Sunday, July 18, 2021

Refuting and Correcting BYU’s False Doctrine on the Origin of Man #43 - Scripture Study Aids included with the Standard Works

 (by Dennis B. Horne)

             While it is true that the Bible study aids, such as the dictionary, are not canonized scripture,[1] they are still purposely published with the scriptures. I rhetorically ask—would the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve include the (thoroughly revised and corrected) dictionary with the canonized scriptures if they didn’t approve of the doctrine it taught? I think not. I also think it foolish to believe otherwise, as Ben Spackman does. On this question, Elder Boyd K. Packer wrote: “Only the scriptural text itself is recognized as scripture. All the other materials were included to be of help to Church members in their study of the scriptures. . . . All that went into it was read and approved by the Brethren.”[2]

            One sign that solid work was done on the Bible Dictionary is indicated by how few substantial changes were made in it when it was reviewed for the updated 2013 edition of the scriptures. The chapter summary for the verses (2 Nephi 2:22-25) disputed by the biologists only says, “Adam fell that men might be”—but that says everything. The chapter summary for Moses 3 also says a lot: “God created all things spiritually before they were naturally upon the earth—He created man, the first flesh, upon the earth.”

            The Bible Dictionary entry on “Adam” says: “The name Adam is given to the first man of the human family on this earth as cited in the account of the Creation in the books of Genesis, Moses, and Abraham and in many instances in the New Testament, Book of Mormon, and Doctrine and Covenants. From these scriptures we learn that Adam is the father and patriarch of the human race on the earth.”

            The entry for “Fall of Adam and Eve” says: “Before the Fall, there were no sin, no death, and no children. With the eating of the ‘forbidden fruit,’ Adam and Eve became mortal, sin entered, and death became a part of life. Adam became the ‘first flesh’ upon the earth (Moses 3:7), meaning that he and Eve were the first to become mortal. After Adam fell, the whole creation fell and became mortal.” This entry destroys evolution; hence the biologist’s desire to cast it aside as unofficial and inconsequential; to be ignored.

            The entry for “flesh” states: “Since flesh often means ‘mortality,’ Adam is spoken of as the ‘first flesh’ upon the earth, meaning he was the first mortal on the earth, all things being created in a nonmortal condition and becoming mortal through the Fall of Adam. Jesus is the ‘Only Begotten of the Father’ in the flesh, meaning He is the only one begotten of the Father into mortality (Moses 3:7).” Again, this entry destroys theistic evolution and so must be dispensed with. (I also find it interesting that the Bible aid “Chronology of the Old Testament” cites 4000 BC as the date of the Fall of Adam.)

            Then there is the “Guide to the Scriptures,” another study aid prepared by the Scriptures Publication Committee. It contains the same approved doctrine as the Dictionary:



The first man created on earth. Adam is the father and patriarch of the human race on the earth. His transgression in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3; D&C 29:40–42; Moses 4) caused him to “fall” and become mortal, a step necessary in order for mankind to progress on this earth (2 Ne. 2:14–29; Alma 12:21–26). [Notice the scriptures being used.]



Adam and Eve were sent out of Eden after eating of the forbidden fruit and becoming mortal (Moses 4:29).


Fall of Adam and Eve

The process by which mankind became mortal on this earth. When Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit, they became mortal, that is, subject to sin and death. Adam became the “first flesh” upon the earth (Moses 3:7).



Flesh has several meanings: . . . (2) mortality; . . .

Jesus is the only one begotten of the Father into mortality, John 1:14 (Mosiah 15:1–3).

Adam became the first flesh, Moses 3:7.


[1] The Bible Dictionary preface states: “Many of the entries draw on the work of Bible scholars and are subject to reevaluation as new research or revelation comes to light. This dictionary is provided to help your study of the scriptures and is not intended as an official statement of Church doctrine or an endorsement of the historical and cultural views set forth.” It also said this: “It is based primarily on the biblical text, supplemented by information from the other standard works.”

[2] Personal Correspondence, Boyd K. Packer to Dennis B. Horne, April 7, 1995; original in possession of the author.

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