Man, His Origin and Destiny


I was sitting in Elders Quorum at my singles ward. Most of the men with me were college students; some graduated and have started businesses. A few of them were in the medical field, and even some were involved with scientific investigation. The well intentioned instructor stood before us all, and began to share with us teachings that he had obviously heard many many times. He taught about how those in the world have their theories, but luckily we have the truth and can know what the real answers to our questions are.

He went on to teach that evolution was an example of these flawed theories of man, and that because we had “Man, His Origin and Destiny” by Joseph Fielding Smith, we could know that this “Theory” was completely false. .. I simply sat there and listened, as did everyone in my quorum. I knew that he was wrong, and I knew what the official position on evolution was, but I said nothing.  David O. McKay did say something about this when he said “On the subject of organic evolution the Church has officially taken no position. The book “Man, His Origin and Destiny” was not published by the Church, and is not approved by the Church. The book contains expressions of the author’s views for which he alone is responsible.”

I wish I had spoken up, because I think that so often we focus on what some individuals have said or done, potentially abandoning valuable concepts and principles and ignore the context around those original statements. We need to be careful in evaluating the statements of leaders.

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