Question asked of Joseph Fielding Smith: “Since reading your book, Man: His Origin, and Destiny, I have been troubled by your difference in view of organic evolution and the age of man and the teachings of some of our most outstanding scientists who maintain that scientific evidence prove the earth and man to be much older than you claim. Your statements are contrary to what I have been taught and believe.”

President Smith’s Answer: If what I have written is in criticism of the present theories in relation to organic evolution and the age of man upon the earth, in which you believe, then I can readily see why you disagree with what I have taught. I will state frankly and positively that I am opposed to the present biological theories and the doctrine that man has been on the earth for millions of years. I am opposed to the present teachings in relation to the age of the earth which declare that the earth is millions of years old. Some modern scientists even claim that it is a billion years old. Naturally, since I believe in modern revelation, I cannot accept these so-called scientific teachings, for I believe them to be in conflict with the simple and direct word of the Lord that has come to us by divine revelation.” 43

#7:

Briefly we will consider the lower part of the bone formation. The skeleton of the lower part of the body is attached to the pelvis, a basin-shaped structure of very strong bones. These bones help to balance the body and like the ribs form a protection for certain other vital parts of the body. To the pelvis the femur, or upper bone of the leg, is attached. This bone like the bone of the upper arm is formed with a ball-shaped end that fits into a socket in the pelvis bone. This gives multiple movement of the leg as the shoulder socket does to the arm, where multiple movement is most needed, and we may be sure that this was no accident and not due to “emergent evolution,” a meaningless term manufactured to bolster up a faulty theory—but the intelligent work of the Divine Creator. We might imagine—yet that would be a great stretch of the imagination—that nature might have made one joint connecting two bones but the relation between bone and bone, each part being built in a definite way to serve the definite purpose, and this occurring scores of times, we are forced to the conclusion that all of this came by design and not by “emergency,” or chance. This is just too much to believe, and there is no real evidence sustaining it. We might as well say—to use a familiar comparison—that the wheels, joints and springs in a watch came by means of chance, or that the lens in a telescope just happened to grow there. It would be just as consistent! The femur, or upper leg, is joined to the fibula, or lower leg bone at the knees, and like the hand, wrist and arm, it is attached at the knee by design thus giving free movement to the leg, and this was no accident. Moreover, the lower or fibula bone is attached to the bones of the ankle and the ankle to the foot and the foot to the toes thus composing a flexible system to make walking easy. That the bones of the arm, wrist, hand and fingers correspond in large measure in their unity to the leg, ankle, foot and toes, is evidence that should be good in any court of justice that they did not reach that condition by any law of chance.

These modernists, who are instructing and leading astray the people of this and other lands, reject the doctrine of the atonement of Christ; they reject the resurrection of the Son of God and consequently the resurrection of all mankind. They have discarded entirely the miracles of the scriptures and make light of the saving ordinances of the gospel which the Lord declared to be so essential to our salvation; and in the stead thereof they have accepted the theories and notions advanced by modern scientists which are evidently false, and have taken to their hearts and hugged to their bosoms the falsehoods set forth in the theories of evolution and of higher criticism of the scriptures. And why have they done this thing? Because the simple truth, which is understood by the Spirit of God and not understood and comprehended by the spirit of man, does not appeal to their reason. 44

#8:

APOSTASY COMES WHEN TRUTH NOT TAUGHT. Modern education declares that there never was such a thing as the fall of man, but that conditions have always gone on in the same way as now in this mortal world. Here, say they, death and mutation have always held sway as natural conditions on this earth and everywhere throughout the universe the same laws obtain. It is declared that man has made his ascent to the exalted place he now occupies through countless ages of development which has gradually distinguished him from lower forms of life.

Such a doctrine of necessity discards the story of Adam and the Garden of Eden, which it looks upon as a myth coming down to us from an early age of foolish ignorance and superstition. Moreover, it is taught that since death was always here, and a natural condition prevailing throughout all space, there could not possibly come a redemption from Adam’s transgression, hence there was no need for a Savior for a fallen world.

Is it any wonder, under such circumstances, that churches are deserted; that more than half of the population of this country has become indifferent, if not antagonistic, to religion? This, also, is just as true of other lands. 45

#9:

As I ponder the principles of the gospel, I am struck forcibly by the uniform manner in which I and all the Brethren have taught them over the years.  The truths of the gospel are everlastingly the same. Like God himself, they are the same yesterday, today and forever.  What I have taught and written in the past I would teach and write again under the same circumstances.

And what I say of myself should be true for all the Brethren and for all the elders of the Church.  We are all called to preach the gospel, to be ministers of Christ, to raise the warning voice, and to “teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom.” 46

Harold B. Lee

President Harold B. Lee was a strong supporter of Joseph Fielding Smith’s book Man, His Origin and Destiny. President Lee also taught the following in a First Presidency Message as the President of the Church:

#1:

I was somewhat sorrowed recently to hear someone, a sister who comes from a church family, ask, ‘What about the pre-Adamic people?’ Here was someone who I thought was fully grounded in the faith. I asked, ‘What about the pre-Adamic people?’ She replied, ‘Well, aren’t there evidences that people preceded the Adamic period of the earth?’ I said, ‘Have you forgotten the scripture that says, ‘And I, the Lord God, formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul, the first flesh upon the earth, the first man also….’  Moses 3:7. I asked, ‘Do you believe that?’ She wondered about the creation because she had read the theories of the scientists, and the question that she was really asking was: How do you reconcile science with religion? The answer must be, If science is not true, you cannot reconcile truth with error.  47

Spencer W. Kimball

#1:

The Gods organized the earth of materials at hand, over which they had control and power. This truth is absolute. A million educated folk might speculate and determine in their minds that the earth came into being by chance. The truth remains. The earth was made by the Gods…opinions do not change that. The Gods organized and gave life to man and placed him on the earth. This is absolute. It cannot be disproved. A million brilliant minds might conjecture otherwise, but it is still true.  48

Ezra Taft Benson

#1:

But it is the living prophet who really upsets the world. ‘Even in the Church,’ . . . . Why? Because the living prophet gets at what we need to know now, and the world prefers that prophets either be dead or mind their own business. . . . Some would-be authorities on evolution want the prophet to keep still on evolution. . . . How we respond to the words of a living prophet when he tells us what we need to know, but would rather not hear, is a test of our faithfulness. 49

#2:

Today, students are subjected in their textbooks and classroom lectures to a subtle propaganda that there is a ‘natural’ or rational explanation to all causes and events. Such a position removes the need for faith in God.  50

#3:

As a watchman on the tower, I feel to warn you that one of the chief means of misleading our youth and destroying the family unit is our educational institutions. There is more than one reason why the Church is advising our youth to attend colleges close to their homes where institutes of religion are available. It gives the parents the opportunity to stay close to their children, and if they become alerted and informed, these parents can help expose some of the deceptions of men like Sigmund Freud, Charles Darwin, John Dewey, John Keynes, and others. Today there are much worse things that can happen to a child than not getting a full education. In fact, some of the worst things have happened to our children while attending colleges led by administrators who wink at subversion and amorality. 51

#4:

We have not been using the Book of Mormon as we should. Our homes are not as strong unless we are using it to bring our children to Christ. Our families may be corrupted by worldly trends and teachings unless we know how to use the book to expose and combat the falsehoods in socialism, organic evolution, rationalism, humanism, and so forth. 52.

#5:

We all need to take a careful inventory of our performance and also the performance of those over whom we preside to be sure that we are teaching the “great plan of the Eternal God” to the Saints. Are we accepting and teaching what the revelations tell us about the Creation, Adam and the fall of man, and redemption from that fall through the atonement of Christ? 53

#6:

Sometimes, from behind the pulpit, in our classrooms, in our council meetings, and in our Church publications, we hear, read, or witness things that do not square with the truth. . . . Now, do not let this serve as an excuse for your own wrongdoing. The Lord is letting the wheat and the tares mature before He fully purges the Church. He is also testing you to see if you will be misled. The devil is trying to deceive the very elect.

Let me give you a crucial key to help you avoid being deceived. It is this-learn to keep your eye on the prophet. He is the Lord’s mouthpiece and the only man who can speak for the Lord today. Let his inspired counsel take precedence. Let his inspired words be a basis for evaluating the counsel of all lesser authorities. Then live close to the Spirit so you may know the truth of all things. 54

#7:

The gospel can be viewed from two perspectives. In the broadest sense, the gospel embraces all truth, all light, all revealed knowledge to mankind. In a more restrictive sense, the gospel means the doctrine of the Fall, the consequences of the fall of man that brought into the world physical and spiritual death, the atonement of Jesus Christ which brings to pass immortality and eternal life, and the ordinances of salvation. 55

#8:

No one adequately and properly knows why he needs Christ until he understands and accepts the doctrine of the Fall and its effect upon all mankind. . . . Are we accepting and teaching what the revelations tell us about the Creation, Adam and the fall of man, and redemption from that fall through the atonement of Christ? 56

Howard W. Hunter

#1:

The Old Testament unfolds the story of the creation of the earth and mankind by God. Should we now disregard this account and modernize the creation according to the theories of the modernists? Can we say there was no Garden of Eden or an Adam and Eve? Because modernists now declare the story of the flood is unreasonable and impossible, should we disbelieve the account of Noah and the flood as related in the Old Testament? Let us examine what the Master said when the disciples came to him as he sat on the Mount of Olives. They asked him to tell them of the time of his coming and of the end of the world. Jesus answered: “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Matt. 24:36–39. In this statement the Master confirmed the story of the flood without modernizing it. Can we accept some of the statements of the Lord as being true and at the same time reject others as being false? When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, and they discussed the matter of the death of her brother and the resurrection. Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.” John 11:25 . Both of these statements, the one regarding Noah and the fact of the flood and the one in which he declared himself to be the resurrection and the life, were made by the Lord. How can we believe one and not the other? How can we modernize the story of the flood, or refer to it as a myth, and yet cling to the truth of the other? How can we modernize the Bible and still have it be a guiding light to us and a vital influence in our beliefs? There are those who declare it is old-fashioned to believe in the Bible. Is it old-fashioned to believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God? Is it old-fashioned to believe in his atoning sacrifice and the resurrection? If it is, I declare myself to be old-fashioned and the Church to be old-fashioned. In great simplicity, the Master taught the principles of life eternal and lessons that bring happiness to those with the faith to believe” 57

Gordon B. Hinckley

#1:

None of us . . . knows enough. The learning process is an endless process. We must read, we must observe, we must assimilate, and we must ponder that to which we expose our minds. I believe in evolution, not organic evolution, as it is called, but in the evolution of the mind, the heart, and the soul of man. I believe in improvement. I believe in growth. 58.

#2:

When I was a college student there were many discussions on the question of organic evolution. I took classes in geology and biology and heard the whole story of Darwinism as it was then taught. I wondered about it. I thought much about it. But I did not let it sway me, for I read what the scriptures said about our origins and our relationship to God. 59 Note: This book was in print when he was serving as President of the Church.

Darwinist and Neo-Darwinist

http://sciencebysteve.net/

http://www.mormonfortress.com/evolution.pdf

http://mormonevolution.blogspot.com/

http://evolution.nfshost.com/

http://en.fairmormon.org/Death_before_the_Fall

http://en.fairmormon.org/Global_or_local_Flood

http://en.fairmormon.org/Procreation_before_the_Fall

http://eyring.hplx.net/Eyring/faq/evolution/Jeffery-SSE.html

http://www.dhbailey.com/papers/

Michael R. Ash

#1:

Like other myths, both inside and outside the church, the myth of “evil evolution” is perpetuated by the masses who are unfamiliar with information which refutes such falsehoods. The topic of evolution is not unique in this aspect. . . . While a greater number of Latter-day Saints will read Ensign articles which generally disesteem evolution, there is some comfort in the fact that in addition to the aforementioned Encyclopedia of Mormonism articles and the BYU evolution packet, other conservative albeit less familiar LDS publications are more liberal in their approach to organic evolution. BYU Studies and FARMS Review of Books, for example, tend to express an overwhelming pro or neutral stance toward the topic. The popularity of these alternate sources of LDS-related publications, as well as publications such as Dialogue and Sunstone and the mushrooming growth of the LDS-information-websites—many of which advance a neutral or pro position to evolution—suggests that in time we may see the demise of the Mormon myth that teaching or accepting evolution amounts to apostasy. 60

Scripture

Bible Dictionary: Flesh– The flesh is often spoken of as being a part of our mortal or fallen nature (as in Matthew 26:41 ; Romans 7:5, 14–23 ; Romans 8: 3 ; 1 Corinthians 3: 1–2 ; Ephesians 2: 3 ); as opposed to the Spirit (Romans 8: 5–9 ; Galatians 3: 3 ; Galatians 5: 17–25 ), and as needing to be overcome (Matthew 4: 4 ; Romans 8: 7, 12–13 ; Galatians 5: 17, 24 ; Galatians 6: 8 ; Colossians 2: 11 ; Colossians 3: 5 ; 1 Peter 4: 2 ; 1 John 2: 16–17 ). Since flesh often means mortality, Adam is spoken of as the “first flesh” upon the earth, meaning he was the first mortal on the earth, all things being created in a nonmortal condition, and becoming mortal through the fall of Adam. Jesus is the “Only Begotten of the Father” in the flesh, meaning he is the only one begotten of the Father into mortality (Moses 3: 7 ).

Bible Dictionary: Fall of Adam– The process by which mankind became mortal on this earth. The event is recorded in Genesis 2, 3, 4 ; and Moses 3, 4 . The fall of Adam is one of the most important occurrences in the history of man. Before the fall, Adam and Eve had physical bodies but no blood. There was no sin, no death, and no children among any of the earthly creations. With the eating of the “forbidden fruit,” Adam and Eve became mortal, sin entered, blood formed in their bodies, and death became a part of life. Adam became the “first flesh” upon the earth (Moses 3: 7 ), meaning that he and Eve were the first to become mortal. After Adam fell, the whole creation fell and became mortal. Adam’s fall brought both physical and spiritual death into the world upon all mankind (Helaman 14: 16–17 ).

Latter-day revelation supports the biblical account of the fall, showing that it was a historical event that literally occurred in the history of man. Many points in latter-day revelation are also clarified that are not discernible from the Bible. Among other things it makes clear that the fall is a blessing, and that Adam and Eve should be honored in their station as the first parents of the earth. Significant references are 2 Nephi 2: 15–16 ; 2 Nephi 9: 6–21 ; Mosiah 3: 11–16 ; Alma 22: 12–14 ; Alma 42: 2–15 ; D&C 29: 34–44 ; Moses 5: 9–13 .

Doctrine and Covenants 77:12
“. . . as God made the world in six days, and on the seventh day he finished his work, and sanctified it, and also formed man out of the dust of the earth, even so, in the beginning of the seventh thousand years will the Lord God sanctify the earth, and complete the salvation of man . . .”

Doctrine and Covenants 77:6
“. . . the revealed will, mysteries, and the works of God; the hidden things of his economy concerning this earth during the seven thousand years of its continuance, or it temporal existence.”

Jacob 4:6–10
“. . . we truly can command in the name of Jesus and the very trees obey us, or the mountains, or the waves of the sea. Behold, great and marvelous are the works of the Lord. How unsearchable are the depths of the mysteries of him; and it is impossible that man should find out all his ways. And no man knoweth of his ways save it be revealed unto him; wherefore, brethren, despise not the revelations of God. For behold, by the power of his word man came upon the face of the earth, which earth was created by the power of his word. Wherefore, if God being able to speak and the world was, and to speak and man was created, O then, why not able to command the earth, or the workmanship of his hands upon the face of it, according to his will and pleasure? Wherefore, brethren, seek not to counsel the Lord, but to take counsel from his hand.”

2 Nephi 2:22, 25
. . . if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the garden of Eden. And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end.

And they would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin. . . . but behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things. Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.

Moses 5:11
“Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient.”

Moses 3:7
“And I, the Lord God, formed man . . . the first flesh upon the earth, the first man also . . .”

Supporting Statements

Russell M. Nelson

Through the ages, some without scriptural understanding have tried to explain our existence by pretentious words such as ex nihilo (out of nothing). Others have deduced that, because of certain similarities between different forms of life, there has been an organic evolution from one form to another. Many of these have concluded that the universe began as a “big bang” that eventually resulted in the creation of our planet and life upon it.

To me, such theories are unbelievable! Could an explosion in a printing shop produce a dictionary? It is unthinkable! Even if it could be argued to be within a remote realm of possibility, such a dictionary could certainly not heal its own torn pages or renew its own worn corners or reproduce its own subsequent editions! We are children of God, created by him and formed in his image. At least 55 verses of scripture attest to our divine creation. 61


References:

  1. Ensign, February 2002, p. 26
  2. Jane Ellen Harrison, The Influence of Darwinism on the Study of Religions, 1909 Darwin Commemoration at Cambridge University
  3. First Presidency of the Church, The Origin of Man, Improvement Era, Nov. 1909, 75–81
  4. Ensign, February 2002, p. 26
  5. First Presidency of the Church, The Origin of Man, Improvement Era, Nov. 1909, 75–81, as republished in the February 2002 Ensign, p. 26
  6. First Presidency of the Church, The Origin of Man, Improvement Era, Nov. 1909, 75–81, as republished in the February 2002 Ensign, p. 26
  7. Ezra Taft Benson, Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophet, BYU devotional, February 26, 1980
  8. Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation Vol. I, p. 228
  9. Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 3:203.
  10. The First Presidency, Letter to Samuel O. Bennion, February 26, 1912; Quoted in Melvin A. Cook and M. Garfield Cook, Science and Mormonism, p. 156
  11. First Presidency of the Church, The Origin of Man, Improvement Era, Nov. 1909, 75–81
  12. Ensign, February 2002, p. 26
  13. First Presidency of the Church, The Origin of Man, Improvement Era, Nov. 1909, 75–81
  14. Ensign, February 2002, p. 26
  15. First Presidency of the Church, The Origin of Man, Improvement Era, Nov. 1909, 75–81
  16. Ensign, February 2002, p. 26
  17. Ensign, February 2002, p. 26
  18.  Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 56
  19. Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Section Five 1842-43, p.252
  20.  Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, selected and arranged by Joseph Fielding Smith [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1976], 197
  21.  Joseph Smith, Teachings of Joseph Smith, pp. 157-158
  22. Hyrum L. Andrus and Helen Mae Andrus, comps., They Knew the Prophet [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1974], 95
  23. Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints’ Book Depot, 1854-1886], 14: 280 – 281
  24. President Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints’ Book Depot, 1854-1886], 13: 305 – 306
  25. Journal of Discourses, 18:361
  26. John Taylor, Mediation and Atonement, pp. 163-165
  27. Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Wilford Woodruff, 2000, p. 20
  28.  Lorenzo Snow, 10 April 1898, Conference Report, p. 63
  29. Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, p. 25
  30. President George Albert Smith, Conference Report, April 1945, Third Day—Morning Meeting p. 135
  31. President George Albert Smith, Conference Report, April 1946, p. 183
  32.  George Albert Smith, Conference Reports, October 1925, p. 33
  33. George Albert Smith, The Teachings of George Albert Smith, p. 14
  34. George Albert Smith, Conference Reports, October 1925, p. 33
  35. George Albert Smith, The Teachings of George Albert Smith, p.14
  36. President David O. Mckay, Conference Report, April 1968, General Priesthood Meeting, p. 92
  37. David O. McKay, “A Message for LDS College Youth,” BYU Devotional Address, Oct. 10, 1952, p. 6-7
  38. Joseph Fielding Smith, Conference Report, October 1970, p. 5
  39.  Joseph Fielding Smith, Man, His Origin and Destiny [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1954], 276
  40.  Joseph Fielding Smith, Man, His Origin and Destiny, p. 5
  41. Joseph Fielding Smith, Man, His Origin and Destiny [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1954], pp. 160 – 161
  42. Joseph Fielding Smith, Man, His Origin and Destiny [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1954], pp. 156 – 157
  43.  Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, 5: 112
  44.  Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 3:289-290
  45. Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:315
  46. General Conference, October 1970
  47. Harold B. Lee, “First Presidency Message: Find the Answers in the Scriptures,” Ensign, Dec. 1972, p. 2
  48. Spencer W. Kimball, “Absolute Truth”, Ensign, September 1978, p. 3
  49. Ezra Taft Benson, The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 140
  50.  Ezra Taft Benson, Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 320
  51. Ezra Taft Benson, The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 307
  52. Ezra Taft Benson, The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, pp. 60-61
  53. Ezra Taft Benson, The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1988], 28 – 29
  54. Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 134
  55. Ezra Taft Benson, The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1988], 30.
  56. Ezra Taft Benson, The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1988], 28.
  57.  Howard W. Hunter, That We Might Have Joy, p. 23.
  58. Gordon B. Hinckley, Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley, p. 298
  59. Gordon B. Hinckley, Faith: The Essence of True Religion, p. 18
  60. “The Mormon Myth of Evil Evolution”, Michael R. Ash
  61. Russell M. Nelson, “The Magnificence of Man,” New Era, October 1987. Quoted in General Conference, April 2012,in “Thanks Be To God,” by Russell M. Nelson.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *