Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Refuting and Correcting BYU’s False Doctrine on the Origin of Man #14 - Elder Orson F. Whitney’s book Attacking Evolution and False Science, The Love and the Light: An Idyl of the Westland

 (by Dennis B. Horne)

            In 1910, Elder Orson F. Whitney met Mary Laura Hickman, sister of Josiah E. Hickman, who lived in Benjamin (Utah County), Utah. This was a fateful meeting that grew into a non-physical, platonic friendship for a decade. Orson and Laura spent many an hour together reading poetry. He fell in love with her but she rebuffed his hopes. As her brother Josiah put it in his diary, “He thinks the world of Laura”—which was an expression that in that day usually meant being in love. But Laura had no interest in courtship and marriage (and she never did marry anyone). If Elder Whitney had married her (ostensibly as a plural wife), he would have been excommunicated, so it is advantageous that she wasn’t interested.

            Laura was a member of a prominent latter-day saint family that was well-educated for that generation. And this is the plot and the rub: She herself had gone east to obtain more education than was available to her at home and had returned deeply disturbed in her mind about science and religion. Atheism, skepticism, and doubt had conquered her for a time, but she had survived and returned to the faith of her family and fathers; the Restored Church of Jesus Christ.

            Elder Whitney wrote a book-length poem-romance novel about her experiences and his helping her regain her testimony and faith—but without mentioning her by name. We only know Laura to be the “heroine,” in the book, because her brother Josiah Hickman mentioned it. In his diary he wrote, “He [Elder Whitney] is . . . starting a novel based up[on] his experience here . . . Outside of his Elias it is the best and lengthiest poem he has written. . . . The poem is based upon Laura’s life, etc.”

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Refuting and Correcting BYU’s False Doctrine on the Origin of Man #13 - Elder Orson F. Whitney on the Origin of Man

 (by Dennis B. Horne)

           The below are some selections from the teachings of Elder Whitney on the origin of man:

 

            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.

            Adam was no ordinary character. How could he be, with such a mission and such antecedents as were his? In the heavens, before this earth was formed, he was Michael the Archangel, leader of the loyal spirit hosts that vanquished Lucifer and his rebellious legions, winning the right to take bodies upon this planet, to become "souls" capable of endless increase and advancement. What Latter-day Saint can doubt that Adam was among "the noble and great," referred to in the Book of Abraham as "rulers," chosen before they were born into this world to play leading parts in the divine drama having as its purpose the uplift and promotion of "the lesser intelligences" who became God's sons and daughters—the end designed by the all-wise, all-benevolent Creator from the beginning?

Friday, May 7, 2021

Refuting and Correcting BYU’s False Doctrine on the Origin of Man #12 - The Origin of Man, by the First Presidency of the Church

(by Dennis B. Horne)

This inspired writing sets forth the official position of the Church

 on the origin of man and therefore impinges on the evolutionary fantasies

 of biologists and their fellow travelers.

As might be expected it arouses great animosity among intellectuals

whose testimonies are more ethereal than real.

—Elder Bruce R. McConkie

 

            The explanatory material provided below is taken from my biography of Elder Orson F. Whitney, chapter 17, with some further comment and links to the document:

 

            The next day, Elder Whitney received perhaps his most important doctrinal writing assignment from the Prophet: “President Smith commissioned me to prepare an article on ‘The Origin of Man,’ for the Liahona and Elders Journal.”[1] Whitney moved forward as requested: “Took the 8:15 am train for Salt Lake . . . and after lunch at home worked with Frances [his secretary] on the article for the First Presidency ‘The Origin of Man.’ ”[2] Over the next several days, he finished up: “Completed my article on Man’s Origin and listened with others at President’s Office. J[ames]. E. Talmage now reading on ‘The Great Apostasy.’ ”[3] Elder Whitney’s task had been mentally taxing: “Ensign Stake Conference. Attended the morning meeting in the Assembly Hall. . . . In the afternoon, at the Tabernacle, I was the only speaker. My theme, the Book of Life. Had good freedom, though somewhat fatigued from a hard week’s work on my literary task—The Origin of Man.”[4]

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Refuting and Correcting BYU’s False Doctrine on the Origin of Man #11 - Must we all be Scientists / Biologists?

 (by Dennis B. Horne)

            When certain scientists start pontificating on their alleged great knowledge of how God used organic evolution to create human-kind, or, how there is no God and it all happened by chance and the laws of nature, and they want to show off their great learning from their field and call it immutable truth, we can cultivate an increased gratitude for the standard works of the church and the teachings of the prophets—including their inspired interpretations of scripture. Thankfully, the truth is that all church members do not need to know biology or anthropology or geology or evolutionary science in order to be saved or exalted, and even to know some of how the true creation took place. In fact, much scientific learning may be more of a hinderance than help, depending on how far people take it. Many a professor of some science has forsaken God because of his allegedly great learning. And the scriptures predicted such would happen because of their pride and vanity.

 

President M. Russell Ballard:

            Help those with questions to realize that the Lord does not require His Saints to have advanced degrees in history and doctrine. [This applies to other fields and types of advanced education as well, such as biology and anthropology and geology. These are not the sources we are sent to for truth and understanding of the creation, fall, and atonement.]

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Refuting and Correcting BYU’s False Doctrine on the Origin of Man #10 - BYU Biologists Seek to Correct the Church

 (by Dennis B. Horne)

            BYU is going so far as to hold Conferences on its campus to which faculty and administration from other Christian schools are being invited, to teach them how to carefully and cleverly teach macro-evolution to their Bible-believing students. BYU biologists have developed presentations and handouts for use in promoting evolution and weakening faith in the truth that God is our common ancestor and that we are literally His children. Some of these biologists are activists who think they are doing good while they damage the faith of their students in God as their father, in the fall, and in other fundamental doctrines. And it’s not just other universities and schools they are trying to infiltrate. It is also the Church at large. Evolutionist-activists from BYU have gone to the media with their propaganda, seeking to get publicity and attention and thereby persuade uninformed church members. (See the Introduction blog for links to these news items, or below.) The teachings found below should help faithful and believing Latter-day Saints avoid the doctrines of men and devils taught by some BYU professors (see D&C 46:7).

 

President Russell M. Nelson:

            While we are to emulate our Savior’s kindness and compassion, while we are to value the rights and feelings of all of God’s children, we cannot change His doctrine. It is not ours to change. His doctrine is ours to study, understand, and uphold.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Refuting and Correcting BYU’s False Doctrine on the Origin of Man #9 - The Deception of Evolution

(by Dennis B. Horne)


            Today we have deception cunningly making its way into the Church and attacking faithful people and families, not only in regard to false doctrine about the origin of man but also concerning LGBT practices and activism, and various other strange and seducing doctrines of men and devils (see D&C 46:7). The below comments mostly relate to evolution but can apply to other methods Satan uses to infiltrate the Church, much of it from within. BYU biologists, NAMI, and the editors of BYUSQ are tragically at great fault here, pitting their worldly learning against the revelations of God. The Brethren warn and warn again against listening to or believing these counterfeit doctrines.

 

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.)

Monday, April 26, 2021

Refuting and Correcting BYU’s False Doctrine on the Origin of Man #8 - Doctrine from Approved (Correlation-Approved) Manuals

 (by Dennis B. Horne)

            The fact is that for many decades the Restored Church has produced many manuals for its formal classes (Seminary & Institute, Sunday School, Priesthood and Relief Society, etc.) that have been approved by Church Correlation. These are now available on the Church’s website, where anyone can look them up and peruse their content on the doctrine of the origin of man. These, of course, carry much greater doctrinal weight than any biology class taught at BYU, or BYUSQ. Below is some quoted material from an Old Testament manual: 

Old Testament Student Manual

            “The world would have you believe that Adam and Eve were primitive and superstitious, that they brought about the Fall through immorality, or even that they are imaginary, mythical persons. But as you read about them remember how the Lord views these two great souls.”

            “While it is interesting to note these various theories, officially the Church has not taken a stand on the age of the earth. For reasons best known to Himself, the Lord has not yet seen fit to formally reveal the details of the Creation. Therefore, while Latter-day Saints are commanded to learn truth from many different fields of study (see D&C 88:77–79), an attempt to establish any theory as the official position of the Church is not justifiable.”