Questions Answered: Are the theories of organic evolution in conflict with the standard works of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? Can the revelations of God be trusted? Are those who believe in the literal accounts of the scriptures regarding the Creation and Fall wrong?
FALL OF ADAM
The process by which mankind became mortal on this earth. The event is recorded in Genesis 2, 3, 4 ; and Moses 3, 4 . The fall of Adam is one of the most important occurrences in the history of man. Before the fall, Adam and Eve had physical bodies but no blood. There was no sin, no death, and no children among any of the earthly creations. With the eating of the “forbidden fruit,” Adam and Eve became mortal, sin entered, blood formed in their bodies, and death became a part of life. Adam became the “first flesh” upon the earth , meaning that he and Eve were the first to become mortal. After Adam fell, the whole creation fell and became mortal. Adam’s fall brought both physical and spiritual death into the world upon all mankind .
- The Fall was the process by which mortality was introduced to mankind.
- The Fall of Adam literally occurred in the history of the earth.
- The Fall of Adam is one of the most important occurrences in history, and therefore one of the most important doctrines in the Gospel.
- Before the Fall the bodies of Adam and Even did not contain blood.
- There was no sin on the earth.
- There was no death upon the earth among any of the animals neither was there the seeds of death in the bodies of Adam and Eve.
- When Adam and Eve partook of the fruit, they became mortal.
- When Adam and Eve partook of the fruit, blood formed in their bodies which had not been their previously.
- When Adam and Eve partook of the fruit, they gained the ability to die which was not possible previously.
- When Adam and Eve partook of the fruit, sin became possible for the first time in the history of the world.
- After the Fall, Adam was the first to become mortal before any of the animals and the earth itself.
- The Fall of Adam and Eve affected the entire Creation of the earth assuring the changes that occurred in Adam and Eve to also change the constitution of entire world.
- The doctrine of the Atonement is entirely dependent upon the doctrine of the Fall.
- Latter-day revelation both scriptural and in the writings of the Prophets testifies to the truth of these fundamental doctrines.
- A correct history of the earth would include the historical events described in the Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price and writings of Latter-day Prophets of God.
Two kinds of death are spoken of in the scriptures. One is the death of the body, which is caused by the separation of the body from the spirit; i.e., “The body without the spirit is dead” . The other is spiritual death, which is to die as pertaining to, or to be separated from,righteousness – to be alienated from the things of God . Both of these deaths were introduced into the world by the fall of Adam. But death is also the consequence of our own sins. We make our own spiritual death by our works, our thoughts, and our actions. As Paul said, “The wages of sin is death” , and some are “dead” while they “liveth” .
- Physical death was introduced into the world by Adam’s Fall.
- Spiritual death was introduced into the world by Adam’s Fall.
- The Atonement of Christ is directly dependant upon the correct doctrine of the Fall.
- Latter-day revelation teaches that there was no death of animals or other forms of life on this earth prior to the fall of Adam.
- Latter-day revelation teaches that mankind did not have the seeds of death prior to the Fall of Adam.
- God, our Eternal Father, is an immortal exalted Man, with a body of flesh and bones and eternal spirit, inseparably connected that cannot be divided and cannot die.
- The presiding authority in the Universe is, God the Father, his Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost.
- This earth on which we dwell at the word of the Father, was created by the Son before he obtained his tabernacle of flesh and bones.
- Adam was the first man on the earth, and Eve, his wife, the first woman. They were created in the image of God.
- When Adam and Eve were placed in Eden they were not subject to the power of death and could have lived, in the state of innocence in which they were, forever had they not violated the law given them in the Garden.
- The earth also was pronounced good, and would have remained in that same state forever had it not been changed to meet Adam’s fallen condition.
- All things on the face of the earth also would have remained in that same condition, had not Adam transgressed the law.
- By partaking of the forbidden fruit, and thus violating the law under which he was placed, his nature was changed, and he became subject to (1) spiritual death, which is banishment from the presence of God; (2) temporal death, which is separation of spirit and body. This death also came to #Eve his wife.
- Had Adam and Eve not transgressed the law given in Eden, they would have had no children.
- Because of this transgression bringing mortality, the children of Adam and Eve inherited mortal bodies and became subject to the mortal death.
- Because Adam transgressed the law, the Lord changed the earth to suit the mortal condition and all things on the face of the earth became subject to mortality, as did the earth also.
- To defeat the power which death had gained it became necessary that an infinite atonement be offered to pay the debt and thereby restore Adam and Eve and all of their posterity, and all things, to immortal life through the resurrection.
- To accomplish this, Jesus Christ, who created the earth, volunteered and was chosen to come to earth as that infinite sacrifice. According to eternal law, this sacrifice had to be made by a God who was not subject to death, yet had the power to die and take up his body again by inherent right. Being the only begotten Son of God in the flesh, our Redeemer obtained from his Father the mastery over death, and from his mother he inherited the power to die.
- This atonement by the Son of God is of twofold nature: (1) It redeems all creatures who are subject to mortality through the fall, and restores them to immortality, without any act whatsoever on their part. Hence every soul born into this world shall receive the resurrection, the body and spirit being united never again to be divided. (2) It redeems every soul from the penalties of his own transgressions, on the condition that he accepts the plan of salvation and is obedient to all the laws and commandments of God and that he endures in faithfulness to the end. None but the truly repentant are entitled to this forgiveness of sins. . . .
These doctrines we are called on to preach and sustain by the commandment of the Lord to his Church.” 
“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.” 
“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.” 
We must decide if we believe in the miraculous accounts of the scriptures dealing with the Creation, the Fall, the universal flood, the dividing of the continents, the confounding of languages and the miracles of Jesus. The scriptural account differs greatly from modern academia.
“True it is that the body of man enters upon its career as a tiny germ embryo, which becomes an infant, quickened at a certain stage by the spirit whose tabernacle it is, and the child, after being born, develops into a man. There is nothing in this, however, to indicate that the original man, the first of our race, began life as anything less than a man, or less than the human germ or embryo that becomes a man. Man, by searching, cannot find out God. Never, unaided, will he discover the truth about the beginning of human life. The Lord must reveal Himself or remain unrevealed; and the same is true of the facts relating to the origin of Adam’s race—God alone can reveal them. Some of these facts, however, are already known, and what has been made known it is our duty to receive and retain. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, basing its belief on divine revelation, ancient and modern, proclaims man to be the direct and lineal offspring of Deity. 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. Nevertheless, the whole animal creation will be perfected and perpetuated in the Hereafter, each class in its “distinct order or sphere,” and will enjoy “eternal felicity.” That fact has been made plain in this dispensation .”  
“O ye Twelve! and all Saints! profit by this important Key—that in all your trials, troubles, temptations, afflictions, bonds, imprisonments and death, see to it, that you do not betray heaven; that you do not betray Jesus Christ; that you do not betray the brethren; that you do not betray the revelations of God, whether in Bible, Book of Mormon, or Doctrine and Covenants, or any other that ever was or ever will be given and revealed unto man in this world or that which is to come. Yea, in all your kicking and flounderings, see to it that you do not this thing, lest innocent blood be found upon your skirts, and you go down to hell.” 
“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!” 
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. 
The world has had a fair trial for six thousand years; the Lord will try the seventh thousand Himself; 
The Priesthood was first given to Adam. . . . He obtained it in the Creation, before the world was formed, as in Genesis 1:26, 27, 28 . He had dominion given him over every living creature. . . . Daniel in his seventh chapter speaks of the Ancient of days; he means the oldest man, our Father Adam, Michael, he will call his children together and hold a council with them to prepare them for the coming of the Son of Man. He (Adam) is the father of the human family, and presides over the spirits of all men, and all that have had the keys must stand before him in this grand council. . . . Adam delivers up his stewardship to Christ, that which was delivered to him as holding the keys of the universe, but retains his standing as head of the human family. The spirit of man is not a created being; it existed from eternity, and will exist to eternity. Anything created cannot be eternal; and earth, water, etc., had their existence in an elementary state, from eternity. . . . The Father called all spirits before Him at the creation of man, and organized them. He (Adam) is the head, and was told to multiply. The keys were first given to him, and by him to others. He will have to give an account of his stewardship, and they to him. 
If we read the requirements made by Jesus, by the Father, or by any messenger sent from the Heavens to the children of men we shall find nothing that will injure any human being or that will destroy the soul of one of the sons or daughters of Adam and Eve. . . . The world may in vain ask the question, “Who are we?” But the Gospel tells us that we are the sons and daughters of that God whom we serve. Some say, “We are the children of Adam and Eve.” So we are, and they are the children of our Heavenly Father. We are all the children of Adam and Eve, and they and we are the offspring of Him who dwells in the heavens, the highest Intelligence that dwells anywhere that we have any knowledge of. . . . What are His commandments to us? Has He commanded us to build an ark? No. He told Noah to do that for the salvation of those who would go into it; and after he had built it, and had preached righteousness for a long space of time, warning the people of the coming judgments of the Almighty, how many believed his testimony? Only eight souls, and they were members of his own family. All the rest were swept from the face of the earth. This is according to the account given to us in the Old Testament which we believe. I know that there are a great many in the world who are so wise in their own eyes that they are not disposed to believe the account contained in the Bible of the Creation, of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, the antediluvian world and other things, but we profess to believe, and we do or should believe these things. 
There is not an iota in the revelations, from Adam down to the present day, but what requires strict obedience. 
We are safe in saying that from the day that Adam was created and placed in the Garden of Eden to this day, the plan of salvation and the revelations of the will of God to man are unchanged, although mankind have not for many ages been favored therewith, in consequence of apostasy and wickedness. . . . When we reflect upon the path in which the faithful children of God have walked, from the days of Adam to this day, we find that the path of the transgresser is much the hardest—that the righteous have always fared better than the wicked, in every age and nation. . . . Jesus will save all, except the sons of perdition. “There is a sin unto death: I do not say that ye shall pray for it.” Those who come under the influence of that sin are those who shed innocent blood, or consent to it; also those who deny the Holy Ghost, after having received it; they are sons of perdition, and will be damned. All the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve, except those, will inherit a kingdom of glory, and will receive glory, power and greatness according to their capacities, knowledge, desires and works. 
In Adam—that is, if we believe this book (the Bible), and believe the history that Moses gave of our first parents, and of the inhabitants of the earth, which indeed we have to depend upon, for we are not in possession of any other history of our first parents, and are consequently obliged to refer to this history—if we believe this, I can say that as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all are made alive. If we can believe Moses and the Apostles, we die in consequence of sin in the conduct of our first parents, in eating that which they were forbidden to eat; that we are shut out and cannot see and understand heavenly beings. We cannot see their faces. We cannot hear their voices. We cannot behold their glory. We are shut out from this. The vail of mortality being dropped between us and the Creator, something has to be done so that we may return and behold those that are exalted. 
[God] told Noah to [build an ark] for the salvation of those who would go into it; and after he had built it, and had preached righteousness for a long space of time, warning the people of the coming judgments of the Almighty, how many believed his testimony? Only eight souls, and they were members of his own family. All the rest were swept from the face of the earth. This is according to the account given to us in the Old Testament which we believe. I know that there are a great many in the world who are so wise in their own eyes that they are not disposed to believe the account contained in the Bible of the Creation, of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, the antediluvian world and other things, but we profess to believe, and we do or should believe these things. 
“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.” 
Infidelity overwhelms the earth, in fact it is a hard matter today to get either priest or people, sect or party, of any name or denomination under heaven to believe in the literal fulfillment of the Bible, as translated in the days of King James, which contains the revelations given from the days of Father Adam down to our own time, and which point out to us the signs of heaven and earth indicating the coming of the Son of Man. 
Joseph F. Smith
It was instituted by the Savior in the place of the law of sacrifice which was given to Adam, and which continued with his children down to the days of Christ, but which was fulfilled in his death, he being the great sacrifice for sin, of which the sacrifices enjoined in the law given to Adam were a similitude.
The Lord designed in the beginning to place before man the knowledge of good and evil, and gave him a commandment to cleave to good and abstain from evil. But if he should fail, he would give to him the law of sacrifice and provide a Savior for him, that he might be brought back again into the presence and favor of God and partake of eternal life with him. This was the plan of redemption chosen and instituted by the Almighty before man was placed on the earth. And when man did fall by transgressing the law which was given him, the Lord gave to him the law of sacrifice, and made it clear to his understanding, that it was for the purpose of reminding him of that great event that should transpire in the meridian of time, whereby he and all his posterity might be brought forth by the power of redemption and the resurrection from the dead, and partake of eternal life with God in his kingdom. For this reason Adam and his posterity, from generation to generation, observed this law, and continually looked forward to a time when there should be provided for them a means of redemption from the fall and restoration from death to life, for death was the penalty of the law transgressed, which man was powerless to avert, the fiat of God being, “In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die,” and this penalty was to follow upon all flesh, all being as helpless and dependent as he was in this matter. . . . In anticipation, therefore, of this great sacrifice which was to be offered for Adam and his seed, they offered sacrifices, more or less acceptably, and in conformity to the pattern given, in proportion to the knowledge of God and of the gospel which they had, and their faithfulness from generation to generation, to the days of Jesus. . . . How do we know that the Bible accounts of Adam and the succeeding generations are correct? How do we know anything pertaining to God and his dealings with men anciently? We know many things by tradition, naturally, by intuition. “There is a spirit in man, and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth it understanding.” There is an inherent principle in man that leads him to faith in a superior or a Supreme Being, who has designed and created all things. The Bible account, being the most rational and indeed only historical one of the creation and the dealings of God with men, we are constrained to accept it, in the main, as truth. Then we behold the wonderful works of God spread out before us, the starry heavens, the sun and moon, the earth on which we dwell, and its times and seasons, its fruits and grains, its herbs and varied productions, its fountains and rivers, mountains, valleys and plains, and the mighty deep, all teeming with life and animation; also the laws that govern these vast creations, and man, the crowning work of God, on this earth, the masterpiece, if you please, whom inspiration teaches us, is the offspring of that eternal being who is the Creator of all things, he being the most perfect in his organization, possessing greater attributes, powers of reason, and intelligence than all other beings, constituting him the “lord of creation,” and the nearest in resemblance to the Creator. We look at these things and we cannot but come to the conclusion that this is not the work of chance, but the result of matured omniscient designs and purposes, that man is the son of God, possessing the attributes and image of his Father, and in the beginning much of this intelligence, insomuch that he was the companion and associate of God and dwelt with him, and knew no sin. The Lord gave him the earth as a possession and an inheritance, and laws for his government, that he might fill the measure of his creation and have joy therein.
We look at these things in this manner, and they appear rational and true, and we are convinced that they are true, that the Scriptures, the Bible and Book of Mormon, are of divine origin.
But is this all we have to convince us of the truth of these things, and to confirm upon our minds the principles laid down as the Gospel of Christ, which is called “Mormonism?” These are the only means of knowing in regard to the truth of religion that the world claim to have, or that we had prior to becoming acquainted with the doctrines of this Church, and we were in a measure satisfied because it was the best light we possessed. There are thousands of the most intelligent and best educated men that live, and some of the greatest and brightest minds in many nations now engaged in the dissemination of what they believe to be the Gospel of Jesus Christ, claiming no other means of knowing the truth, than tradition and reason, and they appear to be satisfied with their convictions and faith. Millions of dollars are expended annually in promulgating their religion, they “compass land and sea to make proselytes,” with no other acknowledged evidence of the truth of the Bible, or of the divine mission of Jesus Christ, than that I have cited.
But we go farther than this, although to my mind this mode of reasoning is conclusive so far as it goes, and no doubt is left as to the existence of our Father and God, or that he created all things for a wise purpose, for his glory, and for the glory and happiness of his children, that the earth and the fullness thereof are God’s, although designed for man and his use, and finally to be given to him as an everlasting inheritance, when he shall, through obedience, prove worthy of it. But, as I said before, we go farther than this—there is “a more sure word of prophecy, whereunto we do well to take heed.” There is revelation, a means of direct communication from God to man, a power which can rend the veil between us and God, open the eyes of our understanding, and bring us into proximity to him, so that we may know him as he is, and learn from his own mouth and from the mouths of his holy messengers his laws and will concerning us, as anciently. This is the principle by which Adam knew God in the garden where he was placed in the beginning. God came to him day by day, and conversed with him as one man converses with another, giving him instructions and counsel, for man was pure. And when he was cast out, God did not forsake him, but appeared to him, sent his angels to communicate with him concerning the plan of salvation, and gave him the Holy Ghost to be a light in his path through the world, made dreary to him by being banished from the immediate presence of God. 
The Church hold to the definite authority of divine revelation which must be the standard; and that, so-called “science: has changed from age to age in its deductions, and as divine revelations 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, instructors must be in harmony in their teachings with it principles of doctrine. . . A good motto of young people to adopt, who are determined to delve into philosophic theories is to search all things, but be careful to hold only to that which is true. The truth persists, but the theories of philosophers change and are overthrown. What men use today as a scaffolding for scientific purposes from which to reach out into the unknown for truth, may be torn down tomorrow, having served its purpose; but faith is an eternal principle through which the humble believer may secure everlasting solace. It is the only way to find God.” 
“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 instructor 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.” 
Some . . . limit the power of God to the power of men, and we have some of these among us and they have been among our school teachers. They would have you disbelieve the inspired accounts of the Scriptures . . . but we know better . . . . And I say, beware of men who come to you with heresies that things come by laws of nature of themselves, and that God is without power. —Logan Journal, April 7, 1914. 
George Albert Smith
No matter if scientists and great men of the world shall proclaim that we have evolved from the lower order of animals, the witness of the Spirit to you, my brethren and sisters, is that you are the offspring of the Lord . . . 
“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.” 
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. 
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. 
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. 
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. 
Joseph Fielding Smith
“So far as the philosophy and wisdom of the world are concerned, they mean nothing unless they conform to the revealed word of God. Any doctrine, whether it comes in the name of religion, science, philosophy, or whatever it may be, if it is in conflict with the revealed word of the Lord, will fail. It may appear plausible. It may put before you in language that appeals and which you may not be able to answer. It may appear to be established by evidence that you cannot controvert, but all you need to do is to abide you time. Time will level all things. You will find that every doctrine, every principle, no matter how universally believed, if it is not in accord with the divine word of the Lord to his servants, will perish. Nor is it necessary for us to try to stretch the word of the Lord, in a vain attempt to make it conform to these theories and teachings. The word of the Lord shall not pass away unfulfilled , but these false doctrines and theories will all fail. Truth and only truth, will remain when all else has perished. The Lord has said, “And truth is knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come.” 
We now come to this vital point. My fellow believers in the mission of Jesus Christ, in Joseph Smith and the restoration of the Gospel, as I have said, you are entitled through faithfully keeping the commandments of the Lord, to individual guidance. It is your right under these conditions to know the truth which makes us free. You cannot be a true member of the Church and reject Jesus Christ. You cannot be a faithful member and reject the scriptures—Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price—for these are the standards of our faith. If you accept them you cannot accept organic evolution, for they are diametrically opposed. 
Now let us reason together on what is here presented
- Worlds without number have been created.
- They have been created as habitations for the children of God.
- The great work and glory of our Father is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.
- Inhabitants of other worlds are begotten sons and daughters of God.
- When one earth passes away to its exaltation another comes.
- The making of earths is a glorious work which has been carried on eternally.
This being true, then does it not appear to you that it is a foolish and ridiculous notion that when God created this earth he had to begin with a speck of protoplasm, and take millions of years, if not billions, to bring conditions to pass by which his sons and daughters might obtain bodies made in his image? Why not the shorter route and transplant them from another earth as we are taught in the scriptures? Surely to any reasonable mind, the Lord would not have to start with an amoeba, pass through the stage of lower fish to higher fish to reptiles to apes and to man! When we stop to consider how perfect are the workings of God; how thorough he is and orderly, surely these theories flatten out and are without substance. 
“Is there a conflict between science and religion? Between the revealed word of the Lord to his prophets and the truth revealed through scientific investigation there is no conflict. There can be no disagreement wherein truth is arrayed against truth. Could such a thing be possible all thinks would perish in confusion. There is a conflict existing between revealed truth coming from the Lord to his chosen servants and the false doctrines advocated by men of science. There is also a conflict between false religion and truth revealed through scientific investigation. The time will come when nothing will remain except truth.” 
IN consideration of any question where a conflict appears to exist between the revelation of the Lord and the teachings of the scientific world, it is well to remember the key the Lord has given us which is always a safe guide to follow. This key is couched in the following language: “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.”
There is no conflict between a scientifically discovered truth and the revealed word of the Lord, for truth everywhere harmonizes with truth. Or as it is expressed in the Doctrine and Covenants: “Intelligence cleaveth unto intelligence; wisdom receiveth wisdom; truth embraceth truth; virtue loveth virtue; light cleaveth unto light,” and we will ever find it so.
There may, however, be a vast difference between the revelations of the Lord through his prophets, and the theories of men. There may also be a difference between the teachings of science and the scriptural interpretation of men, but when the language is clear and there can be no misunderstanding of the meaning, we may with perfect safety rely upon the revelations of the Lord with the assurance that whatever comes in conflict with them will in due time cease to exist. There are many theories advanced in the scientific world some of which may in time be proved true, others will be proved false, and then must be discarded. We should remember that theories are, as it has often been said, merely the scaffolding to the scientific structure. Let us not, therefore, be carried away by the theories of men even though they may appear to be very plausible, when they seem to contradict the word of the Lord. It is the right of every member of the Church to know for himself the truth, and this may be obtained in the way the Lord has designated and through the spirit of humility and prayer. So much, then, preliminary to the question which follows. . . .
After contemplating the theories that have been advanced in the science of linguistics, we involuntarily exclaim with Zophar: “Canst thou by searching find out God? Canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?” Having learned that man has failed to discover the origin of language, why not turn to the revelations of the Lord? When we begin our research from false beginnings, we are bound to come to false conclusions, if we reach conclusions at all. The Lord has spoken and has made known to us where language came from and how it was first given. Of course, to accept this fact, we must have faith in the revelations, and be willing to believe the story of man’s beginning on the earth as the Almighty has informed us.
How long Adam remained in the Garden of Eden we do not know. I think we may safely conclude that he was there some time, and all the while he was in the presence of his Father, the Lord omnipotent. From the Lord he received his early training and was not left to blindly find his way after having been given one or two commandments. The story says that the Lord spoke to Adam and gave him commandments. How could he give him commandments without speaking to him? What would be more natural than to believe that the Father would speak to him in his own language, and that that language was perfect, for it was the language of Celestial beings? We are informed that Adam and the Lord carried on conversations. How was this done unless Adam had been taught to speak? Therefore, all who have faith in the word of the Lord must know that Adam had a language; that his language was pure and perfect for it came from the Lord. All Latter-day Saints know this to be the case, for the Lord revealed to Moses, and later to Joseph Smith in the writings of Moses, that, not only did Adam have the power of speech, but he was taught also to read and to write, and records were kept by him and by his posterity. These scriptures say: “And a book of remembrance was kept, in the which was recorded, in the language of Adam, for it was given as many as called upon God to write by the spirit of inspiration; and by them their children were taught to read and write, having a language which was pure and undefiled.”
Again, Enoch said: “For a book of remembrance we have written among us, according to the pattern given by the finger of God; and it is given in our own language.” 
“Question asked of Joseph Fielding Smith: “Since reading your book, Man: His Origin, and Destiny, I have been troubled by your difference in view of organic evolution and the age of man and the teachings of some of our most outstanding scientists who maintain that scientific evidence prove the earth and man to be much older than you claim. Your statements are contrary to what I have been taught and believe.”
President Smith’s Answer: If what I have written is in criticism of the present theories in relation to organic evolution and the age of man upon the earth, in which you believe, then I can readily see why you disagree with what I have taught. I will state frankly and positively that I am opposed to the present biological theories and the doctrine that man has been on the earth for millions of years. I am opposed to the present teachings in relation to the age of the earth which declare that the earth is millions of years old. Some modern scientists even claim that it is a billion years old. Naturally, since I believe in modern revelation, I cannot accept these so-called scientific teachings, for I believe them to be in conflict with the simple and direct word of the Lord that has come to us by divine revelation.” 
We have been informed that history is the narrative of what civilized man has done, and that it cannot go back of written records. Some writers on ancient history say that prehistoric man dwelt in caves, under overhanging cliffs, and in other places of shelter which nature could afford as protection from wind, rain, and the ravages of wild animals stronger than man. His weapon was a branch of a tree which served as a club or spear. His club was ofttimes reinforced by a stone or tusk. Later he learned to use hard stone or flint, which could be chipped or sharpened by friction and fastened to his club with thongs from the skins of animals. This was in the age of stone before he discovered metals.
This poor savage, these same writers are careful to instruct us, lived several hundred thousand years ago. Just how long ago they do not know; but a slight matter of two or three hundred thousand years makes such a little difference anyway! He had no written language and the words he used were limited to a few monosyllables or grunts. In course of time, along with other attainments which came gradually, he learned to communicate with his fellows by means of a few crude signs and drawings cut in clay or soft stone. This was the beginning of communication by writing. As time passed, his means of expression were improved, and signs were made to represent sounds of the human voice.
The dawn of history, so these theorists say, came when the writers learned to make their records permanent by baking their tablets made of clay, or carving their thoughts in stone. These great changes did not come in a day, but after many millenniums of progress, through the stone age which was followed by the age of metals, which is of comparatively recent date. Gradually man progressed, increasing in knowledge and power, until he reached the wonderful state of intelligence which he possesses today.
This is a very pretty story with just one defect—it is not true! Yet, such is the information our children are taught in our schools. I shall be bold enough to say that such theories should have no place in our schools in the manner in which they now appear. That I may not be misunderstood, let me say that I do believe that there has been a stone age, a copper age, and development and increase of knowledge through the centuries. I do not, however, accept the statement that the first man evolved from lower forms of life, and roamed over the earth hundreds of thousands of years ago as a savage, uncultured, ignorant, and with no spoken or written language. I know better than that, for the Lord has declared otherwise. 
“Did Adam bring death into the world? Are we laboring under a misapprehension? Are we wrong? Is it true that millions of years before Adam came into the world death was here? . . . Are these scriptures true? Are these brethren true—and I have quoted three of the Presidents of the Church, including the Prophet [Joseph Smith] himself? Are they true, or are we to discard their teachings and the teachings of the scriptures because the philosophies of men today declare a contrary doctrine?” 
“Any theory that presents as a fact a statement that man has evolved from other forms, and has not always been a sentient being, capable of thought, of reasoning, is in conflict with the word of the Lord, as has been pointed out already by Elder Taylor in his remarks here yesterday. Any doctrine that presents a view contrary to that which has been given by revelation, that Adam was placed in the Garden of Eden, that by violation of the law he brought death into the world, and through that death sin and all the vicissitudes of mortality have come,—such a doctrine is in conflict with the revealed word of God.
Any doctrine that declares that man has always been a fallen creature, or in other words, subject to the mortal conditions as we find them today, strikes at the vitals of the Christian faith. Any doctrine that will say there was no Garden of Eden, no need of Adam, no transgression by our first parents, also teaches that there is no redemption from the fall and that the need of Jesus Christ as the Redeemer is unnecessary. If there had been no fall there would have been no redemption; there would have been no need of Jesus Christ coming, as he declared he did come, and as it has been declared by the prophets, to repair a broken law and to restore again that which was lost and to redeem men from the fallen condition. I think what I say is logical, reasonable, and above all, it is scriptural.” 
Is there a conflict between science and religion? Between the revealed word of the Lord to his prophets and the truth revealed through scientific investigation there is no conflict. There can be no disagreement wherein truth is arrayed against truth. Could such a thing be possible all thinks would perish in confusion. There is a conflict existing between revealed truth coming from the Lord to his chosen servants and the false doctrines advocated by men of science. There is also a conflict between false religion and truth revealed through scientific investigation. The time will come when nothing will remain except truth.” 
“CANNOT BELIEVE BOTH GOSPEL AND EVOLUTION. I say most emphatically, you cannot believe in this theory of the origin of man, and at the same time accept the plan of salvation as set forth by the Lord our God. You must choose the one and reject the other, for they are in direct conflict and there is a gulf separating them which is so great that it cannot be bridged, no matter how much one may try to do so. If IfIyou believe in the doctrine of the evolutionist, then you must accept the view that man has evolved through countless ages from the very lowest forms of life up through various stages of animal life, finally into the human form. The first man, according to this hypothesis known as the “cave man,” was a creature absolutely ignorant and devoid of any marked intelligence over the beasts of the field.” 
“These modernists, who are instructing and leading astray the people of this and other lands, reject the doctrine of the atonement of Christ; they reject the resurrection of the Son of God and consequently the resurrection of all mankind. They have discarded entirely the miracles of the scriptures and make light of the saving ordinances of the gospel which the Lord declared to be so essential to our salvation; and in the stead thereof they have accepted the theories and notions advanced by modern scientists which are evidently false, and have taken to their hearts and hugged to their bosoms the falsehoods set forth in the theories of evolution and of higher criticism of the scriptures. And why have they done this thing? Because the simple truth, which is understood by the Spirit of God and not understood and comprehended by the spirit of man, does not appeal to their reason.” 
TIME ELEMENT IN THE CREATION. This earth was created on the Lord’s time, which is celestial time. By revelation we know exactly the nature of that time, and just how many days of celestial time were required to create this earth. Moreover, we know how long this earth has endured, approximately, and how long it will endure according to our present rate of reckoning. The Lord revealed to Abraham:
“And the Lord said unto me, by the Urim and Thummim, that Kolob was after the manner of the Lord, according to its times and seasons in the revolutions thereof; that one revolution was a day unto the Lord, after his manner of reckoning, it being one thousand years according to the time appointed unto that whereon thou standest. This is the reckoning of the Lord’s time, according to the reckoning of Kolob….
“And thus there shall be the reckoning of the time of one planet above another, until thou come nigh unto Kolob, which Kolob is after the reckoning of the Lord’s time; which Kolob is set nigh unto the throne of God to govern all those planets which belong to the same order as that upon which thou standest.”
CELESTIAL TIME USED IN CREATION. Also: “Fig. 1. Kolob, signifying the first creation, nearest to the celestial, or the residence of God. First in government, the last pertaining to the measurement of time. The measurement according to celestial time, which celestial time signifies one day to a cubit. One day in Kolob is equal to a thousand years according to the measurement of this earth, which is called by the Egyptians Jah-oh-eh.”
When this earth was created, it was not according to our present time, but it was created according to Kolob’s time, for the Lord has said it was created on celestial time which is Kolob’s time. Then he revealed to Abraham that Adam was subject to Kolob’s time before his transgression. “Now I, Abraham, saw that it was after the Lord’s time, which was after the time of Kolob; for as yet the Gods had not appointed unto Adam his reckoning.”
AGE OF THE EARTH SINCE ADAM. We have evidence beyond dispute that Adam was driven out of the Garden of Eden about 6,000 years ago, or perhaps a short time less. It is possible for us, by using the Bible chronology and that given by the Lord in the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants to figure this almost accurately.
In the Book of Revelation, chapters five to 10, we have the story of the opening of the seven seals by the Lamb, each seal representing 1,000 years of the temporal existence of this earth. In D&C 88:92-116 , we have the confirmation of this with other detail in regard to the opening of the seals. In section 77:6-15, we have more information in relation to the opening of these seals, with the following significant detail:
Verse 6: “Q. What are we to understand by the book which John saw, which was sealed on the back with seven seals?
“A. We are to understand that it contains the revealed will, mysteries, and works of God; the hidden things of his economy concerning this earth during the seven thousand years of its continuance, or its temporal existence.”
TEMPORARY EXISTENCE OF EARTH. Here is a definite statement by revelation to us that this earth will go through 7,000 years of temporal existence. Temporal, by all interpretations, means passing, temporary or mortal. This, then, has reference to the earth in its fallen state, for the earth was cursed when Adam, who was given dominion over it, transgressed the law. Before that time this earth was not mortal any more than Adam was. This we learn from other scriptures; for instance, see 2 Nephi 2:22 .
In verse 12, section 77 the Prophet by inspiration from the Lord, sets days of a thousand years off against years of our measurement, in these words:
“We are to understand that as God made the world in six days, and on the seventh day he finished his work, and sanctified it, and also formed man out of the dust of the earth, even so, in the beginning of the seventh thousand years will the Lord God sanctify the earth, and complete the salvation of man, and judge all things, and shall redeem all things, except that which he hath not put into his power, when he shall have sealed all things, unto the end of all things; and the sounding of the trumpets of the seven angels are the preparing and finishing of his work, in the beginning of the seventh thousand years-the preparing of the way before the time of his coming.”
CREATION DID NOT TAKE MILLIONS OF YEARS. Here we have the Prophet comparing the days of creation with seven periods of 1,000 years each, corresponding to days, according to the Lord’s time, in harmony with the teaching of Abraham and the other scriptures. The earth’s temporal existence, according to this, is to endure for just one week, or seven days of 1,000 years each. Moreover, since the earth was built according to the celestial time, which is the Lord’s days, which he clearly defined to Abraham, we can hardly be justified in trying to harmonize the days of creation with the extended periods of millions of years according to the reckoning of the so-called scientists.
Both from the Bible and from the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, we know that the flood came in the year 1600 from the driving of Adam out of the Garden of Eden. We know that Abraham was living in the days of Shem, son of Noah, if not in the days of Noah himself. Profane history corroborates the history of Israel and Abraham. So a man is willfully blind who would push these days back tens of thousands, much less, hundreds of thousands of years.
MEANING OF THE MERIDIAN OF TIME. Moreover, our Savior came in the meridian of time. That dispensation is called the dispensation of the meridian of time. This means that it was about half way from the beginning of “time” to the end of “time.” Anyone who desires can figure it for himself that our Lord came about 4,000 years from the time of the fall. The millennium is to come some time following the 2,000 years after his coming. Then there is to be the millennium for 1,000 years, and following that a “little season,” the length of which is not revealed, but which may bring “time” to its end about 8,000 years from the beginning.
We have seen that the Lord had not given to this earth its present time until after the fall. Before that time it was subject to Kolob’s time, which is eternal time. After the temporal existence of the earth is finished, it will again go back on celestial time, and there shall be “time no longer.” This does not mean that the inhabitants of the earth, who will be celestial beings, will not reckon by time, but by a different time-Kolob’s time which the Lord says is his time.
If men prefer to believe the strong delusions taught by evolutionists, rather than what the Lord has revealed, we cannot help it, but it certainly shows in them a lack of faith, which is not to their credit. 
In respect to President Joseph Fielding Smith’s words on this subject President Ezra Taft Benson added his testimony (Please see the reference for context):
It is also apparent to all who have the Spirit of God in them that Joseph Fielding Smith’s writings will stand the test of time. 
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. 
Then what is meant by the “first flesh”? It is simple when you understand it. Adam was the first of all creatures to fall and become flesh, and flesh in this sense means mortality, and all through our scriptures the Lord speaks of this life as flesh, while we are here in the flesh, so Adam became the first flesh. There was no other mortal creature before him, and there was no mortal death until he brought it . . . 
“The following doctrines are fundamental to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They were all given by revelation. The revelation came by personal visitations from the Lord or from his angels sent from his presence, or by his word to his servants the prophets. They are revealed truth. They cannot be changed or modified.d
God, our Eternal Father, is an immortal exalted Man, with a body of flesh and bones and eternal spirit, inseparably connected that cannot be divided and cannot die.
The presiding authority in the Universe is, God the Father, his Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost.
This earth on which we dwell at the word of the Father, was created by the Son before he obtained his tabernacle of flesh and bones.
Adam was the first man on the earth, and Eve, his wife, the first woman. They were created in the image of God.
When Adam and Eve were placed in Eden they were not subject to the power of death and could have lived, in the state of innocence in which they were, forever had they not violated the law given them in the Garden.
The earth also was pronounced good, and would have remained in that same state forever had it not been changed to meet Adam’s fallen condition.
All things on the face of the earth also would have remained in that same condition, had not Adam transgressed the law.
By partaking of the forbidden fruit, and thus violating the law under which he was placed, his nature was changed, and he became subject to (1) spiritual death, which is banishment from the presence of God; (2) temporal death, which is separation of spirit and body. This death also came to Eve his wife.
Had Adam and Eve not transgressed the law given in Eden, they would have had no children.
Because of this transgression bringing mortality, the children of Adam and Eve inherited mortal bodies and became subject to the mortal death.
Because Adam transgressed the law, the Lord changed the earth to suit the mortal condition and all things on the face of the earth became subject to mortality, as did the earth also.
To defeat the power which death had gained it became necessary that an infinite atonement be offered to pay the debt and thereby restore Adam and Eve and all of their posterity, and all things, to immortal life through the resurrection.
To accomplish this, Jesus Christ, who created the earth, volunteered and was chosen to come to earth as that infinite sacrifice. According to eternal law, this sacrifice had to be made by a God who was not subject to death, yet had the power to die and take up his body again by inherent right. Being the only begotten Son of God in the flesh, our Redeemer obtained from his Father the mastery over death, and from his mother he inherited the power to die.
This atonement by the Son of God is of twofold nature: (1) It redeems all creatures who are subject to mortality through the fall, and restores them to immortality, without any act whatsoever on their part. Hence every soul born into this world shall receive the resurrection, the body and spirit being united never again to be divided. (2) It redeems every soul from the penalties of his own transgressions, on the condition that he accepts the plan of salvation and is obedient to all the laws and commandments of God and that he endures in faithfulness to the end. None but the truly repentant are entitled to this forgiveness of sins.
. . .
These doctrines we are called on to preach and sustain by the commandment of the Lord to his Church.” 
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….’ ”  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.” 
All that we teach in this Church ought to be couched in the scriptures. It ought to be found in the scriptures. We ought to choose our texts from the scriptures. If we want to measure truth, we should measure it by the four standard works, regardless of who writes it. If it is not in the standard works, we may well assume that it is speculation, a man’s own personal opinion; and if it contradicts what is in the scriptures, it is not true. This is the standard by which we measure all truth. 
Now the only safety we have as members of this Church is to do exactly what the Lord said to the Church in that day when the Church was organized. We must learn to give heed to the words and commandments that the Lord shall give through his prophet, “as he receiveth them, walking in all holiness before me; . . . as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith.” . There will be some things that take patience and faith. You may not like what comes from the authority of the Church. It may contradict your political views. It may contradict your social views. It may interfere with some of your social life. . . . Your safety and ours depends upon whether or not we follow the ones whom the Lord has placed to preside over his church. He knows whom he wants to preside over this church, and he will make no mistake. The Lord doesn’t do things by accident . . . Let’s keep our eye on the President of the Church. 
Spencer W. Kimball
“The Gods organized the earth of materials at hand, over which they had control and power. This truth is absolute. A million educated folk might speculate and determine in their minds that the earth came into being by chance. The truth remains. The earth was made by the Gods…opinions do not change that. The Gods organized and gave life to man and placed him on the earth. This is absolute. It cannot be disproved. A million brilliant minds might conjecture otherwise, but it is still true.” 
“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.” ” 
Ezra Taft Benson
“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.” 
“There will be times when you will have to choose between the revelations of God and the reasoning of men–between the prophet and the . . . professor.” 
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.”  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.”  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.” 
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.” 
Darwinist and Neo-Darwinist Statements
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.” 
I had gradually come, by this time, to see that the Old Testament from its manifestly false history of the world and from its attributing to God the feelings of a revengeful tyrant, was no more to be trusted than the sacred books of the Hindus, or the beliefs of any barbarian… By further reflecting that the more we know of the fixed laws of nature the more incredible do miracles become that the men at that time were ignorant and credulous to a degree almost incomprehensible to us… This 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 for a single second that my conclusion was correct. 1
*It was only in his autobiography that Darwin gave free expression to his religious opinions. And it was when his son prepared to publish the autobiography in the Life and Letters that Emma Darwin revealed the true measure of her conventionality. Having succeeded in maintaining a modicum of discretion in his lifetime, she objected to having the floodgates of scandal opened after his death, and solemnly warned her son that unless he deleted some of the franker passages, her life would be made unendurably miserable… The full extent of Darwin’s disbelief, therefore, can be seen neither in his published work nor even in his published autobiography, but only in the original version of that autobiography. Where the edited version stated simply that he had come to see “that the Old Testament was no more to be trusted than the sacred books of the Hindoos,” the original added: “or the beliefs of any barbarian.” It also specified what it was in the Old Testament that be found so objectionable: “its manifestly false history of the world, with the Tower of Babel, the rainbow as a sign, etc., etc.”
If he found the Bible an untrustworthy source, neither could he be persuaded of the existence of God by “the deep inward conviction and feelings which are experienced by most persons.” He himself, he confessed, had once had such feelings; in the grandeur of the Brazilian forest he had been possessed by the conviction that there must be more in man than “the mere breath of his body.” But later even the grandest scenes could not evoke such thoughts in his mind. It might be argued, he realized, that he was like a man who had become color blind and who alone among his fellow men could not see red when confronted with it. Such arguments, however, failed to move him…
For himself, Darwin preferred a morality independent of religion and untainted by the moral defects of Christianity. In an addendum to his autobiography, he spelled out the derivation and implication of a naturalistic ethics:
“A man who has no assured and no present belief in the existence of a personal God or a future existence with retribution and rewards, 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. A dog acts in this manner, but he does so blindly. A man, on the other hand, looks forwards and backwards, and compares his various feelings, desires, and recollections. He then finds, in accordance with the verdict of the wisest men, that the highest satisfaction is derived from following certain impulses, namely the social instincts. If he acts for the good of others he will receive the approbation of his fellow men and gain the love of those with whom he lives; and this latter gain undoubtedly is the highest pleasure on this earth. By degrees it will be more intolerable to him to obey his sensuous passions rather than his highest impulses, which when rendered habitual may be almost called instincts. His reason may occasionally tell him to act in opposition to the opinion of others, whose approbation he will then not receive; but he will still have the solid satisfaction of knowing that he has followed his innermost judge or conscience. 2
Bible Dictionary: Flesh — The flesh is often spoken of as being a part of our mortal or fallen nature (as in Matt. 26: 41; Rom. 7: 5, 14-23; Rom. 8: 3; 1 Cor. 3: 1-2; Eph. 2: 3); as opposed to the Spirit (Rom. 8: 5-9; Gal. 3: 3; Gal. 5: 17-25), and as needing to be overcome (Matt. 4: 4; Rom. 8: 7, 12-13; Gal. 5: 17, 24; Gal. 6: 8; Col. 2: 11; Col. 3: 5; 1 Pet. 4: 2; 1 Jn. 2: 16-17). Since flesh often means mortality, Adam is spoken of as the “first flesh” upon the earth, meaning he was the first mortal on the earth, all things being created in a nonmortal condition, and becoming mortal through the fall of Adam. Jesus is the “Only Begotten of the Father” in the flesh, meaning he is the only one begotten of the Father into mortality (Moses 3: 7 ).
Bible Dictionary: Fall of Adam — The process by which mankind became mortal on this earth. The event is recorded in Gen. 2, 3, 4; and Moses 3, 4. The fall of Adam is one of the most important occurrences in the history of man. Before the fall, Adam and Eve had physical bodies but no blood. There was no sin, no death, and no children among any of the earthly creations. With the eating of the “forbidden fruit,” Adam and Eve became mortal, sin entered, blood formed in their bodies, and death became a part of life. Adam became the “first flesh” upon the earth (Moses 3: 7), meaning that he and Eve were the first to become mortal. After Adam fell, the whole creation fell and became mortal. Adam’s fall brought both physical and spiritual death into the world upon all mankind (Helaman 14: 16-17 ).
Latter-day revelation supports the biblical account of the fall, showing that it was a historical event that literally occurred in the history of man. Many points in latter-day revelation are also clarified that are not discernible from the Bible. Among other things it makes clear that the fall is a blessing, and that Adam and Eve should be honored in their station as the first parents of the earth. 
“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?”
JST 2 Peter 3:3-6; 8
“Knowing this first, that in the last days there shall come scoffers, walking after their own lusts. Denying the Lord Jesus Christ, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things must continue as they are and have continued as they are from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that of old the heavens, and the earth standing in the water and out of the water, were created by the word of God; And by the word of God, the world that then was, being overflowed with water perished; . . . But concerning the coming of the Lord, beloved, I would not have you ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day. “
. . . we truly can command in the name of Jesus and the very trees obey us, or the mountains, or the waves of the sea. Behold, great and marvelous are the works of the Lord. How unsearchable are the depths of the mysteries of him; and it is impossible that man should find out all his ways. And no man knoweth of his ways save it be revealed unto him; wherefore, brethren, despise not the revelations of God. For behold, by the power of his word man came upon the face of the earth, which earth was created by the power of his word. Wherefore, if God being able to speak and the world was, and to speak and man was created, O then, why not able to command the earth, or the workmanship of his hands upon the face of it, according to his will and pleasure? Wherefore, brethren, seek not to counsel the Lord, but to take counsel from his hand. (Jacob 4:6-10 )
. . . as God made the world in six days, and on the seventh day he finished his work, and sanctified it, and also formed man out of the dust of the earth, even so, in the beginning of the seventh thousand years will the Lord God sanctify the earth, and complete the salvation of man . . . (D&C 77:12 )
. . . the revealed will, mysteries, and the works of God; the hidden things of his economy concerning this earth during the seven thousand years of its continuance, or it temporal existence. (D&C 77:6 )
Doctrine and Covenants 1:1, 6, 14, 17, 19, 24, 37-38
Hearken, O ye people of my church, saith the voice of him who dwells on high, and whose eyes are upon all men; . . .
Behold, this is mine authority, and the authority of my servants, and my preface unto the book of my commandments, which I have given them to publish unto you, O inhabitants of the earth. . . . .
The day cometh that they who will not hear the voice of the Lord, neither the voice of his servants, neither give heed to the words of the prophets and apostles, shall be cut off from among the people; . . . They seek not the Lord to establish his righteousness, but every man walketh in his own way, and after the image of his own god, whose image is in the likeness of the world, . . .
Wherefore, I the Lord, knowing the calamity which should come upon the inhabitants of the earth, called upon my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and spake unto him from heaven, and gave him commandments;
The weak things of the world shall come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones, that man should not counsel his fellow man, neither trust in the arm of flesh— . . .
Behold, I am God and have spoken it; these commandments are of me,. . . .
Search these commandments, for they are true and faithful, and the prophecies and promises which are in them shall all be fulfilled. What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.
Doctrine and Covenants 84:54-57
And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received— Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation. And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all. And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them,
And gave him power from on high, by the means which were before prepared, to translate the Book of Mormon; Which contains a record of a fallen people, and the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles and to the Jews also; Which was given by inspiration, and is confirmed to others by the ministering of angels, and is declared unto the world by them— Proving to the world that the holy scriptures are true, and that God does inspire men and call them to his holy work in this age and generation, as well as in generations of old; Thereby showing that he is the same God yesterday, today, and forever. Amen. Therefore, having so great witnesses, by them shall the world be judged, even as many as shall hereafter come to a knowledge of this work.
2 Nephi 2:22-24
. . . if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the garden of Eden. And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end.
And they would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin.
But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things. Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.
Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient.
And I, the Lord God, formed man . . . the first flesh upon the earth, the first man also . . .
Bruce R. McConkie
But what of the true Church? Are there heresies within even that divine institution? Paul says such was the case among the Corinthians, and it is apparent that the same thing prevails in the modern kingdom of God on earth. Speaking of our day, Nephi said that “because of pride, and wickedness, and abominations, and whoredoms,” all men have “gone astray save it be a few, who are the humble followers of Christ.” Then pointing to these true saints, he added: “Nevertheless, they are led, that in many instances they do err because they are taught by the precepts of men.” That is, heresies are found in the Church today, even as in the meridian of time. For instance, what of the views of some on revelation, on the age of the earth, on the theories of organic evolution, on the resurrection of the sons of perdition, on a second chance for salvation, on whether God is progressing in truth and knowledge, and so forth? 
The fact is that a major part of the testing process of mortality is to determine how much of the truth the saints will believe while they are walking by faith rather than by sight. And the more truths they accept, the clearer will be their views on spiritual matters, and the more incentive and determination they will have to work out their salvation and gain eternal glory hereafter. Heresies and false teachings are thus used in the testing processes of this mortal probation. 
Peter had the Lord’s time in mind when he wrote that “there shall come in the last days scoffers,” mockers who do not believe the scriptural accounts stating that God created the earth in six days and rested on the seventh. They will say: “Where is the promise of his coming?” They will reject the Second Coming with its millennial era of peace, with its new heaven and new earth wherein death and sorrow cease, because, as they falsely reason: “Since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” They will say such things as: ‘How can there be a millennial era during which men will live to the age of a tree, when everyone knows we are the end product of evolution and that death has always existed on earth?’ But Peter says that they “willingly are ignorant” of God’s true dealings with reference to the creation, with reference to the flood of Noah, and with reference to the coming day of judgment, a day when “the elements shall melt with fervent heat” and all things shall become new. 
Heresies among the Saints! Sadly it is so. Are there not those among us who believe the theories of men rather than the revealed word relative to the creation of the earth and organic evolution? 
In prophetic imagery, Babylon is the world with all its carnality and wickedness. Babylon is the degenerate social order created by lustful men who love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil. Babylon is the almighty governmental power that takes the saints of God into captivity; it is the false churches that build false temples and worship false gods; it is every false philosophy (as, for instance, organic evolution) that leads men away from God and salvation. Babylon is false and degenerate religion in all its forms and branches. 
. . . facts are the words of God, and we may heap them together endlessly, but they will teach us little or nothing till we place them in their true relations, and recognize the thought that binds them together. 
In our study of natural objects we are approaching the thoughts of the Creator, reading his conceptions, interpreting a system that is His and not ours. 
- ↑ Moses 3: 7
- ↑ Helaman 14: 16-17
- ↑ 2 Nephi 2: 15-16 ; 2 Nephi 9: 6-21 ; Mosiah 3: 11-16 ; Alma 22: 12-14 ; Alma 42: 2-15 ; D&C 29: 34-44 ; Moses 5: 9-13 .
- ↑ James 2: 26
- ↑ Alma 12: 16, 32 ; Alma 40: 26
- ↑ Romans 6: 23
- ↑ 1 Timothy 5: 6
- ↑ 1 Corinthians 15: 21-23
- ↑ Revelation 20: 14 ; Alma 12: 16-18 ; Helaman 14: 16-19 ; D&C 76: 36-37
- ↑ Alma 11: 42-45
- ↑ 2 Nephi 2: 22 ; Moses 6: 48
- ↑ Joseph Fielding Smith, Man, His Origin and Destiny [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1954], 50-53
- ↑ 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
- ↑ D&C 77:3
- ↑ First Presidency of the Church, The Origin of Man, Improvement Era, Nov. 1909, 75–81
- ↑ Ensign, February 2002, p. 26
- ↑ History of the Church 3: 385
- ↑ Joseph Smith, Lectures on Faith, p. 5
- ↑ Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, selected and arranged by Joseph Fielding Smith [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1976], 197.
- ↑ Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Section Five 1842-43, p.252
- ↑ Joseph Smith, Teachings of Joseph Smith, pp. 157-158
- ↑ Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints’ Book Depot, 1854-1886], 13: 312
- ↑ Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints’ Book Depot, 1854-1886], 13: 92 – 93
- ↑ Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints’ Book Depot, 1854-1886], 10: 324
- ↑ President Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints’ Book Depot, 1854-1886], 19: 47 – 48
- ↑ Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 13: 314.
- ↑ John Taylor, Mediation and Atonement, pp. 163-165
- ↑ Wilford Woodruff, Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints’ Book Depot, 1854-1886], 21: 124 – 125
- ↑ Joseph F. Smith, Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints’ Book Depot, 1854-1886], 15: 324 – 325
- ↑ Joseph F. Smith, Improvement Era, Vol. 4:548-551
- ↑ 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, April 1905, p. 61
- ↑ George Albert Smith, Conference Report, October 1925, Afternoon Session 32
- ↑ Genesis 1:27, 28
- ↑ Genesis 2:4, 5
- ↑ Genesis 2:7
- ↑ President George Albert Smith, Conference Report, April 1945, Third Day—Morning Meeting 135
- ↑ Jospeh Fielding Smith, Conference Pamphlet, Oct. 1952, Era, Dec. 1952
- ↑ Joseph Fielding Smith, Man, His Origin and Destiny [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1954], 276.
- ↑ Joseph Fielding Smith, Man, His Origin and Destiny [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1954], p. 276
- ↑ Joseph Fielding Smith, Man: His Origin and Destiny, p. 21
- ↑ Joseph Fielding Smith, The Language of Adam: The Origin of Speech, Improvement Era, 1928, Vol. Xxxi. January, 1928 No. 3
- ↑ Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, 5: 112.
- ↑ Joseph Fielding Smith, The Progress of Man [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1964], 37
- ↑ Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 3 vols., edited by Bruce R. McConkie [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1954-1956], 1: 116.
- ↑ Joseph Fielding Smith, Conference Report, October 1934, Second Day—Morning Meeting 64
- ↑ Joseph Fielding Smith, Man: His Origin and Destiny, p. 21
- ↑ Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:141.
- ↑ Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 3:289-290.
- ↑ Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 3 vols., edited by Bruce R. McConkie [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1954-1956], 1: 81.
- ↑ Ezra Taft Benson, This Nation Shall Endure [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1977], 26.
- ↑ Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:315.
- ↑ Joseph Fielding Smith, Seek Ye Earnestly [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1970], 281.
- ↑ Joseph Fielding Smith, Man, His Origin and Destiny [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1954], 50-53
- ↑ Moses 3:7
- ↑ Harold B. Lee, “First Presidency Message: Find the Answers in the Scriptures,” Ensign, Dec. 1972, 2.
- ↑ Harold B. Lee, Improvement Era, Jan. 1969, p. 13
- ↑ D&C 21:4-5
- ↑ Harold B. Lee, Conference Report, Oct. 1970, pp. 152-53
- ↑ Spencer W. Kimball, “Absolute Truth”, Ensign, September 1978, p. 3
- ↑ 1 Corinthians 15:22
- ↑ Spencer W. Kimball, The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, 15.
- ↑ Ezra Taft Benson, The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, 60-61.
- ↑ Ezra Taft Benson, 14 Fundamentals of Following the Prophet, BYU Devotional, February 26, 1980
- ↑ Matthew 24:36-39
- ↑ John 11:25
- ↑ Howard W. Hunter, That We Might Have Joy, p. 23.
- ↑ Gordon B. Hinckley, Faith: The Essence of True Religion, p. 18.
- ↑ 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
- ↑ 2 Nephi 2: 15-16; 2 Nephi 9: 6-21 ; Mosiah 3: 11-16 ; Alma 22: 12-14 ; Alma 42: 2-15 ; D&C 29: 34-44 ; Moses 5: 9-13
- ↑ 2 Nephi 28:14
- ↑ 1 Corinthians 11 19
- ↑ Bruce R. McConkie, Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965-1973], 2: 362
- ↑ Bruce R. McConkie, The Millennial Messiah: The Second Coming of the Son of Man [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1982], 31
- ↑ Bruce R. McConkie, The Millennial Messiah: The Second Coming of the Son of Man [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1982], 60
- ↑ Bruce R. McConkie, The Millennial Messiah: The Second Coming of the Son of Man [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1982], 424
- ↑ Louis Agassiz
- ↑ Louis Agassiz