36) OPPOSING WORLD VIEWS: How does a providential world view differ from an evolutionary world view? Which view should be taken by Latter-day Saints?
“Then spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon.
And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies.. . . So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.” 1
“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.” 2
“There seems to be no more design in the variability of organic beings and in the action of natural selection than in the course which the wind blows.” 3
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? 4
“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?” 5
“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 . . . and all this by reason of the faith which was in him. . . without power there could be no creation nor existence!” 6
“And truth is knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come.” 7
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 . . . 8
Depression has come because we have forsaken God. Now, I am not speaking of the Latter-day Saints when I say that. I make this saying [in] general application. The people of this nation, and the people of other nations, have forsaken the Lord. We have violated his laws. We have failed to hearken to his promises. We have not considered that we were under obligation to keep his commandments, and the laws of the land as well as the laws of God are not respected. The Sabbath day has become a day of pleasure, a day of boisterous conduct, a day in which the worship of God has departed, and the worship of pleasure has taken its place. I am sorry to say that many of the Latter-day Saints are guilty of this. We should repent. 9
And because they did cast them all out, that there were none righteous among them, I did send down fire and destroy them, that their wickedness and abominations might be hid from before my face, that the blood of the prophets and the saints whom I sent among them might not cry unto me from the ground against them.
And many great destructions have I caused to come upon this land, and upon this people, because of their wickedness and their abominations.
O all ye that are spared because ye were more righteous than they, will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you?
Yea, verily I say unto you, if ye will come unto me ye shall have eternal life. Behold, mine arm of mercy is extended towards you, and whosoever will come, him will I receive; and blessed are those who come unto me.
Behold, I am Jesus Christ the Son of God. I created the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are. 10
For after your testimony cometh the testimony . . . of the voice of thunderings, and the voice of lightnings, and the voice of tempests, and the voice of the waves of the sea heaving themselves beyond their bounds. And all things shall be in commotion; and surely, men’s hearts shall fail them; for fear shall come upon all people. 11
And it shall come to pass that he that feareth me shall be looking forth for the great day of the Lord to come, even for the signs of the coming of the Son of Man. And they shall see signs and wonders, for they shall be shown forth in the heavens above, and in the earth beneath. 12
A false principle, a false theory, whether in mechanism or philosophy, requires much argument and superior talent to sustain it, but when the truth is presented it commends itself to the understanding of the people so readily that it requires no great amount of learning to substantiate it, nor much skill to declare it to the honest who want truth, and it remains firm and sound. 13
Darwinist and Neo-Darwinist
One of the most articulate spokesmen for secular humanism is Corliss Lamont. In a lucid textbook entitled “The Philosophy of Humanism,” he outlines the ten tenets on which modern secular humanism rests. Paraphrased, they are listed below…
- All reality is what we perceive ‑ there is no super natural.
- Man is a product of evolution and has no soul after death.
- Humanity must solve its own problems using only reason and the scientific method.
- Human beings are, within certain scientifically defined limits, masters of their own destiny.
- All ethics and morality are derived from the experiences of the human race.
- The “good life” is obtained by working for self‑development and the welfare of the community.
- The works of nature are to receive the adoration of mankind.
- Only through a global democracy will mankind obtain peace and prosperity.
- Reason and the scientific method should pervade all aspects of the human life.
- Humanism is still a developing philosophy. 14
- Joshua 10:12–13 ↩
- 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 ↩
- Charles Darwin, The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, p. 87 ↩
- Jacob 4:9 ↩
- Mormon 9:17 ↩
- Joseph Smith, Lectures on Faith, p. 5 ↩
- D&C 93:24 ↩
- Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 320 ↩
- Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 3 vols., edited by Bruce R. McConkie [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1954-1956], 3: 24 ↩
- 3 Nephi 9:11–15 ↩
- D&C 88:89–91 ↩
- D&C 45:39–40 ↩
- Journal of Discourses, 18:361 ↩
- Eric N. Skousen, The Power People, 1980 ↩