Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Look up, not down, to find the origin of man

A few years ago, BYU Zoology Professor Duane Jeffery (now retired) announced that, "Amongst vertebrates, there is a sequence (in the fossil record) all the way from fish to humans." (BYU Daily Universe, June 5, 1996; see also Salt Lake Tribune, Feb. 11, 2006.) Some Church members have suggested that this explains the origin of man.

Boyd K. Packer didn't agree. He said, "When confronted by evidence in the rocks below, rely on the witness of the heavens above." ("The Law and the Light," BYU, 1990.)

Currently, the Church's web site (JesusChrist.LDS.org) features Boyd K. Packer discussing "Who is Jesus Christ" and, in the process, explaining why we must look up, not down, to find the origin of man.

"Created in His Image

"We are taught in Genesis, in Moses, in Abraham, in the Book of Mormon, and in the endowment that man's mortal body was made in the image of God in a separate creation. Had the Creation come in a different way, there could have been no Fall.

"If men were merely animals, then logic favors freedom without accountability.

"How well I know that among learned men are those who look down at animals and stones to find the origin of man. They do not look inside themselves to find the spirit there. They train themselves to measure things by time, by thousands and by millions, and say these animals called men all came by chance. And this they are free to do, for agency is theirs.

"But agency is ours as well. We look up, and in the universe we see the handiwork of God and measure things by epochs, by aeons, by dispensations, by eternities. The many things we do not know, we take on faith.

"But this we know! It was all planned 'before the world was' (D&C 38:1; see also D&C 49:17, 76:13, 39, 93:7, Abraham 3:22—25). Events from the Creation to the final, winding-up scene are not based on chance; they are based on choice! It was planned that way.

"This we know! This simple truth! Had there been no Creation and no Fall, there should have been no need for any Atonement, neither a Redeemer to mediate for us. Then Christ need not have been."

(JesusChrist.LDS.org, click the image below.)

The above passage affirms and amplifies what he once said in general conference:

"Surely no one with reverence for God could believe that His children evolved from slime or from reptiles." (Ensign, Nov. 1984.)

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