These are the words of Apostle Joseph Fielding Smith of the Church of Latter Day Saints, uttered at a conference in 1961.
We will never get a man into space. This earth is man’s sphere and it was never intended that he should get away from it…
The moon is a superior planet to the earth and it was never intended that man should go there. You can write it down in your books that this will never happen.
He also wrote this in a book called Answers to Gospel Questions.
When man was placed on this earth it became his probationary, or mortal home. Here he is destined to stay until his earth-life is completed….There is no prophecy or edict ever given that mortals should ever should seek dominions beyond this earth while they dwell in mortality. Here we are, and here we should be content to stay. All this talk about space travel and the visiting of other worlds brings to mind vividly an attempt long ago made by foolish men who tried to build to heaven.
This belief that Mormons have that they were given Earth, and that the faithful can someday get their own planet, has consequences and implications.
Now you might be thinking, that was 1961…boy, did NASA show that Fielding was wrong 8 years later. But I was sent this link to a poll from 2009, where the LDS Freedom Forum is considering the problem.
He spoke out about something quasi-political. As a Church official, he should have known to leave well enough alone. 3%
It was his personal opinion and he was wrong about it. Big deal. 28%
I think this is proof he was a “false prophet.” 1%
He’s human…sometimes even Prophets or Apostles get stuff wrong. 17%
Joseph Fielding Smith was right about the moon, and still is to this day. 50%
Yep, 50% thought Fielding was right, humans couldn’t travel to the moon, and much of the following discussion is about how the moon landing was faked.
(It’s an old poll, and I think it’s closed, so don’t bother trying to change it. I just thought it was amusing.)