32) TEMPORAL AND SPIRITUAL: Should religion and science be kept separate? Can Prophets receive revelation on scientific subjects? Are the temporal and spiritual two distinct realms?

Commentary

Some members of the Church who feel that evolution is a fact and at the same time know that the Presidents of the Church and the scriptures have taught contrary to this fact, believe that the argument is science versus religion. Because of this they feel that the Church and prophets should not make statements that involve science as it is unhealthy for the Church. They quote the famous statement of Galileo:

“The intention of the Holy Spirit is to teach us how one goes to heaven, not how the heavens go.”

Galileo_facing_the_Roman_Inquisition.jpg

This reference is quoted to show that the authority of prophets ends before reaching the realm of science. They cite Galileo and his difficulty with the Roman Catholic Church as evidence that religion and science will be at odds. This is a faulty argument however. The Roman Catholic Church was indeed in error on principles relating to astronomy and the relationship of the earth with the sun, and this caused contention with true principles of science. What is not realized, however, is that the source of the Churches error was not the Bible or revelation. The source of the error came from mixing religion with false science. Previous to Copernicus and Galileo the Roman Church had mixed their doctrine with Greek philosophy and other thought viewed as the science of the day. This mixture had led to official doctrine proclaiming that the sun revolved around the earth.

Therefore, it was actually the acceptance of false science by the Church that caused the problem. This is much the same as the Catholic Church position today which has expressed a view that appears to be in support of evolution, promoting theistic evolution. When Churches mix with the false scientific thought of the day they become corrupted. Today many feel that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints should accept Neo-Darwinism as a fact and should alter its doctrine to accord with this science which has been proven. If this were to occur, the Church would become corrupted in a manner very similar to the corruption that occurred in the Roman Catholic Church prior to Galileo. The true doctrine contained in the standard works and the words of inspired prophets does not need to bend to the wind of every doctrine through time. There is no error in the revelations.

In fact, it was not Galileo who first discovered that the earth revolved around the sun. The truth on this scientific principle was known many centuries earlier by the Nephites. The Book of Mormon clearly teaches that “it is the earth that moveth and not the sun.” In the book of Helaman several verses describe the great power that God has. If God desires the earth quakes and becomes broken up, the mountains become valleys and the sun can appear to stand still. During this discourse the prophet makes it clear that he understands the science of the solar system and the proper rotation of the earth and sun [1]. These scriptures were written long before the birth of Galileo who is supposed to be the originator of the idea that the earth revolves around the sun. The Nephites were not however the first to know of the truth on this scientific subject. The patriarch Abraham was shown by the Lord a correct understanding of our solar system and in fact was given information in astronomy that the science of today has not began to approach. Through the Urim and Thummim the Lord showed Abraham the stars and explained how they come into being. Abraham understood the revolutions of the planets and the order of stars that we know nothing about. He was shown the Creation of the earth and understood the truth of how all of these things came to be [2]. But even Abraham was not the first to understand these things. Enoch and Adam knew of these things from nearly the very beginning of mortal history [3]. Prophets are shown not only spiritual doctrines, but also historical and scientific truth.

Prophets can speak on science and the visions of God can and do include scientific information. President Benson in his famous Fourteen Fundaments in Following the Prophet talk mentioned these principles:

The prophet can receive revelation on any matter—temporal or spiritual.. . .

The prophet is not required to have any particular earthly training or credentials to speak on any subject or act on any matter at any time.

. . .

The prophet is not limited by men’s reasoning.

. . .

The two groups who have the greatest difficulty in following the prophet are the proud who are learned and the proud who are rich. The learned may feel the prophet is only inspired when he agrees with them; otherwise the prophet is just giving his opinion—speaking as a man.

. . .

In the Book of Mormon we read:

O that cunning plan of the evil one! O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. And they shall perish. [4]
[5]

From the above we can understand that prophets can and do speak on scientific subjects. We must also realize that when the revelations and prophets speak on science, their words are eternal truth and will not conflict with true science. True religion will never conflict with true science.

Those following the theories of men and hailing Darwin’s ideas believed that an understanding of the origin of man should rightfully be gained by observation and through the principles of science. The First Presidency countered these arguments by declaring:

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. [6] [7]

The opposition centered upon whether it was the place of science and the learning of the world or rather the Lord and his prophets to declare the origins of life. The First Presidency Message continued by declaring that man is a child of God—both directly as a Spirit son or daughter 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. [8]

Because God is the Father of the human race, He alone can declare the facts relating to the origin of man.

This modern world has largely bought into the deception of those who would like to harmonize the false philosophies of the scientific world with a weak, un-saving faith. For those who deny miracles and reject the supernatural, some have found that the best way to accord dignity and respect to both science and religion is to keep them in separate compartments. Science controls the realm of facts, while religion deals with the realm of values. Many argue that it is principally wrong for religious beliefs to have empirical consequences. By keeping the two separate, neither can contradict the other and each can coexist in mutual respect. Religion is transformed into a feel good nothingness. President John Taylor referred to this as fried froth.

. . . eat it all day, and at night be as far from being satisfied as when you began. [9]

What good is a religion that has no practicality in the real world? If science takes the practical world and religion is given ethics, there really is nothing left for religion to dictate. Note this rationale as used by an administrator in the Utah State Office of Education:

I’ll occasionally have calls into our office [on evolutionary theory]. We always go back to what is science and what we believe and what we know based on evidence. [10]

. . . based on evidence. In other words, There is no rational or natural evidence for God, therefore He does not belong in a science class. In our world, all educational subjects have striven to gain acceptance as science, whether physical science or social science. Should God be excluded from psychology, sociology and political science as well as other sciences? Should God be included in education at all? President Ezra Taft Benson gave us this warning:

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. [11]

President Brigham Young had this to say of those in the days of Joseph Smith who tried to separate the spiritual world from the physical world:

In a public meeting of the Saints, I said ‘Ye Elders of Israel . . . will some of you draw the line of demarcation, between the spiritual and temporal in the Kingdom of God, so that I may understand it?’ Not one of them could do it . . . I finally requested them, either to draw the line of demarcation, between spiritual and temporal things, or ever afterwards hold their speech on that subject. [12]

Do we really believe that we are justified in taking God out of science or God out of education? Have we not been repeatedly counseled otherwise? One such warning came from President David O. McKay nearly half a century ago. After hearing that the Supreme Court of the United States had removed prayer and religious instruction from public schools, President McKay made this stern prophetic statement:

The Supreme Court of the United States severs the connecting cord between the public schools of the United States and the source of divine intelligence, the Creator Himself. [13]

Have we cut the connecting cord between the creations of God and the Creator Himself? The prophet Alma in the Book of Mormon testified:

And also trust no one to be your teacher . . . except he be a man of God, walking in his ways and keeping his commandments. [14]

Prophetic Statements

First Presidency

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. [15] [16]

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. [17]

Joseph Smith

Wherefore, we again say, search the revelations of God: study the prophecies, and rejoice that God grants unto the world Seers and Prophets. They are they who saw the mysteries of godliness; they saw the flood before it came . . . they saw the glory of the Lord when He showed the transfiguration of the earth on the mount; they saw every mountain laid low and every valley exalted when the Lord was taking vengeance upon the wicked . . . they saw the end of wickedness on earth, and the Sabbath of creation crowned with peace; they saw the end of the glorious thousand years, when Satan was loosed for a little season . . . they saw the heaven and the earth flee away to make room for the city of God . . . . [18]

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. [19]

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 [20] 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]

It was by faith that the worlds were framed. God spake, chaos heard, and worlds came into order by reason of the faith there was in HIM. So with man also; he spake by faith in the name of God, and the sun stood still, the moon obeyed, mountains removed, prisons fell, lion’s mouths were closed, the human heart lost its enmity, fire its violence, armies their power, the sword its terror, and death its dominion; and all this by reason of the faith which was in him. . . . without power there could be no creation nor existence! [22]

Brigham Young

In a public meeting of the Saints, I said ‘Ye Elders of Israel . . . will some of you draw the line of demarcation, between the spiritual and temporal in the Kingdom of God, so that I may understand it?’ Not one of them could do it . . . I finally requested them, either to draw the line of demarcation, between spiritual and temporal things, or ever afterwards hold their speech on that subject. [23]

It [Gospel] comprehends all true science known by man, angels, and the gods.  There is one true system and science of life; all else tends to death.  That system emanates from the Fountain of Life.   1

The philosophy of the heavens and the earth of the worlds that are, that were, and that are yet to come into existence , is all the Gospel that we have embraced.  . . .  Our Father, the great God, is the author of the sciences, he is the great mechanic, he is the systematizer of all things, he plans and devises all things, and every particle of knowledge which man has in his possession is the gift of God, whether they consider it divine . . . it belongs to God, and he has bestowed it upon us, his children, dwelling here upon the earth. 2

Our religion embraces all the true philosophy, every art and every science there is on the face of the whole earth, and when they step outside the pale of the Christian religion—the power of God and the priesthood of the Son of God—they step out of the kingdom of heaven, and they then have cisterns that will hold no water, systems that will not bear scrutinizing. I know that a great many of the scientific men of the world philosophize upon this, that, and the other thing. Geologists will tell us the earth has stood so many millions of years. Why? Because the Valley of the Mississippi could not have washed out under about so many years, or so long a time. The Valley of Western Colorado, here, could not have washed out without taking such a length of time. What do they know about it? Nothing in comparison. They also reason about the age of the world by the marvelous specimens of petrification that are sometimes discovered. Now we can show them plenty of places where there are trees [of] perfect stone, running into the solid rock, and perhaps the rock is forty, fifty, or a hundred feet above the tree. Yet it is a perfect tree. There is the bark, there is the heart, and there is the outer-coating between the heart and the bark, all perfect rock. How long did it take to make this tree into rock? We do not know. I can tell them simply this—when the Lord Almighty brings forth the power of his chemistry he can combine the elements and make a tree into rock in one night or one day, if he chooses, or he can let it lie until it pulverizes and blows to the four winds, without petrifying, just as he pleases. He brings together these elements as he sees proper, for he is the greatest chemist there is. He knows more about chemistry and about the formation of the earth and about dividing the earth, and more about the mountains, valleys, rocks, hills, plains, and the sands than all the scientific men that we have. This we can say of a truth. Well, if it takes a million years to make a perfect rock of one kind of a tree, say a cedar tree, how long would it take to make a perfect rock of a cottonwood tree? Let the chemists tell this, if they can—but they cannot tell it.

Our religion embraces chemistry; it embraces all the knowledge of the geologist, and then it goes a little further than their systems of argument, for the Lord Almighty, its author, is the greatest chemist there is…The Scriptures foretell, “The elements shall melt with fervent heat.” The Lord Almighty will send forth his angels, who are well instructed in chemistry, and they will separate the elements and make new combinations thereof, and the whole heavens will be a sheet of fire. Well, our religion embraces this; and we know of no laws, no ordinances, no gifts, no principles, no arts, no sciences that are true, but what are embraced in the religion of Jesus Christ, in this Priesthood, which is a perfect system of government.

If anybody wants to know what the priesthood of the Son of God is, it is the law by which the worlds are, were, and will continue forever and ever. It is that system which brings worlds into existence and peoples them, gives them their revolutions—their days, weeks, months, years, their seasons and times and by which they are rolled up as a scroll, as it were, and go into a higher state of existence; and they who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ—the maker, framer, governor, dictator and controller of this earth—they who live according to his law and priesthood will be prepared to dwell on this earth when it is brought into the presence of the Father and the Son. This is the habitation of the Saints; this is the earth that will be given to the Saints, when they and it are sanctified and glorified, and brought back into the presence of the Father and the Son. This is our religion, and I bear testimony to it. [24]

Lorenzo Snow

The religion we have received is not a chimera. It is not something that has been devised by the cunning of man, but it issomething that has been revealed by the Almighty. It is a fact. It is something that truly exists. It is something that is tangible. It is some thing that can be laid hold of by the minds of the Latter-day Saints. It is something that can be directly understood, and be fully comprehended, so that there can be no doubt in the mind of any Latter-day Saint in regard to the nature and character of the ultimate outcome of the course that he proposes to pursue in complying with the demands of the Gospel he has received. But those demands are of a nature that perhaps would be almost appalling to the minds of individuals that were darkened, that had no light or understanding in regard to the outcome that is expected to be experienced by the Latter-day Saints, inasmuch as they continue faithful in adhering to the principles which they have espoused.

These demands are not of a nature that have no parallel in the history of the people of God. They were required in every age and period when God called a people to serve him, and to receive his laws. They were required in the days of Israel, in the beginning of that people. They were required of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They were required of Moses, and of the people that he led from Egyptian bondage. They were required by all the prophets that existed from the days of Adam to the present period of time. They were required by the apostles that received their commission by the laying on of the hands of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, and by the adherents of the religion that the apostles proclaimed and taught to the people, in their day and no man or set of men or class of people from the day of Adam to the present time, could comply with these requirements, except the people of God, as they were endowed with power from on high, which could proceed only from the Lord our God. And it would be simply foolish indeed to expect the Latter-day Saints in these days to comply with the celestial law, with the law that proceeds from God, and with his designs to elevate the people into his presence, except they were sustained by a supernatural power. [25]

George Albert Smith

No matter if scientists and great men of the world shall proclaim that we have evolved from the lower order of animals, the witness of the Spirit to you, my brethren and sisters, is that you are the offspring of the Lord . . . [26]

David O. McKay

Do we really believe that we are justified in taking God out of science or God out of education? Have we not been repeatedly counseled otherwise? One such warning came from President David O. McKay nearly half a century ago. After hearing that the Supreme Court of the United States had removed prayer and religious instruction from public schools, President McKay made this stern prophetic statement:

The Supreme Court of the United States severs the connecting cord between the public schools of the United States and the source of divine intelligence, the Creator Himself. [27]

Joseph Fielding Smith

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. [28]

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. [29]

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 D&C 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. [30]

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.
[31]

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. [32]

Harold B. Lee

We must measure every teaching to be found in the world of book learning by the teachings of revealed truth, as contained in the gospel of Jesus Christ. If we find in a school text claims that contradict the word of the Lord as pertaining to the creation of the world, the origin of man, or the determination of right or wrong in the conduct of human souls, we may be certain that such teachings are but the theories of men. [33]

Ezra Taft Benson

Sometimes there are those who feel their earthly knowledge on a certain subject is superior to the heavenly knowledge which God gives to His Prophet on the same subject. They feel the prophet must have the same earthly credentials or training which they have had before they will accept anything the prophet has to say that might contradict their earthly schooling. . . . We encourage earthly knowledge in many areas, but remember, if there is ever a conflict between earthly knowledge and the words of the prophet, you stand with the prophet, and you’ll be blessed and time will vindicate you. [34]

I know one noble father who reviews with his children regularly what they have been taught, and if they have been taught any falsehoods; then the children and the father together research out the truth…If your children are taught untruths on evolution in the public schools or even in our Church schools, provide them with a copy of President Joseph Fielding Smith’s excellent rebuttal in his book Man, His Origin and Destiny. [35]

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. [36]

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. [37]

But it is the living prophet who really upsets the world. “Even in the Church,” said President Spencer W. Kimball, “many are prone to garnish the sepulchres of yesterday’s prophets and mentally stone the living ones” [38]. 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 so-called experts of political science want the prophet to keep still on politics. Some would-be authorities on evolution want the prophet to keep still on evolution. And so the list goes on and on. 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. [39]

There will be times when you will have to choose between the revelations of God and the reasoning of men–between the prophet and the . . . professor. [40]

The prophet can receive revelation on any matter—temporal or spiritual.

. . .

The prophet is not required to have any particular earthly training or credentials to speak on any subject or act on any matter at any time.

. . .

The prophet is not limited by men’s reasoning.

. . .

The two groups who have the greatest difficulty in following the prophet are the proud who are learned and the proud who are rich. The learned may feel the prophet is only inspired when he agrees with them; otherwise the prophet is just giving his opinion—speaking as a man.

. . .

In the Book of Mormon we read:

O that cunning plan of the evil one! O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. And they shall perish. [41] [42]

Be mindful that there are many phenomena in God’s universe that cannot, to our present human understanding, be explained. There will always be those little minds who, out of vanity or intellectual display, will attempt to destroy faith in the very foundations of life. Be assured, however, that no man worthy of the name, who has been humbled and awed before the unexplainable wonders of this marvelous universe, will ever scoff at sacred things or try to rob you of your faith in the unseen. [43]

Howard W. Hunter

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.” [44] 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.” [45] 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. [46]

Darwinist and Neo-Darwinist

Brett Moulding

I’ll occasionally have calls into our office [on evolutionary theory]. We always go back to what is science and what we believe and what we know based on evidence. [47]

Sigmund Freud

There are no sources of knowledge, other than carefully scrutinized observations— what we call research. . . . [there is] no knowledge derived from revelation. [48]

In the long run, nothing can withstand reason and experience, and the contradiction religion offers to both is palpable. (Sigmund Freud) This is only attributed to Freud.

Scripture

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.

Mormon 9:17
Who shall say that it was not a miracle that by his word the heaven and the earth should be; and by the power of his word man was created of the dust of the earth; and by the power of his word have miracles been wrought?

Supporting Statements

Marion G. Romney

“We are not only to teach purely gospel subjects by the power of the Spirit . . . We are also to teach secular subjects by the power of the Spirit, and we are obligated to interpret the content of secular subjects in the light of revealed truth. This purpose is the only sufficient justification for spending Church money to maintain this institution.” [49]

Louis Agassiz

In our study of natural objects we are approaching the thoughts of the Creator, reading his conceptions, interpreting a system that is His and not ours. [50]

“Adam-ondi-Ahman” LDS Hymn

Adam-ondi-Ahman (This Earth Was Once a Garden Place) [51]

This earth was once a garden place,
With all her glories common;
And men did live a holy race,
And worship Jesus face to face,
In Adam-ondi-Ahman.

We read that Enoch walked with God,
Above the power of Mammon
While Zion spread herself abroad,
And saints and angels sung aloud
In Adam-ondi-Ahman.

Her land was good and greatly blest,
Beyond all Israel’s Canaan:

Her fame was known from east to west;
Her peace was great, and pure the rest
Of Adam-ondi-Ahman.

Hosannah to such days to come—
The Savior’s second comin[g]—
When all the earth in glorious bloom,
Affords the saints a holy home
Like Adam-ondi-Ahman.

Glorious Things Are Sung of Zion (William W. Phelps, LDS Hymnbook, #48)

Glorious things are sung of Zion, Enoch’s city seen of old.

Where the righteous, being perfect, Walked with God in streets of gold.

Love and virtue, faith and wisdom, Grace and gifts were all combined.

As himself each loved his neighbor; All were one in heart and mind.

 

There they shunn’d the pow’r of Satan And observed celestial laws,

For in Adam-ondi-Ahman Zion rose where Eden was.

When beyond the pow’r of evil, So that none could covet wealth,

One continual feast of blessings Crown’d their days with peace and health.

 

Then the tow’rs of Zion glittered Like the sun in yonder skies,

And the wicked stood and trembled, Filled with wonder and surprise.

Then their faith and works were perfect; Lo, they followed their great Head!

So the city went to heaven, And the world said, Zion’s fled!

 

When the Lord returns with Zion, and we hear the watchman cry,

Then we’ll surely be united, and we’ll all see eye to eye.

Then we’ll mingle with the angels, And the Lord will bless his own.

Then the earth will be as Eden, And we’ll know as we are known.


  1. Helaman 12:8-17
  2. Abraham 3-5
  3. Moses 7 , D&C 107:53-57
  4. 2 Nephi 9:28
  5. The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 134-140
  6. First Presidency of the Church, The Origin of Man, Improvement Era, Nov. 1909, 75–81
  7. Ensign, February 2002, p. 26
  8. Ibid.
  9. John Taylor, The Gospel Kingdom, p. 78
  10. Brett Moulding, science education specialist for the Utah State Office of Education, in Evolution Taught the Mormon Way, Associated Press, Oct. 4, 1999, by Hannah Wolfson: Associated Press Writer
  11. Ezra Taft Benson,Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 320
  12. Journal of Discourses, 10:363-4
  13. David O. McKay, Relief Society Magazine, December 1962, p. 878
  14. Mosiah 23:14
  15. First Presidency of the Church, The Origin of Man, Improvement Era, Nov. 1909, 75–81
  16. Ensign, February 2002, p. 26
  17. Ibid.
  18. History of the Church 1:283
  19. Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, selected and arranged by Joseph Fielding Smith [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1976], 197.
  20. Adam
  21. Joseph Smith, Teachings of Joseph Smith, pp. 157-158
  22. Joseph Smith, Lectures on Faith, p. 5
  23. Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 10:363-4
  24. Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 15:127-128.
  25. Lorenzo Snow, Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints’ Book Depot, 1854-1886], 20: 363 – 364
  26. George Albert Smith, Conference Reports, April 1905, p. 61
  27. David O. McKay, Relief Society Magazine, December 1962, p. 878
  28. Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 3:289-290.
  29. Joseph Fielding Smith, Man, His Origin and Destiny [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1954], 276.
  30. Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 3 vols., edited by Bruce R. McConkie [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1954-1956], 1: 81.
  31. Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:315.
  32. Ezra Taft Benson, This Nation Shall Endure [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1977], 26.
  33. HBL, Stand Ye In Holy Places, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1975. p. 73
  34. Ezra Taft Benson, Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophet, BYU devotional, February 26, 1980
  35. Ezra Taft Benson, God, Family, Country: Our Three Great Loyalties, p. 227.
  36. Ezra Taft Benson, The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, 60-61.
  37. Ezra Taft Benson, The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, 307.
  38. Instructor, 95:257
  39. Ezra Taft Benson, The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 140
  40. Ezra Taft Benson, 14 Fundamentals of Following the Prophet, BYU Devotional, February 26, 1980
  41. 2 Nephi 9:28
  42. The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 134-140
  43. Ezra Taft Benson, Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 318; “Your Charge: To Increase in Wisdom and Favor with God and Man,” New Era 9 [September 1979]: 42
  44. Matthew 24:36-39
  45. John 11:25
  46. Howard W. Hunter, That We Might Have Joy, p. 23.
  47. Brett Moulding, science education specialist for the Utah State Office of Education, in Evolution Taught the Mormon Way, Associated Press, Oct. 4, 1999, by Hannah Wolfson: Associated Press Writer
  48. Sigmund Freud, CS Lewis vs. Sigmund Freud: on Good and Evil, Armond M. Nicholi, Theodore Dalrymple
  49. Elder Marion G. Romney, “Temples of Learning.” BYU Annual University Conference, September 1966
  50. Louis Agassiz
  51. William W. Phelps, LDS Hymnbook, #49

References:

  1. Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 8:70
  2. Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 18:359

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