Monday, June 14, 2021

Refuting and Correcting BYU’s False Doctrine on the Origin of Man #27 - Professor Josiah E. Hickman’s Dream-Vision about Science/Evolution

 (by Dennis B. Horne)

            Dr. Josiah E. Hickman was a well-educated college professor that taught several disciplines over his lifetime at both BYU and Utah State University (before either were universities). He was a prominent teacher with considerable influence in church education. He was also Elder Orson F. Whitney’s best friend, as was his sister, Laura Hickman.

            Josiah watched what we would today call troubling liberal/progressive influences infiltrate both universities to various extents, and he fought hard against these encroachments. He became so discouraged that he eventually left the teaching profession to sell insurance. In his early years, as he was obtaining his education, he became so frustrated with evolution in particular that he prayed with great faith and the Lord sent an angel to him to show him a vision about evolution. Josiah kept a diary in which he recorded many particulars of his life, of which the below relate to the subject at hand, including a lengthy narration of his vision, which, as far as I know, if virtually unknown in the Church—but needs to be known:

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Refuting and Correcting BYU’s False Doctrine on the Origin of Man #26 - George Brimhall’s Dream-Vision of the Snow-White Birds

 (by Dennis B. Horne)

            Elder Boyd K. Packer referenced this dream or vision given to a past Superintendent of Church Schools in his 1995 address to BYU students. It directly relates to teaching evolution and other false doctrines to BYU students; the same thing warned of in this dream is going on now as BYU biologists today repeat the egregious errors of their former associates:

 

            I remember as well Sunday, January 8, 1956. To understand why that is memorable to me, we must go back to 1910.

            George Brimhall, having already served 19 years as president of BYU, determined to establish a recognized teachers college. He had hired three professors: one with a master’s degree from Harvard, one with a doctorate from Cornell, and the other with a doctorate from Chicago. They hoped to transform the college into a full-fledged university. They determined that practicality and religion, which had characterized the school, must now give way to more intellectual and scientific philosophies.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Refuting and Correcting BYU’s False Doctrine on the Origin of Man #25 - President Russell M. Nelson’s Teachings about Evolution and the Origin of Man

(by Dennis B. Horne)

            President Nelson’s teachings on the creation of man and his rejection of evolution are the most important of our time simply because he is the prophet of the Lord right now. Yet pro-evolutionists like Ben Spackman and others in the BYU biology department seek to marginalize his voice and views. Of President Nelson, Spackman said:

 

            He’s said some things on occasion, and it has never been enough to be able to pin down what camp he falls into. He’s very obviously against the new atheist camp that says science and evolution disprove that there’s a God. That’s not a surprise. Whether he would be in favor of say, Steven Peck’s views of evolution, a BYU biology professor who talks about evolution a lot, or theistic evolution or, the kind of evolution in the way the Catholic Church has gone for it, he’s never really said enough to pin down his views. . . .

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Refuting and Correcting BYU’s False Doctrine on the Origin of Man #24 - The False Scientific Theories of Men and Women

(by Dennis B. Horne)

Elder James E. Talmage:

            Science, if properly taught in our associations, cannot fail to add to the testimony and devotion of the members. If false science be taught it will tend to lead astray. A very proper question is, “How may success be acquired and danger avoided?” See that a clear line of distinction be drawn between fact and theory. Truth is of divine origin; theories are man-made. I would urge that no discussion of the latter be introduced under the name of science in our associations. Theories are invented to explain mysteries, and they do so oftentimes mysteriously, and mysteries are not easily assimilated in the human mind. To the members of the associations I would say, for the present, let us leave such matters alone, and deal only with the things about us. To be informed upon the things with which we are personally brought in contact is the characteristic of a useful education. . . .

Friday, June 4, 2021

Refuting and Correcting BYU’s False Doctrine on the Origin of Man #23 - Joseph F. Smith Discourses on the Theories of Men/Women

 (by Dennis B. Horne)

            One of the best and strongest reasons to interpret the First Presidency document “The Origin of Man” (see #12 & 13) as it is written, being a clear refutation of evolution and superb teachings about the origin of Adam and Eve, is because when you look at everything else President Smith taught on the subject, it all agrees and harmonizes. President Joseph F. Smith knew the true doctrine of the origin of man and the falseness of evolution—and often said so.

 

President Smith:

            I believe, too, that the most of the Latter-day Saints are wise enough, that they have sufficient intelligence and a sufficient portion of the Spirit of the living God in their hearts, to decide between truth and error, between right and wrong, and between light and darkness; and I will say I believe they have sense enough to abide by the simple, pure, truthful principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ, in preference to all the vagaries of philosophers, or of scientists, or of anybody else. There is no science, nor philosophy that can supersede God Almighty's truth. The Lord has said, "My word is truth," and indeed it is and I believe that the Latter-day Saints know enough about the word of God to know it is His word when they see it and shun whatever is not; and that they will abide by the word of God, for it is truth. As the Savior said, "If ye will abide in my word, then are ye my disciples, indeed; ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." I believe that the Latter-day Saints, and especially the leading men in Israel, have sufficient knowledge and understanding of the principles of the gospel that they know the truth, and they are made free by its possession—free from sin, free from error, free from darkness, from the traditions of men, from vain philosophy, and from the untried, unproven theories of scientists, that need demonstration beyond the possibility of a doubt. We have had science and philosophy through all the ages, and they have undergone change after change. Scarcely a century has passed but they have introduced new theories of science and of philosophy that supersede the old traditions and the old faith and the old doctrines entertained by philosophers and scientists. These things may undergo continuous changes, but the word of God is always true, is always right. (Conference Report, April 1911, 7-8.)

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Refuting and Correcting BYU’s False Doctrine on the Origin of Man #22 - Elder Joseph Fielding Smith’s article, “The Origin and Destiny of Man with a side-light on Evolution”

 (by Dennis B. Horne)

            In 1920 there appeared in the Improvement Era a long treatise by Elder Joseph Fielding Smith on “The Origin and Destiny of Man.” From today’s perspective, it has the same weakness as his book of similar name—the scientific quotes he used are now over 100 years old and becoming obsolete. But what else was he to do? Today’s scientists will be obsolete in the future also.

            An editorial comment accompanying the article noted that Joseph Fielding Smith, “Whose dissertation in this number, on ‘The Origin and Destiny of Man,’ with a side light on evolution, and telling arguments showing its inadequacies and inconsistencies, is worth careful study and a double reading.” We reproduce this document here because its doctrinal teachings remain strong and true, and because BYU biologists need to dismiss President Smith’s teachings else their theories are groundless nonsense:

            My Brethren and Sisters:—Throughout the discussion of this topic, I would like you to keep in mind the following passages of scripture:

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Refuting and Correcting BYU’s False Doctrine on the Origin of Man #21 - Selections from Doctrines of Salvation, by President Joseph Fielding Smith

(by Dennis B. Horne) 

            In the 1950s Elder Bruce R. McConkie spent much free time going through copies of his father-in-law’s correspondence that answered doctrinal questions. This work of selecting and organizing these letters and papers eventually became three published volumes of President Smith’s gospel teachings, titled Doctrines of Salvation.

            These volumes soon became very popular and influential in the Church and many orthodox gospel scholars readily acknowledge that they read them deeply and owe much them. These facts are well known to most students of the gospel, at least of the older generations. What is much less-well known is that in the year 2000 the First Presidency authorized the creation of a book (only one volume) containing selections from the three volumes of Doctrines of Salvation. This work was done and the resulting volume was reviewed and approved by Church Correlation, and then published by the Church in 2001 to be given as a Christmas present to church employees.

             The Brethren kept in the approved Selections book the teachings against evolution, and those about the true origin of man:

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Refuting and Correcting BYU’s False Doctrine on the Origin of Man #20 - President Joseph Fielding Smith’s work Church History and Modern Revelation

(by Dennis B. Horne)

             Church History and Modern Revelation is a book or manual written by President Joseph Fielding Smith for use in priesthood quorums for 4 years in the late 1940s. The work began as a four-volume paperback manual subtitled, “Being a Course of Study for the Melchizedek Priesthood Quorums.” It was later reprinted in a (much scarcer) 2-volume hardback set in 1953. It was formally published by the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and copyrighted by David O. McKay as Trustee-in-Trust for the Church. The preface, written by President George F. Richards of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, said in part: “We are living in momentous times. The Gospel has been restored ‘for the last time.’ It will never again be taken from the earth, but shall be here when our Lord comes to reign as Lord of lords and King of kings. However, the Church today, like the Church in the first centuries of the Christian Era, is constantly in danger. As it was in the first century, so now, we must guard against the introduction of false doctrines, theories and practices into the Church. . . .” (Preface)

            Many evolutionists and liberals take delight in shouting from the rooftops that President Smith’s book Man: His Origin and Destiny was a privately written and published and therefore unofficial work, so they don’t have to believe anything in it that refutes evolution. This in itself is not the wisest course to take, but setting that foolishness aside, it would seem that they either choose to forget or don’t know that President Smith wrote a lot of other books and articles teaching the same doctrines—including this formally reviewed and approved and published manual. It contains the below doctrinal teachings and warnings that engage the issues of evolution and teach the doctrine of the origin of man and the fall and redemption. In Church History and Modern Revelation, President Smith wrote this formally approved doctrine:

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Refuting and Correcting BYU’s False Doctrine on the Origin of Man #19 - President Joseph Fielding Smith’s book, Man: His Origin and Destiny

(by Dennis B. Horne)

            President Joseph Fielding Smith’s famous book, Man: His Origin and Destiny, was published in 1954, by Deseret Book, and is now fairly rare. It is also hated by BYU (and all) evolutionists and is therefore one of the most demeaned and slandered books ever written by an apostle (up there with Mormon Doctrine). It was not written by assignment from the First Presidency (as such older books as Jesus the Christ and Articles of Faith were), but is instead a privately written and published doctrinal book.

            But that “unofficial” designation also covers almost every book ever written by any general authority in the Restored Church, from the Prophet Joseph Smith to President Russell M. Nelson. President Nelson’s superb gospel-explanation books are also unofficial private publications, the same as most of President Smith’s. People who think that status makes such volumes false or less-valuable or trite are fools.

            Only a few books (like those mentioned above by Elder Talmage and 2 or 3 others) have been published by the Church. Such is really not of great import. The real issue is whether the doctrine in a particular book is true or not. On a side note we should notice, however, that two of President Smith’s book have been officially published by the Church. A two-volume hardback set (or four volume paperback) titled, Church History and Modern Revelation, subtitled: “Being a Course of Study for the Melchizedek Priesthood Quorums 1949,” and also a special abridged one-volume edition of Doctrines of Salvation. Both of these were approved and published by the Church itself and contain instruction condemning evolution and teaching the true doctrine of the origin of man. Other blogs will explore these books more fully.

Friday, May 21, 2021

Refuting and Correcting BYU’s False Doctrine on the Origin of Man #18 - President Joseph Fielding Smith on Adam and Eve

(by Dennis B. Horne)

            President Joseph Fielding Smith, (President of the Council of the Twelve Apostles and Counselor in the First Presidency), General Conference talk, October 1967:

 

            My dear brethren and sisters, I made a few notes and thought I would present them here on this occasion, but I have changed my mind after what we have heard, and I hope the Lord will help me.

            The singing of the choir has called my attention to the fact that there is a divine Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ. When Adam was placed in the Garden of Eden, he was in the presence of God our Eternal Father. He talked with the Father and the Father with him. But something happened, and it had to happen: Adam partook of certain fruit. My Bible, the King James version, says in the margin, speaking of Adam's fall, "Man's shameful fall." Well, it wasn't a shameful fall at all.

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

A Critic (anti-Latter-day Saint) is Caught in His Lies

by Dennis B. Horne

            I chanced to click on a chat forum highly critical of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, where apostates gather to bash and criticize and support one another in their hate, bigotry, and unbelief.

            My eye fell upon this comment from one poster: “In 2018, [Pres. Russell M.] Nelson gives the infamous talk, ‘The Correct Name of the Church.’ I think this talk makes a convincing argument that Nelson is in apostasy. In 1990, he gave nearly the exact same talk. In the following conference, he was called out by name and corrected by Hinckley.”

            The problem this poor critic has is that anyone can check out his assertions with but a few mouse clicks. So I decided to do just that. We will ignore the stupid use of the word “infamous” and start by comparing the October 2018 address by Pres. Nelson, “The Correct Name of the Church,” with his April 1990 address, “Thus Shall My Church be Called.”

            We quickly find that while the subject is the same and Brother Nelson quoted some of the same scriptures, the two addresses are not really that similar. In his earlier talk Elder Nelson took time to define each segment of the Church’s name and why it was important, which was not done in the later talk. The later one given as President of the Church is also much shorter, perhaps half as long. Anyone can use the links provided to see for themselves. Thus our critic has been easily caught in his first lie—President Nelson simply did not give “nearly the exact same talk.”

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Refuting and Correcting BYU’s False Doctrine on the Origin of Man #17 - Elder Joseph Fielding Smith’s General Conference Address on the “Absolute Falsehood” of Evolution

(by Dennis B. Horne) 

            Elder Joseph Fielding Smith took his inspiration from the previous speaker’s remarks (that of President Anthony W. Ivins) and spoke about the origin of man, also condemning the false theory of evolution. Close readers will notice his explanatory wording when it came to how animal life and vegetation were placed on the earth—they were “planted” here. This is the same doctrine that Elder McConkie taught, that vegetation was placed on the earth when the Creators brought seeds from other earths and planted them in the soil of ours. Because this doctrine is beyond the scientists they dismiss it with a wave of their academic hand and cheat themselves and many others out of the mysteries of Godliness. Elder Smith here spent his entire October 1917 General Conference talk on this subject—not the only time he would use the scriptures to refute and correct the scientists. Elder Joseph Fielding Smith’s discourse:

 

            “But as it is written, eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered Into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

            “But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Refuting and Correcting BYU’s False Doctrine on the Origin of Man #16 - President Anthony W. Ivins Compared Evolutionists to Korihor

(by Dennis B. Horne)

            [Pres. Ivins began his October 7, 1917 general conference address by reading from the Book of Mormon, Mosiah 26:1-4:]

            "Now it came to pass that there were many of the rising generation that could not understand the words of king Benjamin, being little children at the time he spake unto his people; and they did not believe the traditions of their fathers.

            "They did not believe what had been said concerning the resurrection of the dead, neither did they believe concerning the coming of Christ.

            "And now because of their unbelief they could not understand the word of God; and their hearts were hardened.

            "And they would not be baptized; neither would they join the Church. And they were a separate people as to their faith, and remained so ever after, even in their carnal and sinful state; for they would not call upon the Lord their God."

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Refuting and Correcting BYU’s False Doctrine on the Origin of Man #15 - President Anthony W. Ivins comments in General Conference on Darwin and Evolution

by Dennis B. Horne

(see https://archive.org/details/conferencereport1925sa/page/n19/mode/2up)

            The current event that brought forth the comments of President Ivins at this conference was the famous Scopes Monkey Trial, a huge publicity stunt that was intended to force evolution into public schools and start getting rid of God. A brief summary is found in Wikipedia         

The Scopes Trial, formally known as The State of Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes and commonly referred to as the Scopes Monkey Trial, was an American legal case in July 1925 in which a high school teacher, John T. Scopes, was accused of violating Tennessee's Butler Act, which had made it unlawful to teach human evolution in any state-funded school. The trial was deliberately staged in order to attract publicity to the small town of Dayton, Tennessee, where it was held. Scopes was unsure whether he had ever actually taught evolution, but he incriminated himself deliberately so the case could have a defendant.

            Scopes was found guilty and fined $100 (equivalent to $1,500 in 2019), but the verdict was overturned on a technicality. The trial served its purpose of drawing intense national publicity, as national reporters flocked to Dayton to cover the big-name lawyers who had agreed to represent each side. William Jennings Bryan, three-time presidential candidate, argued for the prosecution, while Clarence Darrow, the famed defense attorney, spoke for Scopes. The trial publicized the Fundamentalist–Modernist controversy, which set Modernists, who said evolution was not inconsistent with religion, against Fundamentalists, who said the Word of God as revealed in the Bible took priority over all human knowledge. The case was thus seen both as a theological contest and as a trial on whether modern science should be taught in schools.

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.” 

Friday, April 23, 2021

Refuting and Correcting BYU’s False Doctrine on the Origin of Man #7 - Examining the 2016 New Era Article on Evolution

(by Dennis B. Horne)


            From the October 2016 New Era statement: “The Church has no official position on the theory of evolution. Organic evolution, or changes to species’ inherited traits over time, is a matter for scientific study. Nothing has been revealed concerning evolution. Though the details of what happened on earth before Adam and Eve, including how their bodies were created, have not been revealed, our teachings regarding man’s origin are clear and come from revelation.”

            This statement should be read carefully and with due caution, since it could erroneously be understood to contradict other approved doctrinal teachings found in a Church Educational System manual.[1] One issue relates to the common but careless or intermingled uses of the crucial phrases “theory of evolution” versus “origin of man.” A letter from the Office of the First Presidency (of David O. McKay) noted this wording distinction (one that is easily manipulated, especially by biologists, but that I have tried to recognize herein). The letter, from a secretary to the First Presidency, said: “I have been directed to say that the enclosed statement published in the Improvement Era over the Signature of President Joseph F. Smith and his counselors express the position of the Church upon the subject of the ‘origin of man.’ I have also been directed to say that the Church has made no official statement on the subject of evolution. It is a scientific theory and is subject to and is undergoing modification from time to time. Scientific people seem to differ in their interpretation and views of the theory. . . . The authorities of the Church rely upon the revelations of the Lord for information about the creation of man. I have also been directed to say that the book to which you refer in your letter (Man, His Origin and Destiny by Joseph F[ielding] Smith) expresses the views of the author, for which he assumes full responsibility. The book was not published, approved, or authorized by the Church, nor did the author intend that it be.”[2]

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Refuting and Correcting BYU’s False Doctrine on the Origin of Man #6 - Examining The 1910 Improvement Era editorial

(by Dennis B. Horne)

 

            An April 1910 Improvement Era editorial is often used by theistic evolutionists to give support to their evolution-gospel harmonization attempts. The editorial, after referencing the three main scriptural accounts found in the standard works (the books of Genesis, Moses, and Abraham), reads: “These are the authentic statements of the scriptures, ancient and modern, and it is best to rest with these, until the Lord shall see fit to give more light on the subject. Whether the mortal bodies of man evolved in natural processes to present perfection, through the direction and power of God; whether the first parents of our generations, Adam and Eve, were transplanted from another sphere, with immortal tabernacles, which became corrupted through sin and the partaking of natural foods, in the process of time; whether they were born here in mortality, as other mortals have been, are questions not fully answered in the revealed word of God.” The author of this editorial didn’t seem to know his scriptures very well.

            Only the year before (as this Improvement Era source notes) the First Presidency had already specifically given more light on the subject and indicated what “the revealed word” taught, in their declaration on “The Origin of Man,” (partially quoted below). Since then, other prophets and apostles have also shed more light on these scriptures—meaning we have access to more knowledge than just the figurative scriptural expressions describing the creation of Adam. That is, unless someone needs to use the first mentioned Improvement Era option for support of theistic evolution. These may be “questions not fully answered in the revealed word of God” but they are doctrines better answered in the revealed word than the first two options account for, and they are better clarified by many authoritative scripture expounders. None of the three options account for the doctrine of the Fall of Adam and Eve, and therefore do not harmonize with many scriptures.

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Bonus Blog for this series on Refuting and Correcting BYU’s False Doctrine on the Origin of Man - Responses from Readers So Far

          Friends, contacts, and associates have sent me emails with their reactions to this blog series, still in its beginning stages. I have removed names. Also, three comments were made at the end of blog #1, the Introduction, that readers may also want to see:

 

Nice! I think the Church could save itself a lot of grief if they would simply promote/encourage teaching the doctrine in the scriptures. Yet they don’t seem to want to do this.  Why?????????   Apparently this is one of those deep doctrines that no one is supposed to really know about? Yet, there it is, stated plainly in the scriptures. When I pointed this out in a gospel doctrine class a few years ago, few if any were aware of it and it created quite a stir. Everyone seems to acknowledge the fact we are spiritually BEGOTTEN sons and daughter of God, but no seems to want to understand or acknowledge what it means to be BEGAT spiritually or in mortality. It would sure be nice if one of our modern-day prophets, seers. and revelators would address this. If they did, I think it would put to rest some of the credence people give to evolution. 

Friday, April 16, 2021

Refuting and Correcting BYU’s False Doctrine on the Origin of Man #5 - Theistic Evolution—the false teaching that God used evolution to create mankind / Adam & Eve

(by Dennis B. Horne)


I heard one of our own eminent scientists say something to the effect

 that he believed more professors have taken themselves out of the Church

 by their trying to philosophize or intellectualize the fall of Adam

and the subsequent atonement of the Savior.

—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

 

            Because most evolutionists of the wider scientific world are also atheists, and because the theory of evolution doesn’t need God, BYU evolutionists have been obliged to imagine up an alternate theory of evolution that allows for God’s existence and involvement. So some of them have come up with various iterations of evolution that have God somehow directing it from beginning (whatever that is supposed to be) to end, hundreds of millions of years later. The prophets and apostles have rejected such nonsense the same as the rest of it, as the below quotations make abundantly clear:

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Refuting and Correcting BYU’s False Doctrine on the Origin of Man #4 - Teaching Evolution as the Origin of Man to Latter-day Saints (Part B)

 (by Dennis B. Horne)

 

Brigham Young had the proper words for those intellectual Mormons

who generously offered to place their great minds at the disposal

of the Church and make the Gospel intellectually respectable:

“O puss, what a long tail you have got!”

—Hugh Nibley

 

            The below quotations are generally speaking on a broad level about the problems of teachings vain speculations and theories, and mixing them with the gospel. The quotations from the prophets are filled with warnings about accepting scientific teachings without due caution and wariness, and to avoid accepting unproven theories (defined as hypotheses, not as facts):

 

President Joseph F. Smith:

            It is to be feared…that in some places there is a growing disposition to involve our religious ideas and instructions in all sorts of speculations.  In religious technicalities there is always a distinct danger—a danger in which men undertake to solve the relation which we bear to God through the medium of human reasoning.  There are some who love to argue for argument’s sake—as willing to argue on the side of error as of truth—and it is very easy for such people to fall into the spirit of contention.  There are others who are prone to mysticism, and become easy victims of all sorts of sophistries.  There are people who are always in search of hidden meaning they imagine they see in the Scriptures, and they waste their lives on trivial and unimportant matters.

            There are facts enough in the history of God’s dispensation to man to occupy thoughtful minds, and there are always peculiar conditions to be found in the history of religion that can be made applicable to our social needs and individual wants; and the great fundamental truths of Holy Writ are the simplest and most easily understood.  If they have become difficult to human understanding, it is because religious speculators of the day have involved them in systems of philosophy that are not necessary to their appreciation or understanding. (Editorial Thoughts, “Simplicity in Religion,” The Juvenile Instructor, vol. XLVI [May 1911], no. 5, 268.)

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Refuting and Correcting BYU’s False Doctrine on the Origin of Man #3 - Teaching Evolution as the Origin of Man to Latter-day Saints (Part A)

 (by Dennis B. Horne)


 Reluctantly I alert you to the possibility that among your teachers

are one or two who deliberately inject students with diseased ideas.

The test depends on whether they are teaching about false standards

or theories or philosophies or whether they are advocates of them.

You must discern whether you are being taught about an

 ideology or proselyted to it.

— President Boyd K. Packer

 

            Church leaders have had much to say, by way of caution and warning and rebuke, to those Latter-day Saints who defiantly teach evolution as fact and truth instead of as an hypothesis or scientific postulate. The reason is because by teaching evolution as something it isn’t—truth—a professor or instructor can damage the faith of a student who believes in the teachings of the scriptures and the apostles and prophets. Below are statements of counsel these prophets and apostles have given to help students and others navigate the problems that occur when evolution is wrongly taught as fact/truth to faithful, believing Saints. This apostolic counsel applies to students being taught by both atheistic/agnostic professors/teachers, and also by those partially believing professors who foolishly teach macro-evolution as truth at BYU or elsewhere:

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)

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Introduction to this 55-Part Series on Refuting and Correcting BYU’s False Doctrine on the Origin of Man

 (by Dennis B. Horne)

 

“To one who has high spirituality,

faith in the gospel and in the doctrines of the Church

supersedes scientific theories and the philosophies of men.”

—Elder Harold B. Lee[1]

 

I have realized for a long time the need of spiritual protection,

protection in the teachings that we give to our young people in our

organizations, to save them from the false doctrines and teachings of the world.

—President Joseph Fielding Smith

 

There has developed in recent years what almost amounts to a cult

 in certain fields. This is a cult which also points the finger of scorn at believers

and would seek to make us ashamed of our faith.

It is one which would have us reject the doctrine of a special creation

and accept the unproven but time-worn theory

that all life evolved from lower forms, that worms and microbes

were our ancestors, and not God.

—Elder Mark E. Petersen

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Church Leaders and Vaccination

by Dennis B. Horne

             At this time when Covid 19 vaccination is being publicly debated, and when The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has just placed an official statement of policy in its handbook encouraging and recommending vaccination, I thought the below quoted item highly relevant.

            In 1900 when Smallpox was the fearsome pandemic, vaccination was also the subject of strong public disagreement. At that time, President Snow had the below editorial published in the Deseret News. This item shows a consistency between that day and ours regarding this matter, though no one is ever forced to do anything. (At that time the Deseret News was considered the voice of the church, which it no longer is and hasn’t been for a while, although it is still a business entity owned by the Church). November 17, 1900, Deseret News editorial:  

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Hearing the Voice of the Lord in the Mind #6 - Imparting Needed Information

 (Compiled by Dennis B. Horne)

Elder Bruce D. Porter:

In the summer of 1976 I spent two months in the Soviet Union with 150 other American students studying Russian. When the program ended late in July, we were given a week free to travel at our own expense anywhere in Europe before catching a charter flight from Paris back to the United States. I spent that week on a shoestring budget visiting friends and converts in the Düsseldorf Germany Mission, where I had earlier served.

Unfortunately, after booking a second-class train ticket from Düsseldorf to Paris, I realized I was down to the equivalent of only $38 in cash. I had no traveler’s checks or credit cards. As the train sped toward Paris, I began to worry about how I would find a place to spend the night with so little money.

Arriving at the main train station in Paris, I got off the train with my luggage and looked around. I didn’t know anyone in France, and I didn’t speak the language. The sun was just setting, and I knew it would soon be dark. Suddenly I felt very lonely and somewhat anxious. I offered a simple, heartfelt prayer to the Lord: “Heavenly Father, please help me find a safe place to spend the night.”

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Hearing the Voice of the Lord in the Mind #5 - The Book of Mormon

 (Compiled by Dennis B. Horne)

            See the Introductory blog (#1) for explanation about this series on hearing the voice of the Lord in the mind. The below are accounts shared by those who have experienced this spiritual gift and have thereby been able to bless and enlighten others. Most of these are self-explanatory, but if desired readers wishing further context can (in most cases) go to the original source:

 

Elder Joseph F. Merrill of the Quorum of the Twelve (and son of Elder Marriner W. Merrill):

I was reared in a family where prayer, night and morning, was always the order. I have seen my father sometimes too busy to stop to eat his breakfast, but never too busy to kneel with his family in prayer before he left, to thank the Lord for the prospects of the day, for the rest of the night, and to ask his direction and help in the labors of the day. I was taught to pray at my mother's knee, and when I could say my own little prayers, I was taught that it was my prayer; it should be said in secret, or at least to myself.

So I knelt on one side of the bed, brother on the other side, every night. He never knew what I prayed for; certainly I did not know what he prayed for. But when I was about ten years of age, I began to pray for a special blessing. But I did not get an answer. Why? Father had taught us that there are three factors that must characterize every prayer that the Lord will answer: We must pray for real needs—and even grown-ups, he said, sometimes ask the Lord for things they do not get, because they ask foolishly—we must pray worthily, and we must pray with faith.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Hearing the Voice of the Lord in the Mind #4 - Blessing, helping and Informing Mission Presidents and their Wives, Missionaries and others

 (Compiled by Dennis B. Horne)

            See the Introductory blog (#1) for explanation about this blog series on hearing the voice of the Lord in the mind. The below are accounts shared by those who have experienced this and have thereby been able to bless and enlighten others. Most of these are self-explanatory, but if desired readers wishing further context can (in most cases) go to the original source:

 

Elder Robert C. Gay:

            While serving as a mission president in Africa, I was forever taught this great truth. I was on my way to a meeting when I saw a young boy alone, crying hysterically on the side of the road. A voice within me said, “Stop and help that boy.” As quick as I heard this voice, in a split second, I rationalized: “You can’t stop. You will be late. You’re the presiding officer and can’t walk in late.”

When I arrived at the meetinghouse, I heard the same voice say again: “Go help that boy.” I then gave my car keys to a Church member named Afasi and asked him to bring the boy to me. About 20 minutes later, I felt a tap on my shoulder. The young boy was outside.

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Hearing the Voice of the Lord in the Mind #3 - Blessing and Helping Missionaries

(Compiled by Dennis B. Horne)

             See the Introductory blog (#1) for explanation about this 6-part blog series on hearing the voice of the Lord in the mind. The below are accounts shared by those who have experienced this spiritual gift and have thereby been able to bless and enlighten others. Most of these are self-explanatory, but if desired readers wishing further context can (in most cases) go to the original source:


Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone about Sister Featherstone:

            For the past two years our family has served a mission in Texas. It has been glorious and fulfilling beyond all expectations. When we first arrived, Sister Featherstone went to the Lord and said: “We don’t have much time. Please let me learn quickly so that the work will go forth.”

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Hearing the Voice of the Lord in the Mind #2 - When Ministering and Serving

 (Compiled by Dennis B. Horne)

            See the Introductory blog (#1) for explanation about this series on actually hearing the voice of the Lord in the mind. The below are accounts shared by those who have experienced this and have thereby been able to bless and enlighten others. Most of these are self-explanatory, but if desired readers wishing further context can (in most cases) go to the original source:

 

Elder Neal L. Andersen:

            Years ago, an elderly stake patriarch with two failing heart valves pleaded for then-Dr. Russell M. Nelson to intervene, although at that time there was not a surgical solution for the damaged second valve. Dr. Nelson finally agreed to do the surgery. Here are President Nelson’s words:

            “After relieving the obstruction of the first valve, we exposed the second valve. We found it to be intact but so badly dilated that it could no longer function as it should. While examining this valve, a message was distinctly impressed upon my mind: Reduce the circumference of the ring. I announced that message to my assistant. ‘The valve tissue will be sufficient if we can effectively reduce the ring toward its normal size.’

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Hearing the Voice of the Lord in the Mind #1 - Introduction

(Compiled by Dennis B. Horne)

            This piece begins a 6-part series about leaders and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints hearing the voice of the Lord in their mind. In saying this, I don’t mean one of the definitions of the “voice of the Lord”—that of feeling truth by the power of the Holy Spirit. I mean another narrower definition, of actually hearing a voice in the mind.

            The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are all perfect personages that can speak, and they all speak the same truths under the same circumstances. In other words, the resurrected Lord Jesus isn’t going to say something to someone that the Holy Ghost (or Holy Spirit) wouldn’t also say. So although I am calling this blog series, “hearing the voice of the Lord in the mind,” it could be either the Father, the Son, the Holy Ghost, or an angel (the spirit of a just person made perfect or a resurrected being) that is speaking, since they all speak by the power of the Holy Ghost for the Godhead in unity. And the Holy Spirit is always involved in conveying that voice.

            When the voice of the Lord speaks to the mind of a person, those words become scripture for that particular individual. (Only the canonized scriptures, or standard words, are written and binding scripture for members of the Church. When a Church leader or member speaks by the power of the Holy Ghost while giving a talk or lesson, that may be considered verbal scripture, but it is generally not written and is not canonized nor binding on members of the Church.)

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Remarkable Experiences in the Life of Elder Glen L. Rudd #37 - Elder Rudd Participates in the Sealing of one of Joseph Smith Sr’s Sons (4th)

(Compiled by Dennis B. Horne) 

            On July 26, 1996, while working in the sealing office of the Salt Lake Temple, I was making preparations for the sealings which were to take place in the evening.

            I noted that Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Council of the Twelve was to come in at 5:30 p.m. for a sealing. This is not particularly unusual for the Brethren to come, but it was unusual that he was going to do just one child-to-parent sealing.

            There was an envelope containing the information that he would use. I made the preparations, then removed the card from the envelope. I noted that a son born in 1797 in Turbridge, Orange County, Vermont was to be sealed to Joseph Smith, Sr. and Lucy Mack. He had never been named or sealed to his mother and father.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Remarkable Experiences in the Life of Elder Glen L. Rudd #36 - Elder Rudd Experiences the gift of Interpretation of Tongues

(Compiled by Dennis B. Horne)

            In 1964, I received an assignment to attend one stake conference in Samoa, two in New Zealand, and two in Australia. During the first month of that trip, I traveled with J. Vernon Sharp, during the second month with Junius Jackson, both from the Genealogy Committee. I represented the Welfare and Missionary Committees.

            After arriving in Samoa, we visited with the people, then participated in the various sessions of conference. It was difficult to find anyone who spoke English with the exception of the stake president, Percy, who was very fluent in English and was a great help to us in talking with the Saints.

            I was greatly impressed with the Saints in Samoa and felt tremendously handicapped having to use an interpreter. During the first couple of meetings, I went very slowly so the interpreter could keep up. It was difficult at first, but everyone seemed to understand his interpretation. And by the final Sunday session, we were able to speak at a normal rate. In the Sunday afternoon session, Brother Fitisemanu interpreted. I had just begun, when I noticed that everybody could understand me. So Brother Fitisemanu stopped interpreting. Many people throughout the large congregation nodded their heads as a signal that they understood.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Remarkable Experiences in the Life of Elder Glen L. Rudd #35 - Some Highlights from Elder Glen L. Rudd’s Service as a General Authority

(Compiled by Dennis B. Horne)

            Elder Faust met with the Area Presidency and some of the office personnel the next day and announced that there were to be some changes in General Authorities and that the Brethren were creating a Second Quorum of Seventy. He also announced that Members of the First Quorum would be released at age 70 if they were still in the First Quorum. If they had a year or two to go in the Second Quorum, they were allowed to stay on. This applied very much to me because I was moved from the First Quorum to the Second Quorum, and even though I was almost 71, I was allowed to stay on until I completed at least five and a half years as a Seventy.

 

***

            On Saturday I received a phone call from Elder Doug Martin, telling me that the First Presidency had excommunicated George P. Lee for apostasy. George had been released from all of his responsibilities for some time. The Brethren felt that it was necessary to take further action. I know that this was a difficult thing for President Hinckley personally.

 

***

            General conference was enjoyable. I had no special duties. I was able to just go, smile, and enjoy what the Brethren did.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Remarkable Experiences in the Life of Elder Glen L. Rudd #34 - Elder Rudd’s Call as a General Authority (First Quorum of Seventy)

 (Compiled by Dennis B. Horne)

            On March 25, 1987, I received a phone call from President Thomas S. Monson while in the New Zealand Temple. After a few moments of greeting he said, "We need to get serious." He then notified me that President Ezra Taft Benson had authorized him to extend a call to me to become a member of the First Quorum of Seventy. Marva and I were in the office together when we received the call. President Monson spoke with Marva also. He gave us instructions to get tickets and fly home in time for the April conference.

            Six days later we were on our way home. When we left Honolulu we boarded a Boeing 747 and had seats in the first­class section. When we climbed the stairs into that area of the plane, we saw John R. Lasater and his wife and Douglas J. Martin and his wife, Wati. The six of us were the only ones in the first-class section. We all shook hands and smiled at the others. The six of us were on the same journey. No one dared to talk about why we were all headed to Salt Lake City. All of us had awkward smiles on our faces. Finally we began to talk and it wasn't long before we were quite certain of each other's assignment. Even though no one would say out loud why they were traveling to Salt Lake City.

            After being sustained and set apart I received an assignment to work in the North America West Area as a counselor to Elder Gene R. Cook. Elder Ted E. Brewerton was the First Counselor. I also was assigned to be in the Missionary Department where I worked with Elders J. Richard Clarke and Russell C. Taylor. That was the busiest of all the assignments I had. I worked every day and hardly took even a Monday off, unless it was necessary because of travel. This was indeed one of the busiest and most difficult years I spent as a General Authority.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Remarkable Experiences in the Life of Elder Glen L. Rudd #33 - Elder Rudd Serves as President of the New Zealand Temple

(Compiled by Dennis B. Horne)

            July 1984 started like every other month, but drastically changed on the 6th. I was a little slow getting to work that morning because I had a bad night and was in the shower when President Gordon B. Hinckley called. I dressed quickly and rushed to his office where he called me to be the president of the New Zealand Temple. I accepted the call and then went to my office in the Church Office Building to recover. After a few short minutes, I went home, talked with Marva, then went to the airport and flew to Lubbock, Texas for a welfare assignment.

 

***

            On the 14-16 of August, the First Presidency held a seminar for the new temple presidents. It started at 8:00 a.m. in the auditorium, and all General Authorities were invited. President Hinckley, Elder Howard W. Hunter, and Elder Grant Bangerter were the speakers. We were in meetings the rest of that first day on the 22nd floor and over in the Salt Lake Temple. It was a very spiritual day, and it was wonderful to hear the General Authorities speak and teach us. There were 13 new temple presidents altogether. I remember hearing President Hinckley saying, "I feel a little sorry for you brethren who are going to leave your loved ones and families and go away to the different temples. The only one I don't feel sorry for is the one who is going to New Zealand. His is a very special assignment." I did find out that most everybody would have liked to have the assignment at the New Zealand Temple.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Remarkable Experiences in the Life of Elder Glen L. Rudd #32 - Brother Rudd’s Adventures with Traffic Tickets

 (Compiled by Dennis B. Horne) 

            While presiding over the Florida Mission, 80 cars were assigned to our mission, which meant that 161 missionaries had a car all the time. The rule to be in by 10:00 p.m. was strongly enforced and, for the most part, obeyed.

            However, one night I received a call about midnight from a young, inexperienced elder who was greatly distressed. His companion had been locked up in jail. They had missed a stop sign in a little town in northern Florida and were stopped and given a ticket. The policeman had demanded fifty dollars at that time, which the missionaries did not have, so the driver was locked up in jail.

            I told the young elder to go right to the home of the sheriff and tell him he had just locked up an ordained minister of the gospel. I continued, "Tell the sheriff that his mission president in Orlando demands that the elder be released immediately, that we will have him in court at the proper time. You might even tell him that the Speaker of the House of Representatives is an active Latter-day Saint and a good friend of the mission president, and that the Church does not allow this to happen."

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Apostles, Prophets, and God’s Former Priesthood Restriction

By Dennis B. Horne

“We do not expect the people of the world to understand such things, for they will always be quick to assign their own reasons or to discount the divine process of revelation.”

(President Spencer W. Kimball[1])

            The purpose of this piece is to substantiate the inspired genesis and continued correctness of the priesthood restriction on black male members (meaning Africans) until June of 1978. With the many confused or contrary voices of critics, activists, liberal academics and scholars, doubters, and dissenters now proclaiming the restriction was instituted by a prejudiced and political President Brigham Young, presentation of the abundant contrary evidence is both helpful and needful. Many lacking understanding have labelled the former restriction in the Restored Church of Jesus Christ as wrong and racist, and even call for the Church to issue a public apology (something that won’t happen). They suppose if they shout loud and long enough, or write enough articles and blogs, what they say will displace truth and become the main narrative.

            Because The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s Church and Kingdom of God on earth, the truth is that the restriction was implemented by Him, and thereafter continuously maintained and sustained by Him, through His prophets, until He removed it by revelation in 1978. The following items reinforce and support this reality: 

Friday, February 12, 2021

Remarkable Experiences in the Life of Elder Glen L. Rudd #31 - Some of Elder Rudd’s Adventures as a Mission President

(Compiled by Dennis B. Horne)

            [Editorial Note: A couple of the below accounts are of miracles attendant to President Rudd’s mission service and priesthood administrations, though he writes them in a way that one might miss that fact unless reading carefully.]

            In the Florida Mission, we needed a new branch president in a small city in southern Georgia. My counselors spent most of their time working with the thirty-nine branches in the mission. They were familiar with the priesthood leaders and the good people who resided in those branches. I had also met many of them. I felt that a certain brother should be the new branch president, but my counselors objected. I said, "He is the best man there and would be a good branch president." My first counselor stated, "But he wasn't a full tithe payer last year." I responded, "I agree, we should not put in someone who doesn't pay a full tithing, but I would like to interview this man anyway. Until last year he always paid a full tithing. I think there must be some serious problem that we need to know about." Both of my counselors felt he definitely should not be called unless he was a full tithe payer. Every leader in every branch and in all of the four districts was a full tithe payer. In fact, we didn't even have anyone on our auxiliary boards who wasn't a full tithe payer. This was a most unusual situation and my counselors felt we would be making a mistake if we called the brother I felt we should call.

            As a result, we did not make the call. We waited a little while and the next time we were together, I brought it up again. I expressed my feeling that this brother should be the branch president. They still disagreed. So I said, "Why don't I at least interview him?"

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Remarkable Experiences in the Life of Elder Glen L. Rudd #30 - Brother Rudd’s Call as a Regional Representative

(Compiled by Dennis B. Horne)

            Around 1964, the Quorum of the Twelve began to discuss the possibility of doing away with the priesthood committees and establishing a group of men who could become expert teachers in the priesthood responsibilities previously covered by the four different committees. In August 1967, the priesthood committees were dissolved and the brethren who served on them released, including myself.

            After everyone was released, a group of 69 men were called to be regional representatives, and their work began during September 1967. I was still in the mission field at that time, but was aware of the changes because Elder Lee and President Tanner had discussed them with me.

            The new regional representatives traveled to Salt Lake to receive special training from the Brethren. The first instruction given to this group of men by Elder Lee was that they were to become as home teach­ ers to bishops and stake presidents. It was explained that they were not assigned to make policies and decisions, but were to represent the Twelve and implement the training programs initiated by the Brethren. This new assignment and direction was difficult for some men. Elder Lee and President Kimball taught the regional representatives that they were coaches, not quarterbacks. They were to teach and train and allow the stake presidents to do the job of actually running the work of the Lord. They pointed out that the regional representatives were not administrators but were to do everything they could to help the stake and mission presidents do their work in the best possible way.

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Remarkable Experiences in the Life of Elder Glen L. Rudd #29 - Elder Matthew Cowley talks about his father (Elder) Mathias Cowley

(Compiled by Dennis B. Horne)

            [Editorial Note: Elder John W. Taylor (son of President John Taylor) and Matthias F. Cowley were close friends and were unfortunately unable to stop being involved with plural marriage after the second manifesto of 1904. Therefore, they had to resign from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Elder Taylor became bitter and was eventually excommunicated, dying out of the faith. Elder Matthias Cowley, despite being dropped from the Quorum, stayed true and faithful to the church and gospel, raising his family to be loyal to the Brethren. Some historians have claimed that Elder Cowley was disfellowshipped, but the below information corrects that misconception. Little is known today about Matthias Cowley’s life, with the below information provided by Brother Rudd and Elder Matthew Cowley being much of what is known today (outside of the suspect information published by cultist polygamous groups). I once had the idea of writing a biography of Matthias, and Brother Rudd offered to help me with it, but I found the plural marriage issues such a mess that I dropped the notion. Elder Rudd incorporated the below quotations from four other cited sources into his own writings about Matthias Cowley:]

 

            I thank God, my brothers and sisters and friends, that I was reared in a good home. I thank God that in that home I was taught that it was more important to be moral than to be careful, that I was taught from the days of my youth to honor the priesthood of Almighty God. I was frequently told, as were the rest of the members of my father's family, by our father, that if there ever came a time or an occasion to choose between loyalty to him and loyalty to the priesthood of God, always to choose loyalty to the priesthood of God. I thank God that such an occasion never arose. (Matthew Cowley, Matthew Cowley Speaks, p. 85)