Saturday, January 12, 2013

SteveP's answer to current teachings about the origin of man: Pretend they don't exist

This post is my response to Steve's BCC article (found here).

One of the most science friendly apostles of this dispensation explained the origin of man this way: "Man is the child of God.... He is born in the lineage of Deity, not in the posterity of the brute creation." (James E. Talmage, "The Earth and Man.")

Yes, Talmage died in 1933, but no apostle before or since has contradicted him regarding man's lineage. And, in fact, his view is strongly corroborated by today's living apostles and prophets.


Thomas S. Monson asks, "Who can doubt that there is a designer?" He answers using both thoughtful consideration and the revealed word of God: "If there is a design in this world in which we live, there must be a Designer." President Monson reminded that "the Grand Designer created the heaven and the earth." For example, there was light because the Grand Designer said "Let there be light." The sun, moon, and stars "came by His design."

"Man alone," he said, "received intelligence, a brain, a mind, and a soul. Man alone with these attributes had the capacity for faith and hope, for inspiration and ambition." He testified that "Man [is] the noblest work of the Great Designer." (Ensign, May 2010.)


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.)


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.”)

"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. (Ensign, Nov. 1984.)


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.)


"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 declared that Adam was  ' the first man of all men.' "  ("The Origin of Man,"  Ensign, Feb. 2002;.)

The introduction to this formal First Presidency statement emphasizes that it is the Church's current "doctrinal position on these matters."

(read more...)

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

When the wisdom of the world disputes the wisdom of God.

[The following excerpts are from an article by Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. The article is titled "Reverence for God Is the Beginning of Wisdom" and is found in the January 2013 issue of the Ensign. All italics and bracketed comments are in the original.]


The wisdom of the world, while in many cases very valuable, is most valuable when it humbly bows to the wisdom of God.

The scriptures describe two types of wisdom: the wisdom of the world and the wisdom of God. The wisdom of the world ... is consciously acquired through study, reflection, observation, and hard work. It is very valuable and helpful in the things we do. To good and decent people, it comes as we experience our mortality.


The wisdom that brings success in the world must be willing to step behind the wisdom of God and not think that it can substitute for it.

Remember: all wisdom is not created equal.


Our Heavenly Father “has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth” (Mosiah 4:9).


This wisdom, at times, will be opposite the wisdom of the world, meaning the wisdom of God and the wisdom of the world will come in direct conflict one with another.


The source of the wisdom of God is different from that of the world. The wisdom of God is found in the scriptures, in the teachings of the prophets (such as during general conference), and, of course, in our prayers (see D&C 8:1–2)


Perhaps the most important point is that not all wisdom is created equal. We need to learn that when there is conflict between the wisdom of the world and the wisdom of God, we must yield our will to the wisdom of God.


We who are devoted to learning the wisdom of the world and the wisdom of God must not become confused with which wisdom is more important.


“O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned [in the wisdom of the world] they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves [the wisdom of the world], wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. And they shall perish.

“But to be learned [in the wisdom of the world] is good if they hearken unto the counsels of God” (2 Nephi 9:28–29; emphasis added).


The test is often whether we will allow the wisdom of God to be our guiding course when it moves opposite the wisdom of the world.


Put the wisdom of God above the wisdom of the world.


I suggest you take some of the issues facing you. Put a line down the middle of a piece of paper. List the wisdom of the world on the left side and the wisdom of God on the right side. Write the issues in conflict one with another.

What choices are you making?


[The above excerpts are from an article by Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. The article is titled "Reverence for God Is the Beginning of Wisdom" and is found in the January 2013 issue of the Ensign. All italics and bracketed comments are in the original.]

(read more...)