Tales from the Archives: Neal A. Maxwell and the Creationist Filmstrip

A brief and incomplete story, illustrating Elder Maxwell’s language fun… even in internal memos.

In 1975, as Church Commissioner of Education, Maxwell was asked by Elder Benson to evaluate a non-LDS creationist filmstrip for potential showing at BYU and use within the Church Education System. Based on the author’s credentials and further consultation with LDS scientists, Maxwell recommended that it not be adopted, and indeed, it was not.
Along the way, he also wrote,

I personally am quite comfortable with the idea that the Church is committed only to the truth…. We know what we know from the scripture and from revelation. It is the kind of knowledge that tells us those things we most need to know [such as God’s existence, divine Fatherhood], that He created the earth for a purpose, that He has a plan of redemption for mankind, and that He operates on the basis of divine laws, etc. We have all the strategic truths, therefore, that we need. What we don’t have, in abundance, at least, are the tactical facts about how God achieved his purposes in the creation.

I had to smile at strategic vs. tactical, which just seemed like Classic Maxwell.

2 thoughts on “Tales from the Archives: Neal A. Maxwell and the Creationist Filmstrip

  1. Yeah. Here’s how I remember the difference: strategy is the big overall plan and the goal to be reached. Tactics are little minty candies. 🙂


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