Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Millennial Renewal of Earth

Gospel Principles, Chapter 45, "The Millennium" (Melchizedek Priesthood and Relief Society lesson): Supplemental Readings.

      Click diagram to enlarge

Tenth Article of Faith: "We believe ... that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory."

Bible Dictionary, Restitution; restoration: "These terms denote a return of something once present, but which has been taken away or lost. It involves, for example, the renewal of the earth to its paradisiacal glory as it was before the fall of Adam."

Russell M. Nelson: “The creation of a paradisiacal planet came from God. Mortality and death came into the world through the Fall of Adam. Immortality and the possibility of eternal life were provided by the Atonement of Jesus Christ. The Creation, the Fall, and the Atonement were planned long before the actual work of the Creation began....

“Eventually, ‘the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.’ At the Second Coming of the Lord, the earth will be changed once again. It will be returned to its paradisiacal state and be made new. There will be a new heaven and a new earth.” (Ensign, May 2000.)

Bruce R. McConkie: “In Eden we will see all things created in a paradisiacal state—without death.... Such a creation ... was the only way to provide for the Fall. We will then see Adam and Eve, the first man and the first woman, step down from their state of immortal and paradisiacal glory to become the first mortal flesh on earth.” (Ensign, April 2011.)

English Dictionary, Renewed:

Bruce R. McConkie: Described the stages of earth's existence:

Edenic earth. Following its physical creation, the earth was pronounced good. It was a terrestrial or paradisiacal state. There was no death either for man or for any form of life, and ‘all the vast creation of animated beings breathed naught but health, and peace, and joy.’

Telestial earth. When Adam fell, the earth fell also and became a mortal sphere, one upon which worldly and carnal people can live. This condition was destined to continue for a period of 6,000 years, and it was while in this state that the earth was baptized in water.

Terrestrial earth. ‘We believe ... that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory .’ Thus, the earth is to go back to the primeval, paradisiacal, or terrestrial state that prevailed in the days of the Garden of Eden. Accompanying this transition to its millennial status the earth is to be burned, that is, receive its baptism of fire. It will then be a new heaven and a new earth, and again health, peace, and joy will prevail upon its face.

Celestial earth. Following the millennium plus ‘a little season’, the earth will die, be resurrected, and becoming like a ‘sea of glass’, attain unto ‘its sanctified, immortal, and eternal state.’ Then the poor and the meek—that is, the godfearing and the righteous—shall inherit the earth; it will become an abiding place for the Father and the Son, and celestial beings will possess it forever and ever.” (Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual, 2001, 77.)

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."

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."

Bible Dictionary, Fall of Adam: "Before the fall, Adam and Eve had physical bodies but no blood. There was no sin, no death, and no children among any of the earthly creations. With the eating of the ' forbidden fruit,' Adam and Eve became mortal, sin entered, blood formed in their bodies, and death became a part of life. Adam became the ' first flesh ' upon the earth (Moses 3:7), meaning that he and Eve were the first to become mortal. After Adam fell, the whole creation fell and became mortal."

Bible Dictionary, Death: "Latter-day revelation teaches that there was no death on this earth for any forms of life before the fall of Adam. Indeed, death entered the world as a direct result of the fall (2 Ne. 2:22; Moses 6:48)."

Joseph Fielding Smith: "D&C 77:12: At the close of the sixth thousand years and at the opening of the seventh, since the fall, the earth and all that remain upon its face will be changed from the telestial condition of wickedness to the terrestrial condition of peace and order. This is the day when the earth "will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory," as declared in the tenth Article of Faith. We are now in the great day of restoration of all things, and the renewal of the earth is the bringing of it back to a comparable condition to that which existed before the fall." (Church History and Modern Revelation, 2:64.)

Bruce R. McConkie: "This earth was created in a new or paradisiacal state; then, incident to Adam's transgression, it fell to its present telestial state. At the Second Coming of our Lord, it will be renewed, regenerated, refreshed, transfigured, become again a new earth, a paradisiacal earth. Its millennial status will be a return to its pristine state of beauty and glory, the state that existed before the fall." (Seminary Student Study Guide, Doctrine and Covenants and Church History, 2001, 74.)

James E. Talmage: “It is decreed that this earth shall become a celestialized, glorified sphere; such is the revealed word. Science has nothing to say on the matter; it can neither refute nor prove. But the Lord, even God, hath spoken it—and so shall it be! Amen.” (“The Earth and Man,” 1931.)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of note, and not mentioned thta I could see is that the earth was "sanctified" before life was found. This happened on the morning of the seventh day. Of note to this is that when Christ comes at the beginning of the seventh thousand years (morning of the seventh day) He will again sanctify (set apart for holy use) the earth so that His work of things pertainig to "life" can unfold.

10/30/2011 01:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"There was no sin, no death, and no children among any of the earthly creations." But, what about Joseph F. Smith's teaching that Adam was born of a woman into this world?


10/31/2011 08:54:00 AM  
Blogger R. Gary said...



Joseph F. Smith taught in a formal First Presidency statement that Adam's physical body was created just as yours and mine were. His official statement about this was reemphasized by the Church less than ten years ago. It says Adam "took upon him an appropriate body, the body of a man, and so became a 'living soul' [and] all who have inhabited the earth since Adam have taken bodies and become souls in like manner." (First Presidency, "The Origin of Man," Ensign, Feb 2002.)

Revealed truth about Adam's creation does not negate other revealed truth. For example, the Bible Dictionary excerpt under discussion describes conditions after the Creation and before the Fall of Adam. During that time, all earthly life was barren, incapable of producing offspring. Specifically, Adam and Eve were incapable of producing offspring. "And Eve [said]:Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed." (Moses 5:11; see also 2 Nephi 2:23.)

10/31/2011 11:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, are you saying that after the creation there was no procreation but during the creation there was?

Also, concerning your statement, "Revealed truth about Adam's creation does not negate other revealed truth", what exactly do you mean by revealed truth? Do you mean that Joseph F. Smith's teaching on Adam's creation (being born of a woman) was received through relevation? Or, do you mean that he based his teaching on relevation contained in the scriptures? Same question for the revealed truth in the Bible Dictionary - was that received through relevation or was it based on relevation from the scriptures?

11/01/2011 06:23:00 AM  
Blogger R. Gary said...


The book Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith features excerpts from the 1909 First Presidency's doctrinal exposition on "The Origin of Man." After quoting the very passage mentioned above, the MP/RS manual asks this question:

-------------- quote --------------
"How does revealed truth about the origin of mankind differ from the theories of men on this subject?"
-------------- end quote --------------

Ten Church Presidents and 49 apostles have followed in succession since 1909 and not one of them is on record in official LDS media challenging Joseph F. Smith's official statement.

Of course there are many points of view, but to me it makes no difference how President Smith learned about the origin of man. As far as I'm concerned, a formal statement from the First Presidency is revealed truth. And when the apostles and prophets for another hundred years do nothing but sustain it, even reemphasizing it in 21st centiry Church publications, we might want to be careful about opposing it "lest haply [we] be found even to fight against God." That's how I feel.

Regarding the Fall of Adam, the Bible Dictionary accurately reflects the Church published teachings of all latter-day apostles and prophets for the past 50 years. In fact, for only a few of the Church's 181 year history did two of its 97 apostles openly question the long-standing LDS belief in a paradisiacal Creation with no death before Adam’s fall. I'm with the 95 apostles and with the Church Presidents on this one.


Rob Osborn,

I've appended your comment to the 2009 discussion mentioned by Anonymous earlier.

11/01/2011 05:52:00 PM  

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