28) YOUNG EARTH: Do the revelations teach a 7,000 year temporal existence of the earth? Can the scriptures and writings of the presidents of the church be harmonized with the scientific principle of Uniformitarianism?

See also: Ica Stones, Dinosaurs and Dragon Legends

Questions Answered: Do the revelations teach a 7,000 year temporal existence of the earth? Have latter-day Prophets supported this view? Can the scriptures and writings of the presidents of the church be harmonized with the scientific principle of Uniformitarianism?

Commentary

The scriptures are very clear that the earth has a temporal or mortal existence of 7000 years. John the Revelator saw by revelation the history of this earth. This history was divided into 1000 year increments or seven seals. The Prophet Joseph Smith was given a revelation explaining the teachings of John the Revelator concerning the seven seals spoken of in his work. Part of this explanation explains that the Lord created the earth in 6 days on His time, resting on the seventh, and that this earth will likewise continue for a 7000 year temporal existence.

. . . 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 . . . 1

Additionally, the Lord explained that the book, which John saw, which was sealed on the back with seven seals represents:

. . . 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. 2

The seven thousand years of this earth’s temporal existence? This scripture is very clear and definite as to the continuance of this earth. Some however, have suggested that it does not mean what it clearly says. What is the proper scriptural interpretation of this phrase? President Joseph Fielding Smith in explanation of Doctrine and Covenants 77 taught:

Here is a definite statement by revelation to us that this earth will go through 7,000 years of temporal existence. Temporal, by all interpretations, means passing, temporary or mortal. This, then, has reference to the earth in its fallen state, for the earth was cursed when Adam . . . transgressed the law. Before that time this earth was not mortal any more than Adam was. 3

Mortality, with death, blood and sin will only continue on this earth for a time of 7000 years. These teachings differ significantly from those suggested by most modern scientists. President Smith explained:

. . . we can hardly be justified in trying to harmonize the days of creation with the extended periods of millions of years according to the reckoning of so-called scientists. 4

There was no death, reproduction or sin prior to the Fall of Adam for man and all animal life. Therefore, as the scriptures teach, there was no change and all things existed in a state of peace until Adam brought death into the world 5. The question then is, how long has it been since the Fall occurred? How long has death and mortality with blood, reproduction and sin been a part of this world? The following Presidents of the Church have made statements declaring that the temporal or mortal fallen earth is approximately 6,000 years old:

Joseph Smith
Brigham Young
John Taylor
Wilford Woodruff
Joseph F. Smith
George Albert Smith
Joseph Fielding Smith

Some of these statements will be summarized here. President Joseph Fielding Smith answered the question of the age of the earth authoritatively:

We have evidence beyond dispute that Adam was driven out of the Garden of Eden about 6,000 years ago, or perhaps a short time less. It is possible for us, by using the Bible chronology and that given by the Lord in the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants to figure this almost accurately. 6

For additional reference see FAQs on Life Spans of the Patriarchs, Pre-Adamites, The Fall and Adam’s Genealogy, Mortal Conditions and the Fall, Death Before the Fall.

As President Smith taught, we have the genealogy from Adam to Jesus Christ. We also have many other evidences from the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants that substantiate this genealogy. Additionally, the Lord, in revelation to the prophet Joseph Smith, taught that it was 1,830 years from the birth of Christ to the organization of the Church. The time from the Fall of Adam can be calculated quite precisely to about 6,000 years. But, what of the teachings of those who claim that death and procreation have been a part of this earth for millions of years? Again, President Smith taught:

. . . a man is willfully blind who would push these days back tens of thousands of years, much less, hundreds of thousands of years. 7

In addition to the words of President Joseph Fielding Smith and the standard works, the Prophet Joseph Smith taught specifically concerning the mortal probation of this earth.

The world has had a fair trial for six thousand years; the Lord will try the seventh thousand Himself; 8

These are the teachings of the Lord through the scriptures, the Prophet Joseph Smith and President Joseph Fielding Smith. Have there been other witnesses among the Lord’s prophets? President Brigham Young often alluded to the mortal period of the earth. On one occasion he taught, as the Prophet had, that the devil has had influence on this earth for about six thousand years:

The devil says, “I have had power over the earth for six thousand years, and do you think I am going to loose my grasp upon it? No, I will hold it, and before ever the Latter-day Saints obtain one foot of inheritance upon it they will have to contest it inch by inch.” 9

The devil says, “I have had power over the earth for six thousand years . . .

President Young also taught:

After passing over the ages and generations of the children of men for about six thousand years, we will come to the present congregation . . . . 10

. . . the ages and generations of the children of men [are] about six thousand years . . .

Other prophets have added their witness. President John Taylor taught in the same manner:

Let us ask what the nations of the earth have accomplished for the last six or seven thousand years. What great work have they achieved? 11
. . . nations of the earth . . . for the last six or seven thousand years.

President Wilford Woodruff taught in like manner as well:

The Lord Almighty never created a world like this and peopled it for six thousand years, as He has done, without having some motive in view. 12
. . . created the world . . . and peopled it for six thousand years . . .

President Woodruff also taught that we are in fact living in the last six thousand years:

We are living in the dispensation and generation to which Jesus referred–the time appointed by God for the last six thousand years, through the mouths of all the prophets and inspired men who have lived and left their sayings on record, in which his Zion should be built up and continue upon the earth. 13

In addition to the early brethren, Elder Bruce R. McConkie of the Quorum of the Twelve has taught more recently:

If . . . [one] accepts the untrue theory that death has been present on the earth for scores of thousands or millions of years, he must reject the revealed truth that there was no death either for man or animals or plants or any form of life until some 6000 years ago when Adam fell. 14

Therefore, we have the witness of the Lord in the scriptures, the witness of several of the Presidents of the Church and other additional witnesses that mortality with birth and death has been continuing on this earth for about 6,000 years, rather than the millions of years that some would desire us to believe.

But what about all of this evidence that has been accumulated? What about dating techniques that prove the earth is extremely old? Radiometric dating is a technique used to date materials based on a knowledge of the decay rates of naturally occurring isotopes, and the current abundances. It is the principal source used by most scientists in acquiring information about the age of the Earth and a significant source of information in formulating theories regarding evolutionary change. These theories are dependant upon a theory known as uniformitarianism. Uniformitarianism in the scientific community refers to the theory that the same natural processes that shape the universe occurred in the past as they do now, and that the same laws of physics apply in all parts of the knowable universe. For research on the age of the earth that agrees with the writings of the prophets and the revelations in scripture, please see the video Thousands, Not Billions. Evidence has been accumulated showing the inaccuracy of current dating methods. There are discrepancies of many millions of years when using one dating technique versus another, carbon 14 has been found in diamonds and helium has been found in rocks in the Grand Canyon. What will scientists in the future, who have faith in the scriptures, find?

Where did the idea of millions or billions of years as opposed to the Biblical and Prophetical record come from? Excellent videos explaining this history include: Millions of Years: Where Did the Idea Come From?and Origin of Old-Earth Geology and Christian Compromise I & II. These videos explain that the men who devised the theories of a very old earth were atheists and deists who rejected the scriptures as revealed by God. They also rejected scriptural concepts including miracles, resurrection, visions and so forth. Any belief that God upheld or interfered in the history of the earth or the dealings of those upon it was rejected.

Charles Lyell was one of the chief proponents of moving away from the Biblical chronology given by Moses as it appears in scripture. Lyell was one of the most influencial individuals in the formulation of Darwin’s thoughts. In a letter Lyell revealed his plan for destroying the scriptural interpretation of the history of the earth:

If we don’t irritate, which I fear that we may . . . we shall carry all with us. If you don’t triumph over them, but compliment the liberality and candor of the present age, the bishops and enlightened saints will join us in despising both the ancient and modern physico-theologians . . . I conceived the idea five or six years ago, that if ever the Mosaic geology could be set down without giving offence, it would be in an historical sketch . . . Let them feel it, and point the moral. 15

Lyell desired to do away with the words of Moses and other prophets whom he felt were ignorant leaders of the superstitious. Lyell was clever however and knew that at that time he could not come out in a direct attack upon what was considered the word of God. His plan instead included providing a rework of history and a knew way of looking at the geological record found in the earth. Additionally, Lyell proposed a knew view of the scriptures. Most of the moral or spiritual portions could be promoted as inspired, while the history and practical part should be rejected as in error. This exclusion of science from the Bible and scripture was his aim. Science dealt with facts, while scripture dealt with the heart and emotion.

I have always been strongly impressed with the weight of an observation of an excellent writer and skillful geologist who said that ‘for the sake of revelation as well as of science—of truth in every form– the physical part of Geological inquiry ought to be conducted as if Scriptures were not in existence’.” 16

This separation of the spiritual and the temporal is discussed further in the FAQ dealing with Religion and Science. Of special note in this work is this statement by Henry Cole concerning the scriptural compromise that occurred in the late 18th and earth 19th century.

Many reverend Geologists, however, would evince their reverence for the divine Revelation by making a distinction between its historical and its moral portions; and maintaining, that the latter only is inspired and absolute Truth but that the former is not so. . . .” 17.

How do these philosophies appear when placed along side the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Word of God? First, has this earth continued with the same conditions from the Creation until now? Has the atmosphere always been the same? Remember that, according to the scriptures and words of prophets, this earth was created without death, sin and reproduction in a paradisiacal state. Man was not mortal; animals were not dying and decaying. Even after the Fall, the scriptures and words of the prophets again teach that Adam and the patriarchs lived often to near one thousand years. Note these statements, given by direct revelation to the Prophet Joseph Smith proving that man lived far longer in the early ages of the earth than he does today:

Adam:

199 years, Ordained son, Seth, D&C 107:42

“From Adam to Seth, who was ordained by Adam at the age of sixty-nine years,”

Enos:

134 years + 4 months, ordained by grandfather Adam, D&C 107:44

“Enos was ordained at the age of one hundred and thirty-four years and four months, by the hand of Adam.”

Cainan:

87 years, ordained by great-grandfather Adam, D&C 107:45

“God called upon Cainan in the wilderness in the fortieth year of his age; and he met Adam in journeying to the place Shedolamak. He was eighty-seven years old when he received his ordination.”

Mahalaleel:

496 years + 7 days, ordained by great-great grandfather Adam, D&C 107:46

“Mahalaleel was four hundred and ninety-six years and seven days old when he was ordained by the hand of Adam, who also blessed him.”

Jared:

200 years, ordained by great-great-great grandfather Adam, D&C 107:47

“Jared was two hundred years old when he was ordained under the hand of Adam, who also blessed him.”

Enoch:

430 years, D&C 107:49 (translated)

“And he saw the Lord, and he walked with him, and was before his face continually; and he walked with God three hundred and sixty-five years, making him four hundred and thirty years old when he was translated.”

Methuselah:

100, ordained by (5 greats) grandfather Adam, D&C 107:50

“Methuselah was one hundred years old when he was ordained under the hand of Adam.”

From these scriptures above we can see that Adam lived to ordain his 5th great-grandson at the age of 100 years old (the grandson was 100) to the Priesthood. Adam by this time was several hundred years old. Adam also ordained his 2nd great-grandson at the age of 496 years and 7 days of age. From this we know from direct revelation from the Lord that Adam lived well over 500 years. All of this was revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith from the Lord in section 107 of the Doctrine and Covenants. Additionally, the Lord here declares that Enoch was 430 years old when he was translated. The word of the Lord is clear that the patriarchs lived several hundred years compared with the relatively short life-times of individuals today. Clearly their bodies were more healthy than their descendents today, and the connditions on the earth permitted their bodies to age at a different rate than bodies age today. If their bodies aged at a far different rate, could could other aging have occurred far differently than it does today. Obviously, the assumptions of uniformitarianism break down if the word of the Lord is to be believed. All things have not continued the same from the beginning. Again the theories of men are in opposition to the word of God.

Does this sound like the atmosphere and conditions of the earth have always been the same? If man lived many hundreds of years as the revelations of God clearly attest, clearly changes have occurred in the system in which we live. How exactly would science date a paradisiacal earth, created in a Terrestrial sphere with different laws and principles? How would science date an earth that once supported human life spans for nearly a thousand years? Is it any wonder that the dating techniques employed by modern science are flawed?

Additionally, the second principle of uniformitarianism states that the same laws of physics that exist upon this earth apply throughout the entire universe. Again, from what we know of the Gospel of Jesus Christ does this sound true? For a discussion of this principle please see the FAQ on God being the Creator of natural laws.

Long before science had conceived of the idea of Pangaea, or an original state of the earth with all the continents joined together in one land mass, the Word of the Lord declared that such was the case. Much later science began to see signs that this was indeed the case. Now this is an accepted theory in scientific circles. For a discussion of what this means to the age of the earth please see the FAQ on this subject.

What other assumptions have modern scientists made that do not harmonize with the scriptures and word of God through prophets?

Prophetic Statements

Joseph Smith

The world has had a fair trial for six thousand years; the Lord will try the seventh thousand Himself; 18

Brigham Young

The devil says, “I have had power over the earth for six thousand years, and do you think I am going to loose my grasp upon it? No, I will hold it, and before ever the Latter-day Saints obtain one foot of inheritance upon it they will have to contest it inch by inch.” 19

After passing over the ages and generations of the children of men for about six thousand years, we will come to the present congregation and say the right of heirship is the same now that it was in the beginning. 20

John Taylor

Let us ask what the nations of the earth have accomplished for the last six or seven thousand years. What great work have they achieved? 21

. . . after the flood, in the days of Peleg, the earth was divided.—See Genesis 10:25,—a short history, to be sure, of so great an event; but still it will account for the mighty revolution, which rolled the sea from its own place in the north, and brought it to interpose between different portions of the earth, which were thus parted asunder, and moved into something near their present form . . . 22

And when I cast mine eyes over our own land, and see . . . rocks having been rent, and torn asunder, from centre to circumference; I exclaim, Whence all this?

“When I read the Book of Mormon, it informs me, that while Christ was crucified among the Jews, this whole American continent was shaken to its foundation, that many cities were sunk, and waters came up in their places; that the rocks were all rent in twain; that mountains were thrown up to an exceeding height; and other mountain became vallies: the level roads spoiled; and the whole face of the land changed.—I then exclaim, These things are no longer a mystery; I have now learned to account for the many wonders, which I everywhere behold, throughout our whole country; when I am passing a ledge of rocks, and see they have all been rent and torn asunder, while some huge fragments are found deeply imbedded in the earth, some rods from whence they were torn, I exclaim, with astonishment, These were the groans! the convulsive throes of agonizing nature! while the Son of God suffered upon the cross! 23

Wilford Woodruff

We are nearing the end of the 6th thousand years . We have the history, or a partial history, of the dealings of God with the nations from the day of Father Adam down as contained in the Bible and the Book of Mormon , from which we may learn many valuable lessons. 24

The Lord Almighty never created a world like this and peopled it for six thousand years , as He has done, without having some motive in view. 25

We are living in the dispensation and generation to which Jesus referred–the time appointed by God for the last six thousand years , through the mouths of all the prophets and inspired men who have lived and left their sayings on record, in which his Zion should be built up and continue upon the earth. 26

My mind reverts to the channels of communication from God to man. Here we have the Bible which gives a history and prophecy of the prophets from Adam down to our own day extending through a period of near 6,000 years . 27

Joseph F. Smith

Some . . . limit the power of God to the power of men, and we have some of these among us and they have been among our school teachers. They would have you disbelieve the inspired accounts of the Scriptures . . . but we know better . . . . And I say, beware of men who come to you with heresies that things come by laws of nature of themselves, and that God is without power. — Logan Journal, April 7, 1914. 28

George Albert Smith

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.

Biblical chronology indicates that nearly six thousand years ago our first parents began their earth life. The Lord instructed them how they should conduct themselves, and his prophets divinely commissioned to speak for him, have taught Adam’s descendants through the ages how to live to be happy in mortality and so qualify that when the time comes for them to die, they may pass into immortality taking with them the riches of their characters and the knowledge they have gained here. 29

I wonder if we appreciate what it is to live today with all the advantages gained in the nearly six thousand years since our first parents came into the world . 30

Joseph Fielding Smith

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. 31

Here is a definite statement by revelation to us that this earth will go through 7,000 years of temporal existence. Temporal, by all interpretations, means passing, temporary or mortal. This, then, has reference to the earth in its fallen state, for the earth was cursed when Adam . . . transgressed the law. Before that time this earth was not mortal any more than Adam was. 32

I have here a clipping from “Believe It Or Not” by Ripley which I cut out of the paper January 15, 1941; it is too small for you to see, but I will gladly pass it around. In this Ripley shows that you could take all the land surface of the earth, if you had the power to do so, and fit it like a jigsaw puzzle altogether again. You hang a map up on the wall and take a look at it; and if you have one you do not care much about, take your scissors and clip out along the coast of South America and North America and see if you cannot fit them together with the coastline of Europe and Africa.”
In the restoration of all things this is going to be accomplished. I am not saying that because of any statement that is made by some scientist. I am not saying it because I have imagined such a thing, because I have looked at a map. I am saying it because the Lord Himself has said it. If you are willing for me to depart from the standard works of the Church and present to you some of the sayings that have been made by some of the leaders of the Church, I would like to read one or two things to you; at least, to show that I am not so far off the track. I have good company, anyhow. When I have the Prophet Joseph Smith and Brigham Young and Parley P. Pratt and Orson Pratt and John Taylor and others all on my side, I think I have some pretty good company, and I would rather have that company than this uncertain company that has an idea that things began way back millions, no, billions of years ago in the sea and have developed to what they are now. 33

We have evidence beyond dispute that Adam was driven out of the Garden of Eden about 6,000 years ago, or perhaps a short time less. It is possible for us, by using the Bible chronology and that given by the Lord in the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants to figure this almost accurately. 34

. . . a man is willfully blind who would push these days back tens of thousands of years, much less, hundreds of thousands of years. 35

TIME ELEMENT IN THE CREATION. This earth was created on the Lord’s time, which is celestial time. By revelation we know exactly the nature of that time, and just how many days of celestial time were required to create this earth . Moreover, we know how long this earth has endured, approximately, and how long it will endure according to our present rate of reckoning. The Lord revealed to Abraham:

“And the Lord said unto me, by the Urim and Thummim, that Kolob was after the manner of the Lord, according to its times and seasons in the revolutions thereof; that one revolution was a day unto the Lord, after his manner of reckoning, it being one thousand years according to the time appointed unto that whereon thou standest. This is the reckoning of the Lord’s time, according to the reckoning of Kolob….

“And thus there shall be the reckoning of the time of one planet above another, until thou come nigh unto Kolob, which Kolob is after the reckoning of the Lord’s time; which Kolob is set nigh unto the throne of God to govern all those planets which belong to the same order as that upon which thou standest.”

CELESTIAL TIME USED IN CREATION. Also: “Fig. 1. Kolob, signifying the first creation, nearest to the celestial, or the residence of God. First in government, the last pertaining to the measurement of time. The measurement according to celestial time, which celestial time signifies one day to a cubit. One day in Kolob is equal to a thousand years according to the measurement of this earth, which is called by the Egyptians Jah-oh-eh.”

When this earth was created, it was not according to our present time, but it was created according to Kolob’s time , for the Lord has said it was created on celestial time which is Kolob’s time. Then he revealed to Abraham that Adam was subject to Kolob’s time before his transgression. “Now I, Abraham, saw that it was after the Lord’s time, which was after the time of Kolob; for as yet the Gods had not appointed unto Adam his reckoning.”

AGE OF THE EARTH SINCE ADAM. We have evidence beyond dispute that Adam was driven out of the Garden of Eden about 6,000 years ago, or perhaps a short time less. It is possible for us, by using the Bible chronology and that given by the Lord in the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants to figure this almost accurately.

In the Book of Revelation, chapters five to 10, we have the story of the opening of the seven seals by the Lamb, each seal representing 1,000 years of the temporal existence of this earth. In the Doctrine and Covenants, section 88:92-116, we have the confirmation of this with other detail in regard to the opening of the seals. In section 77:6-15, we have more information in relation to the opening of these seals, with the following significant detail:

Verse 6: “Q. What are we to understand by the book which John saw, which was sealed on the back with seven seals?

“A. We are to understand that it contains the revealed will, mysteries, and works of God; the hidden things of his economy concerning this earth during the seven thousand years of its continuance, or its temporal existence .”

TEMPORARY EXISTENCE OF EARTH. Here is a definite statement by revelation to us that this earth will go through 7,000 years of temporal existence. Temporal, by all interpretations, means passing, temporary or mortal. This, then, has reference to the earth in its fallen state, for the earth was cursed when Adam, who was given dominion over it, transgressed the law. Before that time this earth was not mortal any more than Adam was. This we learn from other scriptures; for instance, see 2 Nephi 2:22 .

In verse 12, section 77 the Prophet by inspiration from the Lord, sets days of a thousand years off against years of our measurement, in these words:

“We are to understand that 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, and judge all things, and shall redeem all things , except that which he hath not put into his power, when he shall have sealed all things, unto the end of all things; and the sounding of the trumpets of the seven angels are the preparing and finishing of his work, in the beginning of the seventh thousand years -the preparing of the way before the time of his coming.”

CREATION DID NOT TAKE MILLIONS OF YEARS. Here we have the Prophet comparing the days of creation with seven periods of 1,000 years each, corresponding to days, according to the Lord’s time, in harmony with the teaching of Abraham and the other scriptures. The earth’s temporal existence, according to this, is to endure for just one week, or seven days of 1,000 years each. Moreover, since the earth was built according to the celestial time, which is the Lord’s days, which he clearly defined to Abraham, we can hardly be justified in trying to harmonize the days of creation with the extended periods of millions of years according to the reckoning of the so-called scientists .

Both from the Bible and from the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, we know that the flood came in the year 1600 from the driving of Adam out of the Garden of Eden. We know that Abraham was living in the days of Shem, son of Noah, if not in the days of Noah himself. Profane history corroborates the history of Israel and Abraham. So a man is willfully blind who would push these days back tens of thousands, much less, hundreds of thousands of years.

MEANING OF THE MERIDIAN OF TIME. Moreover, our Savior came in the meridian of time. That dispensation is called the dispensation of the meridian of time. This means that it was about half way from the beginning of “time” to the end of “time.” Anyone who desires can figure it for himself that our Lord came about 4,000 years from the time of the fall. The millennium is to come some time following the 2,000 years after his coming. Then there is to be the millennium for 1,000 years, and following that a “little season,” the length of which is not revealed, but which may bring “time” to its end about 8,000 years from the beginning.

We have seen that the Lord had not given to this earth its present time until after the fall. Before that time it was subject to Kolob’s time, which is eternal time. After the temporal existence of the earth is finished, it will again go back on celestial time, and there shall be “time no longer.” This does not mean that the inhabitants of the earth, who will be celestial beings, will not reckon by time, but by a different time-Kolob’s time which the Lord says is his time.

If men prefer to believe the strong delusions taught by evolutionists, rather than what the Lord has revealed, we cannot help it, but it certainly shows in them a lack of faith, which is not to their credit. 36

In respect to President Joseph Fielding Smith’s words on this subject President Ezra Taft Benson added his testimony (Please see the reference for context): It is also apparent to all who have the Spirit of God in them that Joseph Fielding Smith’s writings will stand the test of time. 37

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. 38

Darwinist and Neo-Darwinist Statements

Charles Lyell

If we don’t irritate, which I fear that we may . . . we shall carry all with us. If you don’t triumph over them, but compliment the liberality and candor of the present age, the bishops and enlightened saints will join us in despising both the ancient and modern physico-theologians . . . I conceived the idea five or six years ago, that if ever the Mosaic geology could be set down without giving offence, it would be in an historical sketch . . . Let them feel it, and point the moral. 39

I have always been strongly impressed with the weight of an observation of an excellent writer and skillful geologist who said that ‘for the sake of revelation as well as of science—of truth in every form– the physical part of Geological inquiry ought to be conducted as if Scriptures were not in existence’. 40

Scriptures

D&C 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 . . .

D&C 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.

D&C 77:6–7
Q. What are we to understand by the book which John saw, which was sealed on the back with seven seals?

A. We are to understand that it contains 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 its temporal existence.

Q. What are we to understand by the seven seals with which it was sealed?
A. We are to understand that the first seal contains the things of the first thousand years, and the second also of the second thousand years, and so on until the seventh.

D&C 88:108–110
And then shall the first angel again sound his trump in the ears of all living, and reveal the secret acts of men, and the mighty works of God in thefirstthousand years. And then shall the second angel sound his trump, and reveal the secret acts of men, and the thoughts and intents of their hearts, and the mighty works of God in the second thousand years— And so on, until the seventh angel shall sound his trump; and he shall stand forth upon the land and upon the sea, and swearin the name of him who sitteth upon the throne, that there shall be time no longer; and Satan shall be bound, that old serpent, who is called the devil, and shall not be loosed for the space of a thousand years.

JST 2 Peter 3:3–6; 8
Knowing this first, that in the last days there shall come scoffers, walking after their own lusts. Denying the Lord Jesus Christ, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things must continue as they are and have continued as they are from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that of old the heavens, and the earth standing in the water and out of the water, were created by the word of God; And by the word of God, the world that then was, being overflowed with water perished; . . . But concerning the coming of the Lord, beloved, I would not have you ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day. ”

Supporting Statements

Henry Cole

Many reverend Geologists, however, would evince their reverence for the divine Revelation by making a distinction between its historical and its moral portions; and maintaining, that the latter only is inspired and absolute Truth but that the former is not so. . . . 41

Bruce R. McConkie

If . . . [one] accepts the untrue theory that death has been present on the earth for scores of thousands or millions of years, he must reject the revealed truth that there was no death either for man or animals or plants or any form of life until some 6000 years ago when Adam fell. 42


  1. D&C 77:12
  2. D&C 77:6
  3. Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:79-80
  4. Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:80
  5. 2 Nephi 2:22 , also see FAQ on Fall
  6. Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:79
  7. Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:81
  8. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Section Five 1842-43 p.252
  9. Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 12, p. 271, August 16th, 1868
  10. Journal of Discourses, Vol.6, p.307, Brigham Young, April 8, 1853
  11. Journal of Discourses, Vol. 8, p. 2, John Taylor, February 19, 1860
  12. Journal of Discourses 25:9, January 6, 1884. The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, p. 8
  13. Journal of Discourses, Vol. 14, p. 5, Wilford Woodruff, January 1, 1871
  14. Bruce R. McConkie, Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965-1973], 3: 97.
  15. Letter written to George Poulette Scrope in 1830, then published in Life, Letters and Journal of Charles Lyell, Mrs. Charles Lyell, ed. (London: John Murray, 1881), pp. 270-271
  16. Charles Lyell, quoted in M.J.S. Rudwick, “Charles Lyell Speaks in the Lecture Theatre,” Brit. J. Hist. Sci., IX:2:32 (July 1976), p. 150
  17. Henry Cole, Popular Geology Subversive of Divine Revelation (London: Hatchard and Son, 1834), p. ix-x, 44-45 (footnote)
  18. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith , Section Five 1842-43 p.252
  19. Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith , Section Five 1842-43, p.252
  20. Journal of Discourses , Vol. 12, p. 271, Brigham Young, August 16th, 1868
  21. Journal of Discourses , Vol.6, p.307, Brigham Young, April 8, 1853
  22. Journal of Discourses , Vol. 8, p. 2, John Taylor, February 19, 1860
  23. John Taylor, The Government of God [Liverpool: S. W. Richards, 1852], 110.
  24. John Taylor, The Government of God [Liverpool: S. W. Richards, 1852], 105.
  25. Wilford Woodruff, Journal of Discourses , 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints’ Book Depot, 1854-1886], 24: 53
  26. Journal of Discourses 25:9, January 6, 1884. The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, p. 8
  27. Journal of Discourses , Vol. 14, p. 5, Wilford Woodruff, January 1, 1871
  28. Wilford Woodruff, Journal of Discourses , 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints’ Book Depot, 1854-1886], 22: 331
  29. Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine: Selections from the Sermons and Writings of Joseph F. Smith, compiled by John A. Widtsoe [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1939], 372.
  30. President George Albert Smith, Conference Report, April 1945 , Third Day—Morning Meeting 135
  31. President George Albert Smith, Conference Report, October 1949 , First Day—Morning Meeting 4
  32. Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, 5: 112.
  33. Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:79-80
  34. Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:79
  35. Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:81
  36. Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 3 vols., edited by Bruce R. McConkie [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1954-1956], 1: 81.
  37. Ezra Taft Benson, This Nation Shall Endure [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1977], 26.
  38. Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:315.
  39. Letter written to George Poulette Scrope in 1830 , then published in Life, Letters and Journal of Charles Lyell , Mrs. Charles Lyell, ed. (London: John Murray, 1881), pp. 270-271
  40. Charles Lyell, quoted in M.J.S. Rudwick, Charles Lyell Speaks in the Lecture Theatre, Brit. J. Hist. Sci., IX:2:32 (July 1976), p. 150
  41. Henry Cole, Popular Geology Subversive of Divine Revelation (London: Hatchard and Son, 1834), p. ix-x, 44-45 (footnote)
  42. Bruce R. McConkie, Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965-1973], 3: 97.

References:

  1. D&C 77:12
  2.  D&C 77:6
  3. Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:79-80
  4. Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:80
  5. 2 Nephi 2:22 , also see FAQ on Fall
  6. Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:79
  7. Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:81
  8. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Section Five 1842-43 p.252
  9.  Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 12, p. 271, August 16th, 1868
  10. Journal of Discourses, Vol.6, p.307, Brigham Young, April 8, 1853
  11.  Journal of Discourses, Vol. 8, p. 2, John Taylor, February 19, 1860
  12.  Journal of Discourses 25:9, January 6, 1884. The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, p. 8
  13.  Journal of Discourses, Vol. 14, p. 5, Wilford Woodruff, January 1, 1871
  14.  Bruce R. McConkie, Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965-1973], 3: 97.
  15. Letter written to George Poulette Scrope in 1830, then published in Life, Letters and Journal of Charles Lyell, Mrs. Charles Lyell, ed. (London: John Murray, 1881), pp. 270-271
  16. Charles Lyell, quoted in M.J.S. Rudwick, “Charles Lyell Speaks in the Lecture Theatre,” Brit. J. Hist. Sci., IX:2:32 (July 1976), p. 150
  17.  Henry Cole, Popular Geology Subversive of Divine Revelation (London: Hatchard and Son, 1834), p. ix-x, 44-45 (footnote)
  18.  Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith , Section Five 1842-43, p.252
  19.  Journal of Discourses , Vol. 12, p. 271, Brigham Young, August 16th, 1868
  20. Journal of Discourses , Vol.6, p.307, Brigham Young, April 8, 1853
  21. Journal of Discourses , Vol. 8, p. 2, John Taylor, February 19, 1860
  22. John Taylor, The Government of God [Liverpool: S. W. Richards, 1852], 110.
  23.  John Taylor, The Government of God [Liverpool: S. W. Richards, 1852], 105.
  24. Wilford Woodruff, Journal of Discourses , 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints’ Book Depot, 1854-1886], 24: 53
  25. Journal of Discourses 25:9, January 6, 1884. The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, p. 8
  26.  Journal of Discourses , Vol. 14, p. 5, Wilford Woodruff, January 1, 1871
  27. Wilford Woodruff, Journal of Discourses , 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints’ Book Depot, 1854-1886], 22: 331
  28.  Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine: Selections from the Sermons and Writings of Joseph F. Smith, compiled by John A. Widtsoe [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1939], 372.
  29. President George Albert Smith, Conference Report, April 1945 , Third Day—Morning Meeting 135
  30. President George Albert Smith, Conference Report, October 1949 , First Day—Morning Meeting 4
  31. Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, 5: 112.
  32.  Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:79-80
  33. Joseph Fielding Smith, Signs of the Times [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1952], 23 – 24.
  34. Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:79
  35. Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:81
  36.  Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 3 vols., edited by Bruce R. McConkie [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1954-1956], 1: 81.
  37. Ezra Taft Benson, This Nation Shall Endure [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1977], 26.
  38. Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:315.
  39.  Letter written to George Poulette Scrope in 1830 , then published in Life, Letters and Journal of Charles Lyell , Mrs. Charles Lyell, ed. (London: John Murray, 1881), pp. 270-271
  40. Charles Lyell, quoted in M.J.S. Rudwick, Charles Lyell Speaks in the Lecture Theatre, Brit. J. Hist. Sci., IX:2:32 (July 1976), p. 150
  41.  Henry Cole, Popular Geology Subversive of Divine Revelation (London: Hatchard and Son, 1834), p. ix-x, 44-45 (footnote)
  42. Bruce R. McConkie, Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965-1973], 3: 97.

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  1. Helen says:

    YOU GUYS ARE AMAZING!!! The breadth and depth of all of your research absolutely amazes me. Thank you so much for all of your countless hours of research that you have done and then shared with anyone who will read it. THANK YOU!

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