Saturday, March 15, 2014

New manual affirms NDBF

The LDS Church has published a new manual, "Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Seminary Teacher Manual," which affirms that the Creation was deathless until after Adam's transgression:

"At the Creation, Adam, Eve, the earth, and all things on the earth were in a spiritual state. Even though Adam and Eve had physical bodies, they were not subject to death and could dwell in God’s presence forever. However, as part of Heavenly Father’s plan, all His creations would become temporal. In other words, they would become temporary and subject to death. Following the resurrection, they will return to a spiritual state—physical but also immortal." (p.123.)

"Temporal death [or] the death of the physical body ... is the separation of the spirit from the body [and] came because of Adam's transgression." (p.124.)

This new manual joins a growing list of official LDS publications that teach No Death Before the Fall.

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Saturday, March 01, 2014

No dispute between Smith and Roberts over evolution

Occasionally, someone will say there was a "dispute between LDS authorities Joseph Fielding Smith and Brigham H. Roberts over evolution." (Click here, for a current example.)

Did Smith and Roberts disagree over evolution? Let's look at what each said about evolution:

Joseph Fielding Smith

"Today the world ... has adopted and is promulgating in textbooks and schools the debasing doctrine that man is ... a natural development through countless ages from the lowest forms of physical life to his present form and intelligence. Such a doctrine is an insult to our Father in whose Image we were created. [It] is the doctrine of the devil." (Doctrines of Salvation, 1:143-149.)

Brigham H. Roberts

"The theory of evolution as advocated by many modern scientists lies stranded upon the shore of idle speculation.... If the hypothesis of evolution be true,... then it is evident that there has been no 'fall,'... and if there was no fall,... then the mission of Jesus Christ was a myth, the coinage of idle brains, and Jesus himself was either mistaken, or one of the many impostors that have arisen to mock mankind with the hope of eternal life. Such is the inevitable result of accepting the philosophy of evolution, after which all the world is now running—it is destructive of the grand, central truth of all revelation." (The Gospel and Man's Relationship to Deity, 7th edition, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1928, pp.265-267).


Joseph Fielding Smith did disagree with some things Roberts said in a 1928 manuscript, but not the part where Roberts said each "subdivision of life ... produces after its kind, whereas evolution in all its forms destroys that thought." (The Truth, The Way, The Life, 2nd edition, Provo: BYU Studies, 1996, p.239.)

There was no dispute between Smith and Roberts over evolution.

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