Creation and evolution WhyProphets.com

Statements from modern prophets
and a history of so-called "creation science"

"In the spirit of the Book of Mormon, please, may we drop all labels, all of the "ites," and "Isms," and "ists"? Let there be no 'evolutionists' nor 'creationists' nor any manner of 'ists'; just seekers after truth." - Boyd K. Packer (quoted in Sunstone, April 1985)

Introduction

Strictly speaking, the Church has no official position on evolution. It would be very misleading to have such a position, as people mean different things when they use the word. When you speak on the subject of evolution, people always hear only what they want to hear. But over the years, church leaders have said some very revealing things. For other relevant documents, visit http://www.frii.com/~allsop/eyring-l/faq/evolution/

Warning:
This page contains some personal opinion, as well as the official church position

The quotations

One of the greatest sermons I have ever read was given by Marion G. Romney in 1953. I have included the complete text at the end of this page. So much could be said about what he said - it was inspired, from beginning to end. That man did not claim to be a great scholar, but he was a great, great prophet. He had the job of reviewing church publications for true doctrine, and he felt inspired to say a few things about Adam. He shows that the reason the Church is so critical of evolution is NOT because of bones of man-like creatures. It is simply because modern man is trying to ignore or reduce Adam - perhaps the greatest and most important man who ever lived. Please read the entire sermon, It is wonderful. It puts all the pro-evolution and anti-evolution arguments into their proper perspective. This is just one tiny part of it:

"There were no pre-adamic men in the line of Adam. ... I am not a scientist. I do not profess to know anything but Jesus Christ, and him crucified, and the principles of his gospel. If, however, there are some things in the strata of the earth indicating there were men before Adam, they were not the ancestors of Adam. Adam was the son of God. . . . He did not come up through an unbroken line of organic evolution. There had to be a fall. 'Adam fell that men might be.' (2 Nephi 2:25.) ."

- Marion G. Romney, Conference Report, April 5, 1953.

 

"Periods of time for the creation may have lasted... even millions of years"

- Ensign, Jan 1998, p. 15, referring to the Old Testament Institute Manual.

 

President Kimball:

"We don't know exactly how their [man's and woman's] coming into this world happened, and when we're able to understand it the Lord will tell us"

- Ensign, March 1976, p. 72

The following statement appeared In "The Improvement Era" (The forerunner to today's Ensign), in April 1910. It is either written by the First Presidency or approved by them. After reviewing the statements that Adam was the first man, they said:

....These are the authentic statements of the scriptures, ancient and modern, and it is best to rest with these, until the Lord shall see fit to give more light on the subject. Whether the mortal bodies of man evolved in natural processes to present perfection, through the direction and power of God; whether the first parents of our generations, Adam and Eve, were transplanted from another sphere, with immortal tabernacles, which became corrupted through sin and the partaking of natural foods, in the process of time; whether they were born here in mortality, as other mortals have been, are questions not fully answered in the revealed word of God.

 

President Joseph F. Smith:

"The Church itself has no philosophy about the modus operandi employed by the Lord in His creation of the world, and much of the talk therefore about the philosophy of Mormonism is altogether misleading"

- Juvenile Instructor, 1911, p. 209.

There are various other texts, but they can be summed up in a short letter written by president David O. McKay. A church member had written to the prophet, asking for his comments on the popular book, "Man, His Origin and Destiny," which takes a strong anti-evolutionist stance. President McKay said the following, and later gave permission for this to be published:

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.

Sincerely your brother,

[signed] David O. McKay
(President)

Orson Hyde: "the world was peopled before the days of Adam"

"Notice the commandment that was given to our first parents in the garden of Eden. The Lord said unto them, 'Multiply and replenish the earth.' ... the meaning of the word replenish is, to refill, recomplete. If I were to go into a merchant's store, and find he had got a new stock of goods, I should say-- 'You have replenished your stock, that is, filled up your establishment, for it looks as it did before.' 'Now go forth,' says the Lord, 'and replenish the earth;' for it was covered with gloomy clouds of darkness, excluded from the light of heaven, and darkness brooded upon the face of the deep. The world was peopled before the days of Adam, as much so as it was before the days of Noah. It was said that Noah became the father of a new world, but it was the same old world still, and will continue to be, though it may pass through many changes. When God said, Go forth and replenish the earth; it was to replenish the inhabitants of the human species, and make it as it was before."

- Journal of Discourses 2 (1855): 79. Note however that the original Hebrew does not imply a re-filling (see Answers to Gospel Questions 1:208). On the other hand, Brigham Young did praise Orson Hyde's talk as soon as it was given. But perhaps he was praising the main subject - marriage - and not this small part in particular?

B.H. Roberts - the member of the Seventy who wrote the Comprehensive History of the Church" and edited the better known "History of the Church" - was a strong believer in pre-Adamites. For details, see the review of his book "The Way, The Truth, The Life" at the signature books web site.

Probably the most important quote:

After reading many different statements, I think that the following really sums up the official church position the best. This is from a letter that was sent to all General Authorities on 5th April 1931 (quoted here):

"The statement made by Elder Smith that 'the existence of pre-Adamites is not a doctrine of the Church' is true.

It is just as true that the statement 'There were not pre-Adamites upon the earth' is not a doctrine of the Church.'

Neither side of the controversy has been accepted as a doctrine at all. ...

.We can see no advantage to be gained by a continuation of the discussion to which reference is here made, but on the contrary are certain that it would lead to confusion, division, and misunderstanding if carried further."

James E. Talmage, an apostle with a good scientific background and some sympathy with the idea of pre-Adamites (see the quotations below, delivered a few months later in the same year) commented very wisely:

"This is one of the many things upon which we cannot preach with assurance, and dogmatic assertions on either side are likely to do harm rather than good."

James E. Talmage in a church-published pamphlet

James E. Talmage, who wrote "The Articles of Faith" and "Jesus The Christ," gave an address entitled "the Earth and Man," in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, August 9, 1931. It was then published in the Deseret News, Nov. 21, 1931. It was then published as a pamphlet by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1931. It was later published in The Instructor, Dec. 1965, p. 474-477 (this was the edition that I first saw). While it is not quite an official declaration of the First Presidency, it has been approved by the church many times. Here are some highlights, with added emphasis:

According to the conception of geologists the earth passed through ages of preparation, to us unmeasured and immeasurable, during which countless generations of plants and animals existed in great variety and profusion and gave in part the very substance of their bodies to help form certain strata which are still existent as such. [This was written before the introduction of radioactive isotope dating techniques.]

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. . . .

What a fascinating story is inscribed upon the stony pages of the earth's crust! The geologist, who through long and patient effort has learned at least a little of the language in which these truths are written, finds the pages illustrated with pictures, which for fidelity of detail excel the best efforts of our modern engravers, lithographers and half-tone artists. The pictures in the rocks are the originals, the rest at best but copies.

In due course came the crowning work of this creative sequence, the advent of man! Concerning this all-important event we are told that scientists and theologians are at hopeless and irreconcilable variance. I regard the assumption or claim, whichever it be, as an exaggeration. Discrepancies that trouble us now will diminish as our knowledge of pertinent facts is extended. The creator has made record in the rocks for man to decipher; but He has also spoken directly regarding the main stages of progress by which the earth has been brought to be what it is. The accounts can not be fundamentally opposed; one can not contradict the other; though man's interpretation of either may be seriously at fault. . . .

I do not regard Adam as related to -- certainly not as descended from -- the Neanderthal, the Cro-Magnon, the Peking or the Piltdown man. Adam came as divinely directed, created and empowered, and stands as the patriarchal head of his posterity -- a posterity, who, if true to the laws of God, are heirs to the Priesthood and to the glories of eternal lives.

Other church publications

In July 1965, "The Instructor" (the Sunday School magazine), on p.272-276, published an article entitled "The Relatedness of Living Things." It was basically an argument in favor of evolution. It was prefaced by the following statement:

In publishing the articles in this series, "I Believe," we sincerely agree with 2 Nephi 9:29: "But to be learned is good if they (men) hearken unto the counsels of God."

This article by Brother Harrison has been read and approved for publication by the editor and associate editors of The Instructor. [The editor in 1965 was Church president David O. McKay.] Like other articles in this series, it is presented not as Church doctrine but as a statement worthy of serious study, written by a faithful Latter-day Saint who is competent to speak as a scholar in his field.

 


So-called "creation science"

A short history of "creation science" in America

From "Unnatural Selection" (in New Scientist magazine) at http://www.newscientist.com/features/features_22352.html

"In the beginning, there wasn't that much fuss. Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species in 1859. By 1900, mainstream Protestants had adapted their theology to it. More conservative Christians had misgivings. But nearly all [including Brigham Young] agreed that the Earth is millions of years old, and there was no organized opposition to the teaching of evolution. ... At first, even literal readers of the Bible were largely reconciled to evolution. They assumed that the six "days" of creation in Genesis were simply very long."

"[Evolution] had little political effect until rapid urbanization in the 1920s in Europe and North America radically changed social structures and caused anxiety about moral standards among conservative Christians. In Europe, people found political or ethnic targets for these anxieties. But in the US, conservative Christians blamed belief in "godless evolution"

In 1925, John Scopes, a physics teacher in Tennessee, chose to go on trial for teaching evolution, to test the law. "The Scopes monkey trial" was one of the most famous cases in legal history. "For the first time, the entire proceedings were broadcast on the radio. It was the world's first media circus." Basically, it created a great division. Scopes was found guilty of teaching evolution (incidentally, the "guilty" verdict was soon overturned on a technicality). So in legal terms, the "creation science" lobby won. "The trial fostered popular suspicion of evolution, and it steadily disappeared from school textbooks." But to many (most?) educated Americans, "Creation Science" became a laughing stock. "20 states debated similar anti-evolution laws. Successful counter-pressure from scientists defeated them in all but Arkansas and Mississippi."

"The next upheaval came [was]... 'The Genesis Flood,' published in 1961 by [Henry] Morris and a Bible scholar, John Whitcomb. It asserted that the entire Universe was created in six literal days less than 10 000 years ago."

The book was highly successful because it came at just the right time. The Russians had launched Sputnik in 1957, so the Americans were embarrassed at their own scientific ignorance. They published school text books that emphasized evolution. Fundamentalist Christians were outraged, and 'The Genesis Flood' was read by nearly all of them.

Laws against teaching evolution became illegal in 1968. But some states passed laws demanding "equal time" for "Creation Science" in the 1970s. This rule was overturned by The Supreme Court in 1987, ruling that creation science was really religious belief, so could not be taught as science. Critical to the decision was the active intervention of scientists, who wrote the court a definition of science. Creation science did not meet requirements such as starting with a falsifiable hypothesis.

So in the 1990s, creationists abandoned law and focused on the school boards, which set teaching requirements in state schools. They convinced several to require teachers to describe evolution as "theory rather than fact". So today, while (in theory) the schools all teach evolution, in practice, many teachers (especially in the southern states) are careful what they say.

The problems with "Creation Science" as taught by Fundamentalist Protestants

  1. It is not necessary. As literal Bible believers knew in the nineteenth century, the discoveries of science - including an old earth - do not conflict with scripture.
  2. Science, by definition, deals with falsifiable statements. Therefore "Creation Science" is not science.
  3. It assumes that the vast majority of scientists (e.g. those who believe in evolution of some kind) are either stupid or dishonest.
  4. It makes people mistrust science (since the majority of scientists are assumed to be stupid or dishonest). This tends to make people scientifically illiterate, and less able to cope in a technological world (see the statistics on who produces the most scientists - the "Bible Belt" produces fewer than average)
  5. It lumps the good with the bad, and throws out both. Yet it is easy to accept the good parts of evolution (e.g. things do change) while rejecting the bad parts (e.g. that change happens without intelligent intervention).
  6. Many of its teachings, as with any other attempt at science, will be proven wrong with time. Hence, few people rely on "The Genesis Flood" any more.
  7. It requires huge compromises. For example, to fit every species into Noah's Ark, one pair of dogs must have given rise to everything from a tiny Chihuahua to a massive Great Dane, and everything in between. In other words, it accepts very great changes by natural selection.
  8. Some key claims can be shown to be false. For example, in August 1999, the Kansas State Board of Education rejected the school curriculum standards written by its scientific advisers, and adopted a 'Creation Science' list instead. This included such as "natural selection . . . does not add new information to the existing genetic code". This is simply false.
  9. According to scientifically trained critics, it is full of errors at every stage. See http://icarus.uic.edu/~vuletic/cefec.html and judge for yourself.

"Creationists attract people by creating a false choice between creationism and atheism, which they equate with orthodox science. ... And yet, says Miller--and many other scientists who are Christians--religion and science don't compete. They ask different questions and inhabit different arenas. Miller even feels that trying to prove Genesis makes God look bad. Carried to their logical conclusions, he says, the various schools of creationism make God a charlatan, a magician or a mechanic."

 

Conclusion: a third way

As so often happens, revelation from God does not agree with the ideas of man. The ideas of man are that EITHER mankind evolved through random processes, OR everything started in 4000 BC. Revelation seems to indicate that neither is the case. As one reviewer concluded (Sunstone April 1985):

"LDS spokesmen have agreed, overwhelmingly, on two basic points: that Adam and Eve were historical people and that their bodies were produced by some sort of biological procreation. This latter idea is thoroughly repugnant to modern creationists and serves to under score my final point: that beyond generalities, Mormonism and modern creation are completely incompatible on issues relating to the origin of man. For Mormons it seems clear: believing in creation does not make one a creationist. Indeed Mormons would have to reject their entire philosophical framework to become such. This conclusion becomes even more vivid when one examines concepts of the nature of God, of physical law, and of ex nihilo creation."

 

And finally...

My all-time favorite sermon. Marion G. Romney's inspired discourse from General Conference, April 5, 1953.

"Somehow I don't feel like giving the talk which I had prepared for the conference. I would, however, like to discuss with you a few things that are in my mind, without attempting to make a speech or deliver a discourse. In the first place, I extend my welcome to Brother Bennion, who has today been called into the Council of the Twelve. He has great talents and the ability to do great service in the Church. He touched my life for good more than thirty years ago when he gave me encouragement in a trying time. I express my regrets, too, at the passing of Brother Widtsoe, a great man who for many, many years was one of the outstanding leaders of the Church. [And perhaps the Church's foremost scientist - see his comments on evolution.]

"I am sure our hearts go out to Sister Widtsoe and to her family. Just a year ago Brother Widtsoe gave his last conference talk. He had recently returned, you will remember, from a very important assignment in Canada. He talked about preserving water and making it available to the land. He told how putting water on land turns barren soil into fertile, productive soil. From this he drew the following gospel lesson: The weavers of the midlands in England, the coal miners of Wales, the fishermen in Norway, the trudging farmers of Denmark, very common, ordinary people, who accept the gospel from the lips of some humble Mormon missionary become so changed by those enlightening truths of the gospel that they are not the same people any longer. They have been fertilized, so to speak, by the Spirit of God that flows from eternal truth, just as in irrigation the barren, dry soil is fertilized by diverting the stream of water from the irrigation ditch onto the thirsty land. (Conference Report, April, 1952, p. 34.) I am sure we shall long remember the labors of Brother Widtsoe.

"I would like to say a word to you Brother Bowen, if you are listening. Our hearts go out to you; we love you; we recognize the strength of your great character and your unusual intellect. I would like to put in the record a statement from the address you delivered here a year ago. You were explaining how the adoption of the precepts of men had changed the doctrines of the Christian Church. You were, of course, speaking of churches generally, not of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Then you concluded -- and I remember these words as you spoke them: In my view there is only one safety; there is only one cure; and that is to take the pure and unadulterated word of God and set that up as our standard of measurement and measure every creed and doctrine and dogma by that yardstick. That which will not square with the declarations of Almighty God we can lay aside as unsuited for the need of man. (Ibid., p. 66.) I know, Brother Bowen, you would love to be here today. We would love to have you, and we give you our faith and our prayers.

"Now may I call your attention to President Richards' conference address given six months ago. You will recall that he extended an invitation to the peoples of the world. It began with these words: I desire to use this opportunity to extend an invitation... To the people of the Church, there is nothing novel in this invitation. Although it has gone out to the people of the world for more than a century, there are still few of the world who fully understand its import. This is the invitation, addressed: To All Men Women, and Children. Dear Friends: You are cordially and earnestly invited to participate in building the kingdom of God in the earth. Place--Everywhere. Time--Now. (Ibid., October, 1952, pp. 97-98.) President Richards, we remember that great talk. We have re-read it. We pray God, our Eternal Father, to bring you back that you may give many more such talks.

"President McKay, in the opening address of this conference, said there were two things that we should do. One of them was to put our homes in order; the other was to bear witness of the Redeemer. He was thus quoted in the press: President McKay, in his opening message to the Church membership, emphasized what he termed two great duties of Latter-day Saints:
(1) to put their homes in order, and
(2) to proclaim the divinity of the mission of Jesus Christ.
I would like to say just a word about my testimony of the mission of Jesus Christ. I want to go a little farther back for a moment, if I can be given guidance by the Spirit of the Lord to speak the truth accurately, and mention the great condition precedent to the efficacy of the mission of Jesus Christ. That condition precedent is the mission of Father Adam, because without the mission of Adam there would have been no need for the mission -- the atonement -- of Jesus Christ.

"I have an assignment from the First Presidency to serve on the Church publications committee. This committee is expected to read and pass upon the literature proposed for use in the study courses of our auxiliary organizations. It would please me immensely if, in the preparation of this literature, we could get away from using the language of those who do not believe in the mission of Adam. I have reference to words and phrases such as "primitive man," "prehistoric man," "before men learned to write," and the like. We sometimes use these terms in a way that offends my feelings; in a way which indicates to me that we get mixed up in our understanding of the mission of Adam. The connotation of these terms, as used by unbelievers, is out of harmony with our understanding of the mission of Adam. "Adam fell that man might be." (2 Nephi 2:25.)

"There were no pre-Adamic men in the line of Adam. The Lord said that Adam was the first man. (Moses 1:34, 3:7; D. & C. 84:16.) It is hard for me to get the idea of a man ahead of Adam, before the first man. The Lord also said that Adam was the first flesh (Moses 3:7) which, as I understand it, means the first mortal on the earth. I understand from a statement in the book of Moses, which was made by Enoch, that there was no death in the world before Adam. (Moses 6:48; see also 2 Nephi 2:22.) Enoch said: . . . death hath come upon our fathers; nevertheless we know them, and cannot deny, and even the first of all we know, even Adam. For a book of remembrance we have written among us, according to the pattern given by the finger of God; and it is given in our own language. (Moses 6:45-46.) I understand from this that Enoch could read about Adam in a book which had been written under the tutelage of Almighty God. Thus there were no prehistoric men who could not write because men living in the days of Adam, who was the first man, wrote.

"I am not a scientist. I do not profess to know anything but Jesus Christ, and him crucified, and the principles of his gospel. If, however, there are some things in the strata of the earth indicating there were men before Adam, they were not the ancestors of Adam. Adam was the son of God. He was our elder brother, not older than Jesus but he was our brother in the same sense that Jesus was our brother, and he "fell" to earth life. He did not come up through an unbroken line of organic evolution. There had to be a fall. "Adam fell that men might be." (2 Nephi 2:25.) I will go on now and read this scripture before I forget it: For a book of remembrance we have written among us, according to the pattern given by the finger of God; and it is given in our own language. And as Enoch spake forth the words of God, the people trembled, and could not stand in his presence. (Moses 6:46-47.)

"Some men speak of the ancients as being savages, as if they had no intelligence. I tell you this man Enoch had intelligence, and Adam had intelligence, as much as any man that ever lived since or that lives now. They were mighty sons of God. And he said unto them: Because that Adam fell, we are; and by his fall came death; and we are made partakers of misery and woe. (Moses 6:48.) If Adam and Eve had not partaken of the forbidden fruit, they would have had no children, and we would not have been. (2 Nephi 2:23-25; Moses 5:11.) I do not look upon Adam's action as a sin. I think it was a deliberate act of free agency. He chose to do that which had to be done to further the purposes of God. The consequences of his act made necessary the atonement of the Redeemer.

"I must not go into a longer discussion, but I say again that I would be very pleased if, in our teaching of the gospel, we could keep revealed truth straight in our minds and not get it confused with the ideas and theories of men, who do not believe what the Lord has revealed with respect to the fall of Adam. Now, I believe with Enoch, " . . . Because that Adam fell, we are; and by his fall came death;" (Moses 6:48) that every man must die, as Brother Petersen said yesterday. I believe that to meet the demands of justice, it took the atonement of Jesus Christ to redeem men from that death, that they may be raised again and have their spirits and their bodies, which are separated through death, reunited.

"I believe that through the atonement of Jesus Christ whatever "transgression" Adam committed was paid for, and that as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive, every living creature. (1 Cor. 15:22; D. & C. 29:24, 77:2.) I believe, too, that through the atonement of Jesus Christ my individual sins, your individual sins, and the individual sins of every human being that ever lived or ever will live upon the earth were atoned for, upon condition that we accept the gospel and live it to the end of our lives. I know that my Redeemer lives. I shall not know it better when I stand before the bar of God to be judged. I know that Jesus is the Redeemer. I bear that witness to you, not from what people have told me; I bear it out of a knowledge revealed to me by the Holy Spirit.

"As to this knowledge, the Lord, after commanding the early Apostles of this dispensation to testify that the words he had spoken to them were of him, said: For it is my voice which speaketh them unto you; for they are given by my Spirit unto you, and by my power you can read them one to another; and save it were by my power you could not have them; Wherefore, you can testify that you have heard my voice, and know my words. (D. & C. 18:35-36.) I am willing to bear this witness to all the Saints and to all men and women everywhere, saints and sinners, in all the world, for it is the eternal truth. I know that the Prophet Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. I know he saw God, the Eternal Father, and his Son, Jesus Christ, as he says he did. I was not there, but I have read his account many, many, many times. From his account I get in my mind a mental picture, but I did not get my knowledge that he had the vision from that source. I received it from the whisperings of the Holy Spirit, and I have had those whisperings in my mind the same as Enos had when he said, " . . . the voice of the Lord came into my mind." (Enos 10.)

"I know that God revealed every principle of salvation necessary to the salvation of men to the Prophet Joseph Smith. I know that his successor who sits here today, David O. McKay, holds every power and every authority and all the priesthood that the Prophet Joseph had -- unless it be the keys of this last dispensation -- but every power that is necessary to the salvation of men, he holds. Nobody has a testimony of the gospel that will save him unless he knows it, too.

"It is an easy thing to believe in the dead prophets, but it is a greater thing to believe in the living prophets. I will give you an illustration. One day when President Grant was living, I sat in my office across the street following a general conference. A man came over to see me, an elderly man. He was very upset about what had been said in this conference by some of the Brethren, including myself. I could tell from his speech that he came from a foreign land. After I had quieted him enough so he would listen I said,
"Why did you come to America?"
""I came here because a prophet of God told me to come."
"Who was the prophet?" I continued.
"Wilford Woodruff."
"Do you believe Wilford Woodruff was a prophet of God?"
"Yes," said he.
"Do you believe that his successor President Lorenzo Snow, was a prophet of God?"
"Yes, I do."
"Do you believe that President Joseph F. Smith was a prophet of God?"
"Yes, sir."
Then came the "sixty-four dollar question."
"Do you believe that Heber J. Grant is a prophet of God?"
His answer: "I think he ought to keep his mouth shut about old age assistance."

"Now I tell you that a man in his position is on the way to apostasy. He is forfeiting his chances for eternal life. So is everyone who cannot follow the living prophet of God. I want to say one more thing before I sit down. Today being the twentieth anniversary of Brother Clark's call to the First Presidency, I want to pay him a tribute. I love him. Although the Lord had to go all the way to Mexico City to find him, I am grateful that he brought him back to give us this twenty years of service. I want to read a statement from the message he gave twenty years ago. In it he spoke of his great humility and of the apprehension he felt as to whether he could meet the requirements of his new position. In telling of the joys he anticipated, he said:

"We shall have the joy of work, too, for man also is that he might work, he went forth from the innocence of Eden to the God-like knowledge of good and evil, with the Divine blessing -- not curse -- as it seems to me: "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread." And save in extremity, no man may rightfully violate that law by living by the sweat from the brow of his brother. It is the eternal, inescapable law that growth comes only from work and preparation whether the growth be material, mental or spiritual. Work has no substitute. Idleness brings neither profit, nor advantage, nor good -- only a withering decay and death. The world is near to forgetting all this; I hope that we as a people shall keep it ever in remembrance, for in proportion as it is forgotten, evil will rule. (Conference Report, April, 1933, p. 103.)

"I have watched him work through these years, as have the other brethren. We greatly appreciate the example he has set for us. In conclusion, let me say this by way of general statement. Work, brothers and sisters, work in the kingdom. Get the testimony of the gospel. I think it is a disgrace for men and women to stand on the same ground day after day in their testimony, their knowledge of the gospel, and their work in the Church. We should go forward. We ought to be on our mettle all the time, reaching, perfecting our lives, doing more work, going forward preparing to meet the Redeemer. We live in the day just before his coming. We must speed the day, speed the work in preparation for that great day, that we may rest our souls in the kingdom of God, which I hope we may all do, and so pray, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen."

 

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