Official LDS statements about evolution and the origin of man

Many people consider evolution to be in opposition to the doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. However, a review of official documents of the Church reveals that the church is neutral towards evolution. In this post I give links to websites that contain information about the documents.

In a 1957 letter letter to Professor William Lee Stokes, President David O. McKay, writing on church stationary as President of the Church, stated “On the subject of organic evolution the Church has officially taken no position.”

In 1992 BYU prepared an evolution packet to be given to students who inquire about evolution and the Church. The statements from the First Presidencies that are given in the packet do not reference evolution, per se, but emphasize that we are children of our Father in Heaven and that Adam was the first flesh on the earth.

In 2005 William E. Evenson and Duane E. Jeffery published a book called Mormonism and Evolution: The Authoritative LDS Statements, in which they brought together many if not all of the official documents of the Church about evolution. In 2006 Frank B. Salisbury of FARMS (now the Maxwell Institute) reviewed the book.

As you read the official documents issued by the Church, keep in mind that the question of evolution only concerns our mortal bodies. Our spirits are the offspring of God, and we have no information about their origin.


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