Thursday, November 17, 2011

Evolution vs The Millennium

"The secrets of evolution are death and time," said Carl Sagan, and explained, "the deaths of enormous numbers of lifeforms that were imperfectly adapted to the environment; and [aeons of] time." (Cosmos.) But death and time aren't just secrets of evolution, they are two of its essential ingredients.

In the not too distant future, the Second Coming of Jesus Christ will usher in the Millennium, after which on this earth "there will be no death as we know it." (Gospel Principles, Chapter 45, "The Millennium.")

Evolution repudiates the Millennium.

Evolution requires death and, beginning with the Millennium, there will be no death anywhere on earth. Science can't explain that, but the Millennium will come.

Click the diagram below to view a collection of LDS teachings about the Millennium.


Anonymous Stanton S said...

R. Gary,
I'm curious to know your opinion about life during the millennium. If we look at the current rates of reproduction of even one species of insect, the army ant, before long the entire land mass of the earth would be covered in a layer of ants several feet deep. Carry this out 1,000 years, and the earth might not be such a great place to live. How do you explain the fact that although there will be no death, everyone will still live happily and peacefully (presumably not covered by several meters of insects)?

11/17/2011 06:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Stanton S said...

As a follow up, with no death during the millennium you could argue that during the millennium there will be no evolution, but what's to stop it from happening now or any time in the last 4.5 billion years?

11/17/2011 06:31:00 PM  
Blogger R. Gary said...

Stanton S:

Regarding scripture that teaches there will be no death during the Millennium, my opinion is simply that ideas not in accord with the word of the Lord will pass away. God's word, on the other hand, will not pass away but will all be fulfilled.

Regarding rates of reproduction during the Millennium, I feel it is unwise to speculate beyond what is found in scripture and the teachings of latter-day apostles and prophets.

Regarding evolution happening now or any time in the last 4.5 billion years, I like President Packer's discussion of it in general conference.

-------------- quote --------------
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.)

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.

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!) 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 --------------

11/17/2011 07:04:00 PM  
Blogger R. Gary said...


I just received an anonymous comment that goes on and on about how "Chapter 45 of Gospel Principles does not teach that there will be no death during the Millennium. It teaches that there will be no death as we know it."

Did this person post a comment without first reading the post? The second paragraph of the above post says:

-------------- quote --------------
In the not too distant future, the Second Coming of Jesus Christ will usher in the Millennium, after which on this earth "there will be no death as we know it." (Gospel Principles, Chapter 45, "The Millennium.")
-------------- end quote --------------

Next time you should read the post before commenting.

11/18/2011 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger R. Gary said...


Anonymous: Yes. the fourth paragraph in the above post says "beginning with the Millennium, there will be no death anywhere on earth." But that's after the second paragraph had clearly qualified it to be "death as we know it." You are misrepresenting my post and I feel no obligation to publish comments that argue against things I didn't even say.

11/18/2011 12:31:00 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

R. Gary,

You give a long quote from Elder Packer that you claim was given in General Conference. Which General Conference was it? Can you link to that General Conference talk?

Packer said: "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.”"

I might point out that no evolutionist would disagree with that statement (except, as anyone that knows anything about biology will tell you, a bird is already an animal). And that quote was most definitely not given in General Conference.

11/19/2011 09:35:00 AM  
Blogger R. Gary said...


Tim: You asked for a link to Packer's statement. Here's the first. There's more, but before we discuss that statement further, I want to talk about your claim that "a bird is already an animal." Do you believe that statement is always true, in every context?

In an college-level biology class, I agree that your statement would be accepted at face value and considered to be universally true. But what about an LDS Institute of Religion class? Let's say the class is discussing LDS creation accounts in scripture.

In that context, we'll find that fish and fowl are created separately on the fifth day, with similar but individual instructions given to each group. Then, on the sixth day, beasts and man are created, again separately. The Pearl of Great Price Student Manual (completely rewritten just 11 years ago) provides a very helpful "Harmony of the Creation Accounts." Click here to begin reading at the fifth day of creation.

I haven't given a thorough review of these Creation accounts, but I've given enough to show that, in LDS thought, the creation of fish, fowl, beasts, and man are treated individually and separately.

In this context, we find: "The fish and fowl were created on the fifth day. On the sixth day, Jesus Christ created the animals." (Friend, Nov. 1998) and children are asked: "What did God command the fish and animals and birds to do? (Genesis 1:22 or Moses 2:22.)" (Primary 6.) Again in 2007, "On the fifth day, He created the fish and birds. On the sixth day, Jesus created the animals." (Friend, Feb. 2007.)

"This earth, all men, animals, fish, fowls, plants, all things—all lived first as spirit entities." (Bruce R. McConkie, Ensign, June 1982.)

"He made the fish and the birds and all the animals." (Friend, Feb. 1989.) "He made fish, birds, and animals and put them on the earth." (Friend, Mar. 2003.) "He had Jesus make the fish, the birds, and the animals and put them on the earth." (Friend, Feb. 2009.)

Now, were going to do a search at LDS.org for the quote where President Boyd K. Packer said, "A bird will not become an animal nor a fish," and see if it was spoken in General Conference. Click here to see the results of our search.

There are three results. Notice that one links to the same Pearl of Great Price Student Manual we were just discussing (also the manual linked to at the beginning of this comment). Notice that one links to the October 1984 General Conference and the other links the Ensign magazine where the talks from that General Conference can be found.

Thanks for your comment. Feel free to share your views further about this.

11/19/2011 12:48:00 PM  
Blogger Jared* said...

Gary, my two cents here.

11/19/2011 02:07:00 PM  
Blogger R. Gary said...

Very nice, Jared. However, scientists can't really go forward at this time to verify such theories about Terrestrial, Millennial life. Can they?

11/19/2011 02:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Stanton S said...

So I'm fine with there being no death of the human race during the millennium (apart from the quick death followed by being resurrected in the twinkling of an eye). How that will happen, I don't know. But it wouldn't make sense for me if there were no death of plant and animal life, because there will still be mortal humans during the millennium, and if there were truly no death of anything, then all these people would soon die of starvation. That would be a cruel and harsh death to come from a loving God who is ushering in a period of peace.

11/20/2011 02:21:00 PM  
Blogger R. Gary said...

Stanton, in view of your last comment, I think President Monson has a thought that might interest you (click here).

11/20/2011 04:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Chas Hathaway said...

I think what anonymous is conveying is that while there will be no death, the "manner" that changes is that instead of leaving mortality through death, people will leave mortality by means of immediate resurrection at the time that death would have otherwise occurred.

The rest of the paragraph in Gospel Principles says, "Even though mortals will live on the earth during the Millennium, they will not have diseases as we do now. There will be no death as we know it. When people have lived to an old age, they will not die and be buried. Instead, they will be changed from their mortal condition to an immortal condition in an instant (see D&C 63:51; 101:29-31)."

I think anonymous is saying that mortality will still end, but the manner in which it will end changes.

12/20/2011 06:30:00 AM  

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