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


            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.