Jump to content

Evolution


Recommended Posts

10 minutes ago, cinepro said:

So the question is "which things that were created 'fell' at the Fall of Adam?" 

You seem to be saying "the things which were in the Garden of Eden fell."  Lehi seems to disagree.  He says all things.  Not "all humans."  Not "all neanderthals."  It's everything; all plants and animals.  All of it. 

Why would they have remained forever?  Because they never would have (physically) died.

Lehi may have been wrong, but I'm not going to throw McConkie and other 20th century LDS under the bus for taking the scriptures at their word.

The only thing Lehi says fell though were Adam and Eve. I recognize McConkie reads it the way you outline. However that runs into the problem I mentioned that the Garden is still there and unfallen.

The obvious way to read verse 22 is that everything in the garden which was created were immortal. So the other things in the garden are still like that.  That is, that verse is describing the very nature of Eden but because Adam transgressed he fell. The other created things didn't transgress except Eve.

So I think on its own terms McConkie's reading fails. I'm not saying it's an unreasonable reading mind you. I think it's a completely understandable reading - especially when you're coming from a perspective that privileges a young earth. It's certainly not the only reading and, as I've argued, it has far less explanatory power even in terms of the texts themselves not to mention the science.

Link to comment
34 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

The only thing Lehi says fell though were Adam and Eve. I recognize McConkie reads it the way you outline. However that runs into the problem I mentioned that the Garden is still there and unfallen.

The obvious way to read verse 22 is that everything in the garden which was created were immortal. So the other things in the garden are still like that.  That is, that verse is describing the very nature of Eden but because Adam transgressed he fell. The other created things didn't transgress except Eve.

So I think on its own terms McConkie's reading fails. I'm not saying it's an unreasonable reading mind you. I think it's a completely understandable reading - especially when you're coming from a perspective that privileges a young earth. It's certainly not the only reading and, as I've argued, it has far less explanatory power even in terms of the texts themselves not to mention the science.

 

Like I said...the only defense is to say "The Church (or scriptures) say ABC, but if it instead said XYZ, then there wouldn't be a problem.  Therefore, I believe XYZ."

Link to comment
28 minutes ago, cinepro said:

Like I said...the only defense is to say "The Church (or scriptures) say ABC, but if it instead said XYZ, then there wouldn't be a problem.  Therefore, I believe XYZ."

Umm. That's completely not what I said. I said in terms of the scriptures McConkie's interpretation is deeply problematic.

1. only Adam and Eve are said to fall

2. the Garden is still there and still immortal and guarded by an angel to keep Adam and Even from getting back in and eating of the tree of life. (See Alma 42:2-5; Moses 4:31)

The clear indication is that the garden was immortal, still was immortal, and Adam and Eve were kept from it. That completely invalidates the whole no death before the fall since it implies there were two realms - an immortal realm and a mortal fallen realm. That this also corresponds to the ascent and descent in the temple strengthens this reading. The garden is the terrestrial world which is still there and the lone and dreary wilderness is the telestial world, which was there the whole time Adam and Eve were in the garden.

The typical criticism of this view end up being ascriptural and is because Brigham Young (1857) and Heber C. Kimball (1888) told them that the garden was in Missouri. However revelation only talks about Adam-ondi-Ahman, the place where Adam was driven out of the garden. Having only distant remembrances of the conversation it's hard to know what Joseph said. It's certainly plausible that he was talking about where Adam came from the garden and not the garden itself. Joseph Fielding Smith says it was revelation that the garden was there, but clearly he's reading the revelations on Adam-ondi-Ahman in terms of that memory  of Young's. There's no place Joseph actually says the garden was in Missouri. This is likely Brigham just misremembering what Joseph said about Adam-ondi-Ahman 25 years later IMO.

I'd add that Moses 5:4 can easily be read as implying that the Garden of Eden was elsewhere as God speaks to Adam and Eve "from the way toward the Garden of Eden" but they can't see anything because they're shut from his presence. The idea being that it's an other "level" you need spiritual eyes to discern. This is a common view of the spirit world which is beside us but which we can't see. The spirit world is divided between paradise and prison. Paradise literally is the garden of Eden in this view.

This was an old Jewish notion you can find in late antiquity where souls come to earth via the garden of Eden and return towards God by passing through paradise where the tree of life is still present. Elements of this are found in the Book of Mormon such as in Alma 40:12 or 2 Nephi 9:13. Rev 2:7 indicates that the tree of life is still in the midst of paradise. 2 Cor 12:4 suggests Paul ascended to paradise. Joseph said making ones election sure and of 2 Cor 12:4 "If Paul could say I Knew a man who ascended to the third heaven & saw things unlawful for man to utter, I more." I raise this as an important point, since the scriptures are pretty clear where Paradise is and what its status is.

Again not saying anyone has to follow this. But to say "there what the scriptures say and what you want them to say" is just to avoid the exegesical questions in preference to traditional readings regardless if they can be defended.

Edited by clarkgoble
Link to comment
6 hours ago, SouthernMo said:

Your claim that this revelation is just a ‘round number’ is quite a stretch.

Mate, it’s not my claim; it’s a feature of Hebrew numbers identified by scholars. Moreover, a round number has nothing to do with mathematical rounding, as you seem to think. Forty is many, not a number greater than 35 but less than 45. Hence all the periods of 40 days in the Bible. Thousand is a vast number, not a figure between 900 and 1,200. This is simply how Hebrew worked. You can certainly reject the academic consensus, though, if it helps you feel justified in your unbelief. :unknw:

Link to comment
16 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

Umm. That's completely not what I said. I said in terms of the scriptures McConkie's interpretation is deeply problematic.

1. only Adam and Eve are said to fall

I don't know why this is confusing, but 2 Nephi 2:22 says that "all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end."

All things fell.  Not just Adam and Eve.  Not just stuff in the Garden of Eden (or outside the Garden of Eden).

I agree that if Lehi had just said that "Adam and Eve fell", then it would be much easier to defend.  But he didn't say that.

Link to comment
1 hour ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

Mate, it’s not my claim; it’s a feature of Hebrew numbers identified by scholars. Moreover, a round number has nothing to do with mathematical rounding, as you seem to think. Forty is many, not a number greater than 35 but less than 45. Hence all the periods of 40 days in the Bible. Thousand is a vast number, not a figure between 900 and 1,200. This is simply how Hebrew worked. You can certainly reject the academic consensus, though, if it helps you feel justified in your unbelief. :unknw:

Justified in my unbelief?  You think I’m not struggling like mad to hold to a faith that challenges me right now?  I’m trying to find belief as you and so many have, not reinforce my unbelief.

It’s statements like this from members like you that reinforce my current belief that I don’t belong in this church.

Link to comment
1 hour ago, cinepro said:

I don't know why this is confusing, but 2 Nephi 2:22 says that "all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end."

All things fell.  Not just Adam and Eve.  Not just stuff in the Garden of Eden (or outside the Garden of Eden).

I agree that if Lehi had just said that "Adam and Eve fell", then it would be much easier to defend.  But he didn't say that.

Again it doesn't say that. I get you are drawing that as an inference. But you're drawing that inference independent of other scriptures. Now I'm not one who pushes the harmony of the scriptures. I think each author has their own understanding and can contradict others. But Lehi/Nephi/translator here simply doesn't say all things fall. They say all things must have remained. Adam was one of those things. The only reason Adam didn't stay in that state of unchanging is because he fell. But it simply doesn't say the other things weren't still so remaining. 

Now you could read it as "all things" not as "all things created in Eden" i.e. the second creation account but literally all things existing. That's fine if you're reading it that way. But at least be clear about how you're reading it and what assumptions you're making. The problem is that if "all things" means all existing/created things everywhere, then God and the angels have to fall too. Now the text clearly doesn't make that happen, therefore "all things" can't be that broad.

Once more to be explicit 2 Nephi never says all things fell. He says all things created must have remained in the same state. He doesn't say, for all things, that changed. The only entities he assigns a chance of state to are Adam and Eve. You're reading verse 22 as being an expansion on what fell. i.e. reading the "all things" as an expansion of the prior sentence talking about Adam falling. The better (IMO) way to read this is that "all things" is an expansion on Eden. That is giving the nature of Eden to explain why, if Adam stayed there, he'd not have been able to progress.

To turn your words around, I agree that if Lehi had just said that "all things fell" then it would be much easier to defend. But he didn't say that. You're taking "all things" to refer to all the things created fell. But it's not describing what fell but what the natural state of all things created was.

Edited by clarkgoble
Link to comment
12 minutes ago, SouthernMo said:

It’s statements like this from members like you that reinforce my current belief that I don’t belong in this church.

I hope you stay, and I wouldn't take too seriously anything said in a forum or social media. Not having non-verbal clues such medium always incentivize a bit more conflict than would exist in face to face meetings. By the same token this enables some topics to get discussed in a fashion far less likely in face to face meetings.

That said I do find it interesting that there clearly are ways to reconcile church and science as well as to explain many other conflicts. It's not clear to me why you reject these ways of harmonizing the data. 

Link to comment
1 minute ago, clarkgoble said:

That said I do find it interesting that there clearly are ways to reconcile church and science as well as to explain many other conflicts. It's not clear to me why you reject these ways of harmonizing the data. 

YES - I am looking to reconcile.  On the surface, this age-of-the-earth/evolution/fall issue is very confusing and contradictory. Reading you and others offer solutions and perspectives that might make sense is so helpful to me.

But, just because I don’t yet see the harmonization that others do and challenge them (because all ideas can be challenged if they have value) does not mean I’m standing my ground.  I’m looking for truth, not trying to be right.

:)

Link to comment
On 12/9/2018 at 6:42 PM, SouthernMo said:

In a few places, I’ve seen that the LDS church has no official views on evolution.

Joseph Smith is supposed to have received revelation in 1832 that the earth is 7,000 years old (D&C 77:6).

How are we to sustain the D&C as true revelation, yet officially reject that teaching?  Are there other scriptural teachings LDS officially reject?

If you are interested in such things I recommends three book that you can find on Amazon:

Why Evolution is True

Sapiens

Guns, Germs and Steel

These books are good info and ignore the claims of dogmatic religions in favor of evidence and science.

Good luck.

Edited by Teancum
Link to comment
21 hours ago, SouthernMo said:

Could be. But that is not stated in D&C 77.

Where is this doctrine of the earth’s spiritual transformation taught?

I’m sorry, but the easier, more simple answer is that this section is not revelation, and that Joseph Smith was incorrectly espousing common Judeo-Christian beliefs of the time.

I didn't suggest it were doctrine or I wouldn't have said "stretch". What do you think of ideas such as mine that speculate on possibilities although there may have been nothing authoritatively said about them yet? Because nothing has thus far been said does that in your mind preclude the possibility of it being true? Is your position that all must be revealed now? I do agree, however, that past pronouncements could have been much clearer in both detail and whether s/he were speaking of revealed doctrine. On this issue it doesn't bother me so much though. It's also true that Joseph could have "gotten ahead" of himself when he spoke of these things.  

Link to comment
3 hours ago, SouthernMo said:

You think I’m not struggling like mad to hold to a faith that challenges me right now

Mate, I honestly don't know what I'm supposed to think. I've told you what non-LDS (non-believing) scholars have said about the use of the number 1,000 in the Bible, and you dismissed it as some kind of word game on my part. What am I supposed to conclude from that? I'm happy for you to tell me.

Link to comment
1 hour ago, Vanguard said:

I didn't suggest it were doctrine or I wouldn't have said "stretch". What do you think of ideas such as mine that speculate on possibilities although there may have been nothing authoritatively said about them yet? Because nothing has thus far been said does that in your mind preclude the possibility of it being true? Is your position that all must be revealed now? I do agree, however, that past pronouncements could have been much clearer in both detail and whether s/he were speaking of revealed doctrine. On this issue it doesn't bother me so much though. It's also true that Joseph could have "gotten ahead" of himself when he spoke of these things.  

No - I don’t think all should have by now been revealed. I’m just confused by statements that seem to have been clear at one point are now seemingly unclear. I think that in some cases, we should have the courage to say “that’s wrong” about some past revelations. Rather, it seems some make stretching efforts to rationalize what was said.

Link to comment
33 minutes ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

Mate, I honestly don't know what I'm supposed to think. I've told you what non-LDS (non-believing) scholars have said about the use of the number 1,000 in the Bible, and you dismissed it as some kind of word game on my part. What am I supposed to conclude from that? I'm happy for you to tell me.

Regarding your instruction of Judaic numerology: I see what you’re saying now. It’s plausible in my mind, but I’m not sure yet.

I take issue with your characterization of my intent as to justify my disbelief. I am doing just the opposite. Searching and craving to believe as you do. But, just because I don’t see things your way and still have doubts does not mean I am anchored in my position. I want to break free from my disbelief.

Link to comment
33 minutes ago, SouthernMo said:

No - I don’t think all should have by now been revealed. I’m just confused by statements that seem to have been clear at one point are now seemingly unclear. I think that in some cases, we should have the courage to say “that’s wrong” about some past revelations. Rather, it seems some make stretching efforts to rationalize what was said.

Agreed for the most part though we should not conflate those things that are "seemingly unclear" as necessarily being "wrong".

Link to comment
15 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

Umm. That's completely not what I said. I said in terms of the scriptures McConkie's interpretation is deeply problematic.

1. only Adam and Eve are said to fall

2. the Garden is still there and still immortal and guarded by an angel to keep Adam and Even from getting back in and eating of the tree of life. (See Alma 42:2-5; Moses 4:31)

The clear indication is that the garden was immortal, still was immortal, and Adam and Eve were kept from it. That completely invalidates the whole no death before the fall since it implies there were two realms - an immortal realm and a mortal fallen realm. That this also corresponds to the ascent and descent in the temple strengthens this reading. The garden is the terrestrial world which is still there and the lone and dreary wilderness is the telestial world, which was there the whole time Adam and Eve were in the garden.

The typical criticism of this view end up being ascriptural and is because Brigham Young (1857) and Heber C. Kimball (1888) told them that the garden was in Missouri. However revelation only talks about Adam-ondi-Ahman, the place where Adam was driven out of the garden. Having only distant remembrances of the conversation it's hard to know what Joseph said. It's certainly plausible that he was talking about where Adam came from the garden and not the garden itself. Joseph Fielding Smith says it was revelation that the garden was there, but clearly he's reading the revelations on Adam-ondi-Ahman in terms of that memory  of Young's. There's no place Joseph actually says the garden was in Missouri. This is likely Brigham just misremembering what Joseph said about Adam-ondi-Ahman 25 years later IMO.

I'd add that Moses 5:4 can easily be read as implying that the Garden of Eden was elsewhere as God speaks to Adam and Eve "from the way toward the Garden of Eden" but they can't see anything because they're shut from his presence. The idea being that it's an other "level" you need spiritual eyes to discern. This is a common view of the spirit world which is beside us but which we can't see. The spirit world is divided between paradise and prison. Paradise literally is the garden of Eden in this view.

This was an old Jewish notion you can find in late antiquity where souls come to earth via the garden of Eden and return towards God by passing through paradise where the tree of life is still present. Elements of this are found in the Book of Mormon such as in Alma 40:12 or 2 Nephi 9:13. Rev 2:7 indicates that the tree of life is still in the midst of paradise. 2 Cor 12:4 suggests Paul ascended to paradise. Joseph said making ones election sure and of 2 Cor 12:4 "If Paul could say I Knew a man who ascended to the third heaven & saw things unlawful for man to utter, I more." I raise this as an important point, since the scriptures are pretty clear where Paradise is and what its status is.

Again not saying anyone has to follow this. But to say "there what the scriptures say and what you want them to say" is just to avoid the exegesical questions in preference to traditional readings regardless if they can be defended.

So for your version to work, you have to throw several prophets under the bus.  

Link to comment
On 12/11/2018 at 7:16 AM, sunstoned said:

So for your version to work, you have to throw several prophets under the bus.  

It's much simpler and better, I think, to remove the beam from our own eyes with respect to our conception of what a prophet actually is, that is, not sock puppets with only one input (the infallible and omniscient voice of God) and the same output.

Start with the D&C 1 qualifications for "mine authority and the authority of my servants", which I quote several times a year on this board because it spells out a set of realistic expectations, and also add this:

https://www.fairmormon.org/answers/Biblical_Keys_for_Discerning_True_and_False_Prophets

And for ourselves, we should also consider the implications of the Parable of the Sower, that the same words can have vastly different yields depending soil, time, and nurture.  Serious consideration of that should lead to examining the beams in our own eyes, and looking for ways to see more clearly and to increase the harvest.  And we should consider that one of the signs of a good seed is that it changes shape and sends out roots and leaves and branches and eventually fruit and the resulting trees do not look exactly like the seed that we originally planted.  We cannot experience the expanded minds that Alma 32 talks about if we refuse to allow for expansion and enlightenment.

FWIW

Kevin Christensen

Canonsburg, PA

Edited by Kevin Christensen
Link to comment
23 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

Hopefully people won't mind me being overly pedantic here, but I really hate the term literalism because it's never quite clear what people mean by that. Often it's used (as above) to be opposed to metaphor, but that usually doesn't work (and often so-called literalist texts have metaphors). What I think people typically mean is that the interpretation of scripture is simple and is to be taken at face value independent of the original context. That is we should read the text as if the English text was spoken by our neighbor to us and interpret it in that light. When explained like that it becomes clear the issue isn't metaphor but clarity and context.

Fair enough.  But would you say that original context is needed to understand scripture?  What comes to mind is the instruction to turn the cheek and going the second mile.  Or even the cruse of oil, which I would say that miracle happens in my life all the time even though it's nothing about oil.  Maybe that last falls under metaphor though.

I do maintain that a willingness to engage with symbolism is necessary for scripture understanding, and that this symbolism is not only metaphor, like parables, but the entire structure of the Bible at least is a template for progression.  That in Hebrew learning the stories are taught in a surface way to children, but that there is a lot under the surface, even things like numerology.  What's under the surface may bear little resemblance to the child's story version; perhaps similar to the slave spirituals singing about something completely different than what they were singing about.

Of course we are discussing D & C which may be a somewhat different bag as to how it's creators understood what was happening to them in the course of the revelations and recording them.

Edited by Maidservant
Link to comment
3 hours ago, sunstoned said:

So for your version to work, you have to throw several prophets under the bus.  

I have never once in my entire life considered until before now in reading your comment that I was to rely on prophets to interpret scripture for me. Now I'm surprised that was I supposed to? Because this whole time I was doing it for myself, and by personal revelation (or as I imagine), including learning historical bits and symbolic devices to help that along and insights from others and their study, and correlated heavily with temple and my personal lives experience, always oriented toward the future and what we could and will know, always with the bias that most of what comes from the past represents mostly the 'scales on our eyes'.

I will repeat that I have found and concluded for myself that written book scripture is not a complete set without adding in the temple and of lived individual experience and the observation of such I.e. the universe, the planet, world, and people (human nature) around us (this would include the science disciplines; all the way to our own trials and what we learn and how we are changed).  All three positions of inquiry, observation, and revelation operate to limit and expand the parameters of what can be understood; the keys for unlocking each are found in the other; one great whole. What is found from this manner of 'scripture study' is not 'an accurate concept' but the lived keys of our own transformation by our own authority and agency--transformation to (eventually) the highest form of love, union, freedom, independence, and integrity--life and liberty, as the Book of Mormon says.

The fuel for this transformation can be found in 'meals' of the slightest nutrition or the greatest feast; similar as Kevin has mention regarding the parable of the shower.  That is why I can harvest life and liberty from the Quran (as an example), because I know what it is when I encounter it and leave the rest inside (not to mention I already know who I am, on the life and liberty side).  When you eat chicken, you leave the bones (or make soup to get the last bit!), when you eat veggies, you trim the parts you don't need. That is why I say watch Groundhog Day and Kung Fu Panda, you can get what you need from there, and then reading the written scriptures is just more dessert.

Link to comment
1 hour ago, Maidservant said:

Fair enough.  But would you say that original context is needed to understand scripture?  What comes to mind is the instruction to turn the cheek and going the second mile.  Or even the cruse of oil, which I would say that miracle happens in my life all the time even though it's nothing about oil.  Maybe that last falls under metaphor though.

Depends upon the text. Often context does lead to very different readings for common proof-texts.

4 hours ago, sunstoned said:

So for your version to work, you have to throw several prophets under the bus.  

I don't think I'd agree with that. But certainly leaders can be wrong. This is such a common teaching in the Church though I'm surprised you see an issue with it. McConkie himself emphatically taught this and was critical of doctrines from past leaders (such as Brigham Young's Adam/God theory). Heck McConkie even applied it to himself when he famously said said, 

Quote

There are statements in our literature by the early Brethren which we have interpreted to mean that the Negroes would not receive the priesthood in mortality. I have said the same things, and people write me letters and say, “You said such and such, and how is it now that we do such and such?” And all I can say to that is that it is time disbelieving people repented and got in line and believed in a living, modern prophet. Forget everything that I have said, or what President Brigham Young or President George Q. Cannon or whomsoever has said in days past that is contrary to the present revelation. We spoke with a limited understanding and without the light and knowledge that now has come into the world.

We get our truth and our light line upon line and precept upon precept. We have now had added a new flood of intelligence and light on this particular subject, and it erases all the darkness and all the views and all the thoughts of the past. They don’t matter any more.

 

Link to comment
24 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

Depends upon the text. Often context does lead to very different readings for common proof-texts.

I don't think I'd agree with that. But certainly leaders can be wrong. This is such a common teaching in the Church though I'm surprised you see an issue with it. McConkie himself emphatically taught this and was critical of doctrines from past leaders (such as Brigham Young's Adam/God theory). Heck McConkie even applied it to himself when he famously said said, 

 

Given the way members and leaders generally react to anyone specifically pointing out where leaders are/were wrong, especially living leaders, maybe McConkie was just wrong when he said this.

Link to comment
15 hours ago, SouthernMo said:

Regarding your instruction of Judaic numerology: I see what you’re saying now. It’s plausible in my mind, but I’m not sure yet.

I take issue with your characterization of my intent as to justify my disbelief. I am doing just the opposite. Searching and craving to believe as you do. But, just because I don’t see things your way and still have doubts does not mean I am anchored in my position. I want to break free from my disbelief.

You seem to be convinced that evolution is a "scientific fact".....why?  I would start there.......I've come to the conclusion it is more of a religion that science. 

Link to comment
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...