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Commentary

“The animal and vegetable creations are governed by certain laws, and are composed of certain elements peculiar to themselves.

This applies to man, to the beasts, fowls, fish and creeping things, to the insects and to all animated nature . . . . These principles do not change, as represented by evolutionists of the Darwinian school, but the primitive organisms of all living beings exist in the same form as when they first received their impress from their Maker.” 1

flowersplants.jpg

There are those who feel that man did not evolve from lower forms of life, but that animals and plants may have.

President Taylor taught clearly that animal life did not evolve as taught by Darwin, but that animated creation obeys those laws given by the Lord as stated in the scriptures.

President Joseph Fielding Smith is a second witness to the accuracy of the scriptures in their declaration that animals and plant life did not come from a common source.

“The Lord placed a line of demarcation between the animal creation and the human family in the very beginning, before the foundations of this earth were laid.
In fact there is an eternal decree that animals of different families, or species, shall remain separate from other species, and there are bounds they cannot pass. 2

More recently, President Boyd K. Packer humorously added his witness in story form in the 2006 BYU Women’s Conference:

“Some years ago, I returned home to find our little children were waiting in the driveway. They had discovered a newly hatched batch of chicks under the manger in the barn.

As our little girl held one of them, I said in a teasing way,

‘That little chick will make a nice watchdog when it grows up, won’t it?’ She looked at me quizzically, as if I didn’t know much. So I changed my approach: ‘It won’t be a watchdog, will it?’ She shook her head, ‘No, Daddy.’

Then I added, ‘It will be a nice riding horse.’

She wrinkled up her nose and gave me that ‘Oh, Dad!’ look, for even a four-year-old knows that a chick will not be a dog or a horse or even a turkey; it will be a chicken. It will follow the pattern of its parentage. She knew that without having had a lesson or a lecture or a course in genetics.” 3.

After sharing this fun experience with his daughter, President Packer then applied the anecdote to issues of reproduction as taught in the scriptures:

“No lesson is more manifest in nature than that all living things do as the Lord commanded them in the Creation. They reproduce after their own kind (Moses 2:12, 24–25). They follow the pattern of their parentage. Everyone knows that. Every four-year-old knows that! A bird will not become an animal nor a fish. A mammal will not beget a reptile, nor ‘do men gather . . . figs of thistles.’ ” (Matthew 7:16). 4

These witnesses harmonize with the writings of the Prophet Joseph Smith. The Prophet taught that as animals beget their own kind as commanded by the Lord, plant life conforms as well.

“God has made certain decrees which are fixed and immovable . . . 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.” 5.

The scriptures and words of the prophets harmoniously teach that plants, animals and man all reproduce only as commanded in the Creation, “after their kind.
butterfly.jpg

Note: The terms microevolution and macroevolution are modern terms. They were coined by a Russian entomologist in 1927, came into the English speaking world in 1937 and have gone through revisions through the years. Currently some scientists feel that they should be discarded entirely. Neo-Darwinists typically like using the term microevolution as they feel that what can happen on the micro scale given enough time will become macroevolution. This however is inaccurate reasoning. There is no evidence that microevolution leads to macroevolution. Creationists and those who feel that Intelligent Design theory has merit understand that there is adaptation in a kind. In fact, most Creationists feel that adaptation occurs much more quickly than do most Darwinists. For instance many feel that there were only two dogs on the Ark and that all of the variety that we have in the world today came from those parents. Joseph Fielding Smith and others believed in adaptation. They also understood domestic breeding and the changes that occur in the wild over time. The issue then, is not adaptation or what some term microevolution. The issue is rather an increase of genetic information. For macroevolution to occur, a dog kind is not adapting to its environment, but gaining genetic information to turn into an entirely new creature through natural selection. This has never been proven and is completely contrary to the scriptures and words of the Prophets. No one has ever witnessed an increase in genetic information through natural selection. Mutations lead to a loss of genetic information.

Prophets and scripture do not differentiate between micro and macroevolution as the terms did not exist when most statements were made. Generally, when prophets have spoken against evolution it was in reference to Darwinian or Neo-Darwinian evolution which maintains these basic tenets:

  • All life originated and diversified through chance
  • All organisms are descended from a single common ancestor in the distant past
  • An unguided process of natural selection has the power to produce fundamentally new forms of life through random mutations
  • Uniformitarianism, the present is the key to the past
  • There is no purpose or design in the universe

As shown in this compilation, the scriptures and the writings of the prophets contradict all of the above. Prophets speak clearly and firmly declaring that there are serious faith damaging principles in Darwinian evolution, but are purposefully vague as the language and arguments change subtly over time.

Prophetic Statements

First Presidency

“God Himself is an exalted man, perfected, enthroned, and supreme. By His almighty power He organized the earth and all that it contains, from spirit and element, which exist coeternally with Himself. He formed every plant that grows and every animal that breathes, each after its own kind, spiritually and temporally—“that which is spiritual being in the likeness of that which is temporal, and that which is temporal in the likeness of that which is spiritual.

He made the tadpole and the ape, the lion and the elephant, but He did not make them in His own image, nor endow them with godlike reason and intelligence.”

Joseph Smith

#1:

“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.” 6.

#2:

“If Jesus Christ was the Son of God, and John discovered that God the Father of Jesus Christ had a Father, you may suppose that He had a Father also. Where was there ever a son without a father? And where was there ever a father without first being a son? Whenever did a tree or anything spring into existence without a progenitor? And everything comes in this way. Paul says that which is earthly is in the likeness of that which is heavenly.” 7

#3:

“[Joseph Smith] taught us that God was the great head of human procreation–was really and truly the father of both our spirits and our bodies.” 8

Brigham Young

“Man is the offspring of God…. We are as much the children of this great Being as we are the children of our mortal progenitors. We are flesh of his flesh, bone of his bone, and the same fluid that circulates in our bodies, called blood, once circulated in His veins as it does in ours. As the seeds of grains, vegetables and fruits produce their kind, so man is in the image of God.” 9

John Taylor

#1:

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

These principles do not change, as represented by evolutionists of the Darwinian school, but the primitive organisms of all living beings exist in the same form as when they first received their impress from their Maker. There are, indeed, some very slight exceptions, as for instance, the ass may mix with the mare and produce the mule; but there it ends, the violation of the laws of procreation receives a check, and its operations can go no further. Similar compounds may possibly be made by experimentalists in the vegetable and mineral kingdoms, but the original elements remain the same. Yet this is not the normal, but an abnormal condition with them, as with animals, birds, etc.; and if we take man, he is said to have been made in the image of God, for the simple reason that he is a son of God; and being His son, he is, of course, His offspring, an emanation from God, in whose likeness, we are told, he is made. He did not originate from a chaotic mass of matter, moving or inert, but came forth possessing, in an embryotic state, all the faculties and powers of a God. And when he shall be perfected, and have progressed to maturity, he will be like his Father—a God; being indeed His offspring. As the horse, the ox, the sheep, and every living creature, including man, propagates its own species and perpetuates its own kind, so does God perpetuate His.” 10

#2:

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

These principles do not change, as represented by evolutionists of the Darwinian school, but the primitive organisms of all living beings exist in the same form as when they first received their impress from their Maker… If we take man, he is said to have been made in the image of God, for the simple reason that he is a son of God; and being his son, he is, of course, his offspring, an emanation from God, in whose likeness, we are told, he made. He did not originate from a chaotic mass of matter, moving or inert, but came forth possessing, in an embryonic state, all the faculties and powers of God… 11

George Albert Smith

#1:

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

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

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

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

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

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

It was in the plan of our Heavenly Father that every living thing that he created should each reproduce after its kind. Adam and Eve were the children of God; they were our first parents, and every human being that has lived upon the earth descended from them. God gave them their agency to decide for themselves in all matters and held them responsible for their conduct. They received their instructions in the Garden of Eden from our Heavenly Father and those teachings were preserved for succeeding generations. 12

#2:

We will now pass over a few paragraphs, telling of the preparation for bringing forth whales, winged fowl, creeping things, etc., then we read:

And the Gods prepared the earth to bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle and creeping things, and beasts of the earth after their kind; and it was so, as they had said.

And the Gods organized the earth to bring forth the beasts after their kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after its kind; and the Gods saw they would obey.

And the Gods took counsel among themselves and said: Let us go down and form man in our image, after our likeness; and we will give them dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

So the Gods went down to organize man in their own image, in the image of the Gods to form they him, male and female to form they them.

And the Gods said: We will bless them. And the Gods said: We will cause them to be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it, and to have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

And the Gods said: Behold, we will give them every herb bearing seed that shall come upon the face of all the earth, and every tree which shall have fruit upon it; yea, the fruit of the tree yielding seed to them we will give it; it shall be for their meat.

Again I will pass over a few passages:

And the Gods came down and formed these the generations of the heavens and of the earth, when they were formed in the day that the Gods formed the earth and the heavens,

According to all that which they had said concerning every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew; for the Gods had not caused it to rain upon the earth when they counseled to do them, and had not formed a man to till the ground.

But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.

And the Gods formed man from the dust of the ground, and took his spirit (that is, the man’s spirit), and put it into him; and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.

And the Gods planted a garden, eastward in Eden, and there they put the man, whose spirit they had put into the body which they had formed.’

That is another testimony to me of the origin of the species. It is to me the simplest explanation of the preparation of this earth for the habitation of animal and vegetable life that has ever been prepared. It has been my privilege to read the theories and to listen to the solutions of this problem by some of the wisest men of the world, but wherein they have differed from this plain statement of facts, as revealed by our Father in heaven to his servants, who were his mouthpieces to the children of men, the arguments of my Father’s sons, my brethren if you will, whom I love, every one of them has been feeble indeed, to bear to my mind a comprehension of the origin of man.” 13

Joseph Fielding Smith

“The Lord placed a line of demarcation between the animal creation and the human family in the very beginning, before the foundations of this earth were laid. In fact there is an eternal decree that animals of different families, or species, shall remain separate from other species, and there are bounds they cannot pass.” 14

David O. McKay

“Teach students that…in all creations only human beings can sense the possibility of a life that rises above the animal plane of existence. Boys, sense that and never as a child of God fall below that high plane of human existence. The stern fact of life is that animals, as other living things, can grow and produce their kind only in accordance with fixed laws of nature and the divine command, Let the earth bring forth the living creatures after his kind, cattle and creeping things, and the beast of the earth after his kind. (Genesis 1:24 )…To man, however, there is given a special endowment, not bestowed upon any other living thing…Only to the human being did the Creator say, ‘Thou mayest choose for thyself, for it is given unto thee.’ (Moses 3:17 ). “As God desired men to become as he, it was necessary that he should first make them free.”15

Darwinist and Neo-Darwinist

Steven L. Peck

http://sciencebysteve.net/immutable-species-brought-to-you-by-the-great-apostasy/

Scripture

Genesis 1:11-12, 21, 24-25
“And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. . . . And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. . . . And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.”

Genesis 6:19-20
“And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive. And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them.”

Genesis 7:14
“They, and every beast after his kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind, and every fowl after his kind, every bird of every sort.”

Moses 2:11-12, 21, 24-25
“And I, God, said: Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, the fruit tree yielding fruit, after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed should be in itself upon the earth, and it was so even as I spake. And the earth brought forth grass, every herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed should be in itself, after his kind; and I, God, saw that all things which I had made were good; . . . And I, God, created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind; and I, God, saw that all things which I had created were good. . . . And I, God, said: Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping things, and beasts of the earth after their kind, and it was so; And I, God, made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and cattle after their kind, and everything which creepeth upon the earth after his kind; and I, God, saw that all these things were good.”

Abraham 4:11-12, 21, 24-25
“And the Gods said: Let us prepare the earth to bring forth grass; the herb yielding seed; the fruit tree yielding fruit, after his kind, whose seed in itself yieldeth its own likeness upon the earth; and it was so, even as they ordered. And the Gods organized the earth to bring forth grass >from its own seed, and the herb to bring forth herb from its own seed, yielding seed after his kind; and the earth to bring forth the tree from its own seed, yielding fruit, whose seed could only bring forth the same in itself, after his kind; and the Gods saw that they were obeyed. . . . And the Gods prepared the waters that they might bring forth great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters were to bring forth abundantly after their kind; and every winged fowl after their kind. And the Gods saw that they would be obeyed, and that their plan was good. . . . And the Gods prepared the earth to bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle and creeping things, and beasts of the earth after their kind; and it was so, as they had said. And the Gods organized the earth to bring forth the beasts after their kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after its kind; and the Gods saw they would obey.”

Supporting Statements

Mark E. Peterson

This law appears to be violated in the plant world, but this is primarily a result of the plant classification schemes developed by botanists which have to be considered as subjective and, sometimes, arbitrary. In the animal and human world, this law is not violated.

And he put this seed in animals, likewise, so that animals can reproduce after themselves. The same is true in vegetable life. An apple will only bring forth an apple, and it will not bring forth a cucumber. Now, I’m being a little extreme, but I think you get the point. God placed in every one of his creations, as it says here in Moses 2, the seed within itself to reproduce after its own kind.

Of course it was a great discovery when the scientists discovered genes, the genes which keep the species true. And who made the genes? It was this same God, our Eternal Father, who decreed in the first place that everything would reproduce only after its own kind. Genesis sustains the Book of Moses in this, and it also says that every plant was made “before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew,” and so on (Genesis 2:5). 16

Boyd K. Packer

#1:

“Some years ago, I returned home to find our little children were waiting in the driveway. They had discovered a newly hatched batch of chicks under the manger in the barn. As our little girl held one of them, I said in a teasing way,

‘That little chick will make a nice watchdog when it grows up, won’t it?’ She looked at me quizzically, as if I didn’t know much. So I changed my approach: ‘It won’t be a watchdog, will it?’ She shook her head, ‘No, Daddy.’

Then I added, ‘It will be a nice riding horse.’

She wrinkled up her nose and gave me that ‘Oh, Dad!’ look, for even a four-year-old knows that a chick will not be a dog or a horse or even a turkey; it will be a chicken. It will follow the pattern of its parentage. She knew that without having had a lesson or a lecture or a course in genetics. 17

No lesson is more manifest in nature than that all living things do as the Lord commanded in the Creation.  They reproduce “after their own kind.” (See Moses 2:12,24.)  They follow the pattern of their parentage.  Everyone knows that; every four‑year‑old knows that!  A bird will not become an animal nor a fish.  A mammal will not beget reptiles, nor “do men gather…figs of thistles.” (Matt. 7:16.)

In the countless billions of opportunities in the reproduction of living things, one kind does not beget another.  If a species ever does cross, the offspring generally cannot reproduce.  The pattern for all life is the pattern of the parentage.

This is demonstrated in so many obvious ways, even an ordinary mind should understand it.  Surely no one with reverence for God could believe that His children evolved from slime or from reptiles.  (Although one can easily imagine that those who accept the theory of evolution don’t show much enthusiasm for genealogical research!)

The theory of evolution, and it’s a theory, will have an entirely different dimension when the workings of God in creation are fully revealed.

Since every living thing follows the pattern of its parentage, are we to suppose that God had some other strange pattern in mind for His offspring?  Surely we, His children, are not, in the language of science, a different species than He is?  18

#2:

“No lesson is more manifest in nature than that all living things do as the Lord commanded them in the Creation. They reproduce after their own kind (Moses 2:12, 24–25 ). They follow the pattern of their parentage. Everyone knows that. Every four-year-old knows that! A bird will not become an animal nor a fish. A mammal will not beget a reptile, nor ‘do men gather . . . figs of thistles.’ ” (Matthew 7:16). 19


  1. John Taylor, Mediation and Atonement, p. 160
  2. Joseph Fielding Smith, Man, His Origin and Destiny [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1954], p. 167.
  3. Boyd K. Packer, Children of God, BYU Women’s Conference, May 5, 2006
  4.  Boyd K. Packer, Children of God, BYU Women’s Conference, May 5, 2006
  5.  Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, selected and arranged by Joseph Fielding Smith [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1976], 197
  6. Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg 198, selected and arranged by Joseph Fielding Smith [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1976], 197
  7. Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 373
  8. Joseph Smith, Letter of Benjamin F. Johnson to George S. Gibbs, 1903
  9. Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 9:283
  10. John Taylor, Mediation and Atonement, pp. 163-165
  11. John Taylor, Mediation and Atonement, p. 160
  12. President George Albert Smith, Conference Report, April 1945, Third Day—Morning Meeting p. 135
  13. George Albert Smith, Conference Report, October 1925, Afternoon Session 32
  14. Joseph Fielding Smith, Man, His Origin and Destiny [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1954], p. 167
  15. President David O. McKay, Some Fundamental Objectives of a Church University, BYU Faculty Workshop, September 17, 1954. Published in Deseret News, 25 Sept. 1954
  16. Elder Mark E. Peterson, BYU Speeches of the Year, 1973.
  17. Boyd K. Packer, Children of God, BYU Women’s Conference, May 5, 2006.
  18. Boyd K. Packer, General Conference, Oct 1984.
  19. Boyd K. Packer, Children of God, BYU Women’s Conference, May 5, 2006.

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