Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Refuting and Correcting BYU’s False Doctrine on the Origin of Man #2 - Sampling of Apostolic Quotations Refuting Evolution

(by Dennis B. Horne)

           I have thought it prudent, in this lengthy blog series, to place upfront a selection of representative quotations from prophets, seers, and revelators that refute evolution providing for the origin of man. By doing this, readers can perceive (in summary) the overwhelming power and unity of the views of these apostles, without having to read every word of every blog thereafter, although there will be great benefit for those who do. Some readers may not be familiar with the names of some of these apostles because they served in former generations, but they were great leaders and teachers for their time nonetheless. Today, some misled members agitate for ridding the church of the teachings (that they don’t like) of past apostles and prophets (by labeling it human tradition instead of revealed doctrine), but what was truth in their day remains true in ours, and always will be. These quotations will probably not cause any evolutionists to forsake their delusions and repent, but they may be of help to those the evolutionists seek to influence with their false theories:


Elder James E. Talmage:

            When I see how often the theories and conceptions of men have gone astray, have fallen short of the truth, yea, have even contradicted the truth directly, I am thankful in my heart that we have an iron rod to which we can cling—the rod of certainty, the rod of revealed truth. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints welcomes all truth, but it distinguishes most carefully between fact and fancy, between truth and theory, between premises and deductions; and it is willing to leave some questions in abeyance until the Lord in his wisdom shall see fit to speak more plainly. As the result of the combined labors of wise men I learn that man is but the developed offspring of the beast; and yet I read that God created man in his own image, after his likeness; and again, I stand on the word of God, though it be in contradiction to the theories of men. (Conference Report, October 1916, 75)


Elder James E. Talmage:

            I do not regard Adam as related to—certainly not as descended from—the Neanderthal, the Cro-Magnon, the Peking or the Piltdown man. Adam came as divinely created, created and empowered, and stands as the patriarchal head of his posterity—posterity, who, if true to the laws of God are heirs to the Priesthood and to the glories of eternal lives. (Church News, Nov. 21, 1931, 8)


President Marion G. Romney:

            On the fundamentals they [the Quorum of the Twelve] are in accord, and one of those fundamentals upon which they are in accord is that Adam is a son of God, that neither his spirit nor his body is a product of a biological evolution.


President Harold B. Lee:

            When you find some of our Latter-day Saint teachers who struggle to try to explain how the Creation and the Fall of man took place and can be harmonized with the evolutionary theory of science, the net result is that the teachings of the gospel are destroyed and the theory of evolution prevails.


President Harold B. Lee:

            To accept the reality of the Fall and the Atonement is to immediately defeat the teachings of the theories of the so-called scientific men. . . .

            And when you begin to see that, you see how vital to all we are teaching is an understanding of the Fall, making necessary the Atonement—hence the mission of the Lord Jesus Christ. Recently President J. Reuben Clark and I were talking about some of these things—about some who perhaps claim membership in the Church but who deny the Fall and therefore deny the need for the Atonement and even the Atonement itself. President Clark said, “If they really only knew it, they are not Christians, because they do not believe in Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world.”


President Joseph F. Smith:

            Some of our teachers are anxious to explain how much of the theory of evolution, in their judgment, is true, and what is false, but that only leaves their students in an unsettled frame of mind. They are not old enough and learned enough to discriminate, or put proper limitations upon a theory which we believe is more or less a fallacy.


President Rudger Clawson of the Quorum of the Twelve:

            Wherever in the Church the discussion takes this phase our young people will be left to choose between Divine Revelation and the claims of science, which latter are often based on theory; And again the scientific theory, or claim, is set forth in the sermon to the effect that man finally emerged, or was developed from and through a line of animal life reaching back into numberless ages of the past, to the protoplasm. This of course is the doctrine of evolution and is as I understand it repugnant to the teachings of the Church of Christ. (Official Quorum of the Twelve Report to the First Presidency)


President George Albert Smith of the Quorum of the Twelve at the time:

            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.


President Heber J. Grant diary, February 10 & 11, 1911:

            This afternoon met with President Lyman, Bros Hyrum M. Smith, Charles W. Penrose, Anthony W. Ivins, George H. Brimhall, Joseph B. Keeler, Henry and Joseph Peterson, Ralph Chamberlin and Horace H. Cummings, and we were together until nearly 7 p.m. listening to explanations regarding the teachings of the Bros. Peterson and Chamberlin at the B.Y.U. at Provo. They were very frank in their explanations of their beliefs on Evolution, and as to certain parts of the Bible which they did not believe. They manifested a very good spirit.

            Attended the meeting of the Twelve ... and after discussing the status of Bros Peterson and Bro Chamberlin we were unanimous of the opinion that it was unsafe for them to continue teaching at the B.Y.U. We were together until a little after 2 p.m.


President J. Reuben Clark Jr.:

            It seems sometimes as if the darkness that surrounds us is all but impenetrable. I can see on all sides the signs of one great evil master-mind [Satan] working for the overturning of our civilization, the destruction of religion, the reduction of men to the status of animals. This mind is working here and there and everywhere. (Conference Report, October 1935, 92; emphasis added.)


Elder Orson F. Whitney:

            I believe that when God made man in His own image, He made a man, and not a monkey, nor any other animal out of which man has evolved. I do not believe that the first of our race was a savage, or a cave man, who courted his wife with a club and carried her off by force. Such creatures there may have been, and there may be now. I do not dispute the findings and the facts of science—real science—which is knowledge, not guess-work. But I do deny that the great father of the human family was a creature of that kind.


President George F. Richards, Diary:

            The extent to which evolution and higher criticism is gaining ground among our school teachers is something alarming. The effects of such teachings in the Brigham Young University are indeed alarming.


President George F. Richards, Diary, July 29, 1925:

            I read Wm Jennings Bryans speech prepared to deliver in court at Dayton, Tenn. in defense of Religion and Christianity and denouncing Evolution. . . . I endorse the article fully and think it should be published in pamphlet form as Mr. Bryan’s dying testimony. He died suddenly on the 26th inst. and before the speech was delivered.


President George F. Richards, general conference:

            By an understanding of this principle of pre-existence we understand the evolution of man, if that is a correct expression, or his eternal progress, following in the footsteps of the Savior, the Firstborn, being born of God in the spirit, having a spiritual existence and then coming here upon the earth to have an earthly existence, passing on through death to another spiritual existence, and then the resurrection, and through faithfulness and obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel go on to eternal life and exaltation. There is just the one individual from beginning to end. The fallacy of the reincarnation of man theory is here made apparent, as also the doctrine of evolution, in which it is taught that man originated with the lower animals, the very lowest type, and came up by degrees. We rejoice in the knowledge of the Gospel, that we are of noble ancestry, that we are indeed sons and daughters of God; and understanding this we realize what manner of men we ought to be, which could not be understood but for this knowledge of pre-existence. The origin of man is here set forth as well as his eternal progression. The origin of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is hereby understood as taught in the scriptures.


Elder Delbert L. Stapley:

            God revealed to Moses that He "created man in his own image and after his likeness." (See Gen. 1:26, 27. ) How lofty and inspiring this knowledge is to his children here on the earth, to know that they have not evolved from some lower organism of life, as teachers of evolution would have us believe, but are the literal offspring of Deity.

            Man's evolution does not concern his origin and beginning. God determined the fact of his form and creation; but man's evolution as a son of God is to rise towards the likeness of his Eternal Father in heaven by perfecting his God-given abilities and powers which, in an embryonic state, are like God's, but presently are not fully developed.


Elder Bruce R. McConkie:

            There is no salvation in a system of religion that rejects the doctrine of the Fall or that assumes man is the end product of evolution and so was not subject to a fall.

            True believers know that this earth and man and all forms of life were created in an Edenic, or paradisiacal, state in which there was no mortality, no procreation, no death.

            In that primeval day Adam and Eve were “in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin.” (2 Ne. 2:23.)

            But in the providences of the Lord, “Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.” (2 Ne. 2:25.)

            By his fall, Adam introduced temporal and spiritual death into the world and caused this earth life to become a probationary estate.


Elder Bruce R. McConkie:

            There are, in fact, five things that came into being and continue to exist because of the fall. None of these things would have existed if there had been no fall, and all of them are essential parts of the divine plan of salvation. They are:

            1. Temporal death. This is the natural death; it occurs when body and spirit separate; it results in corruption and decay. Because of the atonement of Christ all men will be raised from corruption to incorruption, from mortality to immortality, thence to live everlastingly in a resurrected state.

            2. Spiritual death. This is death as pertaining to the things of the Spirit. It is death

as pertaining to things of righteousness. It is to be cast out of the presence of the Lord. It is a way of life which is in opposition to that of the Father of us all. Because of the atonement, because the Lord Jesus bore our sins on conditions of repentance, we have power to gain eternal life, which is spiritual life, which is a life of righteousness, which is life in the presence of our God.

            3. Mortality. Mortal life comes because of the fall. If there had been no fall, there would be no mortal life of any sort on earth. Mortal life is life where there is death. Death must enter the world to bring mortality into being.

            4. Procreation. Before the fall there was no procreation. I repeat, for thus saith the Holy Word, before the fall there was no procreation. Adam and Eve, in their Edenic state, could not have children, nor, as we shall see, could any form of life when first placed on the newly created paradisiacal earth.

            5. A probationary estate. We are here to be tried and tested, to see if we will believe the truths of salvation and keep the commandments while we walk by faith. After the fall men became carnal, sensual, and devilish by nature, and the plan of salvation calls upon them to put off these worldly snares and to put on Christ. . . .

            And so it is that the revealed accounts of the creation of this earth and all things on the face thereof are accounts of the paradisiacal creation. They speak of the immortal state in which all things were first made; they are telling of created things in the day before death entered the world.

            Our Tenth Article of Faith says: “We believe . . . that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.” When the Lord comes and the millennial era commences, there will be new heavens and a new earth; the earth will be renewed; it will become new again; and it will return to its paradisiacal state; it will become as it was in the Edenic day. And once again death as we know it will cease.

            The accounts of the creation in Genesis 1 and Moses 2 are accounts of the paradisiacal or Edenic creation. They are descriptive of a creation that antedated death and mortality and the fall. They speak of a creation in which—again these are Lehi’s words—

            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. [2 Nephi 2:22]

            That is, they would have so remained if there had been no fall. . . .

            I am not conscious of expressing a single thought or concept that has not already been said by the Brethren who have gone before. Almost every sentence I have uttered is a quotation or a paraphrase of something said by Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, John Taylor, Joseph F. Smith, Joseph Fielding Smith, Orson Pratt, or some other of the great theologians of our dispensation.


Elder Bruce R. McConkie:

            Of the several theories, postulated in one age or another to explain (without the aid of revelation) the origin of man and the various forms of life, none has taken such hold or found such widespread acceptance as the relatively modern so-called theory of organic evolution. Stated generally, this theory assumes that over long periods of times, and through a series of changes, all present living organisms or groups of organisms have acquired the morphological and physiological characters which distinguish them. The theory assumes that all present animals and plants have their origin in other pre-existing types, the distinguishable differences being due to modifications in successive generations. One or more common origins for all forms of life are assumed. . . .

            From the day of their first announcement, these theories of organic evolution found themselves in conflict with the principles of revealed religion as such are found recorded in the scriptures and expounded by inspired teachers. (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, pp. 139-151.) (Mormon Doctrine, Evolution article)


Elder Bruce R. McConkie:

            Obviously, the whole doctrine of the fall, and all that pertains to it, is diametrically opposed to the evolutionary assumptions relative to the origin of species. . . . There is no harmony between the truths of revealed religion and the theories of organic evolution. (Mormon Doctrine, Evolution article)


President Joseph Fielding Smith:

            ADAM NOT END PRODUCT OF EVOLUTION. Adam was placed here, not a wild, half-civilized savage, but a perfectly-developed man, with wonderful intelligence, for he helped to create this earth. He was chosen in pre-existence to be the first man upon the earth and the father of the human race, and he will preside over his posterity forever.

            Now, the Lord did not choose a being that had just developed from the lower forms of life, to be a prince, an archangel, to preside over the human race forever! Adam, as Michael, was one of the greatest intelligences in the spirit world and he stands next to Jesus Christ. When he came upon the earth, the Lord gave him a perfect form of government. (Doctrines of Salvation)


President John Taylor:

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

            These principles do not change, as represented by evolutionists of the Darwinian school, but the primitive organisms of all living beings exist in the same form as when they first received their impress from their Maker. . . . If we take man, he is said to have been made in the image of God, for the simple reason that he is a son of God; and being his son, he is, of course, his offspring, an emanation from God, in whose likeness, we are told, he 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.

            Paul, in speaking on the resurrection, refers to the different qualities of flesh as follows: “But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body. All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, and another of fishes, and another of birds.” (1 Cor. 15:38-39.)

            "These different qualities seem to be inherent in the several species, as much so as the properties of silver, gold, copper, iron, and other minerals are inherent in the matter in which they are contained, whilst herbs, according to their kind, possess their specific properties, or as the leading properties of earth, air, and water, are distinct from one another; and hence, on physiological grounds, this principle being admitted, and it cannot be controverted, it would be impossible to take the tissues of the lower, or, indeed, of any order of fishes, and make of them an ox, a bird, or a man; as impossible as it would be to take iron and make it into gold, silver, or copper, or to produce any other changes in the laws which govern any kind of matter. And when the resurrection and exaltation of man shall be consummated, although more pure, refined and glorious, yet will he still be in the same image, and have the same likeness, without variation or change in any of his parts or faculties, except the substitution of spirit for blood." (Mediation and Atonement, 160-161.)


Elder D. Todd Christofferson:

            While these considerations are certainly true and important, we know that fatherhood is much more than a social construct or the product of evolution. The role of father is of divine origin, beginning with a Father in Heaven and, in this mortal sphere, with Father Adam.


President George Q. Cannon:

            But to the Latter-day Saints who understand the principles of truth, it is the greatest absurdity and folly to state that man has been evolved from an inferior form of animal life, and has progressed step by step through the ages until he has reached his present stage of development. They do not need to spend any time to examine such a proposition for they know better.


President Ezra Taft Benson:

            Now, 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, etc. (“The Book of Mormon is the Word of God,” Ensign, May 1975.)


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