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Saturday, November 01, 2008

David H. Bailey, creationism, and death before the fall

Over at The Mormon Organon, David H. Bailey recently expressed mock surprise that Latter-day Saints would think there was no death before the fall of Adam. But here's what Bailey forgot to mention:

Gordon B. Hinckley's First Presidency approved publication of NDBF teachings in Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Wilford Woodruff:

"We acknowledge that through Adam all have died, that death through the fall must pass upon the whole human family, also upon the beasts of the field, the fishes of the sea and the fowls of the air and all the works of God, as far as this earth is concerned." (p.81.)

Gordon B. Hinckley's First Presidency also approved publication of NDBF teachings in Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Harold B. Lee:

"Besides the Fall having had to do with Adam and Eve, causing a change to come over them, that change affected all human nature, all of the natural creations, all of the creation of animals, plants—all kinds of life were changed. The earth itself became subject to death.... How it took place no one can explain, and anyone who would attempt to make an explanation would be going far beyond anything the Lord has told us. But a change was wrought over the whole face of the creation, which up to that time had not been subject to death. From that time henceforth all in nature was in a state of gradual dissolution until mortal death was to come, after which there would be required a restoration in a resurrected state." (p.20.)

The issue here is NOT pre-fall death per se. Rather the point is that, while no Church President has told the Church there was death before the fall, at least two Church Presidents (whose NDBF teachings were approved by Gordon B. Hinckley) taught there was NO death before the fall.

Actually, it's okay for David H. Bailey to claim there was death before the fall. But it's NOT okay for him to claim the LDS Church supports that idea because the Church's Presidents have taught otherwise.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Left Field said...

"Actually, it's okay for David H. Bailey to claim there was death before the fall. But it's NOT okay for him to claim the LDS Church supports that idea because the Church's Presidents have taught otherwise."

Well, at least the church supported the idea enough to let the Talmage quotation supporting death before the fall into the September 1987 Ensign.

11/02/2008 06:52:00 AM  
Blogger R. Gary said...

Left Field,

James E. Talmage who gave the 1931 speech and Morris Petersen who wrote the Sept 1987 article both presented the geologist's point of view. As Petersen clearly states in his article, "the record of science is incomplete [and] what we imagine to be true now about the history of the earth may prove to be only partially true."

The Church need not "support" a particular point of view in order to "acknowledge" its existence.

On the other hand: NDBF is taught by the Church to investigators, the newly baptized, and those returning to activity. NDBF is taught by the Church in Primary and Sunday School. NDBF is taught in the First Presidency's doctrinal guidebook for youth, single adults, and new members. NDBF is bound with the standard works and carried to Church by millions of members every Sunday. And NDBF is taught by the Church in Priesthood and Relief Society classes. In all of these cases, NDBF is taught with the support of, and often taught by, the apostles and prophets who lead the Church today.

Since publication of the Ensign began, the Church has been led by seven Prophets and 33 apostles. With no dissenting voices, Church published statements of these 33 apostles and seven Prophets teach no death before the fall.

I don't think it can be claimed that the Church supports pre-fall death, even though that point of view was once acknowledged in the Ensign.

11/02/2008 04:42:00 PM  
Blogger sireofmany said...

Clearly, NDBF is scripturally founded, or else we must remove 2 Nephi 2:22 from the Book of Mormon.

11/03/2008 12:55:00 PM  
Blogger sireofmany said...

As a follow up to my previos comment, I want to point out regarding no official position of the church. In a church approved and church published institute manual for the Pearl of Great Price, you will find the following excerpt regarding Abraham 4:12. "“After His Kind”
Compared with the book of Moses, the book of Abraham
seems to more forcefully state the idea that all beings could
only reproduce after their own kind. Speaking of the
Creation, Elder Bruce R. McConkie taught: “There was no
provision for evolvement or change from one species to
another” (“Christ and the Creation,” Ensign, June 1982, 12)."

This quote also refers to the quote by Elder McConkie from the Ensign magazine, an official publication of the church.

A quote from an apostle in an offical publication from the church referenced in another official publication of the church (an institute manual) seems to lend some credence to the argument that the church does have a position on NDBF and/or evolutionary theory as it relates to NDBF.

11/07/2008 09:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"NDBF is taught by the Church to investigators, the newly baptized, and those returning to activity. NDBF is taught by the Church in Primary and Sunday School."

I'm calling you out on this one.

Who exactly is teaching investigators, newly baptized, those returning to activity, and primary and sunday school participants that NDBF is Church doctrine? From what sources?

For example, from what source are missionaries explicitly to be teaching NDBF to investigators????? Page numbers would be great, especially if they're from Preach My Gospel.
-Brady

1/23/2009 09:48:00 PM  
Blogger R. Gary said...

The words "investigators, the newly baptized, [and] those returning to activity" are actually quoted from the Policies and Announcements section of the March 1993 Ensign (p.80) which reminds priesthood leaders to use the Gospel Principles manual. A discussion of NDBF teachings found in the Gospel Principles manual was posted on this blog May 7, 2005.

A discussion of NDBF being taught by the Church in Primary and Sunday School was posted on this blog Dec. 12, 2005.

And finally, a discussion of NDBF in Preach My Gospel (with lots of page numbers) was posted on this blog just today.

1/24/2009 01:57:00 PM  

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