“When President Joseph Fielding Smith’s book, Man, His Origin and Destiny, was published, someone urged it as an Institute course. One of the Institute teachers came to me and said, ‘If we have to follow it exactly, we will lose some of the young people.’ I said, ‘I don’t think you need to worry.’ I thought it was a good idea to get the thing out in public, so the next time I went to Sunday School General Board meeting, I got up and bore testimony that the world was four or five billion years old, that evidence was strongly in that direction.”
What an interesting context in which to find the words “bore testimony.” I am reminded of something said in a speech by his son, Elder Henry B. Eyring:
I know from my own experience, for example, that the Holy Ghost knows some of the mathematical equations used to solve problems in thermodynamics, a branch of the sciences. I was a struggling physics student studying in a book that I still own. I keep it for historical and spiritual reasons. Halfway down a page (I could even show you where it is on the page), in the middle of some mathematics, I had a clear confirmation that what I was reading was true. It was exactly the feeling I had had come to me before as I pondered the Lord’s scriptures and that I have had many times since. So I knew that the Holy Ghost understood whatever was true in what I might be asked on an examination in thermodynamics.
I wonder what other unconventional testimonies are born at Church headquarters, and I wonder how they are received.