Criticism of Mormonism/Websites/MormonThink/Conflicts with Science/Source quotes without commentary

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Resources.png    MormonThink web page "Conflicts with Science" content without commentary

This page simply displays all of the source quotes and citations used on the critical web page in the order that they appear. There are no "Critic's comment," "Apologetic response," or "Our Thoughts" sections. We make no attempt to explain, summarize or draw conclusions from these quotes. We will provide additional context by including additional text from these quotes when necessary. We also attempt to add sources and links to the full original text, rather than links to other websites which simply quote the text.

Source quotes

Critical website's source quote
Still other people accept parts of the Flood story, acknowledging that there may have been a local, charismatic preacher, such as Noah, and a localized flood that covered only a specific area of the world, such as the region of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers or perhaps even the whole of Mesopotamia. Yet these people do not believe in a worldwide or global flood. Both of these groups—those who totally deny the historicity of Noah and the Flood and those who accept parts of the story—are persuaded in their disbelief by the way they interpret modern science. They rely upon geological considerations and theories that postulate it would be impossible for a flood to cover earth’s highest mountains, that the geologic evidence (primarily in the fields of stratigraphy and sedimentation) does not indicate a worldwide flood occurred any time during the earth’s existence.



There is a third group of people—those who accept the literal message of the Bible regarding Noah, the ark, and the Deluge. Latter-day Saints belong to this group. In spite of the world’s arguments against the historicity of the Flood, and despite the supposed lack of geologic evidence, we Latter-day Saints believe that Noah was an actual man, a prophet of God, who preached repentance and raised a voice of warning, built an ark, gathered his family and a host of animals onto the ark, and floated safely away as waters covered the entire earth. We are assured that these events actually occurred by the multiple testimonies of God’s prophets.

Critical website's source(s)

January 1998 Ensign, The Flood and the Tower of Babel, Donald W. Parry

Critical website's source quote
There was the great Flood, when waters covered the earth and when, as Peter says, only 'eight souls were saved'

Critical website's source(s)

Gordon B. Hinckley, If We Are Prepared Ye Shall Not Fear, 175th Semi-Annual General Priesthood Meeting

Critical website's source quote
During Noah's time the earth was completely covered with water. This was the baptism of the earth and symbolized a cleansing (1 Pet. 3: 20-21).

Critical website's source(s)

LDS website http://scriptures.lds.org/gs/f/21

  • 1 Peter 3:20-21:

Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

  • Source text: "Flood at Noah’s Time," The Guide to the Scriptures. off-site

Critical website's source quote
Thus, modern revelation teaches that God indeed suffered great sorrow over the Flood, which served as the baptism of the earth.

Critical website's source(s)

Joseph B. Romney, “Noah, The Great Preacher of Righteousness,” Ensign, Feb 1998

  • Context:

Thus, modern revelation teaches that God indeed suffered great sorrow over the Flood, which served as the baptism of the earth, and that he did all he could to prevent the destruction of his children—including giving the people one of his greatest preachers of righteousness to try to get them to change—and then, when the people failed to respond, he mercifully provided an opportunity for their redemption after their deaths.

  • Source text: Joseph B. Romney, "Noah, The Great Preacher of Righteousness," Ensign (February 1998). off-site

Critical website's source quote
In the days of Noah the Lord sent a universal flood which completely immersed the whole earth and destroyed all flesh except that preserved on the ark. (Gen. 6; 7; 8; 9; Moses 7:38-45; 8; Ether 13.2.) "Noah was born to save seed of everything, when the earth was washed of its wickedness by the flood." (Teachings, p. 12) This flood was the baptism of the earth; before it occurred the land was all in one place, a condition that will again prevail during the millennial era. (D&C 133:23-24)

Critical website's source(s)

Mormon Doctrine, Bruce R. McConkie, p. 289

Critical website's source quote
The Garden of Eden was in Missouri. Noah was taken to the Old World by the Flood. This teaching was given by Joseph Smith and is still accepted as true doctrine. Given this teaching, Mormons have to accept the flood as a global phenomenon.

Critical website's source(s)

Mormon Doctrine, Bruce McConkie, "Adam-Ondi-Ahman" p. 19-20

Critical website's source quote
FLOOD WAS BAPTISM OF EARTH. Now a word as to the reason for the flood. It was the baptism of the earth, and that had to be by immersion. If the water did not cover the entire earth, then it was not baptized, for the baptism of the Lord is not pouring or sprinkling.

Critical website's source(s)

Smith, Joseph Fielding, Jr., Doctrines of Salvation (Salt Lake City: BookCraft, 1955), Vol.2, p.320

  • Context:

FLOOD WAS BAPTISM OF EARTH. Now a word as to the reason for the flood. It was the baptism of the earth, and that had to be by immersion. If the water did not cover the entire earth, then it was not baptized, for the baptism of the Lord is not pouring or sprinkling. These forms are strictly man made and not part of the gospel ordinances.

  • Source text: Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1955) 2:320.

Critical website's source quote
THE GREAT FLOOD. The Old Testament records a flood that was just over fifteen cubits (sometimes assumed to be about twenty-six feet) deep and covered the entire landscape: "And all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered" (Gen. 7:19). Scientifically this account leaves many questions unanswered, especially how a measurable depth could cover mountains. Elder John A. Widtsoe, writing in 1943, offered this perspective: The fact remains that the exact nature of the flood is not known. We set up assumptions, based upon our best knowledge, but can go no further. We should remember that when inspired writers deal with historical incidents they relate that which they have seen or that which may have been told them, unless indeed the past is opened to them by revelation. The details in the story of the flood are undoubtedly drawn from the experiences of the writer. Under a downpour of rain, likened to the opening of the heavens, a destructive torrent twenty-six feet deep or deeper would easily be formed. The writer of Genesis made a faithful report of the facts known to him concerning the flood. In other localities the depth of the water might have been more or less. In fact, the details of the flood are not known to us [Widtsoe, p. 127].

Critical website's source(s)

Encyclopedia of Mormonism, "Earth"

Critical website's source quote
These people were so wicked that they were no longer allowed to pollute the earth by their presence on it or to bring innocent spirits into its decadent environment. The Lord decreed that all living things would be destroyed by flood, with the exception of a faithful few who would be spared so that God could begin anew his creative work and reestablish his covenant among men.

Critical website's source(s)

Kent P. Jackson, “An Age of Contrasts: From Adam to Abraham,” Ensign, Feb 1986, 28

  • Source text: Kent P. Jackson, "An Age of Contrasts: From Adam to Abraham," Ensign (February 1986). off-site

Critical website's source quote
The worldwide flood of Noah’s time has been accepted as a benchmark historical event by Jews and Christians for thousands of years...the worldwide flood of Noah’s time, so upsetting to a restricted secular view, fits easily into place. It is the earth’s baptism.

Critical website's source(s)

F. Kent Nielsen, “The Gospel and the Scientific View: How Earth Came to Be,” Ensign, Sep 1980, 67

  • Context:

The worldwide flood of Noah’s time has been accepted as a benchmark historical event by Jews and Christians for thousands of years—and similar traditions appear among the Greeks, Mesopotamians, and some American Indian tribes. Yet the story is regarded skeptically today in our secular world. Most current geology texts ignore the Flood, ridicule it, or use it as an example of prescientific superstition.

Consequently, Latter-day Saints and other Christians sometimes find the apparent conflict between their faith in the scriptures and their education puzzling. The account of Noah’s flood is a typical illustration of the differences which occur between scriptural information and modern secular teachings about the history of the world.

....

It is therefore helpful to remember, when pondering the millions of years secularists postulate to explain the formation of the earth, that all current geological dating processes are based on the assumption that the present order of nature preceded us and will continue uniformly hereafter. This secularist view also holds that God, if he exists, never has and never will interfere. However, the revelations Latter-day Saints have about the earth and God’s dealings with it simply do not permit us to make those assumptions. As Latter-day Saints we do not throw out the Genesis story—as so many secularists have done—nor do we regard scientists’ honest efforts to learn the truth as the work of the Adversary (though the Adversary does, of course, use those views to fulfill his ends). Instead, we would do better to wait patiently with faith in the scriptures until the Lord fulfills his promise to reveal at the beginning of the Millennium, “things which have passed, … things of the earth, by which it was made,” which, we are assured, will still be part of the “hidden things which no man knew” (D&C 101:32–33). Once the truth is known, all conflicts arising from part truths will vanish. In the meantime, scientists (including many Latter-day Saints) can continue to supply us with helpful knowledge about our present, mortal sphere, or even with ideas about how things might have occurred in the past if the processes under consideration really were uniform over the necessary length of time.

....

Thus, it may be that the problem with uniformity as scientists know it is simply one of generalizing too soon, upon too small a sample. If, instead of a period of a few hundred years, the sample period were taken over enough thousands of years to include the whole life cycle of a world like ours, from creation to glorification, allowing for the operations of the power of God to bring about the desired changes throughout that whole period, then the principle of uniformity might seem to be perfectly sound, at least so far as it appears to us from modern revelation.

Within this enlarged view of a celestial uniformity, the worldwide flood of Noah’s time, so upsetting to a restricted secular view, fits easily into place. It is the earth’s baptism. Brigham Young pointed out that the earth “abides the law of its creation, has been baptized with water, will be baptized by fire and the Holy Ghost, and by-and-by will be prepared for the faithful to dwell upon” (in Journal of Discourses, 8:83).

  • Source text: F. Kent Nielsen, "The Gospel and the Scientific View: How Earth Came to Be," Ensign, (September 1980). off-site

Critical website's source quote
Is not today much like Noah’s day when the population of the earth was wiped out in the flood and but eight righteous souls were spared? Some doubt that there was a flood, but by modern revelation we know that it did take place. By modern revelation we know that for more than a century, Noah pleaded with the people to repent, but in their willful stubbornness they would not listen.

Critical website's source(s)

Mark E. Petersen, “Follow the Prophets,” Ensign, Nov 1981, 64

  • Context:

Where is safety, brothers and sisters? Where but in the Church and under the protective canopy of the gospel of Jesus Christ? Is not today much like Noah’s day when the population of the earth was wiped out in the flood and but eight righteous souls were spared?

Some doubt that there was a flood, but by modern revelation we know that it did take place. By modern revelation we know that for more than a century, Noah pleaded with the people to repent, but in their willful stubbornness they would not listen.


Don’t we need the warning voices of the prophets now as much as they did in the days of Noah? Will we respond to our own seers and revelators any more than did the people of his day? Are we so foolish that we will not learn a lesson from their mistakes?

  • Source text: Mark E. Petersen, "Follow the Prophets," Ensign, (November 1981). off-site

Critical website's source quote
The Lord further indicated that all flesh was corrupt in those days, and so he brought forth the flood and destroyed all flesh except Noah and his family. Therefore, we are all descendants of righteous Noah. But the family concept is under very serious attack today all over the world.

Critical website's source(s)

Hartman Rector Jr., “Turning the Hearts,” Ensign, May 1981, 73

Critical website's source quote
Two generations later the Lord was so pained by that generation “without affection” (Moses 7:33) that he opened the windows of heaven and cleansed the entire earth with water. Thus, the “everlasting decree” (Ether 2:10) was first taught that he who will not obey the Lord in righteousness will be swept from his sacred land. The lesson would be tragically retaught in dispensations yet to come.

Critical website's source(s)

Jeffrey R. Holland, “A Promised Land,” Ensign, Jun 1976, 23

  • Context:

Two generations later the Lord was so pained by that generation “without affection” (Moses 7:33) that he opened the windows of heaven and cleansed the entire earth with water. Thus, the “everlasting decree” (Ether 2:10) was first taught that he who will not obey the Lord in righteousness will be swept from his sacred land. The lesson would be tragically retaught in dispensations yet to come.

Holy scripture records that “after the waters had receded from off the face of this land it became a choice land above all other lands, a chosen land of the Lord; wherefore the Lord would have that all men should serve him who dwell upon the face thereof.” (Ether 13:2.) Such a special place needed now to be kept apart from other regions, free from the indiscriminate traveler as well as the soldier of fortune. To guarantee such sanctity the very surface of the earth was rent. In response to God’s decree, the great continents separated and the ocean rushed in to surround them. The promised place was set apart. Without habitation it waited for the fulfillment of God’s special purposes.

  • Source text: Jeffrey R. Holland, “A Promised Land,” Ensign, (June 1976) off-site

Critical website's source quote
From the scriptures we can identify some of these chosen individuals, starting with Michael who was referred to as the Archangel, one of high rank in the spirit world. He was chosen to be Adam, the first man, to stand forever under the Father and the Son at the head of the human family. Others of the chosen were Seth, the most faithful of Adam’s sons after the death of the righteous Abel, and Enoch, through whose lineage the Lord promised would come Noah and the Messiah, and that his posterity should remain while the earth should stand. Another one was Noah, who was chosen to be the second father of the human race here on earth, after the flood. Another was Shem, the chosen son of Noah; and also Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Critical website's source(s)

William H. Bennett, “Covenants and Blessings,” Ensign, Nov 1975, 45

  • Context:

From the scriptures we learn that all of us existed as spirits, literally spirit children of our Father in heaven, before we were born in the flesh. All were not of equal intelligence; some were more obedient and faithful than others, and as a result they merited special blessings and were chosen for very special missions here on earth. (See Abr. 3:11–12, 14, 16–19, 22–23.)

From the scriptures we can identify some of these chosen individuals, starting with Michael who was referred to as the Archangel, one of high rank in the spirit world. He was chosen to be Adam, the first man, to stand forever under the Father and the Son at the head of the human family. Others of the chosen were Seth, the most faithful of Adam’s sons after the death of the righteous Abel, and Enoch, through whose lineage the Lord promised would come Noah and the Messiah, and that his posterity should remain while the earth should stand. Another one was Noah, who was chosen to be the second father of the human race here on earth, after the flood. Another was Shem, the chosen son of Noah; and also Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. (See Abr. 1:3; Moses 1:34; Moses 6:8, 22, 45–46; Luke 3:8; D&C 29:26; D&C 88:112–115; D&C 78:16; D&C 107:53–56; D&C 116; Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 157.)

  • Source text: William H. Bennett, "Covenants and Blessings," Ensign (November 1975) off-site

Critical website's source quote
The history of the peopling of the earth is really a history of the scattering of the descendants of Noah, who is sometimes referred to as the “second father of mankind.” This general scattering began soon after the Flood when the sons of Noah and their children began to spread forth “in their lands, … after their nations” (see Gen. 10:5, 20, 31)

Critical website's source(s)

Lane Johnson, “Who and Where Are the Lamanites?,” Ensign, Dec 1975, 15

  • Context:

The history of the peopling of the earth is really a history of the scattering of the descendants of Noah, who is sometimes referred to as the “second father of mankind.” This general scattering began soon after the Flood when the sons of Noah and their children began to spread forth “in their lands, … after their nations” (see Gen. 10:5, 20, 31) and was greatly accelerated at the time of the Tower of Babel, when the Lord confounded the people’s language and did “scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.” (Gen. 11:9.)

Immediately after the description of Babel in Genesis 11, the Old Testament record moves quickly to Abraham, a descendant of Shem, and ceases thereafter to be a record of all the descendants of Noah; instead, it focuses almost entirely on the Lord’s covenant people, presumably a relatively small part of the earth’s total population at that time. We know very little about the remainder of Noah’s seed, except that in time they wandered throughout the extent of the land to become the heathen nations of the earth.

The nations of the earth had been dispersing from the Tower of Babel for 1,500 years when the Ten Tribes of Israel were carried captive into Assyria. Shortly thereafter, Judah was taken into exile by Nebuchadnezzar, and although one group was permitted to return to rebuild Jerusalem, the bulk of the kingdom of Judah remained in Babylon to be eventually dispersed. Then, in A.D. 70, the remainder of the Jews were driven from the promised land by the Romans to complete the scattering of Israel.

What we see in this brief account is a picture of the general dissemination of the descendants of Noah throughout the world, beginning at the time of the Flood, with other groups—remnants of Israel—breaking away at intervals to follow the earlier migrants to the various corners of the earth and establish themselves among them as strangers, though distantly related.

Within this broad picture we find the people of the Book of Mormon, which is a partial record of some of those who were, at various times, led out of the Old World by the Lord to become established in the American continents: the Jaredites, who were led away at the time of the Tower of Babel and were, therefore, a part of the earliest dissemination of the descendants of Noah; the Lehi colony, led out of Jerusalem during the reign of Zedekiah, just prior to the captivity of Judah by Nebuchadnezzar; and the colony of Mulek, the youngest son of Zedekiah, who departed Jerusalem eleven years after Lehi.

  • Source text: Lane Johnson, "Who and Where Are the Lamanites?," Ensign (December 1975) off-site

Critical website's source quote
Some people talk very philosophically about tidal waves coming along. But the question is—How could you get a tidal wave out of the Pacific ocean, say, to cover the Sierra Nevadas? But the Bible does not tell us it was a tidal wave. It simply tells us that "all the high hills that were under the whole heaven were covered. Fifteen cubits upwards did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered." That is, the earth was immersed. It was a period of baptism.

Critical website's source(s)

John Taylor, Journal of Discourses 26:74-75

  • Context:

This may appear strange to some. But in regard to the flood, the laws governing hydraulics, as we understand them, were not strictly carried out on that occasion. Speaking of the flood we read:

"And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth.

"In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventh day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened."

What was done? "The windows of heaven were opened," and the immense bodies of waters that exist in the upper firmament were let down, or as it is expressed, "the windows of heaven were opened." What else? "The same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up." You have got a Brigham Young Academy here. I would like to give the professors and pupils of that establishment a problem to solve, and that is—How they could manage to get enough water out of the seas, and out of the oceans, and out of the rivers, and out of the clouds, to cover the tops of these mountains and fifteen cubits above, and let that spread all over the earth? I would like to know by what known law the immersion of the globe could be accomplished. It is explained herein a few words: "The windows of heaven were opened"—that is, the waters that exist throughout the space surrounding the earth from whence come these clouds from which the rain descends. That was one cause. Another cause was "the fountains of the great deep were broken up"—that is something beyond the oceans, something outside of the seas, some reservoirs of which we have no knowledge, were made to contribute to this event, and the waters were let loose by the hand and by the power of God; for God said He would bring a flood upon the earth and He brought it, but He had to let loose the fountains of the great deep, and pour out the waters from there, and when the flood commenced to subside, we are told "that the fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained, and the waters returned from off the earth." Where did they go to? From whence they came. Now, I will show you something else on the back of that. Some people talk very philosophically about tidal waves coming along. But the question is—How could you get a tidal wave out of the Pacific ocean, say, to cover the Sierra Nevadas? But the Bible does not tell us it was a tidal wave. It simply tells us that "all the high hills that were under the whole heaven were covered. Fifteen cubits upwards did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered." That is, the earth was immersed. It was a period of baptism.

Critical website's source quote
Another great change happened nearly two thousand years after the earth was made. It was baptized by water. A great flow of water come, the great deep was broken up, the windows of heaven were opened from on high, and the waters prevailed upon the face of the earth, sweeping away all wickedness and transgression-a similitude of baptism for the remission of sins. God requires the children of men to be baptized. What for? For the remission of sins. So he required our globe to be baptized by a flow of waters, and all of its sins were washed away, not one sin remaining.

Critical website's source(s)

Orson Pratt, (August 1, 1880) Journal of Discourses 21:323

  • Context:

Another great change happened nearly two thousand years after the earth was made. It was baptized by water. A great flow of water came, the great deep was broken up, the windows of heaven were opened from on high, and the waters prevailed upon the face of the earth, sweeping away all wickedness and transgression—a similitude of baptism for the remission of sins. God requires the children of men to be baptized. What for? For the remission of sins. So he required our globe to be baptized by a flow of waters, and all of its sins were washed away, not one sin remaining. You were baptized, Latter-day Saints, for the remission of your sins, believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, repenting of your sin with all your heart, going down and being buried beneath the liquid grave, you came forth as new creatures. So says the New Testament; you buried the old man with all of his wicked deeds, and came forth out of the liquid element born anew. So the earth in a measure was renewed, not fully; no more than we are renewed fully by baptism; we are not made immortal, when we come out of the waters of baptism; we still retain the effects of the fall, so far as mortality is concerned. So does the earth; the earth retains the effects of sin and transgression that came upon its face. But notwithstanding it retains these effects so far as mortality is concerned, yet it was cleansed in a measure from this transgression. But alas! This earth has again become corrupted.

Critical website's source quote
By and by we find the people departing from the principles of truth, from the laws of the Gospel, repudiating the fear of God, grieving his Holy Spirit and incurring his displeasure. Then a flood came and the inhabitants of the world, with the exception of a very few, were swept from it, after the Gospel had been preached to all who then lived and all had had an opportunity to believe in and obey it.

Critical website's source(s)

John Taylor, "DESTRUCTION OF THE WICKED BY THE FLOOD, etc.," Journal of Discourses 17:205.

  • Context:

By and by we find the people departing from the principles of truth, from the laws of the Gospel, repudiating the fear of God, grieving his Holy Spirit and incurring his displeasure. Then a flood came and the inhabitants of the world, with the exception of a very few, were swept from it, after the Gospel had been preached to all who then lived and all had had an opportunity to believe in and obey it. A few of them did so and lived in the fear of God, and, according to the revelations which we have, they were translated and caught up, they had a separate existence from those who lived upon the earth, and occupied the position of translated beings and were necessarily governed by other laws than the denizens of the earth. This was one peculiarity of the dispensation before the flood. Then came the flood, which many people, unacquainted with things as they existed in the bosom of God and with his purposes and designs, consider was a great cruelty, an act of tyranny, evincing a spirit of outrage and oppression upon the inhabitants of the world. Sceptics reason in this manner sometimes, the only reason of their caviling being that they do not understand God or his laws and designs in relation to the earth and the inhabitants that live upon it, and being ignorant of these things they are not competent judges as to the fitness of things generally, and the course pursued by the Almighty in relation to the inhabitants of the earth, hence they arrive at all kinds of foolish conclusions. The fact is there were certain ideas connected with the destruction of the world that were good, proper and merciful. Mankind had committed unto them certain. powers, among which was the power to perpetuate their own species, of which they could not according to the laws of nature be deprived while living. And they had a certain agency of their own, which they could act upon, and the people who were destroyed in the flood had departed from the laws of God. Man has a dual being, not only a body or mortal tabernacle, but a spirit, and that spirit existed before he came here; and if men before the flood had been allowed to go on in their iniquities and if, with every thought and imagination of their hearts, which were all unlawful and evil, they had been allowed to perpetuate that kind of existence, of course God would have had very little to do with the operations of the earth and the inhabitants thereof, it would therefore have been unjust to the spirits created by our Father in the eternal worlds to force them to come and inhabit the degenerated bodies which they must have received from such characters as the generation drowned in the flood; and hence God took away their agency by destroying them from the face of the earth, because they were prostituting their powers to an improper use and not only injuring themselves by defying the law of God, but also inflicting an evil upon unborn generations by perverting their own existence and by their powers of procreation entailing misery upon millions of spirits that had a just right to look for protection from their Father. The Almighty therefore took this awful method to redress this aggravated wrong and he had a right to do it.

Critical website's source quote
This earth, in its present condition and situation, is not a fit habitation for the sanctified; but it abides the law of its creation, has been baptized with water, will be baptized by fire and the Holy Ghost, and by-and-by will be prepared for the faithful to dwell upon.

Critical website's source(s)

Brigham Young, (June 12, 1860) Journal of Discourses 8:83.

  • Context:

Brethren and sisters, I wish you to continue in your ways of welldoing; I desire that your minds may be opened more and more to see and understand things as they are. This earth, in its present condition and situation, is not a fit habitation for the sanctified; but it abides the law of its creation, has been baptized with water, will be baptized by fire and the Holy Ghost, and by-and-by will be prepared for the faithful to dwell upon.

Shall we not strive to prepare ourselves as much as possible for the coming of the Son of Man? The Saviour will dictate his kingdom, through his Apostles and Prophets, until all the heathen nations are virtually redeemed by the ordinances that effect redemption, that they may inherit the kingdom that is prepared for them. This work must progress. This earth must become a paradise—must be purged of the sin that has been upon it for many generations, for all sin and iniquity must be swept from it, and a people be prepared for the coming of the Son of Man.

Critical website's source quote
Because modernists now declare the story of the flood is unreasonable and impossible, should we disbelieve the account of Noah and the flood as related in the Old Testament?

Critical website's source(s)

Elder Howard W. Hunter, then of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Modern criticism

What of spiritual values and the religious ideals of past generations, which have been the great stabilizing influence on society? Modern thinkers claim these have been the great deterrents to man in the freedoms he now seeks. There is a great effort on the part of so-called modernists to change religious beliefs and teachings of the past to conform to modern thought and critical research. They de-emphasize the teachings of the Bible by modern critical methods and deny that scripture is inspired. The modernist teaches that Christ is not the Son of God. He denies the doctrine of the atoning sacrifice by which all men may be saved. He denies the fact of the resurrection of the Savior of the world and relegates him to the status of a teacher of ethics. Where, then, is hope? What has become of faith?

The Old Testament unfolds the story of the creation of the earth and man by God. Should we now disregard this account and modernize the creation according to the theories of the modernists? Can we say there was no Garden of Eden or an Adam and Eve? Because modernists now declare the story of the flood is unreasonable and impossible, should we disbelieve the account of Noah and the flood as related in the Old Testament?

Confirmation by the Master

Let us examine what the Master said when the disciples came to him as he sat on the Mount of Olives. They asked him to tell them of the time of his coming and of the end of the world. Jesus answered: "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

"But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

"For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,

"And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." (Matt. 24:36-39)

In this statement the Master confirmed the story of the flood without modernizing it. Can we accept some of the statements of the Lord as being true and at the same time reject others as being false?

  • Source text: Howard W. Hunter, "Where, Then, Is Hope?," Conference Report, October 1970, pp. 129-132 off-site

Critical website's source quote
'and that after the waters had receded from off the face of the land it became a choice land of the Lord; wherefore the Lord would have that all men should serve him who dwell upon the face thereof

Critical website's source(s)

Ether 13:2

Critical website's source quote
Many prophets from two different continents and different eras have identified Noah as a historical, not a mythical, character. These include Enoch (see Moses 7:42-43), Abraham (see Abr. 1:19-24), Amulek (see Alma 10:22), Moroni (see Ether 6:7), Matthew (see JS-M 1:41-42), Peter (see 2 Pet. 2:5), Joseph Smith (seeD&C 84:14-15; D&C 133:54), and Joseph F. Smith (see D&C 138:9, 41). The Lord Jesus Christ himself spoke to the Nephites of the "waters of Noah" (3 Ne. 22:9). Recent latter-day prophets and apostles have similarly spoken of Noah. For example, Elder Howard W. Hunter, then of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, asked, "Because modernists now declare the story of the flood is unreasonable and impossible, should we disbelieve the account of Noah and the flood as related in the Old Testament?"

The Book of Ether mentions 'and that after the waters had receded from off the face of the land it became a choice land of the Lord; wherefore the Lord would have that all men should serve him who dwell upon the face thereof'. (see Ether 13:2). Alma 10:22 Yea, and I say unto you that if it were not for the prayers of the righteous, who are now in the land, that ye would even now be visited with utter destruction; yet it would not be by flood, as were the people in the days of Noah, but it would be by famine, and by pestilence, and the sword. The Book of Abraham (Abr. 1:19-24) teaches the land of Egypt was discovered by the daughter in law of Noah after the flood, that Egypt was under water (implying it was the global flood) when she found it. The most voluminous scriptural witness to Noah and the Flood is recorded in the writings of Moses, who dedicated a total of 57 verses in the King James Version to the account (Gen. 6:9-8:19). It is instructive to note that some of Noah's actual words are preserved in the Book of Moses, which introduces them with "And it came to pass that Noah continued his preaching unto the people, saying"-followed by his words: "Hearken, and give heed unto my words; Believe and repent of your sins and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, even as our fathers, and ye shall receive the Holy Ghost, that ye may have all things made manifest; and if ye do not this, the floods will come in upon you" (Moses 8:23-24). This text is significant in that it confirms that Noah, like his predecessors, understood the gospel covenant, including the baptismal ordinance and Jesus Christ's role as Savior. Moses may have received his information about Noah through direct revelation, or perhaps he used ancient records that were written by one of the eyewitnesses to the Flood, such as Noah himself or one of his sons. Such records, presuming they once existed, are now lost to the world. In the book of Genesis, Moses clearly states that a flood occurred, and the terminology definitely refers to a worldwide flood, as opposed to a localized flood. The Joseph Smith Translation backs up the Genesis account, modifying the wording only slightly. Said the Lord, "I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die" (Gen. 6:17; emphasis added in this and other scriptures in this article). The phrases "all flesh . from under heaven" and "every thing that is in the earth" indicate a worldwide destruction of all creatures that lived on land. Note that the Inspired Version, translated by the Prophet Joseph Smith, changes "in the earth" to "on the earth" (JST, Gen. 8:22). Genesis 7:19-20 [Gen. 7:19-20] states, "All the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered . ; and the mountains were covered." These verses explicitly state that all of earth's high mountains ("hills" should read "mountains" here; Hebrew harim) were covered by the waters. Lest one believe that the statement "under the whole heaven" is figurative and can be read or interpreted in different ways, a scriptural search through the entire Old Testament reveals that the phrase is used elsewhere only in a universal sense, as it is here; the phrase does not refer to a geographically restricted area (see Deut. 2:25; Deut. 4:19;Job 28:24; Job 37:3; Dan. 9:12). For instance, Job 28:24 also uses the phrase when referring to God's omniscience, which is certainly not restricted to a specific geographical region on the earth. Genesis 7:21 [Gen. 7:21] states, "All flesh died that moved upon the earth, . every creeping thing . every man." The phrase "all flesh" refers to all land animals, creeping things, and fowls and all of humanity, with the exception of those in the ark (see Gen. 7:23). The entry every in the Oxford American Dictionary reads: "each single one, without exception." Moses is clearly trying to let us understand that the Flood was universal. Verse 22 [Gen. 7:22] states, "All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died." Again the term "all" expresses a sum total. The term "dry land" should be read literally here, having reference to the land masses of our planet. Verse 23 [Gen. 7:23] states, "Every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl." Moses' list of those destroyed by the Flood is inclusive; only Noah "remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark." Genesis 8:5 [Gen. 8:5] states, "In the tenth month . were the tops of the mountains seen." After the flood, the "waters decreased" until Noah and his group were able to once again see mountaintops. Verse 9 states, "The waters were on the face of the whole earth." The phrase "on the face of the whole earth" refers to a worldwide flood (see Gen. 1:29; Gen. 11:4, 8, 9).

Taken altogether, these statements should convince every believer in the Bible that the great deluge was a worldwide event, 4 not a localized flood that filled only the Mesopotamian or some other region.

Critical website's source(s)

Evidences and Reconciliations (1960), 127-28; see also Doctrines of Salvation, 2:320-21."

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Latter-day prophets teach that the Flood or the total immersion of the earth in water represents the earth's required baptism. Elder John A. Widtsoe of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained: "Latter-day Saints look upon the earth as a living organism, one which is gloriously filling 'the measure of its creation.' They look upon the flood as a baptism of the earth, symbolizing a cleansing of the impurities of the past, and the beginning of a new life. This has been repeatedly taught by the leaders of the Church. The deluge was an immersion of the earth in water." He writes that the removal of earth's wicked inhabitants in the Flood represents that which occurs in our own baptism for the remission of sins.

Critical website's source(s)

Evidences and Reconciliations (1960), 127-28; see also Doctrines of Salvation, 2:320-21."

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While speaking in 1839 to members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and some Seventies prior to their leaving for missionary service, the Prophet Joseph Smith said: "Noah, who is Gabriel, stands next in authority to Adam in the Priesthood; he was called of God to this office, and was the father of all living in his day, and to him was given the dominion. These men held keys first on earth, and then in heaven." 1

Critical website's source(s)

Joseph B. Romney, "Noah, The Great Preacher of Righteousness," Ensign, Feb. 1998, 22

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Thus, although there are many in our day who consider the accounts of the Flood and tower of Babel to be fiction, Latter-day Saints affirm their reality. We rejoice in the many truths and lessons to be learned from these two accounts, as well as from all the stories of the Old Testament."

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Donald W. Parry, January 1998 Ensign, page 35

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Q. Is there any historical information as to what language was used prior to the historical incident of the Tower of Babel which is when languages diversified?

A. No, because the " Tower of Babel" incident, as such, probably did not occur in historical times. Although linguists assume that people did speak one language, the divergence would have begun in the ICE AGES before humanity had even begun to think about building cities and towers. Since the divergence happened millennia before written records existed, it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to know the structure of the "first language."

According to descriptions in the Bible, the earliest era the "Tower of Babel" (a "ziggurat") could have been built would have been the Sumerian Era. But the records show that even by then Sumerian was significantly different from its neighboring languages such as Egyptian.

Based on our knowledge of how languages change, such as Latin evolving into French, Italian, Portuguese over 2 millennia, linguists are pretty sure that Egyptian and Sumerian had diverged a long time ago, many millennia before the Sumerians founded their cities

Critical website's source(s)

Elizabeth J. Pyatt, Ph.D. Linguist, Penn State University http://linguistlist.org/ask-ling/message-details1.cfm?asklingid=200316427

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It is the process of nuclear fusion that makes the stars shine.With the discovery of quantum mechanics, scientists soon learned that the sun's source of energy is internal, and not external. The Sun shines, as we have seen, because of thermonuclear fusion. It does not get its light from any other star. And there is no star called Kolob that gives light to the stars, either. They all shine by nuclear processes, burning the nuclear fuel in their cores." p 116

"It's hard to imagine two ways of looking at the cosmos that could be more different than modern cosmology and LDS doctrine. For example, LDS doctrine regarding astronomy is permeated with references to time being measured, or "reckoned" according to a star's or planet's rate of rotation. Furthermore, this "reckoning of time" is a prime distinguisher in terms of "greatness." From the standpoint of modern cosmology, this makes no sense at all. Rates of rotation are largely arbitrary, and of little comment or concern from a fundamental point of view.There is little correlation between a planet's rate of rotation and either its size or mass. Furthermore, for bodies like the sun, the question makes no sense at all because the sun, being a ball of plasma, rotates at different rates, depending on the distance from the center of the sun, and the latitude. (25.4 days at the equator and 36.0 days at the poles). In other words, the Sun does not have a well-defined rate of rotation. It depends. This is true for other stars as well; so talking about their rates of rotation as if this was some sort of special defining attribute makes little sense and is of little fundamental interest or value in cosmology. Now, from Abraham, we are told that Kolob is great, rotates very slowly, and was the first star made (first creation). Yet (as we learned in the previous section) the largest (great) stars burn through their nuclear fuel very quickly, and end up as supernovae, typically leaving behind a neutron star that is unimaginable dense and rotating very fast. For Kolob to still be a star, and the first creation, and rotating very slowly, it must be a small star. Perhaps something like a brown dwarf, a star that's so small it can barely sustain any nuclear processes at all. As such, its mass and energy output would be relatively small. So it would hardly be "great" or control/govern any other bodies in the universe. In short, the idea that the first star is great, and still a significant star (not burnt out) is contradictory.

This is no trivial problem. The idea that the first star is still around, and has a very low rate of rotation, is inconsistent with what we know of stellar evolution. For that first star to be still shining, it must have been very small. Otherwise, it would have long ago burned all its nuclear fuel and would now be a black hole, or a very small neutron star that is rotating very quickly.

Critical website's source(s)

Farewell to Eden- Coming to terms with Mormonism and Science, Duwayne R. Anderson, 2003, First Books Library

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The astronomical phrases and concepts in the Abraham texts were also common in Joseph Smith's environment. For example, in 1816 Thomas Taylor published a two-volume work called The Six Books of Proclus on the Theology of Plato. Volume 2 (pp. 140-146) contains phrases and ideas similar to the astronomical concepts in Abraham 3 and Facsimile No. 2. In these six pages, Taylor calls the planets "governors" and uses the terms "fixed stars and planets" and "grand key." Both works refer to the sun as a planet receiving its light and power from a higher sphere rather than generating its own light through hydrogen-helium fusion (cf. Fac. 2, fig. 5). LDS scholar R. Grant Athay, a research astronomer and director of the University of Colorado Observatory, has written, "At the time that the Book of Abraham was translated ... the energy source of the sun was unknown," and "the concept of one star influencing another was also a common concept of the time.

Critical website's source(s)

An Insider's View of Mormon Origins, Grant Palmer, chapter 1

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The process by which mankind became mortal on this earth. The event is recorded in Gen. 2, 3, 4; and Moses 3, 4. The fall of Adam is one of the most important occurrences in the history of man. Before the fall, Adam and Eve had physical bodies but no blood. There was no sin, no death, and no children among any of the earthly creations. With the eating of the "forbidden fruit," Adam and Eve became mortal, sin entered, blood formed in their bones, and death became a part of life. Adam became the "first flesh" upon the earth (Moses 3:7), meaning that he and Eve were the first to become mortal. After Adam fell, the whole creation fell and became mortal. Adam's fall brought both physical and spiritual death into the world upon all mankind (Hel. 14: 16-17).

Critical website's source(s)

http://lds.org/scriptures/bd/fall-of-adam?lang=eng

  • Updated material—The new 2013 edition of the LDS Bible Dictionary contains a modified entry for "Fall of Adam and Eve." References to "blood" have been removed:

The process by which mankind became mortal on this earth. The event is recorded in Gen. 2–4 and Moses 3–4. The Fall of Adam and Eve is one of the most important occurrences in the history of man. 'Before the Fall, there were no sin, no death, and no children. With the eating of the “forbidden fruit,” Adam and Eve became mortal, sin entered, and death became a part of life.' Adam became the “first flesh” upon the earth (Moses 3:7), meaning that he and Eve were the first to become mortal. After Adam fell, the whole creation fell and became mortal. Adam’s Fall brought both physical and spiritual death into the world upon all mankind (Hel. 14:16–17).

  • Source text: "Fall of Adam and Eve," Bible Dictionary (2013), Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. off-site

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By the Prophet Joseph, January 5, 1841 The world and earth are not synonymous terms. The world is the human family. This earth was organized or formed out of other planets which were broke up and remodelled and made into the one on which we live.

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Richards & Little, Compendium of the Doctrines of the Gospel, Ch.62, p.287 http://www.lds-mormon.com/earthorganization.shtml

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Adam and Eve and all forms of life, both animal and plant, were created in immortality; that is, when first placed on this earth, all forms of life were in a state of immortality. There was no death in the world; death entered after the fall.

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p. 252 (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine]

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Then what is meant by the ‘first flesh’? It is simple when you understand it. Adam was the first of all creatures to fall and become flesh, and flesh in this sense means mortality, and all through our scriptures the Lord speaks of this life as flesh, while we are here in the flesh, so Adam became the first flesh. There was no other mortal creature before him, and there was no mortal death until he brought it, and the scriptures tell you that. It is here written, and that is the gospel of Jesus Christ.

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Seek Ye Earnestly, pp. 280–81.

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In the world another theory of how things began is popularly held and widely taught. This theory, that of organic evolution, was generally developed from the writings of Charles Darwin. It puts forth different ideas concerning how life began and where man came from. In relation to this theory, the following statements should help you understand what the Church teaches about the Creation and the origin of man. . . .[quoting Joseph Fielding Smith] “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. ... 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.

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The Old Testament Student Manual published by the Church Educational System

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The existence of these animals is indisputable, for their remains have been found in rocks all over the earth. What eternal purpose they played in the creation and early history of the earth is unknown. The scriptures do not address the question, and it is not the realm of science to explore the issue of why they were here. We can only conclude, as Elder Talmage did, that "[The oldest, that is to say the earliest, rocks thus far identified in land masses reveal the fossilized remains of once living organisms, plant and animal. The coal strata, upon which the world of industry so largely depends, are essentially but highly compressed and chemically changed vegetable substance.] The whole series of chalk deposits and many of our deep-sea limestones contain the skeletal remains of animals. These lived and died, age after age, while the earth was yet unfit for human habitation.

Critical website's source(s)

James E. Talmage, "The Earth and Man.

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On the other hand, to limit and insist upon the whole of life and death to this side of Adam's advent to the earth, some six or eight thousand years ago, as proposed by some, is to fly in the face of the facts so indisputably brought to light by the researcher of science in modern times, and this as set forth by men of the highest type in the intellectual and moral world.... To pay attention to and give reasonable credence to their research and findings is to link the church of God with the highest increase of human thought and effort.

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B.H. Roberts, "The Truth, the Way, the Life.

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"... was bold enough to point out that according to a tradition in the Church based on good authority as having risen from a declaration made by the Prophet Joseph Smith, a certain pile of stones at Adamondi-Ahman, Spring Hill, Mo., is really part of the altar on which Adam offered sacrifices, and that I had personally examined those stones and found them to be fossiliferous, so that if those stones be part of the first altar, Adam built it of stones containing corpses, and therefore death must have prevailed in the earth before Adam's time.

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http://www.signaturebookslibrary.org/harmony/chapter6.htm

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D&C Sec.77:6 (emphasis added)

Q. What are we to understand by the book which John saw, which was sealed on the back with seven seals? A. We are to understand that it contains the revealed will, mysteries, and the works of God; the hidden things of his economy concerning this earth during theseven thousand years of its continuance, or its temporal existence. Q. What are we to understand by the seven seals with which it was sealed?

A. We are to understand that the first seal contains the things of the first thousand years, and the second also of the second thousand years, and so on

until the seventh.

Critical website's source(s)

Joseph Smith, Doctrine and Covenants, Section 77 (1832)

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Here is a definite statement by revelation to us that this earth will go through 7,000 years of temporal existence. Temporal, by all interpretations, means passing, temporary or mortal. This, then, has reference to the earth in its fallen state, for the earth was cursed when Adam, who was given dominion over it, transgressed the law. Before that time, this earth was not mortal any more that Adam was. This we learn from other scriptures; for instance, see 2 Nephi 2:22." ."We can hardly be justified in trying to harmonize the days of creation with the extended periods of millions of years according to the reckoning of the so-called scientists.

Critical website's source(s)

Doctrines of Salvation, Joseph Fielding Smith, Volume 1, page 80, 1954 Bookcraft edition, original emphasis preserved

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The Lord Almighty never created a world like this and peopled it for six thousand years, as He has done, without having some motive in view.

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Journal of Discourses 25:9, January 6, 1884. The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, p. 8

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After passing over the ages and generations of the children of men for about six thousand years, we will come to the present congregation and say the right of heirship is the same now that it was in the beginning.

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Journal of Discourses, Vol.6, p.307, Brigham Young, April 8, 1853

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The world has had a fair trial for six thousand years; the Lord will try the seventh thousand Himself

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Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Section Five 1842-43 p.252

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We are living in the dispensation and generation to which Jesus referred--the time appointed by God for the last six thousand years, through the mouths of all the prophets and inspired men who have lived and left their sayings on record, in which his Zion should be built up and continue upon the earth. These prophecies will have their fulfilment before the world; and all who will not repent will be engulfed in the destructions which are in store for the wicked. If men do not cease from their murders, whoredoms, and all the wickedness and abominations which fill the black catalogue of the crimes of the world, judgment will overtake them; and whether we are believed or not, these sayings are true, and I bear my testimony as a servant of God and as an Elder in Israel to the truth of the events which are going to follow very fast on each other.

Critical website's source(s)

Journal of Discourses, Vol. 14, p. 5, Wilford Woodruff, January 1, 1871

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As there is one day out of seven set apart, sanctified and ordained as a day of rest, so there is one thousand years set apart as a day of rest out of the seven thousand which will constitute the temporal existence of our earth.

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Journal of Discourses, Vol. 14, p. 350, Orson Pratt, March 10, 1872

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We know that it was not six thousand years from the creation to the birth of Christ. How do we know this? God has told us in new revelation that this earth is destined to continue its temporal existence for seven thousand years, and that at the commencement of the seventh thousand, he will cause seven angels to sound their trumpets. In other words, we may call it the Millennium, for the meaning of the world millennium is a thousand years. Six thousand years must pass away from the creation till the time that Jesus comes in the clouds of heaven, and he will not come exactly at the expiration of six thousand years. When the Prophet Joseph asked the Lord what was meant by the sounding of the seven trumpets, he was told, "That as God made the world in six days, and on the seventh day he finished his work and sanctified it, and also formed man out of the dust of the earth; even so in the beginning of the seventh thousand years, will the Lord God sanctify the earth, and complete the salvation of man, and judge all things and shall redeem all things, except that which he hath not put into his power when he shall have sealed all things unto the end of all things, and the sounding of the trumpets of the seven angels is the preparing and finishing of his work, in the beginning of the seventh thousand years; to prepare the way before the time of his coming." This quotation will be found in the Pearl of Great Price. Neither of these trumpets have sounded yet, but they shortly will; and this gives us a little clue to the period and age of our world. We know that six thousand years have not yet elapsed since the creation, but we know that they have very nearly expired. But how long that morning had existed we do not know, unless we appeal to the Book of Abraham, translated by Joseph Smith from Egyptian papyrus. That tells us in plainness that the way the Lord and the celestial host reckoned time, was by the revolutions of a certain great central body called Kolob, which had one revolution on its axis in a thousand of our years, and that was one day with the Lord, and when the Lord said to Adam, "In the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." the Book of Abraham says it was not yet given unto man the true reckoning of time, and that it was reckoned after the Lord's time that is one thousand years with us was a day with him, and that Adam, if he partook of the forbidden fruit, was to die before that day of a thousand years should expire. Hence when we go back to the history of the creation, we find that the Lord was not in such a great hurry as many suppose, but that he took indefinite periods of long duration to construct this world, and to gather together the elements by the laws of gravitation to lay the foundation and form the nucleus thereof, and when he saw that all things were ready and properly prepared, he then placed the man in the Garden of Eden to rule over all animals, fish and fowls, and to have dominion over the whole face of the earth.

Critical website's source(s)

Journal of Discourses, Vol.15, p.263, Orson Pratt, December 29, 1872

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I do not know but what I am occupying to much time, I will briefly say, however, before closing, that certain records which God has promised to bring to light in his own due time, will far exceed anything that has been revealed through the Book of Mormon or the Bible, or that which has come to us through the Abrahamic record taken from Egyptian papyrus, or that which is contained in the vision of Moses, revealing to him the history of the creation of the world. All these will be as a drop in the bucket in comparison with the eternal knowledge that will yet flow down from heaven upon the heads of the Latter-day Saints before this generation shall pass away. The earth will be filled with the knowledge of God, as the waters cover the great deep, and the things of all nations will be revealed. The records of old that were kept by the people of Asia, who have since dwindled into savages by reason of the transgressions of their fathers; and those that have been kept by the ten tribes of the north countries, where they have lived for over 25 centuries; and those records that have been kept by the people of the City of Enoch, giving an account of the dealings of God with ancient Zion, will all come forth to help fill the earth with the knowledge of God, as the waters cover the great deep. And John, when upon the Isle of Patmos, saw things in vision, which were commanded to be sealed up, and they are yet to be unsealed; and in this way we shall receive knowledge upon knowledge, revelation upon revelation, concerning not only the six or seven thousand years of the earth's temporal existence, but concerning the materials of the earth before it was made, and the elements and materials, and all things pertaining to the future earth that is to be created when the elements of this earth shall be dissolved and pass away into space.

Critical website's source(s)

George Q. Cannon, April 6, 1878

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How different was the second or temporal work, that existed in the beginning of the great work of creation, from the present order of things! Now we see, and according to history we learn, that all creation are at enmity one with another in their natural state. Hence we find the lions with teeth, probably constructed since the fall, and adapted to devour their prey. I do not believe they had such teeth in the beginning. They had teeth with which they ate "straw like the ox." But everything was changed in a great measure, in this beautiful temporal creation; and the beasts began to fight, and quarrel and devour each other; and man began to be ferocious, like the beasts, desirous to kill his fellow man. We see him at this early stage in our race, seeking the blood of his fellows, and entering into secret combinations to kill, and destroy, and rob one another of their position and property, and to be at enmity one against another. The Lord in the midst of this fallen condition of his temporal work, has permitted it to continue for about 6,000 years. Enmity prevails, and has prevailed, for the last 6,000 years, with the exception of now and then a dispensation, being introduced, wherein this fallen nature of ours becomes, in a great measure, changed through obedience to the plan of salvation which God has revealed; and then we begin to love our fellow-men, are filled with love and kindness like, in some measure, our heavenly Father, going forth and proclaiming to them the Gospel of peace, and trying to do them good, and redeem them, and reclaim them; and we succeed, now and then, in bringing some to a higher stake; they are born of God, and become new creatures in Christ, being filled with that superior power, that exists in that celestial world, where we formerly resided. While this earth existed in its more perfect temporal form, Adam and Eve were placed upon it, and they were immortal, just like all the beasts and just like the fishes of the sea; death had not yet come upon any of them; all things were immortal so far as this creation was concerned. The first pairs, the beginning of his temporal work, were not subject to death. We are now living near the close of 6000 years during which time evil and wickedness have prevailed.

Critical website's source(s)

Journal of Discourses, Vol.21, p.202, Orson Pratt, November 12th, 1879

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While it is interesting to note these various theories, officially the Church has not taken a stand on the age of the earth. For reasons best known to Himself, the Lord has not yet seen fit to formally reveal the details of the Creation. Therefore, while Latter-day Saints are commanded to learn truth from many different fields of study (see D&C 88:77–79 ), an attempt to establish any theory as the official position of the Church is not justifiable.

Critical website's source(s)

the 2009 Old Testament institute manual

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Although the majority of geologists, astronomers, and other scientists believe that even this long period [6000 years] is not adequate to explain the physical evidence found in the earth, there are a small number of reputable scholars who disagree. These claim that the geologic clocks are misinterpreted and that tremendous catastrophes in the earth’s history speeded up the processes that normally may take thousands of years. They cite evidence supporting the idea that thirteen thousand years is not an unrealistic time period. Immanuel Velikovsky, for example, wrote three books amassing evidence that worldwide catastrophic upheavals have occurred in recent history, and he argued against uniformitarianism, the idea that the natural processes in evidence now have always prevailed at the same approximate rate of uniformity. creation account, is interpreted. These books are Worlds in Collision, Ages in Chaos, and Earth in Upheaval. Two Latter-day Saint scientists, Melvin A. Cook and M. Garfield Cook, have also advocated this theory in their book Science and Mormonism. A short summary of the Cooks’ approach can be found in Paul Cracroft’s article “How Old Is the Earth?”

Critical website's source(s)

Improvement Era, Oct. 1964, pp. 827–30, 852

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... the First Presidency issued the following in 1909, which expresses the Church's doctrinal position on these matters.[evolution]

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First Presidency, "The Origin of Man," Ensign, Feb. 2002, 26

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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.

... I say most emphatically, you cannot believe in this theory [of evolution] 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....

... 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 [of evolution], 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?

Critical website's source(s)

Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, section "Evolution and Religion Cannot be Harmonized", 1:141-142

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