Primary sources/Evolution/David O McKay 1952

Table of Contents

  • David O. McKay, “A message for LDS College Youth,” address to BYU students, (10 October 1952): 6-7, Extension Publications, BYU.
“For example, evolution’s beautiful theory of the creation of the world offers many perplexing problems to the inquiring mind. Inevitably, a teacher who denies divine agency in creation, who insists there is no intelligent purpose in it, will infest the student with the thought that all may be chance. I say, that no youth should be so led without a counterbalancing thought. Even the skeptic teacher should be fair enough to see that even Charles Darwin, when he faced this great question of annihilation, that the creation is dominated only by chance wrote: “It is an intolerable thought that man and all other sentient beings are doomed to complete annihilation after such long, continued slow progress.” And another good authority, Raymond West, said, “Why this vast [expenditure] of time and pain and blood?” Why should man come so far if he’s destined to go no farther? A creature that travels such distances and fought such battles and won such victories deserves what we are compelled to say, “To conquer death and rob the grave of its victory.”
  • See also related publication in Conference Report (April 1968): 92:
Youth need religion to comply properly with the purposes of creation. There is a purposeful design permeating all nature, the crowning event of which is man. Here, on this thought, science again leads the student up to a certain point, and sometimes leaves him with his soul unanchored. For example, evolution's theory of the creation of the world offers many perplexing problems to the inquiring mind. Inevitably, a teacher who denies divine agency in creation, who insists that there is no intelligent purpose in it, undoubtedly impresses the student with the thought that all may be chance.
I say that no youth should be left without a counterbalancing thought. Even the skeptical teacher should be fair enough to say that Charles Darwin himself, when he faced the great questions of eventual annihilation, if creation is dominated only by chance, wrote: "It is an intolerable thought that man and all other sentient things are doomed to complete annihilation, after such long-continued, slow progress.
And another good authority, Raymond F. West, lecturing on immortality, said: "Why this vast expenditure of time and pain and blood? Why should man come so far if he is destined to go no farther? A creature which has traveled such distances and fought such battles and won such victories deserves, one is compelled to say, to conquer death and rob the grave of its victory."