Mormon Quotes

Evolution

John Taylor
These principles do not change, as represented by evolutionists of the Darwinian school, but the primitive organism of all living beings exist in the same form as when they first received their impress from their Maker. There are, indeed, some very slight exceptions, as for instance, the ass may mix with the mare and produce the mule; but there it ends, the violation of the laws of procreation receives a check, and its operations can go no further.
John Taylor, Meditation and the Atonement
Joseph F. Smith
It is held by some that Adam was not the first man upon this earth, and that the original human being was a development from lower orders of the animal creation. These, however, are the theories of men. The word of the Lord declares that Adam was 'the first man of all men' (Moses 1:34), and we are therefore in duty bound to regard him as the primal parent of our race. It was shown to the brother of Jared that all men were created in the beginning after the image of God; and whether we take this to mean the spirit or the body, or both, it commits us to the same conclusion: Man began life as a human being, in the likeness of our Heavenly Father.
Joseph F. Smith, Messages of the First Presidency, v. 4 p. 205
Joseph F. Smith
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.
Joseph F. Smith, Improvement Era, Vol. 13, April 1910, No. 5(70), Priesthood Quorum's Table
Joseph F. Smith
If our Church schools would confine their so-called course of study in biology to that knowledge of the insect world which would help us to eradicate the pests that threaten the destruction of our crops and our fruit, such instruction would answer much better the aims of the Church school than theories which deal with the origin of life. These theories may have fascination for our teachers and they may find interest in the study of them, but they are not properly within the scope of the purpose for which these schools were organized. Some of our teachers are anxious to explain how much of the theory of evolution, in their judgment, is true, and what is false, but that only leaves their students in an unsettled frame of mind. They are not old enough and learned enough to discriminate, or put proper limitations upon a theory which we believe is more or less a fallacy.... On the other hand we have abundant evidence that many of those who have adopted in its fullness the theory of evolution have discarded the Bible, or at least refused to accept it as the inspired word of God.... Even if it were harmless from the standpoint of our faith, we think there are things more important to the daily affairs of life and the practical welfare of our young people. The Church itself has no philosophy about the modus operandi employed by the Lord in His creation of the world, and much of the talk therefore about the philosophy of Mormonism is altogether misleading...
Joseph F. Smith, Juvenile Instructor, 46(4):208-209, April 1911, Philosophy and the Church Schools
Joseph F. Smith
True it is that the body of man enters upon its career as a tiny germ or embryo, which becomes an infant, quickened at a certain stage by the spirit whose tabernacle it is, and the child, after being born, develops into a man. There is nothing in this, however, to indicate that the original man, the first of our race, began life as anything less than a man, or less than the human germ or embryo that becomes a man.
Joseph F. Smith, Improvement Era, November of 1909
Joseph F. Smith
There are speculations which touch the origin of life and the relationship of God to his children. In a very limited degree that relationship has been defined by revelation, and until we receive more light upon the subject we deem it best to refrain from the discussion of certain philosophical [not scientific] theories.... Some of our teachers are anxious to explain how much of the theory of evolution... is true, and what is false, but that only leaves their students in an unsettled frame of mind. They are not old enough and learned enough to discriminate, or put proper limitations upon a theory which we believe is more or less a fallacy.
Joseph F. Smith, The Juvenile Instructor, v. 46, pp. 208‑209
George Albert Smith
Adam was no gorilla, no squalid savage of doubtful humanity, but a perfect man in the image of God. When placed on the earth, he was immortal. Eve was no degraded loathsome creature, but a lovely admirable being ‑ a suitable partner for an immortal man.... The most perfect men and women on earth today are physically far beneath their great progenitors, Adam and Eve. We are not the offspring of monkeys, but are the children of God, and Jesus is our brother.
George Albert Smith, Juvenile Instructor, quoted in Bankhead, The Fall of Adam, p. 30
George Albert Smith
Doubt has been thrown upon the Mosaic account of the creation, the whole religious world has been agitated and in many instances faith in the scriptures has been destroyed by this theory of the eminent philosopher [not scientist], Charles Darwin.
George Albert Smith, Collected Discourses, p. 5
George Albert Smith
I am grateful that in the midst of the confusion of our Father's children there has been given to the members of this great organization a sure knowledge of the origin of man, that we came from the spirit world where our spirits were begotten by our Father in heaven, that he formed our first parents from the dust of the earth, and that their spirits were placed in their bodies, and that man came, not as some have believed, not as some have preferred to believe, from some of the lower walks of life, but our ancestors were those beings who lived in the courts of heaven. We came not from some menial order of life, but our ancestor is God our heavenly Father.
George Albert Smith, Conference Report, Oct. 1925, p. 33
David O. McKay
I say that no youth should be left without a counterbalancing thought. Even the skeptical teacher should be fair enough to say that Charles Darwin himself, when he faced the great questions of eventual annihilation, if creation is dominated only by chance, wrote: "It is an intolerable thought that man and all other sentient things are doomed to complete annihilation, after such long‑continued, slow progress.
David O. McKay, Moral and Spiritual Values in Education (David O. McKay, 1968 Annual General Conference, Improvement Era)
David O. McKay
The Church has issued no official statement on the subject of the theory of evolution. Neither "Man, His Origin and Destiny" by Elder Joseph Fielding Smith, nor "Mormon Doctrine" by Elder Bruce R. McConkie, is an official publication of the Church. Evolution is a theory. You say that biologists would agree on the general lines of what happened, although there may be less agreement about just how it happened. While scientific people themselves differ in their interpretations and views of the theory, any conflicts which may seem to exist between the theory and the truths of revealed religion can well be dealt with by suspending judgment as long as may be necessary to arrive at facts and at a complete understanding of the truth.
David O. McKay, Letter from David O. McKay
David O. McKay
Youth need religion to comply properly with the purposes of creation. There is a purposeful design permeating all nature, the crowning event of which is man. Here, on this thought, science again leads the student up to a certain point, and sometimes leaves him with his soul unanchored. For example, evolution's theory of the creation of the world offers many perplexing problems to the inquiring mind. Inevitably, a teacher who denies divine agency in creation, who insists that there is no intelligent purpose in it, undoubtedly impresses the student with the thought that all may be chance.
David O. McKay, Moral and Spiritual Values in Education (David O. McKay, 1968 Annual General Conference, Improvement Era)
David O. McKay
On the subject of organic evolution the Church has officially taken no position. The book "Man, His Origin and Destiny" was not published by the Church, and is not approved by the Church. The book contains expressions of the author's views for which he alone is responsible.
David O. McKay, Letter from President David O. McKay
Joseph Fielding Smith
Does it not appear to you that it is a foolish and ridiculous notion that when God created this earth he had to begin with a speck of protoplasm, and take millions of years, if not billions, to bring conditions to pass by which his sons and daughters might obtain bodies made in his image? Why not the shorter route and transplant them from another earth as we are taught in the scriptures?
Joseph Fielding Smith, President Joseph Fielding Smith, in his book: Man, His Origin and Destiny, pp 276‑277
Joseph Fielding Smith
It has been truthfully said that organic evolution is Satan's chief weapon in this dispensation in his attempt to destroy the divine mission of Jesus Christ.
Joseph Fielding Smith, Man: His Origin and Destiny, p. 184
Joseph Fielding Smith
I say most emphatically, you cannot believe in this theory [of evolution] of the origin of man, and at the same time accept the plan of salvation as set forth by the Lord our God. You must choose the one and reject the other, for they are in direct conflict and there is a gulf separating them which is so great that it cannot be bridged, no matter how much one may try to do so.... Then Adam, and by that I mean the first man, was not capable of sin. He could not transgress, and by doing so bring death into the world; for, according to this theory [of evolution], death had always been in the world. If, therefore, there was no fall, there was no need of an atonement, hence the coming into the world of the Son of God as the Savior of the world is a contradiction, a thing impossible. Are you prepared to believe such a thing as that?
Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, v. 1, pp. 141‑42
Ezra Taft Benson
I know one noble father who reviews with his children regularly what they have been taught; and if they have been taught any falsehoods, then the children and the father together research out the truth. If your children are required to put down on exams the falsehoods that have been taught, then perhaps they can follow President Joseph Fielding Smith's counsel of prefacing their answer with the words "teacher says," or they might say "you taught" or "the textbook states."
Ezra Taft Benson, Strengthening the Family (Ezra Taft Benson, 1970 Semi‑Annual General Conference, Improvement Era)
Ezra Taft Benson
If your children are taught untruths on evolution in the public schools or even in our Church schools, provide them with a copy of President Joseph Fielding Smith's excellent rebuttal in his book Man, His Origin and Destiny.
Ezra Taft Benson, Strengthening the Family (Ezra Taft Benson, 1970 Semi‑Annual General Conference, Improvement Era)
Ezra Taft Benson
Our families may be corrupted by worldly trends and teachings unless we know how to use the book [of Mormon] to expose and combat the falsehoods in socialism, organic evolution, rationalism, humanism, and so forth.
Ezra Taft Benson, A Witness and a Warning, p. 6
Ezra Taft Benson
President Joseph Fielding Smith has stated that in public schools you cannot get a textbook, anywhere that he knows of, on the "ologies" that doesn't contain nonsense. (Take Heed to Yourselves, p. 32.)
Ezra Taft Benson, Strengthening the Family (Ezra Taft Benson, 1970 Semi‑Annual General Conference, Improvement Era)
Ezra Taft Benson
Recently some parents paid for space in a newspaper to run an open letter to the school principal of their son. The letter in part stated: "You are hereby notified that our son, [insert name], is not allowed by his undersigned parents to participate in, or be subject to instruction in, any training or education in sex, human biological development, attitude development, self‑understanding, personal and family life, or group therapy, or sensitivity training, or self‑criticism, or any combination or degree thereof, without the consent of the undersigned by express written permission . . . "
Ezra Taft Benson, Strengthening the Family (Ezra Taft Benson, 1970 Semi‑Annual General Conference, Improvement Era)
Bruce R. McConkie
There is no harmony between the truths of revealed religion and the theories of organic evolution.
Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 256
Bruce R. McConkie
Adam and Eve and all forms of life, both animal and plant, were created in immortality; that is, when first placed on this earth, all forms of life were in a state of immortality. There was no death in the world; death entered after the fall.
Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 252
Bruce R. McConkie
Evolutionary theories assume that hundreds of millions of years were involved, first in the creation of the earth as a habitable globe, and again in the evolution of spontaneously generated, single celled forms of life into the complex and multitudinous forms of life now found on its face. We have rather specific scriptural indications that the creative period was of relatively short duration.
Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 255
Bruce R. McConkie
Appended to this command to multiply was the heaven‑sent restriction that the creatures in the waters could only bring forth "after their kind," and that "every winged fowl" could only bring forth "after his kind." There was no provision for evolvement or change from one species to another. (See Moses 2:20—23; Abr. 4:20—23.)
Bruce R. McConkie, Christ and the Creation, by Bruce R. McConkie
Bruce R. McConkie
There is no salvation in a system of religion that rejects the doctrine of the Fall or that assumes man is the end product of evolution and so was not subject to a fall. True believers know that this earth and man and all forms of life were created in an Edenic, or paradisiacal, state in which there was no mortality, no procreation, no death.
Bruce R. McConkie, The Caravan Moves On (Bruce R. McConkie, 1984 Semi-Annual General Conference, Ensign)
Bruce R. McConkie
There were no pre‑Adamites. Any assumption to the contrary runs counter to the whole plan and scheme of the Almighty in creating and peopling this earth.
Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 254
Bruce R. McConkie
There are those who say that revealed religion and organic evolution can be harmonized. This is both false and devilish.
Bruce R. McConkie, June 1, 1980, BYU fireside address; quoted in Stephens and Meldrum, Evolution and Mormonism, p. 52
Mark E. Petersen
The first chapter of Genesis contains the real story of creation ( Gen. 1:1‑31), and its essence has not been changed by knowledge acquired since it was written. The differences have arisen over details, which are not worth controversy.
Mark E. Petersen, "I Am not Ashamed of the Gospel of Christ" (Mark E. Petersen, 1955 Semi‑Annual General Conference, Improvement Era)
Mark E. Petersen
Then he reviewed the intricacy of creation, the intricacy of our own lives, of our bodies, the bodies of other living things, even of little plants. He talked about evolution and said that Darwin's theory was concocted before science had learned about the genes. "The genes," he says, "keep all forms of life within their own spheres. Life produces creations," he said, "of varied designs in the image of its predecessors and gives them the power to repeat themselves for untold generations."
Mark E. Petersen, "I Am not Ashamed of the Gospel of Christ" (Mark E. Petersen, 1955 Semi‑Annual General Conference, Improvement Era)
Mark E. Petersen
No oak tree ever bore chestnuts. No whale ever gave birth to a fish, and waving fields of wheat in every grain are wheat, and corn is corn. Law governs the atomic arrangement in the genes which absolutely determine every genus of life from beginning to extinction.
Mark E. Petersen, "I Am not Ashamed of the Gospel of Christ" (Mark E. Petersen, 1955 Semi‑Annual General Conference, Improvement Era)
Orson Pratt
We have the general characteristics of the human form, and we do not look like the original of man according to Darwin's idea; we do not look like the monkey or baboon from which Darwin said we originated.
Orson Pratt, Journal of Discourses 17:32
Orson Pratt
They would make man look for his origin down to the very reptile and the worm that crawls upon the earth, and to the fish of the sea — as the first father, the first origin, the first oyster. Such is the reason of the learned of the last few centuries — the evolution theory; in other words, that which you learn from books, the creation of man's folly and foolishness. But when we learn through the revelations of God that instead of man's coming up from the poor worm of the dirt, he descended from that being who controls the universe by his power; that he descended from that being who is the fullness of all knowledge, and who sways his scepter over more planetary systems than there are sands upon the seashore.
Orson Pratt, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 20, No. 9 (The Book of Mormon, Etc., Orson Pratt, 8/25/1878)
Boyd K. Packer
The dangers I speak of come from the gay‑lesbian movement, the feminist movement (both of which are relatively new), and the ever‑present challenge from the so‑called scholars or intellectuals.
Boyd K. Packer, All‑Church Coordinating Council
Boyd K. Packer
The theory of evolution, and it is a theory, will have an entirely different dimension when the workings of God in creation are fully revealed.
Boyd K. Packer, The Pattern of Our Parentage (Boyd K. Packer, 1984 Semi‑Annual General Conference, Ensign)
Boyd K. Packer
In the countless billions of opportunities in the reproduction of living things, one kind does not beget another. If a species ever does cross, the offspring cannot reproduce. The pattern for all life is the pattern of the parentage.
Boyd K. Packer, The Pattern of Our Parentage (Boyd K. Packer, 1984 Semi‑Annual General Conference, Ensign)
Boyd K. Packer
And, I am sorry to say, the so‑called theistic evolution, the theory that God used an evolutionary process to prepare a physical body for the spirit of man, is equally false. I say I am sorry because I know it is a view commonly held by good and thoughtful people who search for an acceptable resolution to an apparent conflict between the theory of evolution and the doctrines of the gospel. An understanding of the sealing authority with its binding of the generations into eternal families cannot admit to ancestral bloodlines to beasts.
Boyd K. Packer, The Book of Mormon: Jacob Through Words of Mormon, p. 1‑31
Boyd K. Packer
Since every living thing follows the pattern of its parentage, are we to suppose that God had some other strange pattern in mind for His offspring? Surely we, His children, are not, in the language of science, a different species than He is?
Boyd K. Packer, The Pattern of Our Parentage (Boyd K. Packer, 1984 Semi‑Annual General Conference, Ensign)
Boyd K. Packer
This is demonstrated in so many obvious ways, even an ordinary mind should understand it. Surely no one with reverence for God could believe that His children evolved from slime or from reptiles. (Although one can easily imagine that those who accept the theory of evolution don't show much enthusiasm for genealogical research!)
Boyd K. Packer, The Pattern of Our Parentage (Boyd K. Packer, 1984 Semi‑Annual General Conference, Ensign)
Boyd K. Packer
No lesson is more manifest in nature than that all living things do as the Lord commanded in the Creation. They reproduce "after their own kind." (See Moses 2:12, 24.) They follow the pattern of their parentage. Everyone knows that; every four‑year‑old knows that! A bird will not become an animal nor a fish. A mammal will not beget reptiles, nor "do men gather ... figs of thistles." (Matt. 7:16.)
Boyd K. Packer, The Pattern of Our Parentage (Boyd K. Packer, 1984 Semi‑Annual General Conference, Ensign)
Gerald N. Lund
Today, the world is permeated with philosophies similar to those taught by Korihor. We read them in books, see them championed in the movies and on television, and hear them taught in classrooms and sometimes in the churches of our time. Note just a few examples drawn from modern writings: "We believe that traditional dogmatic or authoritarian religions that place revelation, God, ritual, or creed above human needs and experience do a disservice to the human species. ... Traditional religions often offer solace to humans, but, as often, they inhibit humans from helping themselves or experiencing their full potentialities. ... Too often traditional faiths encourage dependence rather than independence." ("Humanist Manifesto II," The Humanist, Sept./Oct. 1973, pp. 5—6; compare Alma 30:14, 16, 27—28.) "Science affirms that the human species is an emergence from natural evolutionary forces. As far as we know, the total personality is a function of the biological organism transacting in a social and cultural context." (Ibid; compare Alma 30:17.) Here we see clear evidence of Mormon's inspiration to give us a full account of Korihor and his teachings. Korihor's teachings are old doctrine, and yet they are ideas as modern as today's high‑speed printing presses and satellite dishes.
Gerald N. Lund, Ensign, Countering Korihor's Philosophy, July 1992
John A. Widtsoe
Latter-day Saints know, through modern revelation, that the Garden of Eden was on the North American continent and that Adam and Eve began their conquest of the earth in the upper part of what is now the state of Missouri. It seems very probable that the children of our first earthly parents moved down along the fertile, pleasant lands of the Mississippi valley."
John A. Widtsoe, Evidences and Reconciliations, three volumes in one, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft 1960, p. 127
John A. Widtsoe
Any theory that leaves out God as a personal, purposeful Being, and accepts chance as a first cause, cannot be accepted by Latter‑day Saints ... That man and the whole of creation came by chance is unthinkable. It is equally unthinkable that if man came into being by the will and power of God, the divine creative power is limited to one process dimly sensed by mortal man.
John A. Widtsoe, Evidences and Reconciliations, v. 1, p. 155
Erastus Snow
So far as the history of this earth is known, whether written or unwritten, or whether written in volumes of books, whether engraven upon metallic plates, or whether found impressed in rocks, neither geologists, nor any other scientists have ever been able to show us any great exploits of any of these inferior grades of being to indicate that there was any such vitality in them, as to develop in their future progress, the present order of beings we call man.
Erastus Snow, Journal of Discourses 19:40
Erastus Snow
And how much satisfaction these philosophers have in the contemplation of their grandfather monkeys, we are left to conjecture; but such are the theories put forth by some of our modern philosophers. But we find nothing on the earth, or in the earth, nor under the earth, that indicates that any of these monkeys or apes, or any other orders of creation below man have ever accomplished any great exploits.
Erastus Snow, Journal of Discourses 19:40
Erastus Snow
The theory of evolution, that man in our present state upon the earth is but a sequence and outgrowth of steady advancement from the lowest order of creation till the present type of man... [is] in short that our great‑grandfathers were apes and monkeys.
Erastus Snow, Journal of Discourses 19:270
James E. Talmage
The decision reached by the First Presidency, and announced to this morning's assembly, was in answer to a specific question that obviously the doctrine of the existence of races of human beings upon the earth prior to the Fall of Adam was not a doctrine of the Church; and, further, that the conception embodied in the belief of many to the effect that there were no such Pre‑Adamite races, and that there was no death upon the Earth prior to Adam's fall is likewise declared to be no doctrine of the Church.
James E. Talmage, Stephens and Meldrum, Evolution and Mormonism, p. 45
Marion G. Romney
Adam was the son of God. He was our elder brother, not older than Jesus but he was our brother in the same sense that Jesus was our brother, and he "fell" to earth life. He did not come up through an unbroken line of organic evolution. There had to be a fall. "Adam fell that men might be" (2 Ne. 2:25).
Marion G. Romney, Nurture a Testimony (Marion G. Romney, 1953 Annual General Conference, Improvement Era)
Marion G. Romney
Morality in general and chastity particularly are outmoded. Man—so our children are told—is an animal, the product of biological evolution; his generative powers are not sacred and God‑given for the purpose of bringing God's spirit children into mortality, and therefore to be exercised within the limits divinely prescribed, as the gospel teaches, but they are playthings to be exploited and prostituted for the gratification of sensual and lustful desires. Courage, honesty, loyalty, patriotism, law and order—these and other elements of the divine nature are no longer revered as virtues.
Marion G. Romney, Home Teaching and Family Home Evening (Marion G. Romney, 1969 Annual General Conference, Improvement Era)
George Q. Morris
I hope this young man can hold to that principle, and I am concerned for all of our young people as they go into the field of higher education and meet all the ideas that are so prevalent, which are in sharp conflict with the revelations of God that we know to be true. I suppose he had been taught something about the origin of man according to the theory of organic evolution. I presume he might have been told what I remember reading in some man's writings, that we would have to look for our origin in some minute life in the ocean, perhaps, or in some amoeba‑like organism‑the simplest form of life. That, he said, was man's beginning. But we know better than that. The Lord says we were in the beginning with him.
George Q. Morris, The Origin of Man (George Q. Morris, 1956 Semi‑Annual General Conference, Improvement Era)
B. H. Roberts
Accepting this statement of Joseph Smith relative to our planet in its present state being created or formed from the fragments of a planet which previously existed, one may readily understand how the supposed differences between scientists and believers in revelation have arisen. Scientists have been talking of the earth's strata that were formed in a previously existing planet; they have considered the fossilized flora and fauna imbedded in those strata.... If scientists shall claim that the fossilized remains in the different strata of the earth's crust reveal the fact that in the earlier periods of the earth's existence only the simpler forms of vegetation and animal life are to be found, both forms of life becoming more complex and of a higher type as the earth becomes older, until it is crowned with the presence of man — all that may be allowed. But that this gradation of animal life owes its existence to the processes of evolution is denied.... The claims of evolution as explained by the philosophers [not scientists] of the Darwin school, are contrary to all experience so far as man's knowledge extends.
B. H. Roberts, LDS Historian B.H. Roberts, The Gospel and Man's Relationship to Deity, pp. 281‑282
Charles W. Penrose
The seed of an apple, when it is reproduced, brings forth an apple, and so with a pear, and so with a plum, and so with all the varieties of the vegetable kingdom. It is the same with all the varieties of the animal kingdom. The doctrine of evolution, as it is called, is true in some respects—that is, that species can be improved, exalted, made better, but it remains of the same species. The advancement is in the same line. It is unfoldment. We do not find any radical change from one species to another. It is an eternal principle that every seed produces its own kind, not another kind. And as we are the children of God, we can follow out the idea and perceive what God our Father is, the Being who is the progenitor of our spiritual [p. 21a] existence, the being from whom we have sprung. We being the seed of God, that Being is a personality, an individual, a being in some respects like us, or rather we are made in His image.
Charles W. Penrose, Journal of Discourses 26:3
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