The First Book To Describe the Theory of Evolution Was NOT Written By Darwin
Here is a question for you (you can use Google if you wish, but except for this website, Google will be wrong): What was the first book to describe the theory of evolution, including the doctrine of natural selection?
The first book to describe the theory of evolution was the Book of Mormon, which was published in 1830, which was 29 years before Darwin's first book. There are actually two places in the Book of Mormon where the theory of evolution, or the ramifications of teaching the theory of evolution, are discussed.
The Book of Mormon is a religious history book, like the Bible, but was written by ancient prophets, most of whom lived in the Americas. The Book of Mormon covers a period of time from the Tower of Babel to about 400 A.D. Christ is a prominent figure in the Book of Mormon and He actually appeared to many of the people who lived in Book of Mormon times.
Most of the people mentioned in the Book of Mormon lived in what we now call: South America and Central America with the exception of those discussed in the Book of Ether, who settled in North America and were completely destroyed (save the prophet Ether who either died or was translated).
So let's look at the two places in the Book of Mormon where the theory of evolution is referenced. After that we will look at what some modern authorities in the Latter-Day Saint church have said about evolution.
First: The Book of Mormon - Alma 30
The first account where evolution is discussed can be found in Alma 30 in the Book of Mormon:
As can be seen in this account, the person who taught the doctrines of natural selection and evolution (i.e. that there is no God) in the Book of Mormon was Korihor, who in turn was taught these doctrines by satan himself!!
Because of Korihor's preaching, he became an enemy of the church of Christ and he was struck dumb by one of the prophets mentioned in the Book of Mormon, Alma the Younger. The events the Book of Mormon discusses happened about 74 B.C.
So while the Book of Mormon introduced the theory of evolution (without using the term "evolution" which probably did not exist in 1830), the Book of Mormon was very critical of the theory of evolution 29 years before Darwin published his first book about evolution!! And the Book of Mormon was published more than 120 years before DNA was discovered, which was the first time that the theory of evolution could be disproven.
Did you note that Korihor was called the "anti-Christ?" No doubt part of the reason Korihor was called the "anti-Christ" was because he taught that God did not exist (Alma 30:28, 37-38, 43, 48, see: 52-53) and that Christ would never be born (Alma 30:6, 12-13, 15, 23, 26). He also taught that Adam and Eve never existed (Alma 30:25) and he taught natural selection in three different ways in the same verse (Alma 30:17).
All of Korihor's doctrines were, item by item, exactly the opposite of the doctrines taught by the prophets in his day (74 B.C.), such as Ammon and Alma the Younger. All of the other enemies of the church mentioned in the Book of Mormon taught a mixture or truth and error. But everything Korihor taught was the opposite of the truth.
The reason everything Korihor taught was the opposite of the doctrines of Christ was that Korihor was also the only enemy of the church who was taught his doctrines by a personal appearance of the devil!! (Alma 30:42, 53)!!
This may explain why Korihor was also the only enemy of the church who was commanded to be struck dumb by a prophet of God, Alma the Younger (Alma 30:49-50).
The great prophet Alma the Younger described Korihor's doctrines as being designed so that "[the devil] may destroy the children of God" (Alma 30:42). This was Alma the Younger's description of the goal of what we now call: the theory of evolution!!
Alma chapter 30 is a prophesy about the coming forth of the false and anti-Christ doctrines of the theory of evolution and is a warning to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (i.e. LDS church, Latter-Day Saint Church, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints or Mormon church), and to all others, about these false doctrines!!
In summary, Korihor had several unique characteristics:
The Book of Mormon is accepted as official doctrine of the Mormon church (i.e. the LDS church)!!
Furthermore, other official scriptures of the LDS church teach that God created the heavens and the earth and that God also created Adam and Eve as the world's first humans after God created plants.
Second: The Book Of Mormon - 3 Nephi 29:5-7
Here is another set of versus in the Book of Mormon, in this case it talks about evolutionists and atheists instead of evolution itself. This reference is 3 Nephi 29:5-7. Let me quote these verses:
5 Wo unto him that spurneth at the doings of the Lord; yea, wo unto him that shall deny the Christ and his works!
6 Yea, wo unto him that shall deny the revelations of the Lord, and that shall say the Lord no longer worketh by revelation, or by prophecy, or by gifts, or by tongues, or by healings, or by the power of the Holy Ghost!
7 Yea, and wo unto him that shall say at that day, to get gain, that there can be no miracle wrought by Jesus Christ; for he that doeth this shall become like unto the son of perdition, for whom there was no mercy, according to the word of Christ!
In Mormon doctrine the worst punishment a person can have is to be a "Son of Perdition." However, if you study the King Follett Discourse of Joseph Smith, this punishment is reserved for members of the Mormon church (i.e. "Latter-Day Saints" or Mormons").
What happens to a member of the church who fits into the category of "like unto the son of perdition?" Could they end up being a "son of perdition" if pushing the theory of evolution, whether for gain or not, would qualify him as "fighting against the church?" That is purely God's call as the decision is made on a case-by-case basis, but I certainly would not want to be in the situation where I would personally find out the answer!!!!
In summary, verse 7 above primarily refers to people who are not members of the LDS church (e.g. Richard Dawkins may qualify for several reasons) who "to get gain, [claim] that there can be no miracle wrought by Jesus Christ." Examples of the miracles of Christ in the scriptures include healing people in many ways (such as restoring sight to the blind), raising the dead and above all, the resurrection of Christ and after Christ, the resurrection of many others (i.e. Christ was the first to be resurrected).
The apostles also performed many miracles.
It is interesting that the Book of Mormon, published in 1830, makes prophesies which are being fulfilled, over and over again, in the twenty-first century.
Heavenly Father loves His children, and anyone who tampers with their testimonies regarding God, for profit, could be putting themselves in harms way on Judgment Day!!
Third: Modern Apostles Who Have Been Critical Of The Theory of Evolution
Not only is the Book of Mormon critical of the theory of evolution, even modern-day apostles and prophets have been critical of the theory of evolution.
President Russell M. Nelson, President of the Quorum of the Twelve, described the absurdity of the theory of evolution with a question: "Could an explosion in a printing shop produce a dictionary ... [that could] heal its own torn pages or reproduce its own newer editions?"
President Nelson is basically asking: "How could a gigantic, accidental explosion [i.e. the Big Bang], and a massive number of mindless accidents [i.e. evolution], have created the DNA strands [i.e. dictionaries] of many thousands of complex species of plants and animals (and many species have the ability to heal some of their own wounds); where each species came to exist by random, accidental mutations to DNA?"
President Nelson was not asking a question, he was making a statement: "evolution could not have happened."
He is correct, randomness has never created anything highly complex; but human cells, and the DNA inside of those cells, is far, far beyond incomprehensible complexity and sophistication!!
President Nelson is not the only apostolic critic of the theory of evolution among the top leaders of the LDS church. Elder Jefferey R. Holland is another apostle who has been openly critical of the theory of evolution. This is a quote of his from a speech at Brigham Young University:
Every person Elder Holland mentions (and hundreds of others) easily qualifies to become "like unto the son of perdition," but only God can make the official determination!!
The point is that God does not like people damaging the testimonies in the Godhead of the youth (and adults) of the LDS church!!
Here is the home page of this website which has many articles about why the theory of evolution cannot be true: Home Page