(by Dennis B. Horne)
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. . . .
do push back on people who say, “Well, he’s a doctor. He should know all about
evolution.” I come from a family of doctors. I went through premed. So not to
say anything negative about doctors, but doctors are not necessarily
scientists. They are more like mechanics, elite, especially surgeons. . . .
Which he was, he was a heart surgeon. I you look at when his training was, he
received his MD in 1947, if I recall correctly. That’s seven years before the structure
of DNA is discovered, before the experiment that proves that DNA is the means
of passing on genetic traits. . . . So I don’t know what he has read on
scientific topis since then, or specifically on evolution or on reconciling
science and religion, but I would not expect that either as a doctor or a
surgeon or given his age that he received extensive training in biological
evolution and is capable of nuanced scientific discussion either way.
Spackman on Evolution-Creation Controversy, 28-29.)
It is the
purest rot and baloney to suggest that President Nelson hasn’t said enough
about evolution to pin down his views, as is evident to all who peruse the
below quotations. Further, the idea that President Nelson has to thoroughly
understand evolutionary science in order to talk about it is one of the great
heresies pushed by liberals and dissidents in the Church. A quotation from
President Lee in a previous blog already refuted such junk. Prophets can speak
about and interpret scripture about anything the Lord wants them to. I suggest
members read the below teachings of President Nelson to get their own, better,
conception of what President Nelson said about the origin of man (and
President Russell M. Nelson:
Do you understand how the resurrection will come about? Answer: No. Nor do I
comprehend fully the Creation, the Fall, or the Atonement. But their
interrelationships I do understand. The creation of man in the Garden of Eden
was perfect, without blood, procreation, death. The fall of Adam brought about
the mortal creation through a process beyond my ability to understand. Blood
circulating in the body became essential to the life of our mortal tabernacles.
This body of flesh and blood allows us now to exercise agency, to suffer, and
to have joy. It allows us to enter into family relationships, and ultimately,
it allows us to die. The immortal creation effected by the atoning sacrifice of
the Savior will allow our resurrection. Our bodies will be changed from
corruptible to incorruptible, from mortality to immortality. Then we will
possess bloodless bodies of flesh and bone that will be quickened and receive
life from the Spirit. (“Twenty Questions,” An Evening with Elder Russell M.
Nelson; Address to CES Religious Educators, 13 September 1985, 6.)
and Eve] were created in the image of God, with bodies of flesh and bone.
Created in the image of God and not yet mortal, they could not grow old and
die. “And they would have had no children” nor experienced the trials of life.
. . . The creation of Adam and Eve was a paradisiacal creation, one that
required a significant change before they could fulfill the commandment to have
children6 and thus provide earthly bodies for premortal spirit sons and
daughters of God.” That brings us to the Fall. Scripture teaches that “Adam
fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.” The Fall of
Adam (and Eve) constituted the mortal creation and brought about the required
changes in their bodies, including the circulation of blood and other
modifications as well.8 They were now able to have children. They and their
posterity also became subject to injury, disease, and death. . . .
Creation culminated with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. They were created
in the image of God, with bodies of flesh and bone. Created in the image of God
and not yet mortal, they could not grow old and die. [Footnote: They
were created as amortal beings—“without mortality”—not at that time subject to
death.] “And they would have had no children” nor experienced the trials of
life. (Please forgive me for mentioning children and the trials of life in the
same breath.) The creation of Adam and Eve was a paradisiacal creation,
one that required a significant change before they could fulfill the
commandment to have children and thus provide earthly bodies for premortal
spirit sons and daughters of God.
us to the Fall. Scripture teaches that “Adam fell that men might be; and men
are, that they might have joy.” The Fall of Adam (and Eve) constituted the
mortal creation and brought about the required changes in their bodies, including
the circulation of blood and other modifications as well. They were now
able to have children. They and their posterity also became subject to injury,
disease, and death. (Emphasis added.)
Just think, if you could create
anything that could defend itself, repair itself, and renew itself without
limit, you could create perpetual life. That our Creator did with the bodies he
created for Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. If they had continued to be
nourished from the tree of life, they would have lived forever. According to
the Lord, as revealed through his prophets, the fall of Adam instituted the
aging process, which results ultimately in physical death. . . .
Through the ages, some
without scriptural understanding have tried to explain our existence by
pretentious words such as ex nihilo (out of nothing). Others
have deduced that, because of certain similarities between different forms of
life, there has been a natural selection of the species, or organic evolution
from one form to another. Still others have concluded that man came as a
consequence of a “big bang” that resulted in the creation of our planet and
life upon it.
To me, such theories are
unbelievable! Could an explosion in a printing shop produce a Dictionary? It’s
unthinkable! But it could be argued to be within a remote realm of possibility.
Even if that could happen, such a Dictionary could certainly not heal its own
torn pages, or renew its own worn corners, or reproduce its own subsequent
We are children of God, created by
him and formed in his image. Recently I studied the scriptures simply to find
how many times they testify of the divine creation of man. Looking up
references that referred either to create or form (or
their derivatives) with either man, men, male, or female in
the same verse, I found that there are at least fifty-five verses of scripture
that attest to our divine creation (Genesis 1:27; 2:7, 8; 5:1, 2; 6:7;
Deuteronomy 4:32; Isaiah 45:12; Malachi 2:10; Mark 10:6; Romans 9:20; Ephesians
3:9; Colossians 3:10; 2 Nephi 1:10; 2:15; 9:6; 29:7; Jacob 4:9; Mosiah 4:2, 9;
7:27; Alma 1:4; 18:32, 34, 36; 22:12, 13; Mormon 9:12, 17; Ether 1:3; 3:15, 16;
Moroni 10:3; D&C 20:18; 29:30, 34; 77:2; 77:12; 93:29; Moses 1:8; 2:27;
3:5, 7, 8, 9; 6:8, 9; 7:32; 8:26; Abraham 4:26, 27; 5:7, 8, 14, 16). I have
selected one to represent all those verses that convey the same conclusion:
And the Gods took counsel among
themselves and said: Let us go down and form man in our image, after our
likeness. . . .
So the Gods went down to organize
man in their own image, in the image of the Gods to form they him, male and
female to form they them. [Abraham
I believe all of those scriptures
pertaining to the creation of man. But the decision to believe is a spiritual
one, not born solely by an understanding of things physical:
But the natural man receiveth not
the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can
he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. [1 Corinthians 2:14]
It is incumbent upon each informed
and spiritually attuned person to help overcome such foolishness of men who
would deny divine creation or think that man simply evolved. By the spirit we
perceive the truer and more believable wisdom of God. . . .
For years I have attended scientific
meetings of learned societies. Medical scientists and practitioners by the
thousands participate in such assemblies annually from all over the world. The
quest for knowledge is endless. It seems that the more we know, the more there
is yet to learn. It is impossible that man may learn all the ways of God. But
as we are faithful and are deeply rooted in scriptural accounts of God’s
magnificent creations, we will be well prepared for future discoveries. All
truth is compatible because it all emanates from God.
Of course, we know that “there is an
opposition in all things” (2 Nephi 2:11). In the world even many so-called “educators”
teach contrary to divine truth.
Pew Forum interview, Elder (now President) Russell M. Nelson said: “We
believe that God is our creator and that he has created other forms of life.
It’s interesting to me, drawing on my 40 years experience as a medical doctor,
how similar those species are. We developed open-heart surgery, for example,
experimenting on lower animals simply because the same creator made the human
being. We owe a lot to those lower species. But to think that man evolved from
one species to another is, to me, incomprehensible.” “Why is that?” “Nelson:
Man has always been man. Dogs have always been dogs. Monkeys have always been
monkeys. It’s just the way genetics works.”
That goal is shared by worthy
servants of the Master, who would not speak ill of the Lord’s anointed nor
provoke contention over teachings declared by ancient or living prophets.
Certainly no faithful follower of
God would promote any cause even remotely related to religion if rooted in
controversy, because contention is not of the Lord.
Surely a stalwart would not lend
his or her good name to periodicals, programs, or forums that feature offenders
who do sow “discord among brethren.” (Prov. 6:19; see also Prov. 6:14.)
Such agitators unfortunately
fulfill long-foretold prophecy: they “take counsel together, against the Lord,
and against his anointed.” (Ps. 2:2.) . . .
Of course the authorities are
human. But to them God has entrusted the keys to His divine work. And He holds
us accountable for our responses to the teachings of His servants.
Creation was planned by God. A council in heaven was once convened in which we
participated. There our Heavenly Father announced His divine plan. . . .
of the Creation was well planned before it was accomplished. Scripture tells us
that “the Lord God, created all things … spiritually, before they were
naturally upon the face of the earth.”
physical Creation itself was staged through ordered periods of time. In
Genesis and Moses, those periods are called days. But in the book of
Abraham, each period is referred to as a time. Whether termed a day, a
time, or an age, each phase was a period between two identifiable events—a division of eternity.
included the creation of atmospheric heavens and physical earth, culminating in
the emergence of light from darkness.
two, the waters were divided between the surface of the earth and its
atmospheric heavens. Provision was made for clouds and rain to give life to all
that would later dwell upon the earth.
three, plant life began. The earth was organized to bring forth grass, herbs,
trees, and vegetation—each growing from its
was a time of further development. Lights in the expanse of the heaven were
organized so there could be seasons and other means of measuring time. During
this period, the sun, the moon, the stars, and the earth were placed in proper
relationship to one another. The sun, with its vast stores of hydrogen,
was to serve as a giant furnace to provide light and heat for the earth and
life upon it.
five, fish, fowl, and “every living creature” were added. They were made
fruitful and able to multiply—in the sea and on the
earth—each after its own kind.
In the sixth period, creation of life continued. The beasts
of the earth were made after their kind, cattle after their kind, and
everything which “creepeth upon the earth”—again, after its own
kind. Then the
Gods counseled together and said: “Let us go down and form man in our image,
after our likeness. …
Gods went down to organize man in their own image, in the image of the Gods to
form they him, male and female to form they them.” Thus, Adam and Eve were
formed. And they were blessed to “be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish
the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over
the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”
period was designated as a time of rest. . . .
“the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.” At the Second
Coming of the Lord, the earth will be changed once again. It will be returned
to its paradisiacal state and be made new. There will be a new heaven and a new
declare that heaven, earth, and all things upon the earth are divinely created.
Scriptures also help us to know more about the partnership of God and His Son,
Jesus Christ, in the Creation. The first words in the Bible state, “In the
beginning God created the heaven and the earth,” and, “God created man in his
own image, … male and female created he them.” The book of Abraham teaches that
“the Gods went down to organize man in their own image, in the image of the
Gods to form they him, male and female to form they them.”
records the feelings of Heavenly Father for His Beloved Son and for each human
being: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that
whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
The book of
John begins with this declaration:
beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
was in the beginning with God.
were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.”
scripture denotes that the Word of God is Jesus Christ—God’s personal minister in
the government of this universe and Creator of all life.
was affirmed to Moses by our Heavenly Father, who said:
“And by the
word of my power, have I created them [the earth and the individuals on it],
which is mine Only Begotten Son, who is full of grace and truth.
without number have I created; and I also created them for mine own purpose;
and by the Son I created them, which is mine Only Begotten.”
scriptures confirm that, under direction of the Father, Jesus Christ is the
Creator. One of the most compelling is His own personal testimony: “Behold, I
am Jesus Christ the Son of God. I created the heavens and the earth, and all
things that in them are. I was with the Father from the beginning.”
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.