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Anti-Evolutionism in "The New Era"?


cinepro

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The March 2011 "New Era" magazine (published by the Church for teenage Church members) includes a condensed version of a talk given by President Joseph Fielding Smith in 1953. The talk was entitled "Entangled Yourselves not in Sin", and the article in the New Era is titled "Be Not Deceived".

Does anyone have access to the original version of this talk? I have seen the talk referenced as an instance of President Smith's anti-evolution teachings, and while the condensed version still carries undertones of anti-scientism, I'm wondering what the original talk said.

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The March 2011 "New Era" magazine (published by the Church for teenage Church members) includes a condensed version of a talk given by President Joseph Fielding Smith in 1953. The talk was entitled "Entangled Yourselves not in Sin", and the article in the New Era is titled "Be Not Deceived".

Does anyone have access to the original version of this talk? I have seen the talk referenced as an instance of President Smith's anti-evolution teachings, and while the condensed version still carries undertones of anti-scientism, I'm wondering what the original talk said.

Haven't found the original talk, but both Duane Jeffrey and Richard Sherlock reference it in their respective essays "Seers, Savants, and Evolution: The Uncomfortable Interface" and "A Turbulent Spectrum: Mormon Reactions to the Darwinist Legacy" (in The Search for Harmony: Essays on Science and Mormonism, eds Gene Sessions & Craig Oberg, 1993) as blatantly anti-evolution and antagonistic to scientific perspectives in general.

For [Joseph Fielding] Smith anyone who adopted evolutionary views would end up rejecting the "fundamental doctrines of Christianity." The two were irreconcilable: "What I believe to be the most pernicious doctrine ever entering the mind of man [is] the theory that man evolved from lower forms of life. For its source we must go beyond the activities of men to the author of evil." Within such a context the next step was obvious. He wrote, "I do not believe that the falsely so-called scientific theory of man's origin has any more right to a place in public schools than the principles of the gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ have

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The March 2011 "New Era" magazine (published by the Church for teenage Church members) includes a condensed version of a talk given by President Joseph Fielding Smith in 1953. The talk was entitled "Entangled Yourselves not in Sin", and the article in the New Era is titled "Be Not Deceived".

Does anyone have access to the original version of this talk? I have seen the talk referenced as an instance of President Smith's anti-evolution teachings, and while the condensed version still carries undertones of anti-scientism, I'm wondering what the original talk said.

An article entitled, "The Origin of Man" taken from an Improvement Era article in 1909, signed by the First Presidency, was published in the Ensign in 2002 and can be found here.

From the 2002 Ensign article:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, basing its belief on divine revelation, ancient and modern, proclaims man to be the direct and lineal offspring of Deity. God Himself is an exalted man, perfected, enthroned, and supreme. By His almighty power He organized the earth and all that it contains, from spirit and element, which exist coeternally with Himself. He formed every plant that grows and every animal that breathes, each after its own kind, spiritually and temporally
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May 14, 1961 - Apostle Joseph Fielding Smith announces to stake conference in Honolulu:

"We will never get a man into space. This earth is man's sphere and it was never intended that he should get away from it."

Smith, the Twelve's president and next in succession as LDS President, adds:

"The moon is a superior planet to the earth and it was never intended that man should go there. You can write it down in your books that this will never happen."

On 20 July 1969 U.S. Astronauts are first men to walk on moon.

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On 20 July 1969 U.S. Astronauts are first men to walk on moon.

Not according to these people:

http://www.apfn.org/apfn/moon.htm

I work with several people who whole heartedly believe man has never made it to the moon, they talk of Hollywood sets and how Google Earth has not images of the lunar landers or the flag planted by Armstrong.

Personally after working for the US Government for 8 years in the Army, I doubt that they have the common sense to fake something like this, it would require too many people to make the hoax beleiveable and the US Government can barely keep it's highest secret from being leaked, something of this scale would of leaked back in the 1960's IMO

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May 14, 1961 - Apostle Joseph Fielding Smith announces to stake conference in Honolulu:

"We will never get a man into space. This earth is man's sphere and it was never intended that he should get away from it."

Smith, the Twelve's president and next in succession as LDS President, adds:

"The moon is a superior planet to the earth and it was never intended that man should go there. You can write it down in your books that this will never happen."

On 20 July 1969 U.S. Astronauts are first men to walk on moon.

I'm interested in what it means to have President Smith's talk reprinted in "The New Era" in 2011. Since his talks in which he expressed anti-moon-landing sentiments haven't been so reprinted, I'm not sure what the relevance would be.

For example, what is a youth of today supposed to think when they read this statement:

We are living in a world where the Christian ministers of various denominations have been frightened by the philosophies of men and, therefore, because they lack the Spirit of the Lord, have tried to modify the scriptures, or the meaning of the scriptures, so that they can make them harmonize with the false theories so prevalent in the world today, theories which are in absolute conflict with divine revelation; and yet these people, afraid, dominated by the influence of false philosophy, are modifying the doctrines to make them conform to these theories and ideas which are godless in their foundation. We cannot afford to do that.
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May 14, 1961 - Apostle Joseph Fielding Smith announces to stake conference in Honolulu:

"We will never get a man into space. This earth is man's sphere and it was never intended that he should get away from it."

Smith, the Twelve's president and next in succession as LDS President, adds:

"The moon is a superior planet to the earth and it was never intended that man should go there. You can write it down in your books that this will never happen."

On 20 July 1969 U.S. Astronauts are first men to walk on moon.

To this point no one has ever lived in space for more than a year or so, and the astronauts didn't stay on the moon for more than two or three days. So President Smith is pretty much correct - aside from some momentary forays we haven't gotten away from the Earth.

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May 14, 1961 - Apostle Joseph Fielding Smith announces to stake conference in Honolulu:

"We will never get a man into space. This earth is man's sphere and it was never intended that he should get away from it."

Smith, the Twelve's president and next in succession as LDS President, adds:

"The moon is a superior planet to the earth and it was never intended that man should go there. You can write it down in your books that this will never happen."

On 20 July 1969 U.S. Astronauts are first men to walk on moon.

Elder Smith didn't read or watch the news much, then, because Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin had already orbited the earth nearly two months earlier, on April 12, 1961, and Alan Shepard had blasted into suborbital space flight on May 5, 1961.

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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, basing its belief on divine revelation, ancient and modern, proclaims man to be the direct and lineal offspring of Deity. God Himself is an exalted man, perfected, enthroned, and supreme. By His almighty power He organized the earth and all that it contains, from spirit and element, which exist coeternally with Himself. He formed every plant that grows and every animal that breathes, each after its own kind, spiritually and temporally
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To this point no one has ever lived in space for more than a year or so, and the astronauts didn't stay on the moon for more than two or three days. So President Smith is pretty much correct - aside from some momentary forays we haven't gotten away from the Earth.

Don't get me wrong: I'm not criticizing then-Elder Smith, but I don't think we need to define the term "get away" so broadly that his pronouncement falls within its ambit. The fact is, he was wrong about space flight, and other high-ranking Church leaders have been wrong about other things scientific. And? When they're wrong about saving principles and ordinances (e.g., read your scriptures, strap on a bomb; it's all the same to us!), I'll worry. Until then, I'll cast my lot with Brother Brigham, who said that if it's true, we believe it, period.

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cinepro:

I read the article. Though I'm hardly a young person now in 1961 I was 10 years old. I'm not sure as to what to make of it. Thank goodness my father was in the Space Program with NASA. A few years later we were living on an Army Post, in the Air Force, working with NASA.

I agree that certain philosophies of men are not consistent with the Gospel. But I don't believe space travel or evolution meets that definition.

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I'm interested in what it means to have President Smith's talk reprinted in "The New Era" in 2011. Since his talks in which he expressed anti-moon-landing sentiments haven't been so reprinted, I'm not sure what the relevance would be.

If he expressed antievolution statements in the original talk, it says something about the Church's neutrality on the subject by not being reprinted.

For example, what is a youth of today supposed to think when they read this statement:

But it is troubling to have such a general statement and not go into any specifics at all. Such lack of specificity could be the impetus for private interpretation.

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Not according to these people:

http://www.apfn.org/apfn/moon.htm

I work with several people who whole heartedly believe man has never made it to the moon, they talk of Hollywood sets and how Google Earth has not images of the lunar landers or the flag planted by Armstrong.

Personally after working for the US Government for 8 years in the Army, I doubt that they have the common sense to fake something like this, it would require too many people to make the hoax beleiveable and the US Government can barely keep it's highest secret from being leaked, something of this scale would of leaked back in the 1960's IMO

Believers in rampant conspiracies ignore basic human nature: even the smallest of conspiracies, those involving only two people, tend to collapse under their own weight. As a conspiracy grows, its weight grows not just linearly, but exponentially. A conspiracy the size of the alleged fake moon landing carries unfathomably massive weight, yet somehow, miraculously, it still stands, 41 1/2 years later.

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For example, what is a youth of today supposed to think when they read this statement:

Can you really not think of many other topics and philosophies that other Churches today are promoting and accepting today that are contrary to principles and doctrines of the Restored Gospel that don't have anything to do with the details of the formation of life on earth? Do you think that in context, with what was included in the reprinted article, Evolution would really be the first thing that comes to mind for the editors and modern readers as it is currently presented?

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Quote from 2002 Ensign Article:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, basing its belief on divine revelation, ancient and modern, proclaims man to be the direct and lineal offspring of Deity. God Himself is an exalted man, perfected, enthroned, and supreme. By His almighty power He organized the earth and all that it contains, from spirit and element, which exist coeternally with Himself. He formed every plant that grows and every animal that breathes, each after its own kind, spiritually and temporally
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Quote from 2002 Ensign Article:

44 Foxtrot said:

Please explain how the passage; "He {God} made the tadpole and the ape, the lion and the elephant --" is not anti-science and anti-evolution. If you really believe that this statement is not anti-science and anti-evolution, then you need to read more about science and evolution.

When I say someone made a computer game, that doesn't discount that the creator in the nitty gritty details actually had a hand in organizing the code and hit 'compile', and allowed the machine language to do the dirty work of actually rendering it out.

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Please explain how the passage; "He {God} made the tadpole and the ape, the lion and the elephant --" is not anti-science and anti-evolution. If you really believe that this statement is not anti-science and anti-evolution, then you need to read more about science and evolution.

It is against the flawed theory of organic evolution that states all live came from a single celled organism which somehow happened without any intelligent design (even though this is statistically impossible) and evolved over billions of years into many different creatures.

Mormons can accept (I for one do) that life form do evolve and adapt to environmental changes, the organisms that are the most fit to survive and reproduce are the ones that pass on there seed weeding bad genes out of the gene pool in nature (not in our society though because we stop "survival of the fittest" by moral design because we are moral creatures and do not rely on instinct to survive, we adapt nature to us not vice versa).

We know that bacteria can adapt to be resistant to soaps and other antibacterial cleaners, we know that viruses can mutate (or evolve) to infect new hosts and be more deadly, but they will not change into a new species of animal. You can make them adapt and grow but we deny that new species can be made through these changes.

Biology seems to support this, most if not all mutations or changes to DNA has negative effects on the survivability of the patient. Down syndrome, autism, hemophilia, ect these are all the changes to the DNA that evolution is suppose to work off of, these are not making the subject survive any better in fact in most cases they shorten the subjects live and reduce there ability to procreate.

Religion isn't Anti-Science it is Anti-Bad Science, we have the Eternal Truths of God revealed through his prophets and recorded in various books of the scriptures. This is the basis for fact, the educated guess of men does not truth the eternal truths of God.

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Nothing could be further from the truth. One, GBH, thinking out loud, did not end up saying we don't teach that God was once a man. Two, there is nothing in that article or the 1909 statement etc. that precludes or is even antiEvolution.
Please explain how the passage; "He {God} made the tadpole and the ape, the lion and the elephant --" is not anti-science and anti-evolution.

In what way does it attack science or evolution specifically? How does evolution preclude God from having created these creatures?

If you really believe that this statement is not anti-science and anti-evolution, then you need to read more about science and evolution.

Hmmmmm. I am somewhat of a scientist myself, at least in college training.....But it would be a logical fallacy to use my credentials to prove an argument true or false in debate.

The LDS Church itself is pro-science. Do not the scripture teach us to become educated in such things? D&C 88:78-79 for example. And what do you know about evolution? I have a link in my siggy that is a good primer in the subject. Did you know that evolution teaches that living things multiply after their own kind? There is an excellent example of this in that link.

And what do you know about what the Church has said? Did you know that the First Presidency of Heber J Grant brought an end (seemingly) to the debate between BH Roberts (with James E Talmadge) and the young Joseph Fielding Smith with a statement of neutrality on the evolutionary subject of preAdamite races? Are you familiar with David O McKay's defense of an acceptance of evolution?

For sure there have been individuals in the Church, even apostles, who have been strongly opposed to evolution and some of their remarks have made it into doctrinal works (often muted). But by and large when it comes down to it, the Church always falls short of actually criticizing or precluding evolution in part because it's not part of the doctrine to be able to do so and also because most criticisms of evolution come either from ignorance of the theory itself or it's against a possible antiGod conclusion some atheists get out of accepting evolution and not evolution theory itself.

It is against the flawed theory of organic evolution that states all live came from a single celled organism which somehow happened without any intelligent design (even though this is statistically impossible) and evolved over billions of years into many different creatures.

The theory of evolution makes no case for or against a creator either starting the process or having a hand in it. It doesn't even address the issue of God.

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To this point no one has ever lived in space for more than a year or so, and the astronauts didn't stay on the moon for more than two or three days. So President Smith is pretty much correct - aside from some momentary forays we haven't gotten away from the Earth.

but aren't just making up words for a Prophet, or teaching your own opinion in place of what the Prophet actually stated?

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Such as why 15 0f 19 were Saudi and not one of the hijackers was Iraqi or Afghan?

Cause Saudi is the only one that can easily get it's citizens into the US in most cases. Afghans and Iraqis are not able to get US visas nearly as easy as Saudis, that is why so many were Saudi, they can get the visas to get into the US in the first place.

The problem is people see Saudis as our friends, that isn't correct, Saudi wants to sell us oil, they are not our friends though. Many people in Saudi hate the US but trade with us because they want our money, because the US and Saudi Arabia are allies, Saudis can get into the US easily, making Saudis very valuable to Al'Queda, they can train a Saudi with a clean background and he can get into the US much easier than any other person from the Middle East. This is why they used Saudis, because getting Saudis in the US is much easier, Yemenis, Iraqis, Afghans, Egyptians, ect are scrutinized much more than Saudis are by US Immigrations, especially if they have ties to the Royal Family.

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LDS Guy 1986:

Before you make such broad generalization of the science behind evolution. I suggest that you learn what evolution actually is.

http://www.youtube.c...feature=channel

I know the science behind evolution, I have taken high school and college biology courses. The science behind it is the most unscientific and flawed of any theory to date, evolution is the result of anti-religion group think. They want to disprove the existence of an intelligent creator so bad that they only look for reason why he cannot exist.

Any evidence or data that supports Intelligent Design is tossed out and only the data that supports the academias views (academia is predominately very liberal and very hostile towards all faiths IMO) that there cannot be a God. If you have the answer you want and then form the data to fit you answer that is not science my friend.

Academia is known for removing pro Intelligent Design professors, they will remove tenure, they will censure findings, and they will chase them out of the scholarly world. If you refuse to have facts determine what theories you accept then you cannot call yourself a scientist. The modern academia is not scientific, if you disagree with there fundamental values they excommunicate you in a heartbeat.

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