Paul A. Douglas

4. Are we to believe as Alma 1 12:23 asserts as does 2 Nephi 2:22 that there was no death of any kind upon the earth before the “Fall of Adam,” which the D&C indicates was about 6,000 years ago?

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Does this not move into, “the earth is flat” territory running in the face of every tenet of the well-established science of paleontology?

There are few areas where there is as great a collision between higher learning and the teachings of the LDS church than its belief that there was no death on this planet before approximately 6,000 BC, nor is there any other assertion so quickly repudiated. This indeed moves into “the earth is flat” territory.

The Earth is very, very old. But how old is it exactly? And how can we know with any degree of confidence? The process of scientifically estimating the age of the Earth and the plants and animals that lived and died on it involves finding the oldest piece of the planet we can, then determining how old that chunk is.

For hundreds, probably thousands of years’ man has unearthed fossils (the remains or impression of a prehistoric organism preserved in petrified form or as a mold or cast in rock) but only in the last century has science enabled us to date these fossils accurately.

FairMormon’s Comments on my questions on the Age of the Earth

FairMormon’s Comment

2 Nephi 2:22 asserts as does Alma 12:23 24 that there was no death of any kind upon the earth before the “Fall of Adam,” which the D&C indicates was about 6,000 years ago

There is overwhelming archaeological evidence of death having occurred on the earth for many millions of years. For example, oil deposits are formed from the decomposed remains of ancient plants and animals. This is where Church teachings appear to contradict science since many Latter-day Saint leaders and Church manuals have taught that there was no physical death on the entire earth prior to the fall of Adam. For example, this view is taught in the LDS Bible Dictionary:

Latter-day revelation teaches that there was no death on this earth for any forms of life before the fall of Adam. Indeed, death entered the world as a direct result of the fall (2 Nephi 2:22; Moses 6:48).

This interpretation has been shared by many Church authors, including President Joseph Fielding Smith and Elder Bruce R. McConkie. Consequently, the concept of no death before the Fall on the entire earth has made its way into many Church instructional manuals. For example, the LDS Bible Dictionary, which was included as an addition to the LDS edition of the King James Bible in 1979, includes the following statement that “death entered the world” as a result of the Fall:

The LDS Bible Dictionary states that “Latter-day revelation teaches that there was no death on this earth before the Fall of Adam. Indeed, death entered the world as a direct result of the Fall (2 Ne. 2:22; Moses 6:48).”

DOUGLAS’ RESPONSE

It is hard to defend the indefensible.

I accept that this is as close FairMormon can come to saying, ‘yeh, your right,’ without getting a call from Salt Lake.

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On the Next Page we will Discuss the Large Amount of Material in the Book of Mormon lifted directly from the Bible.

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