It is interesting to note that at least seven Presidents of the Church have clearly taught that Darwinian evolution weakens faith.
President Brigham Young taught that Darwin, Huxley and Miall, three leading biologists of his day, were destroying the faith among the youth of the Saints. Because of this he endowed Brigham Young Academy to refute these false educational teachings. (See more)
President Joseph F. Smith was concerned for the youth in this respect as well. While President of the Church, President Smith removed three professors from Brigham Young University for weakening the faith of students by promoting Darwinian evolution and the inevitable attacks upon the scriptures that come from such a course. Additionally, because of his concern that Darwinism was destroying faith among the Saints as a whole, he issued the 1909 First Presidency statement to counter the celebrations that were occurring that year in response to Darwin’s centennial birthday. This statement, The Origin of Man, is the official position of the Church today, declaring Darwin’s theories contradictory to scripture and a false “theory of men.” (See more)
President Heber J. Grant reissued portions of this Presidency Message as “Mormon View of Evolution” at the time of the Scopes Monkey trial. (See more)
President George Albert Smith also consistently taught that we should be grateful that we do not need to be part of the confusion of the world that has come about because of Darwinism. President Smith taught that we know the true origin of man. The physical Father of the human race is not a lower form of life, but our father in heaven. (See more)
President Joseph Fielding Smith’s stand on this issue is widely known. He taught that Darwin’s philosophies were a trick of the devil inspired by Lucifer to deceive both Christian and non-Christian alike. He taught that the Darwinian doctrines remove the three foundations upon which the Gospel is built, namely the Creation, the Fall and the Atonement of Jesus Christ. President Smith further taught that those who are guilty of promoting organic evolution will be held accountable before God and receive the fruit of their labors. Finally, President Smith taught that organic evolution is Satan’s chief weapon against the Gospel of Jesus Christ in our day. (See more)
President Harold B. Lee reiterated President Joseph Fielding Smith’s words. He promoted President Smith’s book, Man His Origin and Destiny and taught from it at BYU and elsewhere. While President, Harold B. Lee published a First Presidency Message declaring that those who believe in and teach that there were pre-Adamites are weak in the faith. President Lee was famous for being an opponent of Darwinian evolution. (See more)
President Ezra Taft Benson was also staunch is his denunciation of organic evolution. While President he published the Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson which was reviewed by his counselors President Gordon B. Hinckley and President Thomas S. Monson. In this book he explains that we are not using the Book of Mormon as we should because we are not using the book to expose the false educational philosophies of men like Charles Darwin. He also kindly reprimanded some of the Saints for not believing in and teaching the true doctrines of the Creation and the Fall as contained in the scriptures. He taught that the key to avoiding deception in the last days is to keep your eye on the prophets and reject the false teachers found even at Church schools and among the Saints. President Benson taught that if the youth are taught false teastrochings on the origin of man and organic evolution at our Church schools or elsewhere, that they should read President Joseph Fielding Smith’s book, Man: His Origin and Destiny. He also testified that all those who have the Spirit of God in them will know that President Joseph Fielding Smith’s writings on the origin of man will stand the test of time. President Benson was loyal to and defended the prophetic calling of Joseph Fielding Smith and the other Presidents of the Church. On one occasion he publicly and sternly denounced a professor, who had written a work on the history of organic evolution and the Church, in front of his own student body at one of our universities. Clearly President Benson was a strong advocate for the truth in this matter. (See more)
President Howard W. Hunter also promoted the true doctrines as found in the scriptures and denounced the false teachings found in academia. He taught that the true account of the Creation of the earth and man was to be found in the scriptures and that we should not compromise these clear teachings by blending them with the teachings of the modernists. Modernists in this context are those who reject the literal universal flood, the Creation of the earth by God, the literal Fall of man in the Garden of Eden and other foundational teachings of the scriptures. He declared that if these doctrines were old fashioned in our world, that he was old fashioned, and that the Church must remain old fashioned. (See more)
These are just a brief sketch of the teachings of some of the Presidents of the Church in this dispensation denouncing Darwinism and Neo-Darwinism. The references to these and many other statements supporting the scriptural accounts and refuting the evolutionist assumptions can be found in this FAQ compilation.
In addition to the Presidents of the Church denouncing evolution, the scriptures are also a primary witness in these matters. President Ezra Taft Benson taught.
“The type of apostates in the Book of Mormon is similar to the type we have today. God, with his infinite foreknowledge, so molded the Book of Mormon that we might see the error and know how to combat false educational . . . concepts of our time.”1
President Benson taught that the purpose of the Book of Mormon is to bring men to Christ by “testifying of Christ and revealing His enemies.”2
In the Book of Mormon the story of Korihor, an ancient atheist/agnostic, is found. Korihor is possibly the most colorful of all the Nephite antichrists. He came among the people of Zarahemla with new ideas about Creation and the existence of God. He was an atheist, claiming to know that there was no God and no Christ. In striking contrast to the past he argued what had previously been deemed unthinkable; this earth was not created by God and there is no convincing evidence for a Supreme Creator. His teachings when compared to the teachings of atheists in our day, evidence a remarkable parallel. Korihor taught that:
“. . . there could be no atonement made for the sins of men, but every man fared in this life according to the management of the creature; therefore every man prospered according to his genius, and that every man conquered according to his strength; and whatsoever a man did was no crime.”3
Darwin taught that every animal including man survived according to his own fitness and strength. Korihor promoted these same naturalistic principles which exclude God from the equation. There was no Fall and therefore no Atonement is necessary. There is no natural man to overcome, but these desires of survival and conquering according to our strength and ability are laws in nature. Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection and Herbert Spencer’s social Darwinist perspective on the survival of the fittest are perfect parallels. Note this statement from the “robber baron” Andrew Carnegie:
I remember that light came in as a flood and all was clear. Not only had I got rid of theology and the supernatural but I had found the truth of evolution.4
And this from John D. Rockefeller:
This is not an evil tendency in business. It is merely the working-out of a law of nature and a law of God.5
These men justified cruelty in business with Darwinian principles. Others including Hitler, Stalin and Mao killed millions and justified their actions using Darwinian assumptions about life, survival and naturalistic “morality.” Hitler justified his actions scientifically in this way:
He who would live must fight, he who does not wish to fight in this world where permanent struggle is the law of life, has not the right to exist.6
And why not when he read Darwin:
“By offering evolution in place of God as a cause of history, Darwin removed the theological basis of the moral code of Christendom.” 7
Previous to the introduction of Darwin’s world-view, when a non-believer would state his anti-religious feelings, the reply would most likely include this idea, “How then were the earth and heavens created?” It was generally accepted that a Creator was essential to existence. Darwin changed this by saying in essence, “Let me show you how all of this came to be without God’s hand. We don’t need the crutch of a Creating Hand; it was all accomplished by chance.” Most Neo-Darwinists feel that chance and long periods of time replace what was originally considered the work of God. Note this statement by leading biologist Stephan Jay Gould:
“He [Darwin] knew that the primary feature distinguishing his theory from all other evolutionary doctrines was its uncompromising philosophical materialism. Other evolutionists . . . permitted a Christian God to work by evolution instead of creation. Darwin spoke only of random variation and natural selection.”8
Darwinism and Neo-Darwinism promote looking at the world through purely naturalistic glasses. There is a natural and random cause to all events. Civilizations are never destroyed because of wickedness, but rather only because they were built in the wrong location at the wrong time. Wickedness can never cause illness, but can only come about through natural causes. Prosperity can never come from blessings through righteousness. Notions that the Lord would temper the climate or cause destructions because of sin are completely incompatible. Those who hold to the evolutionary teachings without fail reject large portions of the scriptures that deal with miraculous events. President Joseph F. Smith taught:
“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.”9
Beware of those who say that things “come by laws of nature of themselves.” Who in our day is saying that the Creation came by the laws of nature alone? It would be difficult to summarize Darwin’s theory of natural selection more elegantly.
“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.”10
“We have enough and to spare, at present in these mountains, of schools where young infidels are made because the teachers are so tender-footed that they dare not mention the principles of the gospel to their pupils, but have no hesitancy in introducing into the classroom the theories of Huxley, of Darwin, or of Miall, and the false political economy which contends against co-operation and the United Order. This course I am resolutely and uncompromisingly opposed to, and I hope to see the day when the doctrines of the gospel will be taught in all our schools, when the revelation of the Lord will be our texts, and our books will be written and manufactured by ourselves and in our own midst. As a beginning in this direction I have endowed the Brigham Young Academy at Provo.”11
Joseph F. Smith
“Recently there was some trouble…in one of the leading Church schools—the training college of the Brigham Young University—where three of the professors advanced certain theories on evolution as applied to the origin of man, and certain opinions on “higher criticism,” as conclusive and demonstrated truths. This was done although it is well known that evolution and the “higher criticism”…are in conflict on some matters with the scriptures, including some modern revelation…The Church, on the contrary, holds to the definite authority of divine revelation which must be the standard; and that, as so-called “science” has changed from age to age in its deductions, and as divine revelation is truth, and must abide forever, views as to the lesser should conform to the positive statements of the greater; and, further, that in institutions founded by the Church for the teaching of theology, as well as other branches of education, its instructors must be in harmony in their teachings with its principles and doctrines…as teachers in a Church school they could not be given opportunity to inculcate theories that were out of harmony with the recognized doctrines of the Church, and hence [they were] required to refrain from so doing…The trustees of the Brigham Young University…unanimously resolved, “that no doctrine should be taught in the Brigham Young University not in harmony with the revealed word of God as interpreted and construed by the Presidency and Apostles of the Church; and that the power and authority of determining whether any professor or other instructors of the institution is out of harmony with the doctrines and attitude of the Church, be delegated to the presidency of the university”…Philosophic theories of life have their place and use, but it is not in the classes of the Church schools, and particularly are they out of place here or anywhere else when they seek to supplant the revelations of God. The ordinary student cannot delve into these subjects deep enough to make them of any practical use to him, and a smattering of knowledge in this line only tends to upset his simple faith in the gospel, which is of more value to him in life than all the learning of the world without it.”12
“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.”13
Heber J. Grant
Note: President Heber J. Grant issued an official First Presidency Message in 1925 entitled, “Mormon View of Evolution.” To view, click here.
George Albert Smith
(Comments in response to the Scopes Monkey Trial) Man did not come from a lower order of life. I am grateful that in the midst of the confusion of our Father’s children there has been given to the members of this great organization a sure knowledge of the origin of man, that we came from the spirit world where our spirits were begotten by our Father in Heaven, that he formed our first parents from the dust of the earth, and that their spirits were placed in their bodies, and that man came, not as some have believed, not as some have preferred to believe, from some of the lower walks of life, but our ancestors were those beings who lived in the courts of heaven. We came not from some menial order of life, but our ancestor is God our Heavenly Father. I am grateful that we are not laboring under a handicap such as I feel that some men are who feel that they have grown up and evolved from some unknown condition; but, on the contrary, standing as we do, facing the problems of life, believing as we do that we were first created in the image of God.14
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 . . . 15
Joseph Fielding Smith
“Organic evolution is Satan’s chief weapon in this dispensation in his attempt to destroy the divine mission of Jesus Christ. It is a contemptible plot against faith in God and to destroy the effective belief in the divine atonement of our Redeemer through which men may be saved from their sins and find place in the Kingdom of God. There is not and cannot be any compromise between the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the theories of evolution. Were evolution true, there could be no remission of sin.”16
“EVOLUTIONARY THEORY FALSE. This idea that everything commenced from a small beginning, from the scum upon the surface of the sea, and has gradually developed until all forms of life, the beasts of the field, the fowls of the air, the fishes of the sea, and the plants upon the face of the earth, have all sprung from that one source, is a falsehood absolutely. There is no truth in it, for God has given us his word by which we may know, and all who are led by the Spirit of God can understand through that Holy Spirit, the truth of these things.”17
To a person who has faith in God, and believes in the mission of Jesus Christ, such child’s-play is worthy of ridicule. It is astonishing how men can get so far away from the truth in their stubborn, wilful, blindness to believe that these wonderful parts of the skeleton so skilfully and artistically placed in the body, each bone having a definite part to play peculiar to itself to give to the body power and efficient service, came to that place by chance, and by a continuous change from a jelly-like creature millions of years ago. This doctrine of descent from lower forms is a trick of the devil whose self-appointed mission is to destroy the work of God and the divine mission of Jesus Christ. It is unfortunate that the devil finds so many followers.18
“Darwin…lost his religion when he lost confidence in [William] Paley’s evidences. He says: “The old argument from design in Nature, as given by Paley, which formerly seemed to me so conclusive, fails now that the law of natural selection has been discovered. We can no longer argue that, for instance, the beautiful hinge of a bivalve shell must have been made by an intelligent being, like the hinge of a door by man.” “At the present day,” he continues, “the most usual argument for the existence of an intelligent God is drawn from the deep inward conviction and feeling which are experienced by most persons.” Formerly he was led by feelings such as those just referred to, to the firm conviction of the existence of God and of the immortality of the soul. The grandeur of the Brazilian forest, he says, used to inspire him with religious awe. “But now the grandest scenes would not cause any such convictions and feelings to arise in my mind. It may be truly said that I am like a man who has become color-blind.” In another passage he mentions the fact that his love for poetry has gradually disappeared—a proof of the withering effect which continual scientific investigation may exert upon the soul! His state was, however, evidently preconditioned by the original intellectualistic bent of his religious convictions, formed by his early instruction. He has a feeling of having been cheated by false theories and proofs, and therefore looks with distrust upon the entire church. This is an every-day occurrence. Consequently it is a vital question for the church to assume a proper attitude towards science. The mutual distrust existing between science and the church is fatal to her.19 The quotations in relation to the loss of faith of Charles Darwin is taken from the book, Charles Darwin’s Life, by his son, Francis Darwin, page 63. One who follows the theories of Darwin, will eventually, like Darwin, lose all faith in God the Eternal Creator. A person cannot believe that bivalve shells come by chance and hinges of a door have to come by the act of an intelligent being, and be sound in his thinking. Verily, those who insistently follow the evolutionary theories, cannot at the same time accept and worship an intelligent anthropomorphic God!”20
So now, in the twentieth century, the doctrines of the critics of the Bible and the teachings of the organic evolutionists, have gained the ascendency in the scientific world. It is true that in former years we lived in a Christian nation, the fact persists that now many Christian ministers, so-called, have been caught in the web of modernism and organic evolution and have rejected the fundamental doctrines of Christianity; and they, like the Christians in the days of Rome, have mingled their religious views with these modern (pagan) teachings. Because of the influence of destructive criticism and these theories of the descent of man, many ministers have rejected the fall of Adam, the atonement of Jesus Christ, and the resurrection of the dead. In fact they have come to the point where they have discarded the doctrine of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and that he is the Only Begotten Son of God. Their Christianity, filled with abundant errors before, has sunk to a lower level. These advocates of modernism and evolutionary teachings, glory in the fact that their influence has helped to eliminate from Christianity, the “dogma of Adam’s fall,” and the “legendary husks and rinds of our sacred books.” One day, when they come to the judgment, they will have to give an accounting for all this mischief they have done. It may be imagined how they will feel, when they are forced to confront the thousands who have been turned away from faith in God and acceptance of his divine plan of salvation, because these enemies of truth were eager to destroy the scriptures and the mission of Jesus Christ. If great joy will be felt by the individual who has, through his humble effort, saved one soul, then how great must be the remorse of these learned men when they discover that their efforts have been the means of destroying thousands of souls?
This brings us to the discussion of what I believe to be the most pernicious doctrine ever entering the mind of man: the theory that man evolved from the lower forms of life. For its source we must go beyond the activities and research of mortal man to the author of evil, who has been an enemy of truth from the beginning before the earth was formed.21
“Mr. Charles Darwin was first trained for the ministry. He accepted belief in God. After making his research and reaching his deductions, he forsook belief in God. Sir Arthur Keith also was trained for the ministry and accepted a belief in Jesus Christ. After he joined the ranks of Darwinism, he renounced his faith and rejected the Bible. So it has been with the many scores of others.”22
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.23
Harold B. Lee
President Harold B. Lee was a strong supporter of Joseph Fielding Smith’s book Man: His Origin and Destiny. President Lee also taught the following in a First Presidency Message as the President of the Church:
“I was somewhat sorrowed recently to hear someone, a sister who comes from a church family, ask, ‘What about the pre-Adamic people?’ Here was someone who I thought was fully grounded in the faith. I asked, ‘What about the pre-Adamic people?’ She replied, ‘Well, aren’t there evidences that people preceded the Adamic period of the earth?’ I said, ‘Have you forgotten the scripture that says, ‘And I, the Lord God, formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul, the first flesh upon the earth, the first man also….’24 I asked, ‘Do you believe that?’ She wondered about the creation because she had read the theories of the scientists, and the question that she was really asking was: How do you reconcile science with religion? The answer must be, If science is not true, you cannot reconcile truth with error.”25
Spencer W. Kimball
“Our first parents, Adam and Eve, disobeyed God. By eating the forbidden fruit, they became mortal. Consequently, they and all of their descendants became subject to both mortal and spiritual death (mortal death, the separation of body and spirit; and spiritual death the separation of the spirit from the presence of God and death as pertaining to the things of the spirit). In order for Adam to regain his original state (to be in the presence of God), an atonement for this disobedience was necessary. In God’s divine plan, provision was made for a redeemer to break the bonds of death and, through the resurrection, make possible the reunion of the spirits and bodies of all persons who had dwelt on earth…”For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”26”27
“As in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive. Adam and Eve transgressed a law and were responsible for a change that came to all their posterity, that of mortality. Could it have been the different food which made the change? Somehow blood, the life-giving element in our bodies, replaced the finer substance which coursed through their bodies before. They and we became mortal, subject to illness, pains, and even the physical dissolution called death.”28 See also: Spencer W. Kimball, “Absolute Truth”, Ensign, September 1978, p. 3
“When Adam intentionally and wisely partook of the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, he brought upon all of us, his descendants, two deaths-the physical or “mortal death,” and the spiritual death or the banishment from the presence of the Lord.”29
“God has given us a plan. He has sent us all to earth to obtain bodies and to gain experience and growth. He anticipated the fall of Adam and Eve and the consequent change in their mortal condition and provided his Son Jesus Christ to redeem man from the effects of the fall.”30
Jesus of Nazareth was the one who, before the world was created, was chosen to come to earth to perform this service, to conquer mortal death. This voluntary action would atone for the fall of Adam and Eve and permit the spirit of man to recover his body, thereby reuniting body and spirit. (78-06)31
Ezra Taft Benson
“Recently one of our Church educators published what he purports to be a history of the Church’s stand on the question of organic evolution. His thesis challenges the integrity of a prophet of God. He suggests that Joseph Fielding Smith published his work Man: His Origin and Destiny against the counsel of the First Presidency and his own brethren. This writer’s interpretation is not only inaccurate, but it runs counter to the testimony of Elder Mark E. Petersen, who wrote this foreword to President Smith’s book, a book I would encourage all of you to read:
“Some of us [members of the Council of the Twelve] urged [Elder Joseph Fielding Smith] to write a book on the creation of the world and the origin of man…the present volume is the result. It is a most remarkable presentation of material from both sources [science and religion] under discussion. It will fill a great need in the Church, and will be particularly invaluable to students who have become confused by the misapplication of information derived from scientific experimentation.”32
“When one understands that the author to whom I allude is an exponent for the theory of organic evolution, his motive in disparaging President Joseph Fielding Smith becomes apparent. To hold to a private opinion on such matters is one thing, but when one undertakes to publish his views to discredit the work of a prophet, it is a very serious matter. 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.”33
“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.”34
“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.”35
“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.”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
We all need to take a careful inventory of our performance and also the performance of those over whom we preside to be sure that we are teaching the “great plan of the Eternal God” to the Saints. Are we accepting and teaching what the revelations tell us about the Creation, Adam and the fall of man, and redemption from that fall through the atonement of Christ?38
“Sometimes, from behind the pulpit, in our classrooms, in our council meetings, and in our Church publications, we hear, read, or witness things that do not square with the truth. . . . Now, do not let this serve as an excuse for your own wrongdoing. The Lord is letting the wheat and the tares mature before He fully purges the Church. He is also testing you to see if you will be misled. The devil is trying to deceive the very elect.
Let me give you a crucial key to help you avoid being deceived. It is this-learn to keep your eye on the prophet. He is the Lord’s mouthpiece and the only man who can speak for the Lord today. Let his inspired counsel take precedence. Let his inspired words be a basis for evaluating the counsel of all lesser authorities. Then live close to the Spirit so you may know the truth of all things.”39
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.”40 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.”41 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.”42
“What of spiritual values and the religious ideals of past generations, which have been the great stabilizing influence on society? Modern thinkers claim these have been the great deterrents to man in the freedoms he now seeks. There is a great effort on the part of so-called modernists to change religious beliefs and teachings of the past to conform to modern thought and critical research. They de-emphasize the teachings of the Bible by modern critical methods and deny that scripture is inspired. The modernist teaches that Christ is not the Son of God. He denies the doctrine of the atoning sacrifice by which all men may be saved. He denies the fact of the resurrection of the Savior of the world and relegates him to the status of a teacher of ethics. Where, then, is hope? What has become of faith?
The Old Testament unfolds the story of the creation of the earth and man 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?”43
Gordon B. Hinckley
“When I was a college student there were many discussions on the question of organic evolution. I took classes in geology and biology and heard the whole story of Darwinism as it was then taught. I wondered about it. I thought much about it. But I did not let it sway me, for I read what the scriptures said about our origins and our relationship to God.”44
Darwinist and Neo-Darwinist
“Darwin destroyed the last of my ideological prejudices. … In the Odessa prison I felt something like hard scientific ground under my feet. Facts began to establish themselves in a certain system. The idea of evolution and determinism—that is, the idea of a gradual development conditioned by the character of the material world—took possession of me completely.
Darwin stood for me like a mighty doorkeeper at the entrance to the temple of the universe. I was intoxicated with his minute, precise, conscientious and at the same time powerful, thought. I was the more astonished when I read … that he had preserved his belief in God.8 I absolutely declined to understand how a theory of the origin of species by way of natural selection and sexual selection and a belief in God could find room in one and the same head.”45
“A man who has no assured and ever-present belief in the existence of a personal God, or of a future existence with retribution and reward, can have for his rule of life, as far as I can see, only to follow those impulses and instincts which are the strongest or which seem to him the best ones.”46
“Thus disbelief crept over me at a very slow rate, but was at last complete. The rate was so slow that I felt no distress, and have never since doubted even for a single second that my conclusion was correct.”47
“At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace throughout the world the savage races. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked,16 will no doubt be exterminated. The break will then be rendered wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as at present between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.”48
“The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness, and may possibly be injurious to the intellect, and more probably to the moral character, by enfeebling the emotional part of our nature.”49
“False Facts are highly injurious to the progress of science for they often endure long.”50
“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.”51
“Darwin’s view of nature was dark—black . . . . Where most men and women generally believed in some kind of design in nature—some kind of plan and order . . . Darwin wanted them to see all life as empty of any divine purpose.”52
Evolution: Evolution is not inherently atheistic. There are no data generated by chemistry, biology, the earth sciences (geology, paleontology) or other related academic disciplines that validate the conclusion that God does not exist, or that exclude God from the process that generated living creatures. Theological questions are outside of the realm in which science is able to make a direct contribution. . . . Could God have employed a mechanism for creation that depended on the random behavior of molecules and other probabilistic biochemical and biological events with confidence that the outcome would be as he desired (envisioned)—was it predictable? Many believe the answer is yes. It would not have been necessary for God to intervene at each stage of the creative process in order to insure the eventual appearance of living organisms on the earth.”53
For many, the notion of man’s biological kinship with the organisms of the world is an ennobling and uplifting concept that gives meaning to our stewardship of the earth. To be part of the living community of the world, not above and outside of that community, is the important insight of evolution.54
Charles Lyell desired to destroy belief in the scriptural record: “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.”55
“I believe the most fundamental thing we can do today is to believe in evolution.”56
“Darwin, whom I am now reading, is splendid.”57
“Just as Darwin discovered the law of evolution in organic nature, so Marx discovered the law of evolution in human history.”58
“He who would live must fight, he who does not wish to fight in this world where permanent struggle is the law of life, has not the right to exist.”59
In his Autobiographical Study, Freud would recall that “Darwin’s doctrine, then in vogue, was a powerful attraction, since it promised to provide an extraordinary thrust to understanding the universe” (1925d).
From then on Darwin joined Hannibal in Freud’s personal pantheon and he dreamed of becoming his equal. In “A Difficulty in the Path of Psycho-Analysis,” he described the three wounds inflicted on humanity’s pride: when Copernicus established that the earth was not the center of the universe, when Darwin proved that mankind developed in an unbroken line from other animal species, and when he, Freud, showed that man did not have control over the most important aspects of his own mental processes (1917a).
“the theories of Darwin, which were then of topical interest, strongly attracted me, for they held out hope of an extraordinary advance in our understanding of the world”60
“Killing an disabled infant is sometimes not wrong. Given that the infant, like any infant, is not a person as such. I think that it’s ethically defensible to say, we do not have to continue it’s life. It doesn’t have a right to live.”61
W. H. Murdy
“Evolution is a hard, inescapable mistress. There is just no room for compassion or good sportsmanship. Too many organisms are born, so, quite simply, a lot of them are going to have to die, because there isn’t enough food and space to go around.”62
Sir Arthur Keith
“. . . as we have seen, the ways of national evolution, both in the past and in the present, are cruel, brutal, ruthless and without mercy. . . . the law of Christ is incompatible with the law of evolution.”63
“The German Fuhrer [Adolf Hitler], as I have consistently maintained, is an evolutionist; he has consciously sought to make the practices of Germany conform to the theory of evolution.”64
“Among some animal species, then, infant killing appears to be a natural practice. Could it be natural for humans, too, a trait inherited from our primate ancestors. . . . Charles Darwin noted in The Descent of Man that infanticide has been “probably the most important of all checks” on population growth throughout most of human history.”65
“They still suppose that the fetus is in early stages of development a “lower” form of life, and this is probably what they mean when they say it isn’t ‘fully human.’ ”66
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
“Is evolution a theory, a system or a hypothesis? It is much more: it is a general condition to which all theories, all systems, all hypotheses must bow . . . . Evolution is a light illuminating all facts, a curve that all lines must follow.”67
“When the theory of evolution was advanced, that was the date that the Judeo-Christian religion began the decline in which it now finds itself in the West. The two theories are point-blank in contradiction one to the other.”68
“Christianity has fought, still fights, and will fight science to the desperate end over evolution, because evolution destroys utterly and finally the very reason Jesus’ earthly life was supposedly made necessary. . . . If Jesus was not the redeemer who died for our sins, and this is what evolution means, then Christianity is nothing!”69
“Darwin pointed out that no supernatural designer was needed; since natural selection could account for any known form of life, there was no room for a supernatural agency in its evolution. . . . we can dismiss entirely all idea of a supernatural overriding mind being responsible for the evolutionary process.”70
Stephen Jay Gould
He [Darwin] knew that the primary feature distinguishing his theory from all other evolutionary doctrines was its uncompromising philosophical materialism. Other evolutionists . . . permitted a Christian God to work by evolution instead of creation. Darwin spoke only of random variation and natural selection.71
Biological arguments for racism may have been common before 1859 [the year Darwin’s On the Origin of Species was published], but they increased by orders of magnitude following the acceptance of evolutionary theory.72
Dr. Edward Simon
“. . . I cannot deny that the theory of evolution, and the atheism it engendered, let to the moral climate that made a holocaust possible.”73
“. . . I cannot deny that the theory of evolution, and the atheism it engendered, led to the moral climate that made a holocaust possible.”74
“[Natural] selection is the blindest, and most cruel way of evolving new species . . . . I am surprised that a Christian would defend the idea that this is the process which God more or less set up in order to have evolution.”75
John D. Rockefeller
“This is not an evil tendency in business. It is merely the working-out of a law of nature and a law of God.”76
“I remember that light came in as a flood and all was clear. Not only had I got rid of theology and the supernatural but I had found the truth of evolution.”77
Frank R. Zindler
“The religion of the Old Testament is a cultural fossil held over from the Pleistocene Epoch, and it reflects an atmosphere of intense intergroup competition. Petrified like the bones in a paleontologist’s cabinet, the greatest ideas of the Ice Age still can be found on display between Genesis and Malachi.”78
John M. Allegro
“For what religious man came eventually to think of as “conscience” is simply the faculty that enabled his hominid ancestors to inhibit their programmed responses to stimuli in the interests of some longer-term advantage. “Guilt” is the unease that accompanies and sometimes motivates that control, and “god” is the idealist projection of the conscience in moral terms.”79
John D. Rockefeller
This is not an evil tendency in business. It is merely the working-out of a law of nature and a law of God.80
Dr. Scott Todd
“Even if all the data point to an intelligent designer, such an hypothesis is excluded from science because it is not naturalistic.”81
Dr. Richard Lewontin
“We take the side of evolutionary science in spite of the patent obscurity of some of it’s constructs. Moreover that materialism in science is absolute for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.”82
American Humanist Association
“In order to capture this nation one has to totally remove moral and spiritual values and absolutes from the thinking of the child. The Child has to think that there is no standard of right and wrong. Truth is relative and that diversity is the only absolute to be gained.”83
Pierre P. Grassé
“Directed by all-powerful selection, chance becomes a sort of providence, which, under the cover of atheism, is not named but which is secretly worshiped.”84
2 Nephi 28:15
O the wise, and the learned, and the rich, that are puffed up in the pride of their hearts, and all those who preach false doctrines . . . and pervert the right way of the Lord, wo, wo, wo be unto them, saith the Lord God Almighty, for they shall be thrust down to hell!
Alma 30:6, 12, 14, 15, 17, 18, 39, 40, 41, 44, 45, 47, 52, 53, 59, 60
“. . . there came a man into the land of Zarahemla, and he was Anti-Christ, for he began to preach unto the people against the prophecies which had been spoken by the prophets . . . And after this manner did he preach . . . Behold, these things which ye call prophecies, which ye say are handed down by holy prophets, behold, they are foolish traditions of your fathers. . . . How do ye know of their surety? Behold, ye cannot know of things which ye do not see . . . And many more such things did he say unto them, telling them that there could be no atonement made for the sins of men, but every man fared in this life according to the management of the creature; therefore every man prospered according to his genius, and that every man conquered according to his strength; and whatsoever a man did was no crime. . . . And thus he did preach unto them, leading away the hearts of many, causing them to lift up their heads in their wickedness, yea, leading away many women, and also men, to commit whoredoms—telling them that when a man was dead, that was the end thereof. . . . Now Alma said unto him . . . I know there is a God, and also that Christ shall come. And now what evidence have ye that there is no God? I say unto you that ye have none, save it be your word only. But, behold, I have all things as a testimony that these things are true; and ye also have all things as a testimony unto you that they are true; and will ye deny them? . . . Ye have the testimony of all these thy brethren, and also all the holy prophets. The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator. And yet do ye go about, leading away the hearts of this people . . . . it is better that thy soul should be lost than that thou shouldst be the means of bringing many souls down to destruction, by thy lying and by thy flattering words . . . And Korihor put forth his hand and wrote, saying: . . . the devil hath deceived me . . . . he taught me that which I should say. And I have taught his words; and I taught them because they were pleasing unto the carnal mind; and I taught them, even until I had much success, insomuch that I verily believed that they were true; and for this cause I withstood the truth, even until I have brought this great curse upon me. . . . And as [Korihor] went forth amongst them, behold, he was run upon and trodden down, even until he was dead. And thus we see the end of him who perverteth the ways of the Lord; and thus we see that the devil will not support his children at the last day, but doth speedily drag them down to hell.”
“For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.”
2 Peter 3:3-4
“Knowing this first, that there shall come in the blast days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.”
Boyd K. Packer
“No greater ideal has been revealed than the supernal truth that we are the children of God, and that by virtue of our creation we differ from all other living things (see Moses 6:8–10, 22, 59). “All flesh,” the scriptures teach, “is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts”( 1 Corinthians 15:39)…
…The knowledge that we are the children of God is a refining, even an exalting truth. On the other hand, no idea has been more destructive of happiness, no philosophy has produced more sorrow, more heartbreak, more suffering and mischief, no idea has contributed more to the erosion of the family than the idea that we are not the offspring of God, but only advanced animals. There flows from that idea the not too subtle perception that we are compelled to yield to every carnal urge, are subject to physical but not to moral law.
The man-from-animal theory…is widely taught and generally accepted as the solution to the mystery of life.
I know there are two views on the subject. But it is one thing to measure this theory solely against intellectual or academic standards, quite another to measure it against moral or spiritual or doctrinal standards.”85
Dr. Henry Morris
Once the historicity of Genesis is abandoned in a church or school (and this is what evolution requires), it is inevitable that the whole structure of supernatural Christianity will eventually collapse in the teachings of that institution.86
“When my son Dan was murdered on the sidewalk at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999, I hoped that would be the last school shooting. Since that day, I tried to answer the question, ‘Why did this happen?’ This country is in a moral free-fall. For over two generations, the public school system has taught in a moral vacuum, expelling God from the school and from government, replacing him with evolution, where the strong kill the weak without moral consequences. And life has no inherent value. We teach there are no absolutes, no right or wrong, and I assure you the murder of innocent children is always wrong.”87
By offering evolution in place of God as a cause of history, Darwin removed the theological basis of the moral code of Christendom. . . . That’s the condition we are in. . . 88
- Ezra Taft Benson, “The Book of Mormon is the Word of God.” Ensign Jan. 1988, pg. 3
- Ezra Taft Benson, A Witness and a Warning: A Modern-Day Prophet Testifies of the Book of Mormon, p.7
- Alma 30:17
- Andrew Carnegie, as quoted in Henry Morris, The Long War Against God, p. 56
- John D. Rockefeller, as quoted in Henry Morris, The Long War Against God, p. 56
- Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf (My Struggle), as cited in Henry Morris, The Long War Against God, p. 77
- Will Durant, “We Are in the Last Stage of Pagan Period,” The Daily Californian, El Cajon, CA, for April 8, 1980, p. 5
- Stephan Jay Gould, as cited in Henry Morris, The Long War Against God, p. 95
- 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], 37
- Charles Darwin, The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, p. 87
- Brigham Young, Letters of Brigham Young to His Sons, p. 200
- Joseph F. Smith, “Theory and Divine Revelation”, Editor’s Table, Improvement Era, 1911, Vol. Xiv. April, 1911. No. 6
- 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
- George Albert Smith, Conference Reports, October 1925, p. 33) (see also George Albert Smith, The Teachings of George Albert Smith, p.14
- George Albert Smith, Conference Reports, April 1905, p. 61
- Joseph Fielding Smith, Man, His Origin and Destiny, pp. 184-185
- Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:140.
- Joseph Fielding Smith, Man, His Origin and Destiny [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1954], 247 – 248.
- Introduction to Philosophy, by Dr. Friedrich Paulsen, pp. 159-160.
- Joseph Fielding Smith, Man, His Origin and Destiny, p. 83.
- Joseph Fielding Smith, Man, His Origin and Destiny [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1954], pp. 132 – 133
- Joseph Fielding Smith, Man, His Origin and Destiny, p. 280.
- Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:315
- Moses 3:7.
- Harold B. Lee, “First Presidency Message: Find the Answers in the Scriptures,” Ensign, Dec. 1972, p. 2
- 1 Corinthians 15:22.
- Spencer W. Kimball, The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, 15.
- Spencer W. Kimball, The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, 44.
- Spencer W. Kimball, The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, 68.
- Spencer W. Kimball, The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, 25
- Spencer W. Kimball, The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, edited by Edward L. Kimball [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1982], 16.
- Mark E. Petersen, Quoted in Joseph Fielding Smith, Man: His Origin and Destiny, Foreword
- Ezra Taft Benson, This Nation Shall Endure, p. 26
- Ezra Taft Benson, The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, pp. 60-61
- Ezra Taft Benson, Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 320
- Ezra Taft Benson, God, Family, Country: Our Three Great Loyalties, p. 227
- Ezra Taft Benson, The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 307
- Ezra Taft Benson, The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1988], 28 – 29
- Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 134
- Matt. 24:36–39.
- John 11:25.
- Howard W. Hunter, That We Might Have Joy, p. 23
- Howard W. Hunter, Conference Report, October 1970, Third Day—Morning Meeting 129 – 130
- Gordon B. Hinckley, Faith: The Essence of True Religion, p. 18
- Leon Trotsky, in Eastman, M., Trotsky: A Portrait of his Youth, New York, pp. 117–118, 1925
- Charles Darwin, The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, Nora Barlow, ed., NY: Norton, p. 94, 1958
- The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, p. 87
- Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex, p. 201
- Charles Darwin, The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, p. 138
- Charles Darwin, Descent of Man
- Charles Darwin, The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, p. 87
- Browne, Janet. 1995. Charles Darwin: Voyaging, A Biography. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 542.
- Biology 100 Syllabus, p. 268, BYU, 1992, William Bradshaw—Instructor
- Biology 100 Syllabus, p. 269, BYU, 1992. William Bradshaw—Instructor
- 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.
- Robert Muller, as cited in Henry Morris, The Long War Against God, p.132
- Engels, as cited in Henry Morris, The Long War Against God, p. 83
- Engels, as cited in Henry Morris, The Long War Against God, p. 83
- Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf (My Struggle), as cited in Henry Morris, The Long War Against God, p. 77
- Professor Peter Singer, Dept . Of Bioethics, Princeton University
- W. H. Murdy, “Anthropocentrism,” as quoted in Henry Morris, The Long War Against God, p.146
- Sir Arthur Keith, Evolution and Ethics, p. 15, as quoted in Henry Morris, The Long War Against God, p. 147
- Arthur Keith, Evolution and Ethics, as quoted in Henry Morris, The Long War Against God, p. 76
- Barbara Burke, “Infanticide,” Science 84 (May 1984): 29, as quoted in Henry Morris, The Long War Against God, p. 140
- Joseph Sobran, “The Averted Gaze: Liberalism and Fetal Pain”, Human Life Review 9 (Spring 1984):6, as quoted in Henry Morris, The Long War Against God, p. 138
- Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, “The Phenomenon of Man,” , Fontana: London, 1967, Fifth Impression, p.241
- American Atheist 1988, as quoted in Henry Morris, The Long War Against God, p. 119
- American Atheist, 1978, as cited in Henry Morris, The Long War Against God, p. 119
- Julian Huxley, 1959 Darwinian Centennial, as quoted in Henry Morris, The Long War Against God, p. 110
- Stephen Jay Gould, as quoted in Henry Morris, The Long War Against God, p. 95
- Stephen Jay Gould, Ontogeny and Phylogeny (MA: Harvard University Press, 1977), 127.
- Dr. Edward Simon, biology professor, Purdue University, as quoted in Henry Morris, The Long War Against God, p. 78
- Dr. Edward Simon, biology professor, Purdue University, as cited in Henry Morris, The Long War Against God, p. 78
- Jacques Monod, as quoted in Henry Morris, The Long War Against God, p. 58
- John D. Rockefeller, as quoted in Henry Morris, The Long War Against God, p. 56
- Andrew Carnegie, as quoted in Henry Morris, The Long War Against God, p. 56
- Frank R. Zindler, American Atheist, as quoted in Henry Morris, The Long War Against God, p. 43
- John M. Allegro, American Atheist, September 1986, as quoted in Henry Morris, The Long War Against God, p. 42
- John D. Rockefeller, as quoted in Henry Morris, The Long War Against God, p. 56
- Dr. Scott Todd, Kansas State University
- Dr. Richard Lewontin, Harvard University
- American Humanist Association
- Pierre P. Grassé, “Evolution of Living Organisms,” as cited in: Henry Morris, The Long War Against God, p.161
- Boyd K. Packer, Our Moral Environment, April 1992, also quoted in Eternal Marriage Student Manual, (2003) and Things of the Soul, pp. 109-111
- Dr. Henry Morris, The Long War Against God, p. 44
- Brian Rohrbough, interview on CBS Evening News, October 2, 2006
- Will Durrant, “Are We in the Last Stage of a Pagan Period?”as quoted in Henry Morris, The Long War Against God, p. 149