Quotes by General Authorities on the Flood, the Days of Peleg, and the Fall Adam/Organic Evolution



THE FLOOD

JOSEPH SMITH TAUGHT THAT ADAM WAS THE FIRST MAN AND NOAH LITERALLY SAVED ALL ANIMALS FROM THE FLOOD
Every man lives for himself. Adam was made to open the ways of the world, and for dressing the garden. Noah was born to save seed of everything, when the earth was washed of its wickedness by the flood; and the Son of God came into the world to redeem it from the fall... Wherefore, we again say, search the revelations of God: study the prophecies, and rejoice that God grants unto the world Seers and Prophets. They are they who saw the mysteries of godliness; they saw the flood before it came; they saw angels ascending and descending upon a ladder that reached from earth to heaven: they saw the stone cut out of the mountain...
(History of the Church Volume 1, p.283; Discourses of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 90)
JOSEPH SMITH TESTIFIES THAT NOAH'S FLOOD KILLED ALL
In the days of Noah, God destroyed the world by a flood, and he has promised to destroy it by fire in the last days: but before it should take place, Elijah should first come and turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, etc.
(Discourses of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p.60)
JOSEPH SMITH TAUGHT THAT THE FLOOD DESTROYED ALL FLESH
The next great, grand patriarch [after Enoch] who held the keys of the priesthood was Lamech. "And Lamech lived one hundred eighty and two years and begat a son: and he called his name Noah, saying, this same shall comfort us concerning our work and the toil of our hands because of the ground which the Lord hath cursed." (Gen. 5:28-29) The priesthood continued from Lamech to Noah: "And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth."
(Gen. 6:13.; Discourses of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 56)
JOSEPH SMITH TAUGHT THAT EVERYONE BUT NOAH DIED IN THE FLOOD
In the pre-earthly existence Noah was known as Gabriel, and after he was born on the earth, proved faithful to the Lord, and survived the flood, he was placed "next in authority to Adam in the Priesthood; he was called of God . . and was the father of all living in this day, and to him was given the dominion."
(Joseph Smith, TPJS, p. 157; see also D&C 88:25)
BRIGHAM YOUNG TESTIFIES THAT THE FLOOD WAS EARTH'S BAPTISM.
This earth in its present condition and situation, is not a fit habitation for the sanctified; but it abides the law of its creation, has been baptized with water, will be baptized by fire and the Holy Ghost, and by-and-by will be prepared for the faithful to dwell upon...
(Discourses Of Brigham Young, P39; HC 8:83)
BRIGHAM YOUNG TAUGHT THAT THE FLOOD WAS THE EARTH’S BAPTISM
The earth ... has been baptized with water, and will, in the future be baptized with fire and the Holy Ghost, to be prepared to go back into the celestial presence of God.
(Brigham Young, DBY, p. 393)
SO DID JOHN A. WIDTSOE
Latter-day Saints ...look upon the flood as a baptism of the earth, symbolizing a cleansing of the impurities of the past, and the beginning of a new life. This has been repeatedly taught by the leaders of the Church. The deluge was an immersion of the earth in water.
(John A. Widtsoe, ER 1:111)
BRIGHAM YOUNG TESTIFIED OF THE FLOOD
Do you think that the Lord has his eye upon a great many? There is a passage of Scripture that reads thus: "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren," etc. Whom did he not foreknow? I do not think there is anybody now on the earth, that has lived before us, or that will come after us, but what he knew. He knew who would be his anointed; he had his eye upon them all the time, as he had upon Moses, Pharaoh, Abraham, Melchizedek, and Noah, who was a chosen vessel to build the ark and save a remnant from the flood...
(Discourses Of Brigham Young, P.8:229)
BRIGHAM YOUNG TESTIFIED THAT IN THE FLOOD CIVILIZATION MOVED FROM AMERICA TO MIDDLE EAST
When Moses wrote and said that man was formed precisely in the image of God he wrote the truth. We are the children of our Father-- his offspring, of the same family; we belong to him by birthright, and we are his children and Jesus is our brother. Does the Bible tell all this? Just as plain as words can tell anything. (JD 14:280)

In the beginning, after this earth was prepared for man, the Lord commenced his work upon what is now called the American continent, where the Garden of Eden was made. In the days of Noah, in the days of the floating of the ark, he took the people to another part of the earth; the earth was divided, and there he set up his kingdom.  
(Brigham Young, JD 8:195.)
JOHN TAYLOR TESTIFIED OF A LITERAL FLOOD.
How they could manage to get enough water out of the seas, and out of the oceans, and out of the rivers, and out of the clouds, to cover the tops of these mountains and fifteen cubits above, and let that spread all over the earth? I would like to know by what known law the immersion of the globe could be accomplished. It is explained here in a few words: "The windows of heaven were opened"-- that is, the waters that exist throughout the space surrounding the earth from whence come these clouds from which the rain descends. That was one cause. Another cause was "the fountains of the great deep were broken up"-- that is something beyond the oceans, something outside of the seas, some reservoirs of which we have no knowledge, were made to contribute to this event, and the waters were let loose by the hand and by the power of God; for God said He would bring a flood upon the earth and He brought it, but He had to let loose the fountains of the great deep, and pour out the waters from there, and when the flood commenced to subside, we are told "that the fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained, and the waters returned from off the earth." Where did they go to? From whence they came. [The Bible] simply tells us that "all the high hills that were under the whole heaven were covered. Fifteen cubits upwards did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered." That is, the earth was immersed. It was a period of baptism.
(JD 26:74-75.)



THE DAYS OF PELEG

IS HIS LECTURES ON FAITH, JOSEPH SMITH TAKES TIME TO NOTE THAT THE EARTH WAS DIVIDED IN THE DAYS OF PELEG.
In whose days was the earth divided? In the days of Peleg.

Where have we the account given that the earth was divided in the days of Peleg? (Gen. 10:25.)

Can you repeat the sentence? "Unto Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg; for in his days was the earth divided."
(Lectures on Faith, Q&A 2:142)
JOSEPH FIELDING SMITH SAID THE CONTINENTS WERE UNITED AT THE TIME OF ADAM.
There were not an Eastern and a Western Hemisphere at the time of Adam. (Joseph Fielding Smith, AGQ 4:21.)

It is an error to say that the Bible states that the Garden of Eden was on the Eastern Hemisphere. The fact is that there is no place that can be definitely pointed out where the Garden of Eden was. There have been great changes on the face of the earth since the days of Adam. The Latter-day Saints would not know if the Lord had not revealed it to them. Such knowledge is beyond the skill of mortal man to discover without the revelation from the Lord.
(Joseph Fielding Smith, AGQ 4:19)
JOSEPH FIELDING SMITH TAUGHT THAT THE DIVISION OF THE EARTH IN PELEG'S DAYS WAS A LITERAL DIVISION OF THE CONTINENTS
The dividing of the earth was not an act of division by the inhabitants of the earth by tribes and peoples, but a breaking asunder of the continents, thus dividing the land surface and creating the Eastern Hemisphere and Western Hemisphere. By looking at a wall map of the world, you will discover how the land surface along the northern and southern coast of the American Hemisphere and Europe and Africa has the appearance of having been together at one time. Of course, there have been many changes on the earth's surface since the beginning. We are informed by revelation that the time will come when this condition will be changed and that the land surface of the earth will come back as it was in the beginning and all be in one place.
(AGQ 5:73-74.)

ALSO...
The notion prevails quite generally that the dividing of the earth in the days of Peleg was a division politically among the people, but from this word of the Lord we gain the idea that the earth itself was divided and that when Christ comes it will again be brought back to the same conditions physically as prevailed before this division took place. The sea is to be driven back into the north. The land is to be brought back as it was originally and the lands of Zion (America) and Jerusalem (Palestine and all the land pertaining unto it) will be restored to their own place as they were in the beginning.
(CHMR 1:264)
PARLEY P. PRATT TAUGHT THAT THE CONTINENTS WERE ONE AT THE TIME OF ADAM.
When God had created the heavens and the earth, and separated the light from the darkness, his next great command was to the waters, "And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so." From this we learn a marvelous fact, which very few have ever realized or believed in this benighted age: we learn that the waters, which are now divided into oceans, seas, and lakes, were then all gathered into one vast ocean, and consequently, that the land which is now torn asunder, and divided into continents and islands almost innumerable, was then one vast continent or body, not separated as it now is.
(A Voice of Warning, p.88)
  
PARLEY P. PRATT TAUGHT THAT THE CONTINENTS WERE DIVIDED IN THE DAYS OF PELEG.
How far the flood may have contributed to produce the various changes, as to the division of the earth into broken fragments, islands and continents, mountains and valleys, we have not been informed; the changes must have been considerable. But after the flood in the days of Peleg, the earth was divided. A short history, to be sure, of so great an event, but still it will account for the mighty revolution which rolled the sea from its own place in the north, and brought it to interpose between different portions of the earth, which were thus parted asunder, and moved into something near their present form. This, together with the earthquakes, revolutions and commotions which have since taken place, have all contributed to reduce the face of the earth to its present state, while the great curses which have fallen upon different portions, because of the wickedness of men, will account for the stagnant swamps, the sunken lakes, the dead seas, and great deserts; witness, for instance, the denunciation of the prophets upon Babylon; how it was to become perpetual desolation, a den of wild beasts, a dwelling of unclean and hateful birds, a place for owls; and should never be inhabited, but should lie desolate from generation to generation. Witness also the plains of Sodom, filled with towns, cities, and flourishing gardens, well watered: but oh, how changed! a vast sea of stagnant water alone marks the place. Witness the land of Palestine, in the days of Solomon: it was capable of sustaining millions of people besides yielding a surplus of wheat, and other production, which were exchanged with the neighboring nations: whereas, now it is desolate, and hardly capable of sustaining a few miserable inhabitants. And when I cast mine eyes over our own land, and see the numerous swamps, lakes and ponds of stagnant waters, together with the vast mountains, and innumerable rough places, rocks have been rent and torn asunder, from center to circumference, I exclaim, Whence all this?
(A Voice of Warning, p.91)
  
PARLEY P. PRATT TAUGHT THAT THE EARTH HAS UNDERGONE GREAT CATASTROPHIC CHANGES.
When I read the Book of Mormon, it informs me that while Christ was crucified among the Jews, this whole American continent was shaken to its foundation, that many cities were sunk, and waters came up in their places; that the rocks were all rent in twain; that mountains were thrown up to an exceeding height; and other mountains became valleys; the level roads spoiled, and the whole face of the land changed. I then exclaim "these things are no longer a mystery; I have now learned to account for the many wonders, which I everywhere behold, throughout the whole country. When I am passing a ledge of rocks and see they have all been rent and torn asunder, while some huge fragments are found deeply imbedded in the earth, some rods from whence they were torn, I exclaim, with astonishment, These were the groans! the conclusive throes of agonizing nature! while the Son of God suffered upon the cross!
(A Voice of Warning, p.91-92)
JOHN TAYLOR QUOTES PARLEY P. PRATT THAT THE CONTINENTS WERE SEPARATED AT PELEG
"Now, we can never understand precisely what is meant by restoration, unless we understand what is lost or taken away; for instance, when we offer to restore any thing to a man, it is as much as to say he once possessed it, but had lost it, and we propose to replace or put him in possession of that which he once had; therefore, when a prophet speaks of the restoration of all things, he means that all things have undergone a change, and are to be again restored to their primitive order, even as they first existed.

"First, then, it becomes necessary for us to take a view of creation, as it rolled in purity from the hand of its Creator; and if we can discover the true state in which it then existed, and understand the changes that have taken place since, then we shall be able to understand what is to be restored; and thus our minds being prepared, we shall be looking for the very things which will come, and shall be in no danger of lifting our puny arm, in ignorance, to oppose the things of God.

"First, then, we will take a view of the earth, as to its surface, local situation, and productions.

"When God had created the heavens and the earth, and separated the light from the darkness, his next great command was to the waters, Genesis 1:9,-- 'And God said, let the waters under the heaven be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.' From this we learn a marvelous fact, which very few have ever realized or believed in this benighted age; we learn that the waters, which are now divided into oceans, seas, and lakes, were then all gathered together, into one vast ocean; and, consequently, that the land, which is now torn asunder, and divided into continents and islands, almost innumerable, was then one vast continent or body, not separated as it is now.

"Second, we hear the Lord God pronounce the earth, as well as every thing else, very good. From this we learn that there were neither deserts, barren places, stagnant swamps, rough, broken, rugged hills, nor vast mountains covered with eternal snow; and no part of it was located in the frigid zone, so as to render its climate dreary and unproductive, subject to eternal frost, or everlasting chains of ice,--  but the whole earth was probably one vast plain, or interspersed with gently rising hills, and sloping vales, well calculated for cultivation; while its climate was delightfully varied, with the moderate changes of heat and cold, of wet and dry, which only tended to crown the varied year, with the greater variety of productions, all for the good of man, animal, fowl, or creeping thing; while from the flowery plain, or spicy grove, sweet odours were wafted on every breeze; and all the vast creation of animated being breathed nought but health, and peace, and joy.

"Next, we learn from Genesis 1:29, 30,-- 'And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree, yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.' From these verses we learn, that the earth yielded neither nauseous weeds nor poisonous plants, nor useless thorns and thistles; indeed, every thing that grew was just calculated for the food of man' beast, fowl, and creeping thing; and their food was all vegetable; flesh and blood were never sacrificed to glut their souls, or gratify their appetites; the beasts of the earth were all in perfect harmony with each other; the lion ate straw like the ox-- the wolf dwelt with the lamb-- the leopard lay down with the kid-- the cow and bear fed together, in the same pasture, while their young ones reposed, in perfect security, under the shade of the same trees; all was peace and harmony, and nothing to hurt nor disturb, in all the holy mountain."
(Government of God, p.107-108)
  
JOHN TAYLOR QUOTES PARLEY P. PRATT THAT THE CONTINENTS WERE SEPARATED AT PELEG
"How far the flood may have contributed, to produce the various changes, as to the division of the earth into broken fragments, islands and continents, mountains and valleys, we have not been informed; the change must have been considerable. But after the flood, in the days of Peleg, the earth was divided.-- See Genesis 10:25,-- a short history, to be sure, of so great an event; but still it will account for the mighty revolution, which rolled the sea from its own place in the north, and brought it to interpose between different portions of the earth, which were thus parted asunder, and moved into something near their present form; this, together with the earthquakes, revolutions, and commotions which have since taken place, have all contributed to reduce the face of the earth to its present state; while the great curses which have fallen upon different portions, because of the wickedness of men, will account for the stagnant swamps, the sunken lakes, the dead seas, and great deserts.
(Government of God, p.110)
  
ORSON F. WHITNEY TAUGHT THAT THE CONTINENTS WERE SEPARATED IN THE DAYS OF PELEG.
In the days of Peleg the earth was "divided" (Gen. 10:25). Whether this means the dividing "to the nations" of "their inheritance" (Deut. 32:8), or a tearing asunder of the land into continents and islands, is not stated. The latter view, the one here suggested, may help to explain why the site of the Garden of Eden is now in North America.
(Elias: An Epic of the Ages, Footnotes 23.23-- 1540)
   
JOSEPH F. SMITH WROTE IN THE MELCHEZIDEK PRIESTHOOD COURSE MANUAL OF THE SEPARATION AND REUNIFICATION OF THE CONTINENTS
We are given a somewhat detailed statement of what shall take place when Christ shall come, which is in full harmony with the predictions of the ancient prophets and apostles. When the Lamb shall stand upon Mount Zion, and with him a hundred and forty-four thousand, having his Father's name written on their foreheads. (Rev. 14:1-8, 7:1-17) In that day the Redeemer shall "utter his voice out of Zion, and he shall speak from Jerusalem, and his voice shall be heard among all people; and it shall be a voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder, which shall break down the mountains, and the valleys shall not be found.
(Isaiah 2:1-5, 40:1-11.)

When that day comes great changes shall take place upon the earth. We believe this is a day of restoration, and that the earth is to be renewed. (Tenth Article of Faith; Lesson 40) In this renewal we are informed that the Lord "shall command the great deep, and it shall be driven back into the north country, and the islands shall become one land; and the land of Jerusalem and the land of Zion shall be turned back into their own place, and the earth shall be like as it was in the days before it was divided." (Gen. 10:25.) The notion prevails quite generally that the dividing of the earth in the days of Peleg was a division politically among the people, but from this word of the Lord we gain the idea that the earth itself was divided and that when Christ comes it will again be brought back to the same conditions physically as prevailed before this division took place. The sea is to be driven back into the north. The land is to be brought back as it was originally and the lands of Zion (America) and Jerusalem (Palestine and all the land pertaining unto it) will be restored to their own place as they were in the beginning. The Savior will stand in the midst of his people, and shall reign over all flesh. We have discovered in our study that the wicked or all things that are corruptible (Section 101:23-25), will be consumed and therefore will not be permitted to be on the earth when this time comes.
(Church History and Modern Revelation 1948, p.35)
JOSEPH F. SMITH TAUGHT AGAIN IN THE CHURCHES MELCHEZIDEK PRIESTHOOD COURSE MANUEL THAT AT THE SECOND COMING THE CONTINENTS WILL REUNITE.
While the Lord has not revealed to us the fullness of the glorious vision which he gave to the three apostles on the mount, yet he has made known to us many things bearing upon that day. We have taught that we are living in the day of restoration, in which all things are to be brought back to a similar condition to that which was in the beginning; the day spoken of, as stated by Peter, was prophesied of by all the Prophets since the world began. (Acts 3:21.) Paul taught this doctrine to the Ephesian Saints (Eph. 1:8-10.) and the Savior told his disciples that Elias should come to bring to pass the restoration of all things. Moreover in the Articles of Faith (10th Art.) the Prophet declares that there will be such a restoration in which the earth shall be "renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory." All of this is to take place in the Dispensation of the Fullness of times, in which we live. When this is accomplished this earth will again appear as it did in the beginning. The sea will be driven back to the north; the islands will be joined to the main land and the lands will be brought together as they were before the earth was divided. (D. and C. 133:22-24.) 
(Church History and Modern Revelation 1948, p. 5)
JOSEPH FIELDING SMITH TAUGHT CLEARLY THAT THE CONTINENTS WERE DIVIDED AT THE DAYS OF PELEG AND WILL BE REUNITED AGAIN AT THE SECOND COMING.
Remember also that not too many centuries after Noah landed at Ararat, the entire land surface of the earth was changed and divided, and what had previously been one grand continent, was broken up into many continents and islands. So it is impossible for us today to know exactly what changes were made in that world catastrophe.
(Answers To Gospel Questions Vol. 2, p.94)

ALSO...
"And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg; for in his day was the earth divided." This is a very brief statement of one of the greatest events that ever occurred on the face of this terrestrial globe, yet there is scientific evidence that this very thing happened. In the beginning the land surface was one vast continent; there came a time when it was divided, and other continents were formed and the Western Hemisphere came into existence, but this was long after the time of Adam.
(Answers to Gospel Questions Vol. 4, p.22)

ALSO...
We read in Genesis that in the beginning all of the land surface was in one place as it was in the days of Peleg, that the earth was divided. Some Bible commentators have concluded that this division was one concerning the migrations of the inhabitants of the earth between them, but this is not the case. While this is but a very brief statement, yet it speaks of a most important event. The dividing of the earth was not an act of division by the inhabitants of the earth by tribes and peoples, but a breaking asunder of the continents, thus dividing the land surface and creating the Eastern Hemisphere and Western Hemisphere. By looking at a wall map of the world, you will discover how the land surface along the northern and southern coast of the American Hemisphere and Europe and Africa has the appearance of having been together at one time. Of course, there have been many changes on the earth's surface since the beginning. We are informed by revelation that the time will come when this condition will be changed and that the land surface of the earth will come back again as it was in the beginning and all be in one place. This is definitely stated in the Doctrine and Covenants in the following words: (D&C 133:?.)        
(Answers To Gospel Questions - Vol 5, p.73)
ELDER BRUCE R. MCKONKIE TAUGHT THAT THE CONTINENTS WILL REUNITE AT THE 2ND COMING
Was there a day when the continents were one land and the islands were not separated from them? Such shall come again. The great deep shall be driven back into the north and the land surfaces of the earth shall be one again as they were in the days before they were divided.

All things pertaining to the creation and peopling and destiny of the earth-- these are the things that God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets. This revealed knowledge shall be restored, and the events of which they spoke shall come to pass, all during that age of the earth known as the times of restitution. Of all these things we shall speak more particularly hereafter in their proper settings.
(The Millennial Messiah , p.89)

ALSO...
The millennial setting of the New Jerusalem is nowhere seen better than in the biblical words of the Beloved Disciple. He records: "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth"-- he is seeing the millennial earth-- "for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea." The continents and islands have become one land and are no more divided by the oceans of the earth... And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." (Rev. 21:1-4.) All these things, as we shall see in a later context, are descriptive of life during the Millennium.
(The Millennial Messiah , p.306)

ALSO...
We have already spoken of the day of burning in which the very rocks and soil will be dissolved, in which the elements melt with fervent heat, and the mountains, as wax, flow down at the presence of the Lord. The prophetic word also speaks of every valley being exalted, of the mountains being made low, and the rough places smoothed as a plain. It tells of an earthquake beyond anything the earth has ever known; of the earth reeling to and fro as a drunken man; of the mighty deep returning to the land of the north where it once was; of the continents becoming one land as they were in the day before they were divided; of the ice flowing down from the polar regions; of the burning deserts blossoming as the rose; of springs of water springing up in the arid wastelands; of the whole earth becoming as the Garden of Eden. Who knows but what the very axis of the earth will shift so that the seasons cease and the whole earth enjoys both seedtime and harvest at all times.
(A New Witness For The Articles Of Faith, p.649)
ALVIN R. DYER OF THE 1ST PRESIDENCY TAUGHT THAT THE CONTINENTS WILL REUNITE AT THE SECOND COMING.
With the joining of the "islands," or continents, as in the days before the earth was divided, the city of Jerusalem of old and the New Jerusalem, which shall be built at what is now the geographical center of America, and the land distance between these two capitals will be greatly reduced.
(Who Am I? p.466)



QUOTES ON ORGANIC EVOLUTION

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OFTEN MISQUOTED STATEMENTS ON THE AGE OF THE EARTH

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THE FIRST IS OFTEN FALSELY ATTRIBUTED TO JOSEPH SMITH BUT WAS ACTUALLY WRITTEN BY W.W. PHELPS TO WILLIAM SMITH IN THE TIMES AND SEASONS AFTER THE PROPHET’S DEATH
 “Well now brother William, when the house of Israel began to come into the glorious mysteries of the kingdom, and find that Jesus Christ, whose goings forth, as the prophets said, have been from of old, from eternity: and that eternity, agreeable to the records found in the catacombs of Egypt, has been going on in this system almost two thousand five hundred and fifty millions of years. And to know that deist, geologists and others are trying to prove that matter must have existed hundreds of thousands of years; it almost temps the flesh to fly to God, or muster faith like Enoch to be translated and see & know as we are seen & known!”
(W.W. Phelps in Times and Seasons, vol. 5, 1844, p.758)

Mckonkie says explicitly “The time mentioned has no reference, as some have supposed, to the period of this earth’s existence.  It alludes to Micah 5:2 speaking of the duration of the Lordship or “goings forth” of Christ”
(The Mortal Messiah, Book 1, p.29; Micah 5:1-2)

“Now gather thyself in troops, O daughter of troops: he hath laid siege against us: they shall smite the judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek.  But thou, Beth-lehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings for have been from of old, from everlasting.”

It is absolutely obvious that W.W. Phelps in not referring to the age of the earth here.
THE OTHER QUOTE IS ONE BY BRIGHAM YOUNG GIVEN IN THE TABERNACLE IN 1871.  HERE BRIGHAM SEEMS TO IMPLY THAT HE DOES NOT KNOW EXACTLY HOW LONG IT TOOK GOD TO ORGANIZE THE WORLD, AND WISELY COUNCILS THE SAINTS TO BE CAREFUL ABOUT PASSING JUDGMENTS ABOUT THINGS THAT ARE NOT DEFINITIVELY EXPLAINED IN SCRIPTURE.  HE ALSO EXPLAINS THAT MANY CHRISTIANS HAVE DRIVEN LEARNED MEN OUT OF THE CHURCH BECAUSE THEY READ THINGS INTO THE SCRIPTURES WHICH PHYSICAL EVIDENCES SUGGEST ARE FALSE SUCH AS THE EARTH BEING MADE FROM NOTHING IN ONLY SIX EARTH DAYS, SIX THOUSAND YEARS AGO.
"I am not astonished that infidelity prevails to a great extent among the inhabitants of the earth, for the religious teachers of the people advance many ideas and notions for truth which are in opposition to and contradict fact demonstrated by science, and which are generally understood. You take, for instance, our geologists, and they tell us that this earth has been in existence for thousands and millions of years. They think, and they have good reason for their faith, that their researches and investigations enable them to demonstrate that this earth has been has been in existence as long as they assert it has; and they say, "If the Lord, as religionists declare, made the earth out of nothing in six days, six thousand years ago, our studies are all vain; but by what we can learn from nature and the immutable laws of the Creator as revealed therein, we know that your theories are incorrect and consequently we must reject your religions as false and vain; we must be what you call infidels, with the demonstrated truth of science in our possession; or, rejecting those truths, become enthusiasts in, what you call, Christianity."

"In these respects we differ from the Christian world, for our religion will not clash with or contradict the facts of science in any particular. You may take geology, for instance, and it is true science; not that I would say for a moment that all the conclusions and deductions of its professors are true, but its leading principles are; they are facts--they are eternal; and to assert that the Lord made this earth out of nothing is preposterous and impossible. God never made something out of nothing; it is not in the economy or law by which the worlds were, are, or will exist. There is an eternity before us, and it is full of matter; and if we but understand enough of the Lord and his ways we would say that he took of this matter and organized this earth from it.  How long it has been organized it is not for me to say, and I do not care anything about it.  As for the Bible account of the creation we may say that the Lord gave it to Moses... If we understood the process of creation there would be no mystery about it... A proper reply for all mankind to make under similar circumstances would be “we do not know anything about what you say, and do not know whether we should have faith in it or not. Perhaps we should but we have no evidence at present on which to found such a belief.”
(Discourses of Brigham Young, (p.258-259) or JD vol. 14 (p.115-117) Given in SLC tabernacle in May 1871)

Yet Brigham Young had full faith in Noah’s Flood and spoke of it as the earth’s baptism on numerous occasions.  Journal of Discourses 1:274, 1:331, 10:252

This is the same wise stance the church has taken on evolution and the age of the earth since its beginning.  It is important to note that the main principle that Brigham is teaching against is the prevalent idea of the time that God made the earth, just as it is now, out of nothing six thousand years ago.  This is a doctrine held by many Christians, which Joseph Smith repeatedly declared as false. (The excuse that “God just made it that way”)  For example, that the Grand Canyon was not created by a river down-cutting through strata deposited by ancient oceans, but that God just made it the way it is, out of nothing six thousand years ago.   Brigham Young like most intelligent men realized this kind of reasoning defied truth.  Such reasoning poses questions such as “if God made things that way, why would he place plant & animal fossils and footprints in the strata?  As geologists can verify, the evidence and pure reason strongly suggests that that wasn’t the way the earth’s features were formed.
BUT THIS LETTER FROM BRIGHAM YOUNG TO HIS SON SEEMS TO SUGGEST QUITE CLEARLY THAT HE DOES NOT HOLD THE THEORIES OF DARWIN IN HIGH REGARD; AND WISHES DEARLY THAT THE SCRIPTURES WERE USED AS TEXTBOOKS IN SCHOOL RATHER THAN THE EVOLUTIONARY PHILOSOPHIES OF DARWIN, HUXLEY & MIALL.
I have lately deeded to a board of trustees, for the purpose of erecting an academy thereon, the block (20x20 rods) immediately north of the Naisbitt place where Thomas Jennings now resides, and shall probably yet further endow the academy which will be known as the "Young Academy of Salt Lake." It will be open to the children of the Latter-day Saints only. In it the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and other works of the Church will be the standard textbooks, and the preceptors will be especially enjoined to instill into the minds of our youth a faith in the religion of their fathers. We have enough and to spare, at present in these mountains, of schools where young infidels are made because the teachers are so tender-footed that they dare not mention the principles of the gospel to their pupils, but have no hesitancy in introducing into the classroom the theories of Huxley, of Darwin, or of Miall and the false political economy which contends against co-operation and the United Order. This course I am resolutely and uncompromisingly opposed to, and I hope to see the day when the doctrines of the gospel will be taught in all our schools, when the revelation of the Lord will be our texts, and our books will be written and manufactured by ourselves and in our own midst. As a beginning in this direction I have endowed the Brigham Young Academy at Provo and [am] now seeking to do the same thing in this city. Believing that my own boys will best accomplish and have regard to my wishes, I have appointed a board of seven trustees, of whom five are my sons, viz., Brigham Jun., John W., Ernest I., Hyrum S., and yourself. The other two members of the board are brothers D[avid] O. Calder and Geo. Reynolds. The deed will require your signature as one of the trustees which I think can be deferred until your return. If this pleases you, and you are willing to act as one of the trustees, so inform us in your next letters so that we can place your name in the deed and have it duly recorded.
(Letters of Brigham Young to his sons, by Willard Young p.200)
ANOTHER GROSS MISUNDERSTANDING COMES FROM THIS QUOTE, WHERE JOSEPH SMITH SAID THE WORLD WAS CREATED FROM THE MATTER OF OTHER PLANETS.
This earth was organized or formed out of other planets which were broken up and remodeled and made into one on which we live. The elements are eternal...   In the translation "without form and void," it should read, "empty and desolate." The word created should be "formed or organized."
(Joseph Smith, CDG, p. 271.) Discuss the impossibilities of the ideas that dinosaurs are from a former creation, or that the earth’s crust is made from “pieces” of other planets crust which were somehow stitched together and form our present crust.
JOSEPH FIELDING SMITH SAID THE ACCOUNTS OF CREATION, IN SCRIPTURE, ARE THE EARTH’S PHYSICAL NOT SPIRITUAL CREATION.         
There is no account of the creation of man or other forms of life when they were created as spirits. There is just the simple statement that they were so created before the physical creation. The statements in Moses 3:5 and Genesis 2:5 are interpolations thrown into the account of the physical creation, explaining that all things were first created in the spirit existence in heaven before they were placed upon this earth.
(DS 1:75-76.)

While it is true that all things were created spiritually, or as spirits, before they were naturally upon the face of the earth, this creation, we are informed, was in heaven. This applies to animals of all descriptions and also to plant life, before there was flesh upon the earth, or in the water, or in the air. The account of the creation of the earth as given in Genesis, and the Book of Moses, and as given in the temple, is the creation of the physical earth, and of physical animals and plants. I think the temple account, which was given by revelation, is the clearest of all of these. These physical creations were made out of the natural elements.
(DS 1:75.)