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Title Volume 08, Number 3, 4, Autumn-Winter 1973
Subject Periodicals; Mormons; Religious thought; Philosophy and religion
Description Independent national quarterly established to express Mormon culture and examine the relevance of religion to secular life. It is edited by Mormons who wish to bring their faith into dialogue with human experience as a whole and to foster artistic and scholarly achievement based on their cultural heritage. The journal encourages a variety of viewpoints; although every effort is made to insure accurate scholarship and responsible judgment, the views expressed are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of the Mormon Church or of the editors.
Publisher Dialogue Foundation, 900 Hilgard Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90024
Scanning Vendor Backstage Library Works - 1180 S. 800 E. Orem, UT 84097
Contributors Rees, Robert A.
Date 1973
Type Text
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Language eng
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Title Page 75
Identifier V08N0304-1705_Page 75.jpg
Source Dialogue: Vol 8 No 3, 4
Description Seers, Savants and Evolution I 75 I am very grateful that my address has come under a very thorough consideration, and I may say investigation, by the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve. The discussions throughout as relating to the matter have been forceful but in every respect friendly, and the majority of the Twelve have been in favor of the publication of the address from the time they first took it under consideration. I have hoped and fervently prayed that the brethren would be rightly guided in reaching a decision, and, as the Lord knows my heart, I have had no personal desire for triumph or victory in the matter, but have hoped that the address would be published or suppressed as would be for the best. The issue is now closed; the address is in print. ("Personal Journal of James Edward Talmage," 29:68-69, under date of November 21, 1931. Cf. also the comments under dates of August 9, November 5, November 16, and November 17, 1931, all in volume 29.) 86Though considerable evidence verifying this account is already available in the public record, the primary documentation lies in confidential interviews conducted by the author with persons closely associated with this matter. The title of the Roberts manuscript, still unpublished, is "The Truth, The Way, The Life: An Elementary Treatise on Theology." Consisting of nearly 600 manuscript pages, it was considered by Roberts to be "the most important work that I have yet contributed to the Church, the six-volumed Comprehensive History of the Church not omitted." (Letter of Feb. 9, 1931 to the First Presidency). Though it is in many critical ways contrapositive to the theology championed by Elder Smith, the reader should not infer that it is an acceptance or affirmation of evolution per se. 87Smith, Joseph Fielding, "The Origin of Man," April 22, 1953, published by Brigham Young University Extension Division, 6 pp. 88Smith, Joseph Fielding, "Entangle Not Yourselves in Sin," speech of June 12, 1953, Era, 56:646^ September 1953. 89Smith, Joseph Fielding, Man, His Origin and Destiny (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Co., 1954). 90So far as I am aware, the first book in Mormonism that can really be said to be directed to a discussion of science and religion is Scientific Aspects of Mormonism, by Nels L. Nelson (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1904). Others followed sporadically over the years, by Widtsoe, Nelson, Pack, and Merrill. All of these, while not preaching a scientific humanism or anything of the sort, exhibit a deep recognition of the validity of scientific knowledge. Man His Origin and Destiny is a clean break with that long tradition, opting as it does for schism rather than synthesis. 91Smith, Joseph Fielding, speech of June 28, 1954, published in the Church News section, Deseret News, July 24,1954, under the caption "Discusses Organic Evolution Opposed to Divine Revelation." 92Cf. ref. 5. 93Cf. ref. 6. Words in parentheses, grammatical errors, etc. are in the original. 94McKay, David O., "Some Fundamental Objectives of a Church University," Church News Section, Deseret News, Sept. 25,1954, p. 2f. 95I have photostatic copies in my files of several of these inquiries and responses, and know of additional oral discussions of the matter. Before his death, Pres. McKay gave formal permission for the publication of at least one of the written responses. It is not deemed appropriate here to anticipate that publication in excessive detail. 96As it is expressed in the Conclusion to The Origin, "1 see no good reason why the views given in this volume should shock the religious feelings of any one." Though Darwin, once a candidate for the ministry, came to feel that the entire question of rational evidence for design and/or the existence of God was "insoluble," he was clear that religious commitment was a matter separate and distinct from belief or disbelief in either evolution or natural selection. "Thompson, W. R., Catholic World, 34:692,1882. 98Cf. Rich, Wendell O., Distinctive Teachings of the Restoration, Ch. 7, "The Nature of Truth" (Salt Lake City: Deseret News Press, 1962). The First Presidency's straightforward statement: "That which is demonstrated, we accept with joy . . ." {Deseret News, December 17, 191.0, part i, p. 3) can be coupled with dozens of further references. 99/n the Beginning, Gospel Doctrine Course Teacher's Supplement, 1972, Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Deseret News Press. 1007D, 11:317, 1867. 101/D, 16:369-370,1874.
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