Why have the Presidents of the Church consistently taught against Darwinism?

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Are you aware that no President of the Church has ever in their long lives made any clear supportive statements for Darwinian evolution? Additionally, nearly every President of the Church has taught that Darwinism is destructive to faith and contrary to the doctrines of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

lds-presidents-evolution-graph-02-w1200

Here are five frequently asked questions (FAQs) that show what leaders of the Church have taught in the past, and more importantly, why it matters.

  • Does what a person believes about organic evolution influence the way he/she lives? Will those who promote the theories of organic evolution stand accountable before God? (Read more)
  • Have Church authorities made comments on the theory of organic evolution in recent years? Has the Church changed its position? Are we embarrassed by the statements made by early leaders and the scriptures? (Read more)
  • Are there many conflicting opinions with diversity of viewpoint among the previous presidents of the Church on the theory of organic evolution? Have some spoken for, some against and others in between? (Read more)
  • Were there “pre-Adamites” or pre-human beings prior to Adam being placed upon the earth? Was Adam a cave-man? Are the world’s teachings about how language and civilization progressed accurate? (Read more)
  • Was there death on earth prior to the Fall? Has the Church changed its position on this? (Read more)

What do you think? Is the doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints evolving when it comes to Darwinian Evolution or can we still believe in the nearly countless statements made in the past?

Read the top 40 Frequently Asked Questions regarding the theories of organic evolution and the age of the earth as they pertain to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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23 Comments on "Why have the Presidents of the Church consistently taught against Darwinism?"

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Dannan Royal
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Darwinian evolution is one of the most destructive pseudotheories of our time! I’m so happy to read articles like this!

Julie Smith
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Thank you Joseph Smith Foundation for the good work you are doing in providing evidence against and exposing the dogma that our kids are being exposed to.

Margaret
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I love this latest website of Joseph Smith Foundation. What a wonderful resource to ensure our elect youth are not deceived by the philosophies of men. So important for all of us to know what the prophets and the scriptures teach on these critical timely issues.

Elsie
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Thanks so much for this! The belief Darwinian evolution is so prevalent in our day. Virtually everyone believes it-even in the LDS culture- which makes it even more important for us to be educated on this and help others understand its dangers that have been warned about for years from prophets. If only more people would study out the so-called “evidence” for this theory. Sadly, it’s very common among our young adults. One talk that addresses this is Boyd K. Packer’s “Snow White Birds” I encourage all who are concerned about what’s going on to read this.
https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/boyd-k-packer_snow-white-birds/

Mackenzie
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Oh, no. Nooooo no no no. This makes me cringe so hard. Are we really going to pull this card? “It was a church leader’s opinion, so it must be doctrine!” Yikes. Considering all the outlandish opinions Brigham Young has had on various issues, that would mean we’re basically doomed. And by the way, we HAVE had many prominent Mormons who were also scientists. We have many intelligent, faithful Mormons who are happy to accept Darwinism as one of God’s tools. Church leaders, including prophets, are allowed to have their own opinions on issues. We do NOT have all the… Read more »
LDS Answers
Admin

We know that many believe that this is a “done deal”. They declare that the prophets and scriptures have been proven to be in error and that we should limp away and try to pretend like this never happened. In the next several months, we will be publishing and re-posting material that scientifically supports the position held by the prophets and scriptures.

Also, you may be surprised how Brigham Young’s “opinions” on things align with Joseph Smith’s “opinions” and the scriptures. Coming soon, we will be doing an analysis of some of those “opinions”.

Matthew
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This official and most recent First Presidency statement trumps literally all of the personal opinion content in the above article. “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.” Improvement Era 13:570,… Read more »
LDS Answers
Admin
You may want to be aware that the spurious 1910 “First Presidency Message” (quoted in your comment) was not signed or published by the First Presidency. This is a rumor promoted by many Darwinian Evolutionists, but is easily contradicted by the evidence. http://www.josephsmithforum.org/research/faqs/10-1910-message-was-there-a-1910-first-presidency-message-that-taught-that-man-may-have-evolved/ This statement appeared in the “Priesthood Quorums’ Table” with no attribution and it has never been known who the author was. The Priesthood Quorums’ Table was the method by which the General Priesthood Committee communicated with the local quorums. One thing we know for certain is that the article was not written by Joseph F. Smith or… Read more »
Matthew
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LDS Answers,

While I don’t have the time to respond to your claim that the First Presidency statement of 1910 is not legitimate, I will say that there is no official position from the Church on evolution.
This article — which was published by the Church owned Deseret News — may be helpful to you:

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/635188399/No-definitive-LDS-stance-on-evolution-study-finds.html?pg=all

Elsie
Guest

Hi Mattew,
Maybe this document would be helpful. Published in 1909 and reaffirmed by the First Presidency in 2002. https://www.lds.org/ensign/2002/02/the-origin-of-man.p18?lang=eng

Matthew
Guest

Hi Elsie,

Evolution is only at odds with the Church’s doctrine that Man was created in the image of God, and that Adam was the first Man, to those who do not understand evolution.
We don’t have to be afraid of science. I highly recommend this article to you and the author of this site as it will be extremely helpful:

https://www.lds.org/new-era/2016/07/science-and-our-search-for-truth?lang=eng

ZStur
Guest

Then there’s Gordon B. Hinckley, “What the church requires is only belief that Adam was the first man of what we would call the human race. Scientists can speculate on the rest.”

And a nice book of quotes by Members of the First Presidency, supporting evolutions possibility “Mormonism and Evolution: The Authoritative LDS Statements”

Aaron
Guest
You can read more statements by President Hinckley here. For more information and an excellent review of that book I highly recommend following the links on this page. The compilation you are recommending I would be wary of. More than several quotes are omitted and other statements are included that don’t meet the leaflet’s own professed criteria for “authoritative”. The co-author Duane Jeffrey, a serious advocate of evolutionary dogma, wrote Seers, Savants and Evolution: The Uncomfortable Interface in 1973 subtlety backhanding the integrity of President Joseph Fielding Smith. President Benson publicly rebuked Duane Jeffrey, in front of the entire student… Read more »
Randy Claywell
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Matthew re that the Church has made no official pronouncements about darwinism/evolution. We are not to be commanded in all things. D & C 58:26. Joseph Smith “I teach them correct principles, and they govern themselves.” This is presupposing that those being taught will recognize correct principles. Darwinism is anti-God. Genesis 1:27 & Moses 1:27–41 state clearly that man was created in God’s own image. What more definitive statement do you need from God that Darwinism is a satanic perversion? Every time that we are taught that God is our Father it is as plain a declaration as can be… Read more »
Matthew
Guest
Hi Randy, I agree with Joseph’s quote and that we are not to be commanded in all things, though I’m not sure what that has to do with evolution. I’ve never mentioned Darwinism, so we don’t have to worry about that, but as far as evolution is concerned I was not aware that the theory of evolution was seen as a religious principle by anyone. I personally don’t believe it’s a religion principle, (nor do I believe that *any* scientific theory is a religious principle, and if you’d like to know what I mean by principle of the gospel I’m… Read more »
Roo Phillips
Guest
Are you a creationist? Do you believe that the earth is less than 10,000 years old? Do you take the creation account to be entirely literal, and do you believe that earth saw no death before Adam and Eve? If you answer yes to any of these questions, then this article has much bigger scientific problems than that of Darwinian evolution. If you do not subscribe to those literal notions, then you probably believe in cosmological, geological, and biological evolution. Darwinian evolution applies to all forms of life, not just humans. Are you suggesting that Darwinian evolution might accurately describe… Read more »
Daniel Barlow
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Hey Roo, how are you today? Anyways I would like to answer ‘yes’ to all of your questions. Now I am not here to argue, I am here to have a discussion. I see your point; You are coming from a side of “maybe it happened” and you’re right, God is all powerful, He could have done it that way. But let us look at what we have. One, is Joseph Smith a prophet of God? If he is, then we are to look at the words of God that were revealed unto him. Moses 2:27 “And I, God, created… Read more »
Roo Phillips
Guest
Yes, discussion on these issues is great. Your view on how I see evolution is ironic because that is precisely how I see your view of creation. Specifically, I think to hold a creationist point of view, as you do, one is required to view God precisely as you stated, “God is all powerful, He could have done it that way.” But that would require him to violate natural law as we understand it. I don’t see the need to invoke this violation to keep God consistent with the Gospel. I believe that God can (in fact, must) obey natural… Read more »
Razzbar
Guest
Roo Phillips, your question, “Are you a creationist” is an interesting question. Are you not a creationist? If you ascribe to the modern science view of a 13 billion year old Universe, then you, like your Christian counterparts believe in a creation from nothing, differing only in the amount of time. Both the modern evangelical and the modern science versions profess a creation ex nihilo – everything from nothing – and both are wrong scientifically and scripturally. The truth is that the Earth came about by a process of organization that remains largely unknown, especially by today’s science professors. As… Read more »
Roo Phillips
Guest
I’m afraid that your understanding of science (cosmological, biological, biblical, etc.) is so off base that it would be impractical to address it in this forum. You make some pretty definitive and bold statements against all scientists and their every claim, and yet you claim to know the truth? How do you know all scientists are “dead wrong,” have “absolutely no evidence,” rely “wholly on conjectural opinion,” fail at “every method,” know “almost nothing”? Of course you do not want “to spend too much time” on this part. Your obtuse claims are clear evidence of your general ignorance on all… Read more »
Razzbar
Guest
Most of what I wrote is pretty simple really. Through Joseph Smith we know the Earth was organized, not created out of nothing. Modern science does not know how that happened. They claim the proto-Earth came from accretion from the Solar disk, but THIS IS CONJECTURE; they do not know it, they cannot demonstrate it, therefore it is merely OPINION. As far as evolution goes, evolution’s adherents have no examples of speciation they can point to.This is the problem and it has always been the problem, so why discuss it? There very best and only examples they ever offer only… Read more »
Carl
Guest
“…wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God. 17 But whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do evil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil; for after this manner doth the devil work, for he persuadeth no man to do good, no, not one; neither… Read more »
Jeanie
Guest
1. I would stop at knowing that all our prophets have taught against evolution as a theory. 2. But…. Because science teaches evolution as fact/truth….Let’s get to the real “evidence” that prophets of evolution spout. Those evidences are – dating of rock layers and dating of dinosaur bones. Do church members know that there is circular reasoning involved in this dating method? Do we know that only about century ago the dinosaur ages were only thousands of years? Why would the prophets of evolution need to change that to millions of years and even billions for the earth’s age? Do… Read more »
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