Evolution Origin of Life

THEORY OF SPONTANEOUS GENERATION. The theory which prevails today regarding the origin of man is that all life has developed from some common origin, spontaneously; that man, fish, fowl, and beast and even the vegetation upon the earth, all have sprung from the same original germ, which formed itself out of the sea, millions of years ago, in the vague and distant past….

This theory assumes as a fact that life, millions of years ago, originated itself spontaneously. This is the foundation of the theory of evolution. The question naturally arises, if spontaneous generation could be possible then, is it possible now? If not, why not?

LIFE TRANSPLANTED FROM OTHER EARTHS. I tell you, life did not commence upon this earth spontaneously. Its origin was not here. Life existed long before our solar system was called into being. The fact is, there never was a time when man-made in the image of God, male and female-did not exist. The Lord revealed to Joseph Smith the truth that man was also in the beginning with God. . . .

The Lord has given us the information regarding his creations, and how he has made many earths, for there never was a beginning, never was a time when man did not exist somewhere in the universe, and when the time came for this earth to be peopled, the Lord, our God, transplanted upon it from some other earth, the life which is found here. Man he created in his own image. If it were our privilege to go out and visit some of the other creations, other worlds in space, we should discover that they are peopled with beings who look like us, for they, too, are the offspring of God, and of the same race from whence we came. Perhaps they would be more exalted, but, nevertheless, they would be in the image of God, and so are we. Adam was not a "cave man," but perhaps the most nearly perfect man in form and feature to our Father and Creator.

EVOLUTIONARY THEORY FALSE. This idea that everything commenced from a small beginning, from the scum upon the surface of the sea, and has gradually developed until all forms of life, the beasts of the field, the fowls of the air, the fishes of the sea, and the plants upon the face of the earth, have all sprung from that one source, is a falsehood absolutely. There is no truth in it, for God has given us his word by which we may know, and all who are led by the Spirit of God can understand through that Holy Spirit, the truth of these things, . . .

How foolish, how narrow, how contemptible it is for men professing to be men of intelligence and possessing scientific knowledge and wisdom, to declare that all life upon this earth is spontaneous, and to confess that they know nothing of any life upon any other world, and, moreover, to declare that the life here has all developed from the same single, simple source.

GOD SOLE SOURCE OF LIFE. It is true that all life does come from the same source, but that is not the scum of the sea, a jellyfish or a pollywog. God, our Father, is the creator of life, and he placed life on this earth in varied forms, and also on other worlds. He will continue his work on this earth and upon other planets, or worlds, which will take the place of this earth when it has been exalted and gone on to its celestial glory. He will continue to bring to pass his purposes by peopling worlds and bringing to pass the immortality and eternal life of his children.

Now I think this is a noble thought. I think it is something that will enlighten the minds of men and buoy them up. It will strengthen our faith and give us encouragement to continue on in well doing, because it gives us hope of better things, even immortality and eternal life as the sons and daughters of God. But this false theory, which prevails in the world so extensively, is one that is debasing and not ennobling nor uplifting.


ADAM DID NOT EVOLVE FROM LOWER FORM OF LIFE. Do you think that Adam, this great and important prince, the archangel before the presence of God, was a half-breed monkey? In other words, that he had just developed gradually from the animal kingdom, from some animal form, so that the Lord could put a spirit in him and call him a man? Do you think that? There are people who do believe that. That is why I ask you that question.

Of course, I think those people who hold to the view that man has come up through all these ages from the scum of the sea through billions of years do not believe in Adam. Honestly I do not know how they can, and I am going to show you that they do not. There are some who attempt to do it but they are inconsistent-absolutely inconsistent, because that doctrine is so incompatible, so utterly out of harmony, with the revelations of the Lord that a man just cannot believe in both.

CANNOT BELIEVE BOTH GOSPEL AND EVOLUTION. I say most emphatically, you cannot believe in this theory of the origin of man, and at the same time accept the plan of salvation as set forth by the Lord our God. You must choose the one and reject the other, for they are in direct conflict and there is a gulf separating them which is so great that it cannot be bridged, no matter how much one may try to do so.

If you believe in the doctrine of the evolutionist, then you must accept the view that man has evolved through countless ages from the very lowest forms of life up through various stages of animal life, finally into the human form. The first man, according to this hypothesis known as the "cave man," was a creature absolutely ignorant and devoid of any marked intelligence over the beasts of the field.

THEORY OF EVOLUTION DENIES CHRIST. Then Adam, and by that I mean the first man, was not capable of sin. He could not transgress, and by doing so bring death into the world; for, according to this theory, death had always been in the world. If, therefore, there was no fall, there was no need of an atonement, hence the coming into the world of the Son of God as the Savior of the world is a contradiction, a thing impossible. Are you prepared to believe such a thing as that? Do you believe that the first man was a savage? That he lacked in the power of intelligence? That he has been on the constant road of progression? These are the teachings of such theorists….

ALL MAY KNOW ORIGIN OF LIFE ON EARTH. From whence came man? What is his destiny? It is to me exceedingly strange that men will travel so far, following a will-o-the-wisp until they are overcome in the quagmire, and reject the truth at their door. For an answer to these questions, why not accept the statement of the One who knows? This knowledge is within the reach of all. The story is a simple one, but its grandeur is as far above the doctrine of the evolutionist as the heavens are above the depths of hell.

DILEMMA OF THE THEISTIC EVOLUTIONISTS. It is true that the school of evolutionists is divided into the two great classes, the Theistic and the Atheistic branches.

But the Theistic evolutionist is a weak-kneed and unbelieving religionist, who is constantly apologizing for the miracles of the scriptures, and who does not believe in the divine mission of Jesus Christ.

Again I repeat, no man can consistently accept the doctrine of the evolutionist and also believe in the divine mission of our Redeemer. The two thoughts are in absolute conflict. You cannot harmonize them and serve both masters.

IF EVOLUTION IS TRUE, THE CHURCH IS FALSE. If life began on the earth, as advocated by Darwin, Huxley, Haeckel (who has been caught openhanded perpetrating a fraud), and others of this school, whether by chance or by some designing hand, then the doctrines of the Church are false. Then there was no Garden of Eden, no Adam and Eve, and no fall. If there was no fall; if death did not come into the world as the scriptures declared that it did-and to be consistent, if you are an evolutionist, this view you must assume-then there was no need for a redemption, and Jesus Christ is not the Son of God, and he did not die for the transgression of Adam, nor for the sins of the world. Then there has been no resurrection from the dead! Consistently, logically, there is no other view, no alternative that can be taken. Now, my brethren and sisters, are you prepared to take this view?

EVOLUTIONISTS REJECT FATHERHOOD OF GOD. The modern world is fulfilling the scriptures which say that in the last days men would be "ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth." Today the world has discarded the great truth concerning the Fatherhood of God and has turned to fables. It has adopted and is promulgating in textbooks and schools the debasing doctrine that man is not the offspring of God, but 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, and yet in this teaching vast multitudes seem to glory. Paul saw our day and by prophetic vision declared that such conditions would prevail in this dispensation and the Lord should "send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believe not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness."

LIFE: ITS CREATION AND FALL. All life upon this earth has come from antecedent life. Man has never been able to create life, notwithstanding the many attempts so to do.

All life, having been created by our Eternal Father, must be eternal, as he is eternal.

If all life is eternal, then it must have been subject to a fall.

If all life fell because of Adam's fall, then all life is entitled to a resurrection, through the atonement of Jesus Christ.

If life was produced, or can be produced, spontaneously without the power of God, but in a natural state, then such life would not be entitled to a redemption, or restoration, since it never had anything to which it could be restored.


MEN IN FORMER AGES INTELLIGENT. It is quite generally believed that the people living now are more intelligent than were those who lived in former ages. I cannot accept this view because, with the understanding I have of the restoration of the gospel and of the dealings of our Eternal Father with his children from the very beginning, I know that he would not choose and send into this world in the beginning inferior intelligences to stand at the head of his work.

INTELLIGENCE DEVELOPED IN PRE-EXISTENCE. We are informed that in the councils that were held in the heavens, when tests were made, the spirits of the men, then living in the pre-mortal state in the presence of the Father and the Son, were chosen to stand upon the earth in the various ages of the world's history to hold particular positions of responsibility because of superior intelligence manifested in the spirit world. I am satisfied with the thought that among these spirits there was none greater, except the Savior of the world himself, than the one who was called to stand at the head of the human family.

CERTAIN KNOWLEDGE RESERVED FOR FINAL DISPENSATION. So it is not because of greater intelligence but because, no doubt, of the greater accumulation of knowledge, together with the inspiration that comes from the Lord as he grants it unto men, that we receive the benefit of these latter-day blessings. The time has come for the Father to gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth, that the fulness of his work may be consummated. For this reason we are seeing and enjoying the great advantages of our time. The prophets anciently, I am sure, spoke of these marvelous events that should come to pass in the dispensation of the fulness of times.

MODERN INVENTIONS RESERVED FOR LAST DAYS. Abraham, as he sat in his tent, could not receive the news of the world published in the daily press and have it delivered to him at his door; he could not push a button and turn on the electric light, but is that saying that Abraham was less intelligent than men are who dwell on the earth today?

The truth of the matter is that these things were not intended for Abraham's day, and they would not be known and utilized today if the Lord had not revealed them to men, and had not inspired men to make the discoveries which have been made, by which we are able to receive the news as it is gathered from the telegraph and from wireless telegraphy and have it printed by machinery which is run by electricity.

We can sit in our comfortable homes and turn on the light by pressing a button; we can read the public press, and we will know what is going on today in all the world; but does that prove that we today are more intelligent, or that we have greater understanding than Abraham, than Moses, than Elijah, or any of the prophets of those early times, pertaining to those things which are most essential to the salvation of mankind? Not by any means!

ANCIENT PROPHETS SAW OUR CIVILIZATION. I read in the scriptures, if I understand them correctly, that many of the prophets of old had opened to their vision scenes pertaining to the history of the children of men down to the end of time, and the Lord revealed unto them the conditions that would prevail in the earth in this generation.

They saw, if I understand the matter correctly, our automobiles, our railroad trains; they saw, very probably, the communication that was taking place upon the face of the earth so wonderfully by wireless communication, or by means of wires by which news is conveyed. They saw, I believe, the airplanes flying in the midst of the heavens, because we can read in the prophecies of these ancient scriptures many things that indicate that these things were revealed unto those ancient prophets.

INVENTIONS WITHHELD FROM MEN ANCIENTLY. But these wonderful discoveries and conveniences were not intended for their day. They could not sit in an automobile and travel from city to city, or in a railroad train, and ride comfortably, nor could they ride in a modern carriage drawn by horses, but upon the back of an ass would they journey from place to place, or walking by the side of their beast of burden they would travel a few miles each day and call it a day's journey.

And yet the prophets saw the time in the latter days when an ensign should be lifted up that those gathering to Zion should come with speed swiftly; they should not be weary, neither should they be under the necessity of slumber, nor the loosing of their girdle or the shoes from off their feet.

INVENTORS INSPIRED OF GOD. But these advantages were not for their times, and the customs and conditions which prevail now, were held in reserve, not because we are any better or more worthy than the saints of former time, nor because we have greater intelligence, but because we are living in the dispensation of the fulness of times, when the Lord is gathering all things in one and preparing the earth for the great millennial reign; and, it is necessary now that all these discoveries, these wonderful inventions and conveniences should be made known to the children of men.

Those who make these discoveries are inspired of God or they would never make them. The Lord gave inspiration to Edison, to Franklin, to Morse, to Whitney and to all of the inventors and discoverers, and through their inspiration they obtained the necessary knowledge and were able to manufacture and invent as they have done for the benefit of the world. Without the help of the Lord they would have been just as helpless as the people were in other ages.

ABRAHAM: GREATEST ASTRONOMER OF ALL AGES. Abraham knew far more in his day regarding the planets and the great fixed stars out in space than the greatest astronomer knows today. How did he get his knowledge? Not through the telescope; not through the spectroscope; but through the opening of his vision by the Spirit of God. He was taught by the Lord himself who revealed unto him all these things and explained the great heavenly bodies and their workings, also the earth, in a manner that never has been approached and cannot be approached by the scientific man with all his instruments to aid him and inspired by worldly learning, and don't you forget it!

These ancient seers and saints were just as intelligent as we are. They were just as full of inspiration. They had the Spirit of the Lord to guide them and were directed by it. They hearkened unto those things which God taught and they understood the truth and knew far more of that which is essential, in a minute, than some of these so-called scientists, who declare that life is spontaneous and commenced upon this earth, know in a year.


TRUE DOCTRINE OF EVOLUTION. It was not until man forsook the divine guidance which the Lord was always willing to extend to him, that retrogression set in. The "cave-man" and the savage are products of transgression and sin; for, in the beginning man was intelligent, and directed by light and truth, even by the Savior, Jesus Christ, who is the Mediator between man and God. The destiny of man is to become, through stages of progression, like unto his Father; and after the resurrection from the dead, he shall be added upon, as the scriptures say, until he shall receive all things "which the father hath," and shall be counted as a son and joint-heir with Jesus Christ, the first-fruits of the resurrection and the Savior of the world.

EVOLUTION A DOCTRINE OF THE EVIL. This, then, is true evolution, which all Latter-day Saints believe. There is something inspiring, ennobling and grand in this view of things, but the other view-which is the doctrine of the devil, who desires all men to be miserable like unto himself, for he was denied a body and the privilege of progression upon this earth-is debasing, and contains not one uplifting or ennobling thought.

MEN BECAME SAVAGES THROUGH RETROGRESSION. It was not until after man rebelled and rejected the word of God that he fell into mental degeneracy, and lost the power to converse in written language. Man was intelligent in the beginning, and understood many fundamental truths, but when he refused to receive divine guidance, the Spirit of the Lord withdrew, and then he was left alone and became a savage, for the light in him was turned to darkness.

Tubal-Cain was "an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron," long before the flood. Yet, as late as the middle of the 19th century, when Speke, Grant, Livingstone, and others explored the wilds of Africa they found the descendants of Cain living in savagery in the depths of the "stone age." Columbus, in 1492, found the "stone age" flourishing in all its glory here in America. Likewise our Utah pioneers, in 1847, discovered similar conditions in the valleys of these mountains.

STONE AGE MAY FOLLOW HIGH CIVILIZATION. Shall we argue from this that the poor, benighted savage of Africa, and the equally uncultured Indian of America, were slower in their development than the people in Europe and Asia? If we do, our conclusion will be hastily reached, without an investigation of all the facts to be considered. The "stone age," the "copper age," the "age of iron," and the age of culture and refinement, run in parallel directions at one and the same time, but the age of knowledge and inspiration preceded all….

The fact that there has been a "stone age," a "copper age," or any other age or degree of development in the civilization of the world, does not prove that there has been a constant and steady advancement in knowledge and skill from the beginning, whenever that may have been. The evidence in history is abundant to show sufficient proof that even where enlightenment has prevailed and men have refused to continue in the light, degenerating influences have set in, and the ages of brass, copper, or stone, are just as likely to follow the age of progress and development as to precede it.

RISE AND FALL OF CIVILIZATIONS. Nations have risen to great power and dominion, only to fall into decay and be superseded by other nations. So it has been from the beginning. Egypt, Assyria, Babylonia, Persia, Greece and Rome, all had their day of greatness, culture and might, but their glory has departed forever. In some respects, also, much of their culture and knowledge of the arts and sciences perished with them, and cannot be duplicated in this great age of wonderful advancement. All this reminds us of the words of Byron, so aptly expressed:

There is the Moral of all human tales; 'Tis but the same rehearsal of the past. First Freedom, and then Glory-when that fails. Wealth, vice, corruption-barbarism at last. And History, with all her volumes vast, Hath but one page.

DECAY OF JAREDITE CIVILIZATION. Here in America, thousands of years ago, there flourished a civilization equal, if not superior, to that which could be found in Egypt or Asia at that time. These ancient people developed the arts and were especially skilled in agriculture to a marked degree….

Nevertheless this people forsook the Lord. They turned from the covenants they had made with him. Contentions arose, bloody conflicts followed, until they were entirely destroyed. There are in parts of the United States and in other places on this continent some mute evidences of their former glory. In Michigan the ruins of ancient copper mines have been found.

Likewise in other localities there are indications that ore has been extracted from the earth, great heaps have been thrown up that still remain. Was it not done by these ancient people?

DECAY OF NEPHITE CIVILIZATION. Six hundred years before the birth of Christ another civilization supplanted that previously mentioned which was destroyed about that time. This second civilization flourished about 1,000 years. The people multiplied and spread over the face of the entire continent. They were highly cultured, and when they hearkened to the voice of their prophets and kept the commandments of the Lord, they prospered, and, like the nation which preceded them, they became skilled in the weaving of all manner of fine linen and other cloth. They tilled the soil and delved into the earth, having also among them many "curious workmen, who did work all kinds of ore and did refine it; and thus they did become rich."

But, like their predecessors, they forgot the Lord; his Spirit was withdrawn, and the greater part of the people was destroyed. Their civilization perished. Those who remained became ferocious and bloodthirsty. In their decadence they lost their knowledge of agriculture, and the working of the metals, and became more or less nomadic tribes. Their descendants, the American Indians, were wandering in all their wild savagery when the Pilgrim Fathers made permanent settlement in this land.

(Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 3 vols., edited by Bruce R. McConkie [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1954-1956], 1: 139-151.)



EVOLUTION, HIGHER CRITICISM PART OF APOSTASY. These modernists, who are instructing and leading astray the people of this and other lands, reject the doctrine of the atonement of Christ; they reject the resurrection of the Son of God and consequently the resurrection of all mankind. They have discarded entirely the miracles of the scriptures and make light of the saving ordinances of the gospel which the Lord declared to be so essential to our salvation; and in the stead thereof they have accepted the theories and notions advanced by modern scientists which are evidently false, and have taken to their hearts and hugged to their bosoms the falsehoods set forth in the theories of evolution and of higher criticism of the scriptures. And why have they done this thing? Because the simple truth, which is understood by the Spirit of God and not understood and comprehended by the spirit of man, does not appeal to their reason….

(Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 3 vols., edited by Bruce R. McConkie [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1954-1956], 3: 289.)



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