Saturday, March 19, 2011

Our Bodies Are Temples of God (1 Corinthians)

"Our Bodies Are Temples of God: One of the great blessings we received when we came to earth was a physical body. We need a physical body to become like our Heavenly Father. Our bodies are so important that the Lord calls them temples of God (see 1 Corinthians 3:16–17; 6:19–20). Our bodies are holy." (Gospel Principles, 2009, 167.)

D. Todd Christofferson:  “Those who believe that our bodies are nothing more than the result of evolutionary chance will feel no accountability to God or anyone else for what they do with or to their body. We who have a witness of the broader reality of premortal, mortal, and postmortal eternity, however, must acknowledge that we have a duty to God with respect to this crowning achievement of His physical creation. In Paul's words:

“ ' What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

" ' For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s'  (1 Corinthians 6:19–20).”  (Ensign, Nov. 2010, 17.)

Boyd K. Packer:  “No idea has been more destructive of happiness, no philosophy has produced more sorrow, more heartbreak and mischief; no idea has done more to destroy the family than the idea that we are not the offspring of God, only advanced animals, compelled to yield to every carnal urge." (Ensign, Jan. 2005, 49; emphasis in the original.)

James E. Talmage:  "Man is the child of God.... He is born in the lineage of Deity, not in the posterity of the brute creation. [He] is greater and grander, more precious according to the arithmetic of God, than all the planets and suns of space. For him were they created; they are the handiwork of God; man is His son!”  (The Earth and Man, 1931 Church pamphlet, 13-14.)

Boyd K. Packer:  “An understanding of the sealing authority with its binding of the generations into eternal families cannot admit to ancestral blood lines to beasts.” (“The Law and the Light,” The Book of Mormon: Jacob through Words of Mormon, to Learn with Joy, BYU Religious Studies Center, 1990, 22.)

Russell M. Nelson:  “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. Many of these people have concluded that the universe began as a 'big bang' that eventually 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 is unthinkable! Even if it could be argued to be within a remote realm of possibility, such a dictionary could certainly not heal its own torn pages or renew its own worn corners or reproduce its own subsequent editions!

"We are children of God, created by him and formed in his image. Recently I studied the scriptures to find how many times they testify of the divine creation of man. Looking up references that referred to create, 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....

“I believe all of those scriptures that pertain to the creation of man. But the decision to believe is a spiritual one, not made solely by an understanding of things physical, for we read that '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 Cor. 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.

“With great conviction, I add my testimony to that of my fellow Apostle Paul, who said, ‘Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

“ ‘ If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.’ (1 Cor. 3:16, 17.)” (Ensign, Jan. 1988, 64.)


Anonymous RidAndSub said...

The Ridiculous and the Sublime says:

-------------- quote --------------
"R. Gary provides a helpful list of prophetic statements regarding evolution which assume that people who believe in evolution are moral midgets and idiots."
-------------- end quote --------------

Such self-labeling relieves the apostles of the need to "assume" anything.

3/21/2011 01:23:00 PM  
Blogger R. Gary said...

BYU Biology Professor, SteveP, claims on his blog that evolution is "the way the human body was formed" and the idea that scripture doesn't support human evolution "is a leak from sources other than the Restoration."

Elder D. Todd Christofferson, are you paying attention? President Packer and Elder Nelson, are you? Elder Talmage, you being clearly the most science friendly apostle of this dispensation, too bad we can't get your take on SteveP's current blog post.

3/21/2011 01:47:00 PM  
Anonymous John C. said...

As the person who is actually behind the linked blog, let me assure you that I don't endorse the sentiment in the above comment what quotes me.

3/21/2011 05:50:00 PM  
Blogger R. Gary said...

John C.: The statement from your blog is quoted verbatim and in its entirety. Nobody expects you to endorse my comment about it.

3/21/2011 06:11:00 PM  
Anonymous John C. said...

R. Gary,
I understand. Since the comment author showed as RidAndSub, I thought someone was impersonating me. No offense taken.

3/21/2011 06:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Cynthia L. said...

Gary, just to take one example of your quotes:

Boyd K. Packer: “No idea has been more destructive of happiness, no philosophy has produced more sorrow, more heartbreak and mischief; no idea has done more to destroy the family than the idea that we are not the offspring of God, only advanced animals, compelled to yield to every carnal urge."

I don't think this indicts SteveP's statements or beliefs. Nowhere does SteveP say that that "we are not the offspring of God." So at best there is only a partial contradiction.

Imagine Packer had said, "It is an affront to the Sabbath when members of the church stay home from church and watch football instead." If somebody stays home from church because they are sick, Packer's statement would in no way indict that person, simply because the first clause of the sentence (before the "and") is a description of what they did. The overall moral implication of it is key.

Similarly, believing that evolutionary change over time culminated in the human form (rather than a literal 6-day creation) AND that there is no God is obviously bad (there's that two-clause thing again--see?). But, just as importantly to note, believing that evolutionary change over time culminated in the human for AND that there is a God overseeing the process, isn't really problematic.

A similar analysis could be done of your other quotes, but I've rambled on long enough.


3/21/2011 07:46:00 PM  
Blogger R. Gary said...

Cynthia L.: SteveP's assertion that evolution is "the way the human body was formed" indicts Packer's statements and beliefs.

I wish you'd address Packer's statement quoted above that "the sealing authority with its binding of the generations into eternal families cannot admit to ancestral blood lines to beasts." That belief is NOT "a leak from sources other than the Restoration." It is based solidly on modern revelation.

I admire your bravery in showing agreement with some of Packer's words, even as you disagree with his meaning. You seem unaware that he has consistently denounced "those who equate humankind with animals."

"Children are an heritage of the Lord," he quotes Psalms, "Each is a child of God. He is not a monkey; neither were his ancestors."

According to Packer, organic evolution as an explanation for the origin of man is not only a problem, it is "the problem."

In his view, "fundamental doctrines" (i.e. the Creation, Fall, and Atonement) "cannot co-exist" with the belief that man's body evolved from lower forms of animal life.

He has declared outright that the idea that man is the product of evolution "is false!" And theistic evolution, he adds, "is equally false."

3/21/2011 08:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Cynthia L. said...

Yet another good example of a quote that doesn't quite implicate what you seem to think it implicates:

"those who equate humankind with animals."

I don't equate humankind with animals in the way I think this is referring to, nor does SteveP seem to do so, in my reading of him.

I think the Virgin River helped bring about change over a long time that formed Zion Canyon. I do "equate" Virgin River and Zion Canyon. One is a river and one is a canyon.

3/21/2011 09:24:00 PM  
Blogger R. Gary said...

Cynthia L.: Please let me congratulate you on your views regarding rivers and canyons, animals and humankind. I believe that at some point, sooner or later, you will come to understand that Boyd K. Packer doesn't share your views.

3/21/2011 09:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Aaron B said...

Cling to Elder Packer's comments while he's still around, Gary. Some day he won't be, and I doubt we'll ever see the anti-evolutionary likes of him again in the church hierarchy. 50 years from now, Mormons will all look back on the dying gasps of anti-science fundamentalist fervor in the LDS Church, and sigh. For it will be relegated to the dustbin of history, along with the notion that Black converts' skin turns whiter and other assorted embarrassments.

3/21/2011 09:56:00 PM  
Anonymous SteveP said...

James Talmage,

"This record of Adam and his posterity is the only scriptural account we have of the appearance of man upon the earth. But we have also a vast and ever-increasing volume of knowledge concerning man, his early habits and customs, his industries and works of art, his tools and implements, about which such scriptures as we have thus far received are entirely silent. Let us not try to wrest the scriptures in an attempt to explain away what we can not explain. The opening chapters of Genesis, and scriptures related thereto, were never intended as a text-book of geology, archaeology, earth-science or man-science. Holy Scripture will endure, while the conceptions of men change with new discoveries. We do not show reverence for the scriptures when we misapply them through faulty interpretation.

Attached to the front of Pres. Packer's "Law and the Light: "Disclaimer: Only the Standard Works and statements written under assignment of the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles are considered official declarations by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The talk which follows was given without such assignment and no such approval has been sought or given. The author alone is responsible for the views set forth therein. They do not necessarily represent the Church. (p. 1)

He also notes at the beginning of the essay that:

The article may not be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission from the author."

Why does Gary ignore the express wish of the apostle? Why does he give explicitly stated opinion as if doctrine?

Letter from David O McKay, "February 3, 1959
David O. McKay, President

Dear Brother:
...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.
All of my quotes can be found at the FAIR site here: http://en.fairmormon.org/Primary_sources/Evolution

Gary you are determined to selectively produce the appearance of an anti-science view among the brethren, that is false and harms budding testimonies by creating a false dichotomy. You do more damage than you can possibly imagine.

3/21/2011 09:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Cynthia L. said...

Oh oops! The second to last sentence in my comment should read "I do NOT 'equate' Virgin River and Zion Canyon."

Perhaps Packer doesn't share my views, in fact it seems like that he doesn't. But I'm also quite certain that not all of the twelve share all of each others' views on everything either. As long as we agree on the core, that's what really matters, IMHO.


3/21/2011 10:08:00 PM  
Blogger R. Gary said...

Aaron B:  All latter-day apostles who've talked about it in official Church media have spoken against human evolution. So, which one are you clinging to?

By the way, have you noticed how Todd Christofferson (as quoted above) is starting to sound a lot like Packer?

3/21/2011 11:54:00 PM  
Blogger R. Gary said...



Can you explain why James Talmage said (in the same talk you quote): "Man ... is born in the lineage of Deity, not in the posterity of the brute creation."

Did you not know that all general authority talks are under the same restriction as Elder Packer's 1988 talk?

Can you tell me why the legal doctrine of "fair use" doesn't apply to Packer's talk?

Can you tell me how a private letter can establish the Church’s official position on anything?

Can you explain why Harold B. Lee, while serving as Church President, carefully sabotaged the McKay letter you quote?

Can you explain why the following statement was made in general conference and published without a disclaimer:

-------------- quote --------------
"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!) 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."
-------------- end quote --------------

Steve, let me say as sincerely as I can, that I appreciate your visit. You are always welcome. Nevertheless, it remains that all latter-day apostles who've talked about it in official Church media have spoken against human evolution.

3/22/2011 01:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know for a fact that SteveP is amongst the evolutionists who say on one hand that God exists but has on the other He had no part in evolution- that God was not involved with the physical creation. I know folks like this do a lot of harm to the church because they are in a teaching position within the church and teach doctrine contrary to LDS beliefs. Of course folks like SteveP do not like folks like me because we are the voice for supporting LDS beliefs in God and the Creation event.

It also bothers me that there are some in the LDS teaching community who dismiss and even block others from posting on certain issues regarding evolution on their sites (you know who you are). Evolutionists want to censor those with other beliefs. They believe they are a threat to their atheistic beliefs. It bothers me that belief in the creation is starting to fade amongst the "learned" and is being replaced with a type of humanistic beliefs.

If we ant to follow Dawkins, let's disregard the prophest, the scriptures, and all holy doctrine and settle for the atheistic paradigm of evolution.

Rob O.

3/22/2011 12:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

R.Gary, this sounds an awful lot like theistic evolution to me:

"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."

3/22/2011 12:38:00 PM  
Blogger R. Gary said...

Rob O: can't we disagree without being disagreeable? Let's give SteveP credit for making every effort NOT to teach doctrine contrary to LDS beliefs. I have followed his writings, and I believe he is trying to reconcile his science with his LDS faith. I do NOT believe he is intentionally doing harm to the Church, as you suggest.

Rob, you and I agree on many things, but we are very different in how we attribute motives to people with whom we disagree. And please don't question my motives for what I've said in this comment.

3/22/2011 01:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

R Gary,

I know that SteveP avoids me like the plague. He doesn't allow me to post on his blog anymore in fear that I will corrupt his readers minds. He treats me and my ideas like a disease. It is this attitude he has that bothers me most about his position in his teaching. As a teacher he should be mindful of others ideas even when they go hand in hand with church doctrine.
I know that SteveP believes in God, he just displaces Him entirely from the creation.

Perhaps it wouldn't bother me so bad if he would actually openly and honestly debate without going and hiding and then telling his people what idiots people are for believing in the creation and not letting tham have a voice.

Rob O.

3/22/2011 03:18:00 PM  

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