Prophets or Evolution - An LDS Perspective

 

Chapter 2

 

The Book of Mormon and

the Theory of Evolution

 

 

  How long has it been since you have read the Book of Mormon? I was startled a little while ago by interviews with two men who were years ago [teaching] in our seminary system and both of whom have gone into other teaching positions, [and] have obtained their graduate degrees. They have slipped away from the gospel truths and now have been challenging and quarreling with and trying to destroy and criticize the teachings of the Church.

  I have talked with both of them, and when I inquired about their reading the Book of Mormon, one of them said to me: "It has been fourteen years since I have read anything in the Book of Mormon."

  Another said, "I can't remember when I last read anything from the Book of Mormon." So it will be with any of us, if we do not continue to saturate ourselves with the teachings of this most precious book which the Lord has given us for a purpose -- that is, to correct all of these errors and dissensions in our day just as He promised He would in other days.

Harold B. Lee (2002 Priesthood/R.S. Manual - page 63)

 

 

Korihor and Alma the Younger

 

This chapter is largely about how the Book of Mormon prepared and prepares members of the church to recognize the false doctrines they are exposed to.

 

The Book of Mormon mainly covers a period of time between 600 B.C. and 400 A.D., a period of about a thousand years.  Almost all of the Book of Mormon was written in the Americas.  The prophetic statements in the Book of Mormon were mostly spoken by the prophet Lehi, and his prophet descendants.

 

Lehi was born in Jerusalem, and in 600 B.C. he was commanded by God to flee Jerusalem, build a ship (actually his sons and others primarily built the ship) and travel to America, though they called America the "Promised Land."  Whether they landed in North, Central or South America is not known.

 

One of the characters in the Book of Mormon is Korihor, who lived in America before the time of Christ and was a contemporary of the prophet Alma the Younger (about 74 B.C.).

 

  6 But it came to pass in the latter end of the seventeenth year, there came a man into the land of Zarahemla, and he was Anti-Christ, for he began to preach unto the people against the prophecies which had been spoken by the prophets, concerning the coming of Christ.

Alma 30:6 [narrative]

 

Note that Korihor is called: "Anti-Christ."  In spite of all the characters in the Book of Mormon who fought against the church, Korihor is the only person referred to as: "Anti-Christ."  In fact, this verse states that the purpose of Korihor's teachings was to lead people away from Christ.

 

Here is part of Korihor's teachings (note he is speaking prior to the birth of Christ):

 

  26 And ye also say that Christ shall come.  But behold, I say that ye do not know that there shall be a Christ.  And ye say also that he shall be slain for the sins of the world …

Alma 30:26 [Korihor]

 

In this verse Korihor claims there would be no Christ, and that He would not be slain for the sins of the world.  Christians know that Christ did come to earth and was slain for the sins of the world.

 

Here is more of Korihor's teachings:

 

  28 Yea, [the church members] durst not make use of that which is their own lest they should offend their priests, who do yoke them according to their desires, and have brought them to believe, by their traditions and their dreams and their whims and their visions and their pretended mysteries, that they should, if they did not do according to their words, offend some unknown being, who they say is God - a being who never has been seen or known, who never was nor ever will be.

Alma 30:28 [Korihor]

 

Korihor is trying to claim that the dreams, visions and mysteries given to the prophets by God have led the people to believe in a being who does not exist.

 

God may have been "unknown" to Korihor, but He was definitely known to Alma the Younger, to whom Korihor was speaking (at least one other person was there also, the chief judge).

 

This next quote is a description of the first vision of Alma the Younger:

 

  22 Yea, methought I saw, even as our father Lehi saw, God sitting upon his throne, surrounded with numberless concourses of angels, in the attitude of singing and praising their God; yea, and my soul did long to be there.

Alma 36:22 [Alma the Younger]

 

The testimony of Korihor was that he had not seen God and other great visions.  But the testimony of the prophets is regarding the things they have seen and have heard.

 

 

A Remission of Sins and the Atonement

 

Let us consider some of the other false doctrines taught by the Anti-Christ Korihor:

 

   16 Ye look forward and say that ye see a remission of your sins. But behold, it is the effect of a frenzied mind; and this derangement of your minds comes because of the traditions of your fathers, which lead you away into a belief of things which are not so.

Alma 30:16 [Korihor]

 

The "traditions of your fathers," which Korihor mentioned, were the teachings of prophets prior to his time.  They were based on revelations from God.

 

Korihor is claiming that there is no need for the remission of sins.  He uses derogatory language (e.g. "frenzied mind" and "derangement of your minds") to insult and belittle those who believed in a need for the remission of sins.

 

This tactic, sometimes called "name calling," is a frequent method used by satan to try and embarrass the members of the church and cause them to reject the teachings they have been taught by living prophets.  It is a ploy to convince someone to leave the prophets and "join the crowd" and become popular.

 

If there was no God, as Korihor claimed above, then we cannot be held accountable for sin because God does not exist.  Thus, Korihor is teaching that the concept that "there is no God" and the concept that "there is no sin," but they are essentially the same thing.

 

Jacob, one of the prophet sons of Lehi, stated to his people:

 

  6 And my soul delighteth in proving unto my people that save Christ should come all men must perish.

2 Nephi 11:6 (Jacob, son of Lehi)

 

In this quote Jacob is stating that without Christ, "all men must perish."  What Jacob was saying ("save Christ should come all men must perish") is that without the atonement there would be no remission of sins and without the remission of sins all mankind "must perish," meaning they would become subject to satan.

 

More will be said about the atonement in the chapter about Christ.

 

Let us consider another teaching of the prophet Jacob:

 

  7 For if there be no Christ there be no God; and if there be no God we are not, for there could have been no creation.  But there is a God, and he is Christ, and he cometh in the fulness of his own time.

2 Nephi 11:7 [Jacob, son of Lehi]

 

In this verse Jacob states that without Christ, there would be no God, and if there be no God, then we would not have been created.

 

Jacob is correct.  Without God, in this case Heavenly Father, there could have been no Universe.  And without God, in this case Christ, there could have been no creation of this earth and Adam and Eve.

 

 

The Theory of Evolution

 

The second half of verse 17, spoken by Korihor, is this:

 

  17 ... but every man fared in this life according to the management of the creature; therefore every man prospered according to his genius, and that every man conquered according to his strength; and whatsoever a man did was no crime.

Book of Mormon, Alma 30:17 (Korihor)

 

In verse 17, Korihor claims that humans prosper in this life according to their genius and they conquer in this life according to their strength.

 

The reader should see the similarities of the teachings of Korihor to the teachings of the theory of evolution.

 

The concept that a man "prospered according to his genius," and that every man "conquered according to his strength" are commonly referred to as "natural selection" or "survival of the fittest" by the theory of evolution.

 

Korihor also stated that "whatsoever a man did was no crime."  Korihor is saying that there is no such thing as "right" or "wrong" or "sin."  This is also a doctrine of the theory of evolution because it teaches us that we are nothing but animals.

 

Korihor is teaching the same things as Darwin taught many centuries later.  Remember, the Book of Mormon was written (i.e. translated) prior to 1830 and was published in 1830, which was 29 years before The Origin of Species was first published.  The Book of Mormon was a synthesis of many records which were written between the time of the Tower of Babel and 421 A.D.

 

By including the example of Korihor, the Book of Mormon prepared in advance the members of the church for the time they would be exposed to the false doctrines and false theories of the theory of evolution.

 

The false teachings of the theory of evolution are exposed in the Book of Mormon by the anti-Christ Korihor.

 

Both members of the LDS church and the general public are exposed to the same kinds of false doctrines today, as were taught in the Book of Mormon by Korihor.  The teaching of evolution is an example of the quote mentioned at the top of this chapter.  The theory of evolution is one of "these errors and dissensions in our day."

 

 

Why Do Societies and Families Prosper?

 

So how do humans "prosper" in this life?  Is it because of our "genius" and our "strength" as Korihor and the theory of evolution tell us?

 

There is hardly any doctrine in the Book of Mormon which is repeated more often, and in more different ways, than the doctrine that we prosper according to how well we keep the commandments.  For example:

 

20 And [the Lord] hath said that: Inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall prosper in the land; but inasmuch as ye will not keep my commandments ye shall be cut off from my presence.

2 Nephi 1:20 [Lehi]

 

This doctrine is repeated by example or doctrine over and over and over again in the Book of Mormon.

 

We "prosper" in the sense that God will protect us from our enemies and He will protect our livelihood and prosper us in other ways as well.

 

However, note in the above scripture the phrase "ye shall be cut off from my presence."  If we do not keep the commandments we will be cut off from the presence of God.  This will cloud our judgment in everything we do.

 

If we reject God we may be very "rich," in terms of worldly money.  But if we reject God we will be: "cut off from my presence" and thus be devoid of the spirit of God to guide and direct us.

 

Thus, the verse applies first and foremost to spiritual things.  But also remember that God also "prospers" those who follow him.

 

While we cannot look at the size of a person's house and tell whether or not he or she keeps the commandments of God, God will indeed protect and prosper those who follow Him.

 

This verse implies that the phrase "prosper in the land" includes a generous amount of the spirit of God to teach us and protect us and clear our minds.  It also includes that we will be able to make a decent living and that we will be protected from many things (However, note: Alma 14:8-11).

 

While the wealthy who do not keep the commandments may have lots of money, they will be judged on the basis of how they accumulated their wealth and how they used their wealth.

 

The fact is that when we embrace satan and his tactics, we not only remove ourselves from the presence of God, but we also encourage satan to be our master.  The goal of satan is to destroy us.  When a society has totally embraced satan, they are setting themselves up for the destruction which satan can do to them and God may allow.

 

The truthfulness of the above verse can be applied to individuals, families, nations or civilizations.

 

Moroni explained that the entire destruction of the Nephites, and the destruction of the people of Ether (i.e. the Jaredites), were caused by wicked "secret combinations" (which, by definition, include secret oaths) formed by satan:

 

  21 And [secret combinations] have caused the destruction of this people of whom I am now speaking [the Jaredites], and also the destruction of the people of Nephi.

Ether 8:21 [Moroni]

 

Secret combinations (e.g. secret cartels) are the final result of totally abandoning the spirit of God and rejecting His prophets.  Under these conditions God will not necessarily protect the people either from satan or inside or outside enemies.

 

President Ezra Taft Benson also said this:

 

"Pride results in secret combinations which are built up to get power, gain, and glory of the world. (See Hel. 7:5; Ether 8:9, 16, 22-23; Moses 5:31.) This fruit of the sin of pride, namely secret combinations, brought down both the Jaredite and the Nephite civilizations and has been and will yet be the cause of the fall of many nations. (See Ether 8:18-25.)"

Ezra Taft Benson, “Beware of Pride,” Ensign, May 1989, 4

 

While Korihor claimed that our genius is what causes us to thrive, it is nothing but a lie.  God has the last say as to which nations survive and which are destroyed.  It is keeping the commandments of God and having faith in the true and living God that are the key to the spiritual and physical survival of nations, communities and families.

 

The tactics of satan to obtain and maintain power are extremely effective, but the power lasts only until God decides enough is enough.

 

In other words, it is not "survival of the fittest" which determines the fate of nations; it is the love of God and the keeping of His commandments.

 

 

Protecting the Righteous

 

In addition to destroying wicked societies, God protects righteous nations.  Consider these versus about the prophet Enoch:

 

  13 And so great was the faith of Enoch that he led the people of God, and their enemies came to battle against them; and he spake the word of the Lord, and the earth trembled, and the mountains fled, even according to his command; and the rivers of water were turned out of their course; and the roar of the lions was heard out of the wilderness; and all nations feared greatly, so powerful was the word of Enoch, and so great was the power of the language which God had given him.

  14 There also came up a land out of the depth of the sea, and so great was the fear of the enemies of the people of God, that they fled and stood afar off and went upon the land which came up out of the depth of the sea.

  15 And the giants of the land, also, stood afar off; and there went forth a curse upon all people that fought against God;

  16 And from that time forth there were wars and bloodshed among them; but the Lord came and dwelt with his people, and they dwelt in righteousness.

  17 The fear of the Lord was upon all nations, so great was the glory of the Lord, which was upon his people. And the Lord blessed the land, and they were blessed upon the mountains, and upon the high places, and did flourish.

  18 And the Lord called his people ZION, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them.

  19 And Enoch continued his preaching in righteousness unto the people of God. And it came to pass in his days, that he built a city that was called the City of Holiness, even ZION.

  20 And it came to pass that Enoch talked with the Lord; and he said unto the Lord: Surely Zion shall dwell in safety forever. But the Lord said unto Enoch: Zion have I blessed, but the residue of the people have I cursed.

Moses 7:13-20 [refers to Enoch]

 

There is no evidence in these versus that the people of Enoch ever had weapons.  They didn't need them.

 

In this next verse, Isaiah, quoted in the Book of Mormon, explains how it is impossible for the righteous to be destroyed by the wicked:

 

  3 And all the nations that fight against Zion, and that distress her, shall be as a dream of a night vision; yea, it shall be unto them, even as unto a hungry man which dreameth, and behold he eateth but he awaketh and his soul is empty; or like unto a thirsty man which dreameth, and behold he drinketh but he awaketh and behold he is faint, and his soul hath appetite; yea, even so shall the multitude of all the nations be that fight against Mount Zion.

2 Nephi 27:3 (Isaiah)

 

The point is that it is not the genius of people which causes their nation to be destroyed or protected; it is their wickedness or righteousness which is the deciding factor.  If they are righteous, God will protect them, such as by giving them the wisdom to know how to survive.

 

If they are wicked, they will get their "inspiration" from satan, and satan may be allowed to destroy them.  It must be remembered that God may preserve the wicked for a time so that various individuals have the opportunity to exercise their free agency to choose between good and evil.  This extra time will give some people the opportunity to repent and it will give others an opportunity to potentially destroy their souls by joining with the wicked.

 

Much more will be said about the destruction of the wicked and the protection of the righteous in a later chapter.

 

 

The Hearts of Man

 

Let us see the next verse from Korihor:

 

  18 And thus he did preach unto them, leading away the hearts of many, causing them to lift up their heads in their wickedness, yea, leading away many women, and also men, to commit whoredoms—...

Book of Mormon, Alma 30:18 (Korihor)

 

This verse explains that the people who believed in his teachings were led away into whoredoms (i.e. gross immorality).  The preaching of Korihor led the people away from believing in the commandments (i.e. led them to believe there were no consequences to their actions, as mentioned above) and from believing in an atonement, and thus their hearts were turned away from the commandments and they became very wicked.

 

Were Korihor's teaching the cause of their hearts turning to evil; or where their wicked hearts the cause of their embracing the teachings of Korihor?

 

Alma the Younger referred to the hearts of the people, as part of his reply to Korihor:

 

  45 And yet do ye go about, leading away the hearts of this people, testifying unto them there is no God? ...

Alma 30:45 (Alma the Younger)

 

The concept of the relationship between a person's "heart" and what they believe is quite significant.

 

One of the things that the Book of Mormon makes very clear is that the hearts of men and women, when they become evil, cause them to have very clouded judgments.  They call evil to be good and they call good to be evil.  This is because in their hearts they want to do evil, so they embrace false doctrines as true doctrines and they reject the true doctrines of the prophets.

 

In these next versus, the prophet Samuel the Lamanite is sent to preach to the wicked Nephites (who were shooting arrows at him while he was preaching because they didn't like what he was saying).  In these versus we see the clouded judgment of those whose hearts embrace evil:

 

  25 And now when ye talk, ye say: If our days had been in the days of our fathers of old, we would not have slain the prophets; we would not have stoned them, and cast them out.

  26 Behold ye are worse than they; for as the Lord liveth, if a prophet come among you and declareth unto you the word of the Lord, which testifieth of your sins and iniquities, ye are angry with him, and cast him out and seek all manner of ways to destroy him; yea, you will say that he is a false prophet, and that he is a sinner, and of the devil, because he testifieth that your deeds are evil.

  27 But behold, if a man shall come among you and shall say: Do this, and there is no iniquity; do that and ye shall not suffer; yea, he will say: Walk after the pride of your own hearts; yea, walk after the pride of your eyes, and do whatsoever your heart desireth--and if a man shall come among you and say this, ye will receive him, and say that he is a prophet.

  28 Yea, ye will lift him up, and ye will give unto him of your substance; ye will give unto him of your gold, and of your silver, and ye will clothe him with costly apparel; and because he speaketh flattering words unto you, and he saith that all is well, then ye will not find fault with him.

Helaman 13:25-28 (Samuel the Lamanite)

 

What Samuel the Lamanite is saying is that if their hearts are evil, they will cast out the prophets and embrace false prophets and give the false prophets money and power because the false prophets tell the people what they want to hear.

 

One of the interesting things about the experience of Samuel the Lamanite is what the people said about him when they saw they could not kill him:

 

  6 But the more part of them did not believe in the words of Samuel; therefore when they saw that they could not hit him with their stones and their arrows, they cried unto their captains, saying: Take this fellow and bind him, for behold he hath a devil; and because of the power of the devil which is in him we cannot hit him with our stones and our arrows; therefore take him and bind him, and away with him.

Helaman 16:6 [narrative]

 

When the hearts of a people are evil, they are prime candidates for embracing false doctrines and are likely to persecute the prophets living in their day.  They say that the prophets "hath a devil."

 

“The quest for riches darkens the sense of right and wrong.”

Antiphanes, ancient Greek dramatist

 

But even members of the LDS church are not exempt from eternal laws.  President Heber J. Grant stated:

 

"You will find that those [in the LDS church] who do not do their duty, are always complaining about somebody that does, and [they are] making excuses for themselves. I have never found a man who was keeping the commandments of God that had any criticism to offer concerning any administration of the affairs of the Church. Neglect of duty, failure to keep the commandments of God, darkens the mind of man and the Spirit of the Lord is withdrawn. We find it recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants “For although a man may have many revelations, and have power to do many mighty works, yet if he boasts in his own strength and sets at nought the counsels of God, and follows after the dictates of his own will and carnal desires, he must fall.” [D&C 3:4]

Heber J. Grant (2004 Priesthood/R.S. Manual - pages 27-28)

 

When we fail to keep the commandments, we are ripening for spiritual darkness and spiritual danger.

 

The words of the prophets are in direct opposition to the things that Korihor taught.  Here is an example of just how different the teachings of Korihor were to the true gospel of Christ.  These are words spoken by an angel to the prophet King Benjamin:

 

19 For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.

Mosiah 3:19 [words of an angel to the prophet King Benjamin]

 

King Benjamin is teaching his people to put off the "natural man" and become more in tune with the will of God and thus become more like God, who is their Father.

 

Whereas Korihor was teaching people to do whatever they wanted to do, without any consequences; King Benjamin was teaching the exact opposite.  King Benjamin was teaching that our relationship to God should be "even as a child doth submit to his father."

 

Our relationship with God is not that of Creator and created-thing.  It is of personal Father and child.

Elder Douglas L. Callister, BYU-I Devotional, November 8, 2005

 

King Benjamin emphasizes that we must become a "saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord."  This is in direct opposition to the teachings of Korihor, who preached there was no such thing as sin, and there was no atonement, and would be no Christ (spoken prior to the birth of Christ).

 

Note that the angel, in speaking to King Benjamin, refers specifically to the existence of Adam.  Many verses in the Book of Mormon refer to Adam.  This is another difference between the words of the prophets and the theory of evolution, because evolution teaches that humans are descended from apes, not Adam and Eve.

 

Here is the rest of verse 18:
 

  18 ... telling them that when a man was dead, that was the end thereof.

Book of Mormon, Alma 30:18 (Korihor)

 

Korihor states that when a man dies, that is the end of his existence.  This is equivalent to saying that humans do not have an eternal spirit.  It is also the equivalent to saying that there are no consequences to sin because there is no Judgment Day (because we won't exist after death) and we cannot therefore be punished or rewarded after death.

 

Again and again we see that Korihor was teaching the theory of evolution.  And the Book of Mormon, which records the teachings of Korihor, was published 29 years before Darwin's main book.

 

However, it should be emphasized again and again that the relationship between God and humans is not the same relationship as between humans and their pets.  God is our Father.  God loves us, His children.  We keep the commandments because we want to become like our Father in Heaven.  We want to feel comfortable living with Him.  The commandments, as we call them, are really guidelines for being comfortable living forever with the righteous saints and with God.

 

Commandments are the "standard" by which we obtain portal into the Kingdom of God.

 

As mentioned above, Korihor taught the people they could do anything they wanted to do and that we survive based on our intelligence and strength.

 

King Benjamin, on the other hand, tells us we must become humble, full of love, etc. and submit ourselves to the Lord "even as a child doth submit to his father."

 

In the church, we have been taught over and over that we prosper (God's definition of "prosper" is not necessarily the world's definition of "prosper") based on our obedience to God.

 

 

Alma the Younger's Response to Korihor

 

As part of the prophet Alma the Younger's response to Korihor, Alma refers to his people as the "children of God."

 

  42 Behold, I know that thou believest, but thou art possessed with a lying spirit, and ye have put off the Spirit of God that it may have no place in you; but the devil has power over you, and he doth carry you about, working devices that he may destroy the children of God.

Alma 30:42

 

Here is more of the response to Korihor by the prophet Alma the Younger (remember this was before the time of Christ):

 

  40 And now what evidence have ye that there is no God, or that Christ cometh not?  I say unto you that ye have none, save it be your word only.

  41 But, behold, I have all things as a testimony that these things are true; and ye also have all things as a testimony unto you that they are true; and will ye deny them?  Believest thou that these things are true?

...

  43 And now Korihor said unto Alma: If thou wilt show me a sign, that I may be convinced that there is a God, yea, show unto me that he hath power, and then will I be convinced of the truth of thy words.

  44 But Alma said unto him: Thou hast had signs enough; will ye tempt your God?  Will ye say, Show unto me a sign, when ye have the testimony of all these thy brethren, and also all the holy prophets?  The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator.

Alma 30:40-41 and 43-44

 

Alma the Younger was essentially saying that all things, including the earth and the motion of the earth, and the other planets, are clear evidence of a Creator.  And this was spoken long before telescopes and the discovery of many billions of other galaxies!  And it was spoken about 2,000 years prior to Copernicus, Galileo and Kepler.

 

Modern evolutionists have far more physical evidence for God than Korihor had.

 

But as in the days of Alma the Younger, many people today do not notice the obvious signs of a Supreme Creator.

 

The purpose of God is to exalt us and fill us with joy forever.  The goal of satan is to destroy mankind and make us miserable forever.

 

 

The Fate of Korihor

 

Let us repeat a verse above:

 

  43 And now Korihor said unto Alma: If thou wilt show me a sign, that I may be convinced that there is a God, yea, show unto me that he hath power, and then will I be convinced of the truth of thy words.

Alma 30:43

 

Alma did show Korihor a sign, but it wasn't the sign Korihor wanted to see.  Alma commanded Korihor to be struck dumb and Korihor was never able to speak another word and probably could not hear either.  A witness to this event wrote a note to Korihor after he was struck dumb:

 

  51 And now when the chief judge saw this, he put forth his hand and wrote unto Korihor, saying: Art thou convinced of the power of God?  In whom did ye desire that Alma should show forth his sign?  Would ye that he should afflict others, to show unto thee a sign?  Behold, he has showed unto you a sign; and now will ye dispute more?

Alma 30:51 [Chief Judge]

 

Consider the end result of Korihor, after he could no longer speak (in these verses the Zoramites were a very proud and very wicked people):

 

  59 And it came to pass that as [Korihor] went forth among the people, yea, among a people who had separated themselves from the Nephites and called themselves Zoramites, being led by a man whose name was Zoram--and as he went forth amongst them, behold, he was run upon and trodden down, even until he was dead.

  60 And thus we see the end of him who perverteth the ways of the Lord; and thus we see that the devil will not support his children at the last day, but doth speedily drag them down to hell.

Alma 30:59-60 [narrative]

 

The last phrase is key: "thus we see that the devil will not support his children at the last day, but doth speedily drag them down to hell."

 

The issue of whether the wicked will or will not be punished in this life is almost irrelevant because this life is so short.  But if the wicked do not repent in this life they are in danger of a great deal of suffering after this life because they will be assigned to live with the person they chose to follow in this life: satan!!

 

  22 And behold, others [satan] flattereth away, and telleth them there is no hell; and he saith unto them: I am no devil, for there is none--and thus he whispereth in their ears, until he grasps them with his awful chains, from whence there is no deliverance.

  23 Yea, they are grasped with death, and hell; and death, and hell, and the devil, and all that have been seized therewith must stand before the throne of God, and be judged according to their works, from whence they must go into the place prepared for them, even a lake of fire and brimstone, which is endless torment.

2 Nephi 28:22-23 [Nephi]

 

Many times people question the justice of God in assigning people to live with satan.  But if a person chooses to follow satan in this life, it would be perfectly natural to assign this person to spend eternity with satan.

 

Judgment Day is a "restoration" to live with the person we chose to follow in this life (see Alma 40:21-26).

 

The theory of evolution preaches there is no devil.  The theory of evolution is very flattering to people because it teaches that humans can do anything they want to do.

 

The Book of Mormon, on the other hand, prepares its members for the onslaught of satan's false doctrines (see the quote at the top of this chapter).

 

After Korihor had been struck dumb, he finally admitted there was a devil, and that the devil had deceived him.

 

The Book of Mormon clearly states who was behind Korihor's teachings (satan) and why Korihor was so successful (because of the "hearts" of men and women who wanted the words of Korihor to be true).

 

Another interesting thing about the conversation between Korihor and Alma the Younger is that Korihor accused the prophet Alma the Younger of trying to lead the people astray to get rich.  Here is Alma's reply to Korihor's accusation:

 

  31 And [Korihor] did rise up in great swelling words before Alma, and did revile against the priests and teachers, accusing them of leading away the people after the silly traditions of their fathers, for the sake of glutting on the labors of the people.

  32 Now Alma said unto him: Thou knowest that we do not glut ourselves upon the labors of this people; for behold I have labored even from the commencement of the reign of the judges until now, with mine own hands for my support, notwithstanding my many travels round about the land to declare the word of God unto my people.

  33 And notwithstanding the many labors which I have performed in the church, I have never received so much as even one senine for my labor; neither has any of my brethren, save it were in the judgment-seat; and then we have received only according to law for our time.

  34 And now, if we do not receive anything for our labors in the church, what doth it profit us to labor in the church save it were to declare the truth, that we may have rejoicings in the joy of our brethren?

Alma 30:31-34 [conversation]

 

In the LDS church today; a Bishop (who is the leader of a local congregation) typically serves for 6 or 7 years.  During those 6 or 7 years he (and his family) serve the members of their congregation countless hours.  Yet the Bishop does not get paid a dime in all those years!  Not only that, he is expected to pay a full tithing to the church during the time he is a Bishop!!

 

Do the local leaders not get paid so the top leaders of the church can get rich?  The top leaders serve full-time, thus they do get paid; but they only get paid a fraction of what business executives get paid for the same level of responsibility.  The church has over 13 million members, scattered around much of the world, so the top leaders have huge responsibilities.  Many high church leaders took large pay-cuts to accept calls to serve in the top levels of the church.

 

 

Evidences for the Book of Mormon

 

The Book of Mormon (published in 1830) talks a great deal about ancient America.  Little was known about ancient America in the 1820s.  Yet the Book of Mormon boldly talks about cities being sunk in the waters and other cities being buried by the earth, and yet others being burned (the cities that were burned were later rebuilt), all due to the wickedness of the people.  We now know of cities which are buried in the ocean.

 

There are literally thousands of archaeological evidences which support the teachings of the Book of Mormon, mainly in Central and South America.

 

The Book of Mormon uses Egyptian literary forms many times.  A Hebrew literary form, called a chiasm, is found frequently in the Book of Mormon, especially in the first two-thirds of the Book of Mormon (i.e. from I Nephi through Alma).  Chiasms were not generally known about for about a hundred years after the death of Joseph Smith.

 

The prophet Joseph Smith did not have an education above grade school and was only about 25 years old when the Book of Mormon was published.

 

But that is not all; many prophesies were made in the Book of Mormon.  Many of these have been fulfilled and many more are being fulfilled today.  In fact, there are many aspects of the Book of Mormon which are far more relevant today than they were in 1830 (when the Book of Mormon was first published).

 

Only God could have written a book, through His prophets, which is far more relevant 175 years after its publication, than it was the day it was made public.  As time goes on, the Book of Mormon will become even more relevant as more prophecies are fulfilled and more of the teachings and prophesies are understood by the members of the church.

 

On the other hand, since the theory of evolution was designed by Darwin; scientific discoveries have forced the theory of evolution to dramatically change, over and over and over again.  The original book of Charles Darwin is now a relic of history.  In other words, the current theory of evolution is dramatically different than that of Charles Darwin.

 

The "theories" of men don't last long, but the doctrines of God last forever because they are true.