"More recently one of our Church educators published what he purports to be a history of the Church's stand on the question of organic evolution. His thesis challenges the integrity of a prophet of God. He suggests that Joseph Fielding Smith published his work Man: His Origin and Destiny against the counsel of the First Presidency and his own brethren. This writer's interpretation is not only inaccurate, but it runs counter to the testimony of Elder Mark E. Petersen, who wrote this foreword to President Smith's book, a book I would encourage all of you to read:
"'Some of us [members of the Council of the Twelve] urged [Elder Joseph Fielding Smith] to write a book on the creation of the world and the origin of man. . . . The present volume is the result. It is a most remarkable presentation of material from both sources [science and religion] under discussion. It will fill a great need in the Church, and will be particularly invaluable to students who have become confused by the misapplication of information derived from scientific experimentation.' (Foreword, Man: His Origin and Destiny, Deseret Book Co., 1954.)
"When one understands that the author to whom I allude is an exponent for the theory of organic evolution, his motive in disparaging President Joseph Fielding Smith becomes apparent. To hold to a private opinion on such matters is one thing, but when one undertakes to publish his views to discredit the work of a prophet, it is a very serious matter. It is also apparent to all who have the Spirit of God in them that Joseph Fielding Smith's writings will stand the test of time."
(Ezra Taft Benson, This Nation Shall Endure [Salt Lake City:
Deseret Book, 1977], p. 22; bracketed
comments in the original.)